Our laundry room is in a bump-out at the back of the house, accessed through the dining room. Whoever built it used a small, old barn or shed door to separate the rooms, and someone made very rough cabinets out of barn boards which hang over the washer and dryer. A wooden ironing board, worn smooth and concave in places from much use, is in a built-in cabinet; the board drops down when its door is opened.
The room is functional, and suitable for its intended purpose, so we didn’t give it much thought until the washing machine died. Then we discovered the room must have been built around the machines…the washer wouldn’t fit through the narrow door. Cherisse had to dismantle the doorframe and remove some brickwork in front of the dining room fireplace in order to get it out, and the new one in.
On nice warm days we’d hung clothes outside on the line, both to save energy and because we loved how the the laundry smelled after drying outside. We did use the dryer, but decided not to replace it when we got the new washer. We hated to discard a machine that worked, and we didn’t want to spend money unnecessarily. So Cherisse rebuilt the doorframe, in effect sealing in the dryer. It lasted a couple more years, and then gave up.
Now we wash laundry only on nice days, in summer or winter. With sun and a breeze, clothes will dry on the clothesline even in freezing temperatures. There is something about seeing clothes drying, courtesy of nature’s power, that lifts the spirits. As I hang up the laundry, lines from Wynonna Judd’s song “All Of That Love From Here” usually run through my head:
I can see the cotton sheets, they’re swinging in the wind
I’m swinging in the wind
I close my eyes and my mind flies
And I’m right back home again, I’m right back home