Monday, February 24, 2014

7 Lessons from my Clothesline Obsession

Yes...I am obsessed with clotheslines.  I LOVE THEM!  I am a clothesline-aholic and have absolutely no intention of recovering.  I get great joy from just watching my clothes blow in the wind.  There is a feeling of simplicity and peace that comes from my clothesline.  I can sit endlessly on my deck watching the wind in my clothes (many times with a beer in hand)...and oh, the smell of clothes fresh from the line!

I can't be sure where these feelings come from but I presume it has something to do with my childhood.  I grew up in an extended family environment.  We lived in sort of our own little commune of our family (6 kids), my aunt and uncle's family (4 kids) and my Grandparents.  Our three homes shared a lawn, driveway, well, sheds, wharf...and even clotheslines.  It took great coordination to be sure that all the laundry of the 3 families was done since none of the families had a dryer.  If the weather was even near fine there was always laundry on the line.  My prominent memories are of a diamond sparkled ocean with laundry blowing in the wind beside it. 

My Clothesline after a day at the beach.
Our village was very communal as well - it wasn't rare to come home and find all the laundry sitting in a basket in the kitchen,taken off the line by one of the neighbours if she felt the weather was going to turn...and we did it for our neighbours in kind... this was possible since no one locked their doors :)

A clothesline is a non-negotiable for me - I have a 75 ft one that I use year round.  So it could be the joy of seeing the beach towels after a sweet day in the water, or maybe even a frozen piece of clothing - or at times a full line of laundry on the ground as a result of an aged clothesline that could take no more.... then a new clothesline goes up and we start all over again.

These are the lessons that I have learned from my clothesline:

1.  Doing nothing is not non-productive.  Anything that brings you joy is worth the time it takes to do it even if it may appear to the outsider as "doing nothing".

2. A little extra work can sometimes bring great results.

3. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean that there's not something at work..(have you ever seen the wind?)

4. Looking out for each other reaps rewards all around.

5.  When negotiating, understanding what each person needs and wants is essential and will usually lead to a win, win... (a win, win, win in our clothesline case)

6.  Even when you seem defeated you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue the journey.  It cannot be perfect every step of the way and knowing this and making plans to deal with it will make the defeat minimal.

7.  Happiness, joy and success and individual - respecting and embracing this of others makes everyone winners.


  1. Debi, You know I love this! What a great perspective, thanks for sharing!