Friday, August 19, 2011
The Perfect Day
Every time Laundry Day approached - yes, there was an assigned day when using a wringer washer and rinse tubs- we would look to the skies and cross our fingers for the 'Perfect Day'.
Blue skies filled with puffy white clouds and a brisk wind that would fluff to softness and dry things quickly . Such a day meant that the washing and drying would be done before noon . The perk was that there would be little to iron when it was done.
As the wind blew away the moisture , the laundry would begin to inflate. At first a little and then a lot- like so many exotic kites anchored by pins . And the lighter they became , the more these pins struggled to hang on to the line . Occasionally, one would fail under the stress, two halves flying in different directions . The little spring left dangling on the wire .
When the towels stopped snapping loudly and the clothes puffed just right , supple in their dance with the wind , we ran to haul it all in before they ceased to be kites . Just laundry strewn among trees and grass. Fighting the force , we pulled the line to retrieve pins and clothes. But always first , when we touched the softness that the wind whipped into the fabric , we pulled the cloth to our face . And we savoured that softness and the lungs full of the fresh clean scent .
As we made our way down the clothesline , carefully folding each thing into the basket , Sis and I grew excited as we approached the first things hung on the line three loads ago . The weight on the line decreased during the removal process ,so the wind's presence increased proportionately . Those first items , the sheets , billowed like sails . Such force against our young arms as we struggled and laughed when the sheet caught 'big air' and lifted us off our feet . It was so exhilarating !
Only two were ever hung at the beginning of each lineful of laundry . A real treat at the end of the line. Then the next three loads , preceded by the two obligatory sheets , were hung up in anticipation of the next ride on the wind.
That is the memory that comes to mind every time I hang things on the clothesline out back ...yearning for the perfect day.