27 May 2008

Dryers and Diapers

Oh how I long for a clothesline. Growing up in half-the-year frozen tundra of Alberta, the only clothesline I'd seen was in the backyard of my Grandma's apartment. As kids we would hang on the wire while a sibling tried to reel us in, an urban flying fox, until the Super told on us and we turned our attention to the stray grocery carts in the alley. But when we moved to Windy Wellington in New Zealand, we found that lemons grown on trees in your backyards and no one had clothes dryers - only clotheslines. Our newest chore was pegging out the wash, sheets and towels turning crunchy in the sun, our underwear embarrassingly on display. It was just part of the landscape. One of my favourite NZ painters - Colin McCahon - immortalized the spinning clotheslines in his painting "Clothesline in the Nor-Wester" (didn't know you could buy a print 'til I did this search - I'm going to have to get one!)
Anyway, back in North America, not only are clotheslines scarce but they're actually banned in many places. Ontario just dropped their ban on clotheslines - apparently it was a cosmetic issue, neighbors afraid of seeing their neighbors dirty laundry, literally. I've been trolling the clothesline sites lustfully, knowing I can't buy my dream umbrella clothesline yet. As I've mentioned before. we're renters. Worse, renters in a house that eventually the landlord wants to sell and we're not sure we'll be the people buying it. So permanently planting a clothesline in a yard that is not ours is not an option, sadly.

Enter the drying rack.
I bought it from Ikea (hey look at all those drying racks!) on sale for $3.99 and it folds up and lives next to the dryer. It's not heavy duty and would have a hard time standing up to heavy items like towels and jeans. But for my diapers (well, not MY diapers, my daughter's) it's the perfect device. I set it up on the back lawn and let the sun do the bleaching and disinfecting for me. It helps that we have a front loading washer, our big purchase of the last year, and possibly my favourite purchase too. The diapers come out spun almost dry and it only takes an hour or two for them to be completely dry. Actually, it's great for any of her itty-bitty clothes and considering we're doing laundry every other day, it's a good thing.
I was going to write about cloth diapers here too but I think I'll save it for a separate post. Yes, there's that much to be said about cloth diapers - trust me.


Miss Bee said...

Oo, I love this. My husband is a huge believer in the clothesline, but our new back yard is a bit small to install one. This would be perfect. Also-- Can't wait to hear what you have to say about the diapers. My friend just had a baby recently and is using cloth diapers, but I haven't had much feedback from her on the matter as of yet. Being baby free (for now) I am immensely curious. :)

kickpleat said...

my parents have a heavy dutdy umbrella clothesline and we used to have one of the old style ones that you reel in growing up. i like that crunchy towel feeling...think of it like a loofa/spa treatment when drying off. soft towels are overrated.