Friday, April 17, 2015

Hanging Out

Growing up in Germany we always dried our laundry on the line. The attic of our apartment building was a huge space where each family had an assigned area where we put up the clotheslines and hang our clothes to dry. On hot summer days it took only two hours for the laundry to dry; on cold and humid winter days it took at least a day.

As a child I loved to go up to the attic with my mom. I usually handed her the colorful clothespins while she was hanging one piece of clothes after the other. We always talked while doing this and I felt quite important as her helper.

Later, when clothes dryer were introduced they didn't find the popularity as here in the States. One reason was that our clothes weren't designed for dryers; the other was that clothes kept longer in good shape when they dried on the line. Apartment buildings usually have special laundry rooms where you can hang your wash on the line - either in the attic or in the basement. When Kaefer was born we had the laundry room in the basement and it worked out beautifully. Whenever possible I dried our clothes on a special clothesline rack on my balcony.

So when we moved to the States I was introduced to a dryer and I hated it from the very first moment. While I do see its convenience it lacks the fragrance and the freshness of clothes dried on a line. Lucky for me, our landlord came from China and there was a clothesline in the backyard. The only time I used the dryer was during the winter.

Then we moved to our home and had to leave the clothesline behind. I reluctantly threw my laundry in the dryer or I used the clothesline rack that I had brought from Germany (the one that I used on the balcony). Unfortunately that rack had become rather old and wasn't very stable anymore - it toppled over whenever there was a bit of wind, and it's quite windy where I live! It was frustrating but still better than using the dryer.

But finally I had enough! I asked the Geek whether he would built a clothesline for me. I had found some beautiful idea on Pinterest and showed him what exactly I was dreaming about.

This wonderful guy built it for me.

This is anything but a flimsy clothesline. This one is made of solid redwood (the same wood we built our fence with) and it has a height which is comfortable for me (I am not the tallest person). The Geek put clothesline tighteners up as well so that the lines are always tight. There is nothing loose here!

On one side he built a huge planting box with a trellis - those are leftovers he still had from building the rose trellis two years ago. By now there is a beautiful clematis in the box as well as a stunning rose. It looks wonderful (no photos yet).

On the other side he built a "seat" for the laundry basket (no more bending over!) that is strong enough for a person to sit on.

In this Etsy shop I found a hand sewn clothespin bag that now hangs on the line and holds almost all of my clothespins. This was the finishing touch to perfection!

I can't tell you how happy and thankful I am! Now I enjoy laundry again. Hanging the wash on the line is almost meditating. I can listen to the birds, feel the wind in my hair, smell the freshly mowed grass in my neighborhood. I am so very happy.

I do think I have the best husband in the world.


  1. Cariola, Your post brought back memories of fresh wash just off the line. Here at altitude, I always put my clothes in the dryer. I do miss that wonderful smell! Your husband is a wizard - that's the nicest clothesline I've ever seen!

  2. Eine Ode an die Wäscheleine :) (kicher)
    Das Teil ist aber auch toll geworden! So ein stabiles Teil hab ich noch nie gesehen! Und hübsch wird es auch noch, wenn die Clematis empor rankt und die schönen Blüten zeigt. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu so einem Mann und dieser tollen Wäscheleine! :))

    Liebe Grüße
    Tinna ✐

  3. Big smiles. We have an outdoor line - which I love, but it is nothing like as stylish as yours.
    Love your peg basket too - and your pegs. Washing never looked so good!!!

  4. This is absolutely spectacular! I saw a clothes line on Pinterest that stirred my interest too, I have been trying to think of where I can fit one in. Yours with the planting boxes is a inspired idea. Bravo!

  5. Bei dir trocknet die Wäsche ja edel.😊 ich habe für draußen nur so einen ollen Metallständer.

    LG Biggi

  6. Das ist ja ein fantastischer Leinenhalter und recht hast du es gibt nichts frischeres als im Wind getrocknete Wäsche.
    Liebe Gruesse , Patricia

  7. It is wonderful and I can already imagine the smell of the freshly dried clothes as you unpeg them. I agree that your Dh is certainly a gem and a star amongst husbands.
    I mix my drying procedures and dry all the smalls in the tumbler but I love to line dry the towels and bedding. The weather is so unpredictable in England that it saves whizzing in and out un pegging lots of smalls.
    Jo x

  8. How cool is that? DH is defintely a keeper. I got to save that picture and once I have enough space I will build something similar. That is a laundry rack deluxe.

  9. How beautiful. My mother was born and raised in Germany, and my entire life at home we always had our clothes hanging on the line outside or one within the house downstairs. She never ever bought an electric clothes dryer.

  10. Your hubby rocks!! My mom has always put the clothes on the line, even sometimes during winter! Funny when the jeans are frozen! LOL! Nothing beats your clothes smelling so good! Big Hugs ;o)

  11. Just wanted to tell you, my mom thinks this is brilliant!

  12. Wie edel ist das denn - da könnte jede deutsche Hausfrau vor Neid platzen :-)

    Liebe Grüße - Monika

  13. What a wonderful creation from your dear hubby! I have a rotary drier for the summer and a drier for the winter. Nothing beats the smell of line dried sheets!

  14. There is nothing like hanging clothes, I do it all the time. My husband built me a clothesline with 6 lines and I love it. Glad to know someone else that loves clotheslines too. It's beautiful and I can see you enjoying yourself.:))

  15. This is the most elegant clothesline I have ever seen! I just have a string hanging between two pine trees in the back yard. I’d love to borrow your husband, he is an artist! Or I would place an order for one from him if you lived in our neighborhood (for a fee.) I have heard that in some subdivisions outdoor clothesline are not allowed – at least we don’t live in one. Your clothesline is very handsome.

  16. What a wonderful story. Having grown up in the states with the dryer part of my life, I've always been fascinated by the European penchant for hanging laundry, but now I get it.
    Thanks for sharing,

  17. Hi Carola, What a great idea and construction of a clothes line. Well, this one sets a whole new benchmark for clothes lines! Congrats to the Geek! I grew up with a clothes line but sadly, I guess, have grown accustomed to a dryer. I do use Bounce that makes them smell a little better. :-) I hope you will share some pics of the flowers growing on the trellis later this year. Thanks for sharing your excellent blog.

  18. What a great looking clothesline! I think your husband did a beautiful job of constructing it. I remember my mother hanging clothes in the hot attic in the summer but we also had an outdoor clothesline and no clothes dryer at all! In winter the clothes were hung on the line for a while then brought in, frozen stiff, and hung on drying racks to finish off. :) I enjoy hanging clothes on our line in the summer months. They smell so wonderful!

  19. oooooo, i just love everything about this. i can't hang out laundry, the birds poop on it!!!!!

  20. i am so jealous of that amazing clothesline. Nothing better than the scent of clothes dried out on the line in the sunshine. Great post and those are the cutest clothespins. Kudos to your husbands skills making this.

  21. Dear Carola, thank you for sharing your lovely clothesline. I really like it, it inspired me. I am looking forward to my own soon! Hana


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