Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hang time! (Or, Who Needs Fluffy Softness?)

In my bid to conserve resources, I have gone back to something I remember from my childhood. I put up a clothesline in the backyard. At the big orange box store I was able to find the hardware needed for less than $10.

And there is one thing I have learned from this experience - it's not for everybody. I never knew (or did not remember) that drying clothes outside makes them crunchy. When I dry my jeans, they can almost stand up on their own. It's like a hard-core starching. When I dry towels, it feels like they are going to break when I fold them. Even my underwear starts to feel like the dried leather chamois I used for drying my high school car. (Dang those French phonetics - it should be "shammy"!)

My wife does not like it, and I do not blame her a bit. Who wants to dry off with a scuff pad? Who wants wearing pants to be a form of resitance training? Who wants their nether regions to be swaddled in sandpaper?

Apparently, I do.

As I walk stiff-legged down the street, I bask in the green-ness of my choice. One less 60-90 minute drying session at 220 volts. Less energy consumed from Lubbock's less-than green utility provider. And, I get some good out of the triple-digit heat and lack of humidity that defines life on the South Plains. As I exfoliate with a bath towel, I luxuriate in the knowledge that my dryer is both solar and wind powered, but we did not have to refinance the house to pay for it or fight the city council/zoning commission/local utility board for the right to put up a grid-tied solar system or install a wind generator. (Both are illegal in Lubbock at this point.)

And all these crunchy clothes make me feel a little more manly than a pasty and round middle-aged guy would normally feel. Surely John Wayne had a mesquite tree instead of a dryer...

May you have a wonderful day and chafe-free clothing!