Clotheslines: The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind

Umbrella ClotheslineI know there are sometimes strong opinions about clothes lines. I looked into getting one for a number of reasons, such as lowering present and future energy costs, or preparing for potential loss of power. And, strangely enough, there is at least one group trying to promote positive use of them worldwide, Project Laundry List, based in Concord, New Hampshire. I grew up in a Minnesota suburb where many of the homes had them, even if they were not often used. For our yard, I was hoping for something that could be taken down easily for mowing, and didn’t require cementing a base in the ground. I found the Sunshine Clothes Dryer online, that had these exact features. Although it’s not the cheapest line out there, I was impressed that it’s been on the market since 1913.

So, this Tuesday I put it up. One thing I’ll say is that the instructions could have been clearer on how tight the ropes should be to set it up correctly out of the box. Maybe it was meant to be put up ‘as is,’ but the three-step instructions could have said so. After unnecessarily tweaking the tension in certain spots and realizing my error, it went up pretty much like a big heavy umbrella. The holder needed to be assembled (two large screws with bolts holding two metal wings around a PVC pipe), and then dug into the ground. That part was fairly easy to do.

I look forward to giving it a spin. A neighbor already gave his approval, and made a joke about old pony rides that used to go around similar contraptions. The umbrella does swivel nicely. Once there are items drying in the breeze I’ll take a picture and submit it to Project Laundry List for the Clothesline Across America map. I see there are only four from Minnesota on there, but not for long.

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