Is there anything nicer than laundry freshly dried on the line? There is a romantic feel to seeing white sheets blowing in the wind, the smell of ‘country’ dried linens. Yet in all reality, there is nothing romantic about drying laundry on the line. It takes much more time, and at times, can be annoying when the weather doesn’t cooperate. It is far from the bucolic scene one imagines. One tends to think of Victorian maids in flowing, white dresses gathering the laundry, or walking through the sweetly scented linens. Or maybe something out of Pride & Prejudice with the mid 1800’s empire dresses. Add in a nosegay and you have the quintessential image.
I love to hang laundry. To me there is nothing better than falling into bed at night with fresh air-dried sheets. I love the rough texture of a towel from being dried in the sun and the wind. Plus there is the added bonus of not using the dryer and using all the electricity. That in itself is a major plus.
There are other things that one associates with the term ‘romantic.’ Picking berries is one such thing. Though after spending the last few summers getting terribly scratched, romantic is the farthest thing from my mind. Maybe if one were picking wild strawberries, but raspberries, blackberries, and anything else with thorns is not romantic. Even though I know all of this, I still conjure up images of women in long, flowing dresses with their tin pails brimming with luscious, red berries, sun ripened and sweet. Girls and women swinging their pails as they sing and leisurely pick plump morsels of goodness.
Again, this brings to mind something out of a Jane Austen novel. I can picture Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth and Jane Bennett, and the Muskgrove sisters. Maybe they have played up the pastoral and romantic style so one automatically thinks something like this when these tasks are undertaken. Whatever the reason, none of these things are very romantic. It’s just a form of work, and work is rarely glamorous.