Forget about automatic dryers and the convenience they afford busy people. Give me a sunny day, a little breeze, a line, some clothespins and a pile of wet clothes and watch me grin. My neighbours think I'm "a bit off", but the way I see it, if time is not an issue, the pure satisfaction of hanging laundry is one of the oldest pleasures in my book.
Socks are pinned toes up. Shirts are pinned sleeves and collars down. Wrinkles are shaken out, the sun does its marvellous trick keeping whites white. Best of all, the clean, fresh outdoor air invades every fibre of every garment.
In case you haven't tried it, bed linens are heavenly when laundered and hung out to dry. They seem to absorb, then give back, that priceless scent when you slip lazily between the sheets at night. There is nothing finer than to fall asleep to the world's most delightful bouquet.
Detergent manufacturers are savvy enough to tap into the smell factor. They name their products "Mountain Breeze" and "After the Rain". They know laundry lunatics like me are nutty about the outdoor smell. We'll line up for any product that enhances it.
On the other hand, I suppose that wrinkles can be off-putting for some people and wrinkles are part and parcel of line drying. Personally, I'm not really that anal about them. I figure our casual clothes can pass muster with a wrinkle or two, and I can always press out anything more dressy.
So my challenge to you is this. Whenever you have the time, try to save a few pennies by using solar power to dry your clothes and indulge in one of life's extraordinary sensory pleasures -- the power of smell.
I guarantee you, the next time you slip on a freshly laundered top, dried outdoors, you will revel in the essence of nature. Clean, crisp and fragrant beyond any human description.
And what's that sound? Raindrops? Oops, gotta go get my laundry off the line...