Spring Clean

March 01, 2013  •  3 Comments

Can you think of anything better than climbing into bed and being surrounded by fresh clean sheets that have been hung out on the clothesline?

Growing up we had a clothesline in our front yard.  Not the kind where you step out on your deck in your slippers and hang your clothes on a pulley system. No, it was the kind where you haul your heavy wet clothes into the yard, pin them on the line and then hoist the line with a wooden pole to keep the clothes off the ground, allowing the wind to reach under them and lift them into the air.

I have several "bucket list" photos I want to take.  One of them is a beautiful patch work quilt (or line of bright white sheets) on a clothesline, in a field, with the ocean or a farm in the background.

For now, my photo of pot holders will do. I snapped my pot holders photo while I was visiting Sherbrooke Village several years ago. It represents for me the use of renewable energy, in the wind power that is used to dry these little pot holders.  I also see the use of renewable resources in the wooden clothespins. I remember the first time I saw a plastic clothespin. My heart sank just a little. I am a traditionalist.

I love that the pot holders are worn and tattered in places, but still useable and in no need of replacement as they continue to serve their purpose.  And, like any worn and tattered item, they tell a story.  In this case it is a story of serving fresh baked bread to tourists who visit Sherbrooke Village, but in any other location it might be a story of many meals cooked and served to families, and the time spent together over a hearty home-cooked meal.  I can imagine that these little pot holders smell not only of fresh clean air but a little bit of shortening and flour that has seeped its way into the fibers, too stubborn to come out in the wash.

When I see my Sherbrooke Village pot holders, or the photo above I smell fresh clean air.  This photo above was taken in Lunenburg, and whether it is true or not, I like to pretend that the sweaters on the line belong to local fisherman who needed them to stay warm on the cold Atlantic Ocean.

I walk for about an hour a day in the city.  I walk past houses and apartment building and I so, so often miss the smell and simplicity of fresh clean air!  Often while enjoying a nice pace and a clear head, reflecting quietly on my day, my senses become invaded with the smell of toxic chemicals - from harsh air fresheners or from dryer vents shooting the smell of dryer sheets into the air.  If you are reading this and you grew up near the ocean you will know that one of the very best smells in the world is that of fresh salt air in clean sheets.  No "Bounce" required.

With March now upon us, spring is just around the corner.  While I love winter I am certainly looking forward to washing the road salt off my winter boots and packing them up for another year.  And yes, I am excited about spring cleaning. And hopefully, salt air in my sheets.


Wonderful post and photos Amanda! You just can't beat the smell of clothes and sheets that come in fresh off the line! I think this topic would make an awesome series of photographs!
I thought of you one day when I passed by a house that had a whole line of diapers on the line of many different colors and patterns.
I miss taking my sheets home and hanging them on the line to get the salt smell from the ocean. I do hang them on the line in the summer and as I am not too close to the main road I don't get any of the "city" smell on them but nothing beats the ocean smell.
Anne Murphy(non-registered)
Such a "refreshing" blog! I love the concept of spring cleaning and the feeling of sleeping in a bedroom that has been scrubbed of winter dust, aired with windows opened throughout the day, and the icing on the cake- a freshly made bed with sheets that have been hanging outside all day. I live in a town so I don't get the salt air smell but I still love the outdoor smell. A few of our recent spring like days have made me want to run for my scrub bucket and to start putting comforters and blankets on the line. I am with you all the way- wooden clothespins it has to be! I have always enjoyed photographing and looking at photographs of clothing articles on a clothesline. Somehow it just says "wholesome" lifestyle to me. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog!
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