Lucky Grandma

Grandma didn’t know she was lucky. That she had time to hang her clothes on a line. Course, maybe she didn’t have time, and maybe she would have rather drawn more pictures like I saw her do once.

But instead she worked. She had tall raised veins on her hands that she showed me and explained came from her labor in the apricot and prune cannery, the butter factory, washing dishes, scrubbing laundry, and hanging clothes on the line.

And now I dry our clothes outside and wonder. Do I have time for this? Shouldn’t I be shoving them in the dryer and then leaving them there for days collecting wrinkles and piles in and around the machine? Pulling them out a week later, lugging them to an empty table (after I clear it off), sorting shirts and socks into more piles and then folding stack after stack?

Instead, I’m drawn to that clothesline.

It’s sunny out there as I smooth out the wrinkles, turn the t-shirt right side out, pin the shoulders, match the socks, straighten the towels, and then reach back from somewhere to remember the most efficient way to hang shorts and pants. Is it inside out with the pockets pulled?


Not sure it matters. Hanging out laundry is like riding my bicycle to do errands; I change a chore into a pleasant time.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? What are you supposed to do?