Spring on the Line

How do I know it’s really spring?

Early spring culminates in yellow season. In mid-spring yellow starts yielding to purple and green conquers (almost) all. The shade to the left of my work chair is pulled all the way down during my writing hours, roughly 7 to 9 a.m., because the early morning sun has moved north enough to glare off either laptop screen or paper. Winter sun rises without peeking in the window.

Hell with all that. All I need to tell me it’s really spring, mid-spring in particular, is my clothesline.

20140515 line 1

Spring laundry is more colorful than winter laundry. There’s also more of it. In cold weather I wear more clothes at one time, but I can wear the same turtleneck or jeans for days before it starts to feel grubby. I’m changing my socks more often these days. In hot weather the mere thought of pulling socks back on after I’ve taken them off is, well, gross.

Of course I change my underwear every day, 24/7/365. If I didn’t, I could go more than three weeks without doing laundry.

20140515 bathrobeNow look more closely. My wonderful fleece bathrobe only gets washed once a year: when it’s about to get put away for the summer. I only wear it in the morning, when I get up and pad downstairs to the bathroom. I could pad downstairs to the bathroom in the non-garments I sleep in, but (1) it’s chilly, and (2) the bathroom is part of my neighbor’s studio and sometimes she likes to get some work in before her kids go to school.

All through the cold season, my fleece bathrobe was cozy and warm, but a week ago it started to feel itchy and hot. To pad down to the bathroom, I’m now wearing a knee-length T-shirt. Spring is here.

20140515 t-shirts

There are four — count ’em, four — T-shirts on the line. Two long-sleeve (WUMB-FM and AMRONE, Alaskan Malamute Rescue of New England) and two short (Wintertide Coffeehouse 1992 and Reliable Market).

There are also two sweatshirts. The bit of green at the far left (above) is one, also from AMRONE. The other is purple and actually says Martha’s Vineyard on it. You can see them both below. Long-sleeve Ts and sweatshirts are quintessential mid-spring and mid-fall garb around here.

20140515 line 2

Only two pairs of long underwear! See them, just to the right of the purple sweatshirt? One’s my only pair of silkies — not serious cold-weather wear. I haven’t had long undies on in at least two weeks.

There are lots of turtlenecks, however, and the only pair of jeans that isn’t on the line is the one I was wearing. And no shorts. That will change in the weeks to come, but turtlenecks, jeans, and the absence of shorts are significant clues to the season.

20140515 blowing

The trees are greening up for sure, but no oak pollen fell on this laundry line. It’s not late spring (quite) yet.

20140515 line with trees

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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2 Responses to Spring on the Line

  1. Luanne says:

    What a wonderfully detailed peek into your laundry, which of course is about a lot more than laundry.


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