Mid-Spring on the Line

I’m not kidding: Wednesday was windy. A perfect drying day.

It was like winning the lottery: I was almost out of underwear, laundry needed to be done, and Wednesday — two-for-one day at the Airport Laundromat — dawned bright and very breezy.

Off I went, a little later than usual: the laundromat opens at 8 a.m., and Trav and I got there a little after 8:30. “Late” didn’t matter: everything was dry by 2:30, even the jeans. Not only was everything dry, even the wrinkly T-shirts et al. looked like they’d been ironed.

No, I don’t iron T-shirts. I don’t iron anything. I do own an iron, but the last time I used it was the last time I rode in a horse show — at least eight years ago.

Spring is most definitely here. The first shadbush blossoms appeared in the woods a few days ago. Now they’re in full bloom, floating ethereally in the woods before the oaks leaf out and overwhelm them.

And the grass seems more blindingly green than usual. Spring always comes as a jolt to senses grown both keen and complacent with winter, but really, this grass is green. We’ve had a fair amount of rain this spring, so I’m wondering if that’s it.

Wednesday’s laundry line was a typical mid-spring mix: turtlenecks shoulder to shoulder with T-shirts, both long-sleeved and short-; one sweater and one sweatshirt; only three pairs of longjohns (once I take them off for the season, I hate to put them back on again); five pairs of jeans; no shorts.

I’m wearing shorts at the moment, but with a long-sleeved mock turtleneck on top. Come to think of it, this is a mid-spring combination.

The Airport Laundromat isn’t a very social place. Often I’m the only do-it-yourself customer; the women who work there are busy doing laundry that’s been dropped off by individuals and businesses (the quantity of bed and table linens suggests that restaurants and inns are well represented among the clientele). But the word about two-fer Wednesday seems to have gotten around, and I generally have more company — and more competition for the machines — on Wednesdays than on other days.

I did run into a friend, who passed along the word that the West Tisbury planning board was going to take up the matter of “big houses” at its regular meeting next Monday at 5:30. As a source of gossip and local news, the laundromat is no match for the post office or the porch of Alley’s General Store, but it has its uses.

Long and short on an early May laundry line. You can see the OMG GOP WTF T-shirt I wore to the Boston Women’s March on January 21. January is NOT T-shirt weather in Massachusetts, but it was warm enough that day to wear a T over a turtleneck, so I did.




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.
This entry was posted in home, outdoors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mid-Spring on the Line

  1. shanynavila says:

    I grew up with a clothesline. When I moved to the mountains to gather the shreds of me and weave a new future, I put up a clothesline. It brought me peace. It also gifted me with hummingbirds, as they would come and hover around me as I hung my sheets and shirts and everything but my underwear. I am not sure why, there, I refused to hang my underwear. There was no one but the mountain lions and birds to see and what would they care? When I left the mountains I had to leave my clothesline behind as apartments do not like that practice. It wasn’t until several years later that I got married and moved down, into the valley, that I put my line up again. My new husband was astonished and rather horrified equating it with poverty. I tried to explain the beauty in the moments of connecting each shirt, bathing suit, or towel. The calm and somewhat silence (after all I am in the city and that is hard to come by) that envelopes me as I get in touch with the Earth and animals that live in my backyard.He has never understood but is always willing to refashion the line after a bad winter and this Spring is no exception. I look forward to the swing and sway, the coolness of the sheets on hot mornings, and the way my heart slows down to match the beat of nature. Thank you, once again, for your beautiful posts. I saw your other blog and immediately saw how it would be useful for one such as I (me?) but when I saw this one my heart skipped a beat. I sighed out loud–I knew I was home when I read Rise Again. I am excited and will look forward to when you post on both sites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I moved to Martha’s Vineyard in the mid-1980s, some of the subdivisions had “no clothesline” rules. They may still, but over the years the environmental aspects have taken precedence — hurray!

      One of my current editing jobs, about a family that emigrated from Sicily to the U.S. in the late 19th century and early 20th, reminds me that laundry lines used to be strung between apartment buildings. Which helps explain why some people associate clotheslines with poverty, or necessity. Me, I’m amazed at the ingenuity of people who managed to make do with so little.

      My clothesline isn’t very long, and since I do my washing at a laundromat, I’ve usually got almost three weeks’ worth of clothes to hang. IOW, there’s no room for socks and underwear, so I use a drying rack on my little deck. Also I’d get bored clothes-pinning three weeks’ worth of socks and underwear.


  2. I find this distressing to say the least. It just looks like somebody is trying to stir up trouble between the parties. Maybe this is an issue for Move On.org and other activists to change the laws in each state to mask personal information which can lead to stalking, harassment or discrimination? There is a difference between a person who will get up and go down to the government office to GET your “free” information and the bully in the armchair who wants to create problems.

    Thank you for the information…I knew you were the one to ask!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I kind of miss the harmless things flapping in the breeze…

    Which brings me to a question since I consider you to be politically literate. Has something recently changed nationally with regard to posting voter information online? I am talking your year of birth, address, phone number, political party, voting precinct, and whether your registration is active or not. “For a fee” my state will limit the posted information. However, isn’t this a violation of our right to privacy? This information could be used to harass, intimidate or discriminate….. Just wondering oh Great Guru…because so far I am only finding Democrat’s with information posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really interesting question! A quick Google search suggests that this is a much-discussed issue. Here’s one of the hits I turned up, a June 2016 story from the Sunlight Foundation: https://sunlightfoundation.com/2016/06/16/publishing-voter-registration-data-must-balance-privacy-with-transparency/

      Short version: Voting records are public information. Candidates for public office routinely obtain hardcopies for use in campaigning. The ones I’ve used to make phone calls and house calls include address, phone number, age, and party affiliation. They don’t include Social Security or driver’s license numbers. Publishing data online raises additional questions. The link cited above notes that DC “went beyond what the 2015 Primary Date Alteration Act required, publishing not only names but home addresses, party affiliations and voting frequency.”

      As is noted from time to time, there’s no constitutional “right to privacy,” though court decisions have over the years carved one out by ruling that government isn’t entitled to certain information without compelling cause. IMO voter records are public information, but at the same time state and local jurisdictions (who are generally in charge of registering voters) have an ethical responsibility to use the data responsibly.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.