BY NANCY RANCHEL
You ready for summer? For the tomatoes and berries, swimsuits, farmers' markets, shorts, free toes, driving with the top down, shaving your legs more often? The smell of sunscreen? The deliciousness of a tiny bit of sunburn? Diving into a lake or river to cool off?
The other seasons are all jealous of summer. They must be.
Your electric bills will go down, your water bills will go up. You will watch less TV because you will be outside till 9. Some of you will wish you had AC, and others will enjoy the nifty sound of a rotating fan. Your drink choices will most certainly shift. (Think: quenching cocktails!) If you go to a movie it will be a ridiculous summer blockbuster targeted toward 15-year-old boys. And directed by Michael Bay. Your kids will start to bug the crap out of you - most likely after about one week of summer break. And all that's okay because it's summer.
One more thing - hopefully at the first sign of sun your dryer will be abandoned until the end of October. In Oregon we have a heartbreakingly short summer, but don't let that stop you. Drag those sheets and towels and tees outside to dry in the sun. The smell of a towel dried en plein air is divine! And getting into a bed tricked out with sun-dried sheets is one of the top three pleasures in life.
I use a very sophisticated drying method by draping all freshly washed items over my upstairs deck railing to dry in the sweet sun and fresh breeze. Sure, it's not secure. Yes, items sometimes fall down two stories only to plop in the dirt. But I'm lazy and it works. And, very few items actually fall in the dirt. If you desire a more sophisticated drying system, here are a few clothesline options - enough to satisfy the most discriminating of tastes:
Umbrella dryers: Like the look of these? People either love 'em or hate 'em. You can find them in various materials (bamboo and metal, for example), different weight and sturdiness factors, different line configurations, and different sizes. Also, you can buy a cover for these babies. That's pretty cool.
Regarding posts, if you have wood or metal pipe already around the house, use it. Rig something! You can also buy a clothesline and pins and string the line between some obliging trees. If you want to sink the posts, here are some tips from eHow.
Why engage in all this arranging, configuring, MacGuyvering? Because wasting energy on the dryer when the sun ready and willing is silly. And redundant. And a waste of money. Also, don't overlook the power of the smell of freshly dried sheets and towels. Don't spend another summer without this seasonal treat! You'll cry when you have to use the dryer again.