News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

May 20, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: Smell of fresh air gave way to dryers

TERRE HAUTE — Remember when clean clothes smelled like fresh air and sunshine rather than fabric softener and dryer sheets?

We were talking about that the other day during the coffee break at the Family Sports Center. Mary is delighted that they moved a year or so ago to a home with a screened-in porch. Her garage sale hunts produced a wooden clothes rack and she has been able to hang clean clothes out in the fresh air to dry.

I’m hard put to understand why seeing clean clothes flapping in the wind would be offensive to neighbors, but there it is.

We don’t have a screened porch, or a place to hang a clothes line, but I’m glad Mary can sniff her clean clothes and be reminded of those days of yesteryear.

My Best Friend recalled how his Mom and her neighbors had a friendly competition to see which of them could be first to have their clothes on the line each Monday. That was always “wash day” come rain or come shine. Knowing his mom, I’d bet she was the winner more often than not, but how many women, then or now, would want to get up at 4:30, fix breakfast, wave their man off to work, get a boiler of water on to heat and then get up to the elbows in Fels Naphtha?

Personally, you would have to threaten me with a fate just a tad short of death to get me up at that hour. I am an early riser, but I do need my eight hours and have always preferred that the sun and the roosters get up before I do.

It hasn’t been that long ago that I still hung clothes outside. When we first moved to Terre Haute, we lived on South Sixth Street, just a block north of St. Anthony Hospital — now long gone. The back yard at our house was huge, the clothes line just begging for sheets and pajamas and diapers after they sloshed away in the washing machine. But when I went out to sniff and fold, I found that smoke from the hospital chimney had rained black soot over it all. I had to rewash. Not my finest hour.

I still hung laundry outside when we moved to Monterey Avenue and even later when we moved to 23rd Street, but I finally bowed to the inevitable and we purchased a dryer. I was convinced that my clothes would shrink, but they didn’t.

They didn’t shrink, but then no longer smell like fresh air and sunshine either. They smell like fabric softener and dryer sheets.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to opinion@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity