16 February 2010

Hang out the wash - i double dare you


I decided to create my own Blogging award and hand it out when I sensed the time was right. I think it is time. I was graciously awarded that lovely thing you can see to the right, and thought it high time I pass on the recognition and encouragement. Even the most highminded of us need a little nod.
Since blogging in earnest this January, I have found myself within a hive of connectivity and energy that has given me more than i ever expected. I am deeply grateful.

I took the photo for this at Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada, the summer I turned 40. (was that 2 years ago?) It was the neighbor's clothes line, evidently, as no one wears pink in our family. When you are camping you let everyone see your dirty wet laundry, your wet clean laundry and your laundry thats been dry for days but you don't feel like taking one cares. There are no dryers or laundry rooms to contain things. I like this. I also like the outdoor smell that lingers on the laundry - no chemical lab can re-produce that. 

At home I compete with my retired Italian neighbors to see who gets the wash out earliest in the day. 
ok, kidding, they win by 6 in the morning when I am still in bed or getting ready for classes or work.  But I do love seeing all of our lines full of random colour and shapes, blowing in the wind, when i can. I appreciate knowing that someone has taken the time and care to hang out their wash - sadly it is more often than not a big NO NO in most neighborhoods, or just within people's minds -  its just too unsightly, chaotic, and far too randomly colourful and is that a brassier? (WHY do they always have to use that word? its a terrible word - doesn't it sound so SEARS-catalogue-uncomfortable-as-heck-straps-the-size-of-a-belt-designed-by-a-man- pointy-cup-prison to you?)
 Sorry, I digressed quite a bit there. 

Hanging out the wash. Fresh, clean, and yet a little vulnerable, a little rogue.
(not Sara Palin rogue - did she have to steal that lovely word?)

I award the following Blogs with the "Hanging out the Wash" award - which means, simply, that these bloggers aren't afraid to hang out whatever they have, when there is a little voice inside that compells them to do it - they listen and hang - dirty, clean or sopping wet... this is an act of vulnerability, an act of hope, a communal act of trust and sharing - and we are all the better for it. And do check out these blogs  - you might really relate to whats hanging on their i have - 

Kathy Jenkins, at Lessons from the Monk I Married  - she literally hangs out her laundry 365 days a year
Kristin Brumm, at Wanderlust - she hangs it out, oh yes, and sometimes... its still unwashed...!
Michele at, Laundromat - need I say more?
Tony Anders at Artisan of the Human Spirit - my husband only reads my blog, and then there was Tony...
Jason at The Jason Show - a motely crew of wash, his life is the best "hanging out the wash" story i ever read
Beth Chapman at Hope's Breath - a veteran of the wash, attentively hanging out one piece at a time...
Sai at Waves upon the Shore  - Sai's wash is always clean and blowing in the breeze...refreshing
Marika at Pranayama before Breakfast - Her laundry is Swedish, washed in English, hanging in the Rome sun
Heather Conroy at Heather Conroy's Verbal Report - she hangs out things that we need... to take off her line
All the folks at Writers Rising - like looking down an alleyway and seeing a riot of clotheslines against the grey
Theresa at Chronicles of a Veteran Kindergarten Teacher - she hangs out little stories on the line that make you smile
Jeanne at Dream a Happy Life - her laundry travels - and has that fresh smell of truth and gumption 
Dawn at Healing Morning - she observes her laundry hanging, drying and folding - all on its own energy

Whenever you hesitate about hanging out your "wash" that you feel compelled to hang, by suddenly get lazy or shy or just think of sticking it in the dryer - remember: washing is only the beginning - you have to air it out where the sun shines and the wind blows - where others who walk by can breathe in the scent.

Deep peace to you all! - just grab this, well, button over here - - - -(i've always wanted to say that...)


  1. Well Holy Cow! Here we are, just brand, brand new friends, and you award me! Thanks, Marcella, I'm humbled!

    Your take on hanging out the wash took me on a trip down memory lane, and you're right --- what a colorful spectacle! I remember as a kid I'd run through the hanging wash playing chase with friends, and being yelled at :), and you're right two times, there's such a connection with that whole washing-hanging out-collecting-folding process that doesn't much exist anymore. Some "back-in-the-day" processes deserve resurrection!

  2. Wow, thank you! I love your award. How original! I think the first post of mine you landed on was probably the hangiest-outiest post I've written, so, apropro. But hey, them undies were clean!

    So glad to have made your acquaintance. Isn't blogging entirely fun and addictive?

  3. your very own award! what a great idea... and such a great one, at that! thanks!

  4. Marcella, thank you so much! :-) How kind and generous of you! Your "laundry" metaphor for writing is innovative, and apt too. Like you've mentioned - as writers, putting our thoughts out there for the world to consume can be empowering, but it makes us vulnerable as well. I admire your kindness and sensitivity in acknowledging what it must have taken each writer to overcome their own vulnerability. Congratulations to you on your award! Your blog is, truly, "sunshiny" and so are your comments. :-)

  5. Great idea! Well said....

    P.S. When in unspoken landry challenges with elderly neighbours, the secret is to hang yours out the night before when they are in bed.... They'll never know you weren't up at the crack of dawn...

  6. Marcella-I couldn't stop laughing as you read the nominations...not sure everyone wants to see my wash 365 days of the year..but there it is. I do accept and will add this to my blog soon. Love it! and Thank YOU!!!!

  7. Thank you very kindly and I am humbled. In letting it "all hang out" so-to-speak, I kind of see where you are coming from. I guess I label it as a "compassionate honesty." From the collaboration you listed, and speaking for myself, I try to be as open as possible to be in service of those who read. To inspire, lift spirits, educate, or reminisce. Thank you for your award and analogy. I hope my laundry was at least found to be "April fresh!"

  8. Marcella - Thank you so much for the best award ever. Being from the south I know all about hanging out laundry. Ohhhh the clean sheets and the ever so fun stiff as a board jeans that could snap a knee cap if you weren't careful. This is perfect and such a gift. I shall go and look for a clothespin. You are a genius and have captured the heart of writing. Just remember, don't string the line under the trees as my mother would say. I didn't understand until the birds arrived. Thank you again!

  9. I love your point of view! "Airing dirty laundry" has always had such a negative connotation; it is refreshing to hear your take on it.

    AND...thank you so much for this meaningful award! I am flattered and honored.

    I have seen your name and face on my followers and on other blogs, and I have been meaning to make contact. But you beat me to it! Thank you very much for that, too.

  10. Thank you Marcime!

    I know from your posts here that you are an ABBA fan so I trust you when you say I deserve this award!

    Thank you for listening to what I have to say and for your feedback which has encouraged me to write in a Hang out the Wash kind of way.

    I have displayed your award here -

  11. See you at the washline - and don't let the clothespins bite :)

  12. Heather - you trust an ABBA fan? bad lyrics and all?

  13. Marcella, I just read your award post. First, thank you for the kind, fellow writerly nod. I agree w/ you, being recognized does give us all that special warm glow deep inside that, "Oh, COOL, somebody 'gets' me!"

    Second, I totally 'get' you, because I have those same going-off-on-a-tangent-stopping-to-admire-a-random-pebble-hey-look-that's-a-pretty-cloud-going-around-the-Back-40-to-make-my-original-point-when-I-could've-said-it-all-faster-in-two-sentences moments. I mean, really, what's life w/out the daily application of going off on tangents? Pretty danged boring, if you ask me, and if you didn't ask, I'll tell you would be pretty danged boring! ;-)

    We are kindred spirits and I love that there are many of "us" in Writers Rising! I look forward to more tangents, wash lines (love it, takes me back to my childhood), sharing of those "Huh, how 'bout that?" thoughts regarding Buddhism (I'm not officially anything regarding organized religion, but really like that mindset...the Buddhist one, not the "huh" one, although it has merit also) and much more!

    Namaste' my new friend!

    ~ Dawn

  14. Marcella, thank you so very really warmed my heart!!!
    I do hang my wash out also on our balcony...even though there has never been so little sun as this winter...but it doesn't give you that fantastic smell of much smog I guess??!!

    Viva wash hanging out and Viva the ABBA!!!

  15. Marika - VIVA LA ABBA AMEN!!! (kate bush isn't bad either :)

    Dawn - so glad you like to chat in your writing as I do - nice to be in a mutual "getting":)

    Heather - can't find that link you incl. see above for ABBA comment

    Jason - i feel like some hero from a book just visited my site - (i do love that story of your's)

    Beth - hah - i remember trying to pull on those crispy critters (jeans)- they softened after a while - glad you're getting out the clothespins !

    Andy - your compassionate honesty is truly April Fresh :)

    Katherine: glad you had a little laugh :), BTW, the award is for Writer's Rising as well...

    Icegirl - thanks for the tip:)

    Sai - you are the freshest blogger i know !

    mmichele - hope it doesn't screw up the dryer photo theme - or are they washing machines?

    Kristin - addictive yes - I have to get back to work! - glad to be cyber friends - may you write more "hangy-outy" stuff ! I'll read it!

    Jeanne - i remember running though sweet smelling sheets too - thanks for hanging out yours - I just signed up to your blog and I'll be running through them!

  16. I live in an apartment so I can not hang on a clothesline. However I manage to dry all my clothes on a clothes drying rack. It is great. Unfortunately there just doesn't seem to be as many great photo opportunities as a clothesline. Same money and energy savings, though.