The chair creaked under my weight as I struggled to stay on my toes as I reached for the clothes line. Standing so close to the wood stove and so much closer to the ceiling made the work much harder as the intense warmth radiated off the stove. I doubled up the wet towels and pinned them to the line with the wooden clothes pins, the spring popped off and I had to grab another to hold it to the line. We have a washing machine, but currently no dryer.
Laundry is done between 2 to 3 days and hung on lines above the wood stove to insure that they dry in a timely manner. If the stove isn’t hot enough or the clothes are not hung correctly, a musty smell sets in the cloth and they must be washed again. They take some time to air dry, which is why we must wait to wash, otherwise there is no place to hang them. With no hot water to the house, laundry is always done with cold water.
There is never a day that laundry is not hanging above the stove. We make sure that we check the clothes everyday if they are dry, and if they are they are taken down. When enough space has opened up on the line, we turn on the “house” generator and put the clothes in the wash. There is only so much space on the lines in the house, thus sheets and blankets are hung outside on a line on the porch to freeze dry to save room.
With a family of 12 there is always much laundry to be done. There are some chores in the cabin that are unarguably more difficult then others. Hanging the laundry is a chore not one many of the kids will volunteer for, because standing on a chair hanging up laundry in the heat is not exactly their idea of fun. But, it doesn’t matter who does it whoever ends up getting assigned will always feel like they are getting the short end of the stick because it’s not an “ideal” chore.