To Lasso a Bedspread


Here's a fact: If you have ever successfully hung out clothes in the Easter' Cove or even better, at the edge of Cow Cove on a November day when the wind is unruly and blowing 80 clicks an hour, you can do anything.

You could lasso a stallion on the plains of Mongolia with a piece of old twine. You could haul down a kite from the depths of outer space with one hand tied behind your back. You could really and truly haul a dory from Cape Pine while standing on your head on the cliffs of Cape St. Mary's. It was such a day over here in the Cove when I tried to hang out a few bedclothes a few weeks ago. The wind was wild and determined as I spent the first hour of my Saturday in an epic battle with sheets and quilts.

Now here's the clothesline story at our house. There are three clotheslines. The first one is an inland clothesline situated cozily amongst the trees facing Branch. On one end, the wind catches the clothes handily while on the far end, where the spruce is thick and tangly, it would take ten years to dry a face cloth. This old clothesline is like the loyal friend you treasure, the friend who is so helpful and obliging, making sure the radio is turned down if you need to snooze or the kettle is boiled after supper so you can share a hot cup of tea.

The second clothes line...she's a different story. She stands wild and reckless at the edge of the Cove, boldly facing the Hagers Rock, flinging herself around, taunting even the faintest gust of wind. Now this clothesline is like your other friend, the one who smashed up two motorcycles the first summer she learned to drive and confidently wears leather dresses over jeans. When you attempt to hang out even the meekest of laundry on this line, even that old cotton sock, she thrashes in protest. She has led me to a frenzied state of mind on occasion. Once, I had a brief but very real conversation with a flat sheet about me being human and him being a blanket when I found that sheet wrapped around the line ten thousand times. It was a mystery how it didn't end up in St. Shott's. This is what this clothesline can do to you.

And....in recent days, the third clothesline has appeared here. For almost twelve years, I have staunchly resisted the idea of standing still while hanging out clothes. For me, a good morning hanging out clothes insisted on movement. You picked up a towel, put the clothespins on, moved along with the next towel and then moved your basket. Movement. With the new clothesline, which Chris has kindly and skillfully constructed using a giant spruce from the Badger Gully. I am standing still while the clothesline is moving.

Now, who's this clothesline like? We're still getting to know each other but we're getting along very well. I think he's the in between of the quiet and wild lines. He's a bit grand, with his pulley system and plastic line. Yet, he's mysterious and quiet as he stands 20 feet in the air, looking down at the garden, almost waiting for one of us to appear with a basket. He's looking down at the cliffs, listening to the chimes, happy to be open to the elements....

There is a lot to be said for and about clotheslines. They're a tradition that has been sustained not only for their ability to dry our clothes but also because they speak to our tendency in rural communities to simply

do what makes sense. And sometimes what makes sense also happens to be beautiful


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