Laundry rarely dries stiff here. Wind is constant, and usually strong. My laundry danced as if it was starring in Swan Lake. I have a washer and dryer in the house, and I am using the washer – cold water only – until the new washtub stand is built and I can do laundry outside and get it really clean. But I don’t like dryers, and while convenient in stormy weather and while I was sick, I prefer not to use it.
It was laundry day all over the settlement, apparently. I drove across the river and up the mountain to the garage that cares for my truck, and many neighbours had laundry on the line. I can tell a lot about my neighbours’ lives by their laundry lines. I see green and gold shorts and t-shirts on one line, and say to myself, “Oh, the Anderson kids are playing soccer this year.” And then, further on, men’s coveralls waving and kicking like a chorus line: Bob has cleaned out the barns. Down the road, Nadia has scrubs and turtlenecks on her porch line, so she must be working nights at the hospital.
Spring in the north – the misty pink aura of budding trees is deeper red in some places, cloudy white in others, as leaf buds break through. The rose bushes, presumed dead, are unfurling minute veined leaves. Tulip leaves are pushing through bracken and mulch in front of old wagon wheels, and we found crocuses blooming on the field edge, discards from last year’s Easter plants.
We trade our time for money, not by working, but by not spending. We don’t spend on electricity by using the wind (which is free, and as the schooner captain said, we haven’t run out yet.) We don’t spend on nursery plants by appreciating the incredible landscaping the Great Architect planned for us.
I almost ordered a cape dress for me and trousers for Nicholas on eBay this week, but the cost of the outlay for three pieces of made-up fabric for myself and him came to about what I need to pay for the repair on the truck. So I will trade my time for money – sewing these clothes instead of buying them. And I will sew them on the Pfaff – given to me at a charity sale and then repaired by my husband rather than buying a new one. Time is money – money we don’t need to spend.