Fighting for the Right to Dry

Susan Taylor, 55-year-old mother and part-time nurse, had just done something that people had been doing for decades: hang her clothes to dry. But with that, she became a renegade:

The regulations of the subdivision in which Ms. Taylor lives effectively prohibit outdoor clotheslines. In a move that has torn apart this otherwise tranquil community, the development's managers have threatened legal action. To the developer and many residents, clotheslines evoke the urban blight they sought to avoid by settling in the Oregon mountains.

"This bombards the senses," interior designer Joan Grundeman says of her neighbor's clothesline. "It can't possibly increase property values and make people think this is a nice neighborhood."

But Susan's fighting back - in fact, she's laying it all on the line:

Ms. Taylor and her supporters argue that clotheslines are one way to fight climate change, using the sun and wind instead of electricity. "Days like this, I can do multiple loads, and within two hours, it's done," said Ms. Taylor. "It smells good, and it feels different than when it comes out of the dryer."

The battle of Awbrey Butte is an unanticipated consequence of increasing environmental consciousness, pitting the burgeoning right-to-dry movement against community standards across the country.


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Not hanging out the washing is insane. What had gotten into those fellas who ban hanging the washing out to dry? Have they forgotten that 1) to conserve energy, which means not to use unnecessary form of energy.. which means there is the natural source of energy, why use the dryer? 2) Before our technology became so advance, our ancestors dried their clothes out so what is the problem hanging the washing out? 3) If clothesline are so ugly, then i think the best solution is to ban people from wearing clothes at the first place so no clothes, no washing, and no washing means no washlines... Good Gracious, what is becoming of these ungrateful people who at the first place introduced this BAN ??????
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I can...
They'd look smashing.
Gotta agree with may that interior designers come over all queezy when confronted with a line full of wooly's.Perhaps if the hanger learned to colour co-ordinate or make a feature out of her old socks or something....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Here in Northern Ireland, there is a very similar set of prohibitions, for many of those living in flats of developments. These include no music after 11pm, no hanging of mats or mattresses out of windows (It's hard enough to turn a mattress let alone schlep it halfway out a window) no pot plants in communal areas or on window sills and finally, no hanging of clothes. Mainly because it brings the area down.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Fighting for the Right to Dry"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More