Friday, September 9, 2011

Bed Linens Laundry Day

Today was bed linens fall laundry day. Here in the high desert, summers are hot and winters cold. In order to sleep comfortably, spring and fall I change the bedding. Right now, it's still warm enough that we're sleeping with the windows open, closing everything up by nine in the morning to keep the house cooler through the day. But come September, I'm ready to get my fall decor out - replacing the whites, blues, and yellows of summer with tans, golds and burgundy of autumn.

It's still warm enough for cotton percale sheets, but I just replaced our light cotton quilted bedspread with a fall-colored heavier one. As nights get cooler, blankets washed last spring are added, then the flannel sheets, and by January, the down comforter too.

Then, there's Albert to figure into this too. Albert is our big tuxedo cat. Besides being covered with black hair, he'll immediately roll in the dirt whenever he gets outside. And then comes back in to nap in the middle of the bed (as well as ending up between us most nights too). My summer bedspread is peach-colored floral pieces on a cream-colored background. Between the cat and nightly opened windows downwind of a canyon with a dirt road, that quilt (and the one on the guest bed - also a favorite Albert napping spot) definitely need to be washed.

This is a small house. Our washer and dryer is a Thin Twin stacked unit - about a third the size of a standard washing machine. It's fine for our usual laundry use (a Cal-King flannel sheet set really pushes it - I wash the pillowcases in a different load). Spring and fall, when I change the bedding, I bundle everything up (in the bag I made from legs of old blue jeans - usually, it's storage for my sleeping bag) and make a trip to a laundromat at the other end of town - one that has a big, 50-pound front-loading washer.

It only takes about an hour - especially if I go in early enough in the morning that I don't have to wait for the big machine. And you know, I actually enjoy it - it's just one of my rituals to accompany the change in the seasons (plus, there's a McDonald's in the same shopping center - it's an excuse to treat myself to a Sausage McGriddle, something I never do, for breakfast and a San Francisco newspaper to read while I wait for the machine to finish). I do have to check the weather report first, though. My quilts are cotton, and I love the smell of cotton bedding dried in the sun and fresh air. So I need a warm day with only light winds. I bring everything back, damp right out of the washer, and hang it out to dry at home.


Denise said...

I really miss having a clothesline to hang our stuff on, especially sheets and comforters. I love how they smell after being in the fresh air and sunshine AND, it also saves on having to run the dryer so much!
I even hung clothes out in the winter and let them freeze-dry. They sure came out soft and the kids used to laugh about their blue jeans being as stiff as a board!

dianefaith said...

I am lucky enough to have a clothesline and no ordinances against using it! So, I know how very fine your bed linens will be after this day in the sun. Enjoy!

Aurora said...

I love getting all the big heavy duvets and linens laundered before the months of cold and wet weather set in. In reality, I could beg the use of my neighbours tumble dryer at any time of year, but it feels wholesome to see them hanging on the line in crisp air, as everything around is winding down for the year. Enjoy your fall Sadge!

owlfan said...

I have a normal size (though older, so smaller than new) washer and I find that my queen size flannel sheets are really too much for one load. I usually do one sheet and pillowcases with a few other small things in one load and then the other sheet in a second load. I don't have a clothes line, but I drape the sheets over my deck railing. Works well, especially since my deck is sunnier than anywhere else in the yard.

Primrose Beresford said...

I like the way that you change your bedlinen. I do the same, and i think it gives a sense of passing seasons that you don't always get if you live, like I used to, in a centrally heated city apartment.

Now, I can't wait for autumn to layer my bed with cheery crochet blankets.

You have a very interesting blog.
Best wishes,

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