Doing laundry Italian style

By Carol / May 15, 2011 /

Sooner or later it was going to rain. Sooner or later we needed to do the laundry. These two rare events both happened on the same day. Today.

Since we arrived in Italy a week ago yesterday, I have watched Italian women hang laundry out their windows and or drape it on little racks outside their back doors. I admired that their laundry was hung out before I had breakfast in the morning and was pulled back in dry by the end of the day. How charming!

I was reminded of doing laundry in the 1950s and ‘60s. It was a point of pride to have your laundry on the line early Monday morning. The later in the day laundry was hung out, the more other housewives clucked.

A new washing machine was a selling factor for our house in Tuscany. Since our only plans were to write today – not even the supermarket is open on Sunday – we thought what a perfect day to wash our small pile of dirty clothes. We even have our own little rack and bucket of clothespins. Under the Tuscan sun, with even a light breeze, our clothes would dry in no time.

Even though it sprinkled from time to time – and rained hard enough to deter us from walking a mile to church – the sun still emerged from time to time. Surely our laundry would dry.

We washed our one load of laundry. It was ready to hang out by 1 p.m. One small glitch – the laundry did not spin dry.  I carried dripping bundles from the washing machine to the patio.

We rung it out and hung it out. Not an hour later, it looked like rain. We moved the rack from the patio to the covered front porch. It has poured off and on ever since.  At 6 p.m., it is still pouring down rain. Our unmentionables are as wet as the moment we hung them out. I can only imagine how our neighbors are laughing.

We are praying for sunshine tomorrow. And we promise to do better next time.


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