All the problems in North Carolina must be solved because a Greensboro Democrat, Rep. Pricey Harrison, has sponsored a bill that would prohibit cities and counties from prohibiting clotheslines. But it may be a good idea for the coming energy crisis.
Harrison’s idea is to allow people to hang clothes outside to dry in an effort to save money on energy by not using a clothes dryer. But there is a problem with hanging laundry on a clothesline with homeowner associations. Harrison started out to keep HOA from restricting clotheslines but later removed that from the bill due to resistance from homeowners associations.
At least one state Senator got it right. Sen. Malcolm Graham (D-Charlotte) said, “I also think we ought to let cities and counties to elect local ordinances that govern these types of things, I don’t think the state should have an umbrella ordinance for clotheslines…we just can’t legislate everything.”
Harrison said that 10% to 25% percent of a home’s energy usage can come from a dryer. With the Crap and Tax Bill looming, we may see clotheslines making a comeback. When that 10%to 25% becomes 40% to 55% of our energy bill, we may have no choice. This may become part of the Obama Energy Policy. “Save the planet. Hang your clothes.”
What I find so annoying about this is that an elected representative considers this a problem that she thinks the state has to step in and pass a law for people to be able to use a clothesline. As a society we have become a bunch of whining sniffling babies that looks to government to fix every area of our lives. This is a matter for HOA to address when the time comes. And no doubt our already overcrowded courts will be tied up with clotheslines. (Sorry.) But I am certain there is a right to own and have a clothesline in the Constitution and the Supreme Court will have to rule on it in the next 3 to 4 years. And will Obama provide a bailout for the clotheslines industry or will he tax it to pay for healthcare.
As a kid in the 1960’s, my mother would hang clothes out in the morning, go to work with instructions for my sisters to bring in and fold the laundry before she got home. We had a 4 line T-post clothesline about 40 Foot long in the backyard. That was enough to hang about 3 loads of laundry. Our clothes smelled like sunshine but were scratchy. In the winter we would go to the laundry mat to dry our clothes.
One of the post on the clothesline was first base and the other was third base. We also used the post for pull-ups and monkey bars. I can still hear my mom yelling out the screen door, ‘Get off the clotheslines before you fall and put your eye out. Go play ball in the street.’
We got our first clothes dryer in the late sixties and it was a used one at that. Mom would still hang sheets outside because she liked the smell. Of course she ironed the sheets to remove the wrinkle and make them smooth.
The bill was voted down in committee with lawmakers wisely making the issue a local and HOA issue. But the clothesline bill may be a good idea for coming energy crisis and a new tax base.