The long, gloomy, days of cold rain and gray clouds finally changed into a beautiful little storm with huge snowflakes. They floated about, leaving kisses on my face and quickly piling up on every branch and twig. Overnight the wind picked up and sculpted my new snow into long sweeping drifts through my yard that glistened in the morning sun. It was all so fresh and beautiful I longed to fling open the windows and banish the stale, heated air from the house, but then again, it was heated and therefore valuable, so I did not. However I could indulge in hanging out the linens! It's only slightly short of heaven to collapse at the end of the day into a delightfully fresh set of linens and quilts that still smell of the outside and sunshine.
Stripping the beds and hauling everything down to the washer was the easy part; a little water, a little detergent, and I'm in business. When the washer stopped it's groaning and clanking, I eagerly piled the linens into a basket and headed outside. Then the fun began! The sun had melted the surface of the drifts in my yard, and a shallow layer of ice had re-frozen along the tops - just enough to support my weight for a second or two, before giving way and allowing my leg to plunge through to somwhere in the region of China, forcing the other leg to bend and placing that knee somwhere in the region of my ear. At the same time, the icy coating allowed the laundry basket to begin sliding down the drift and back towards the house. It became a contest to see if I could get a sheet out of the basket before it slid away, and then to pin it to the line before I dropped into the snowbank. After the first couple of pillow cases I learned to hold on to the clothesline so I could still reach it after I fell through up to my knees in the hard-packed drift, while reaching out with the other hand to grab the basket as it went sailing by. A couple of times I tripped and fell face first, wrapped in the wet sheet while the dawg thought this was a great new game and planted her great hairy paws squarely in the middle of my back, pushing me ever deeper into the drift. I perservered through four loads until all the linens were hung, flapping gently in the breeze and sunshine, looking so innocent as I limped back to the house through the ice and snow, carrying the boot that had been pulled off by the deep drift. The dawg meanwhile was laughing, a big doggie grin on her face as she gamboled about on top of the snow.
I wonder if I can get her to go out and bring all the laundry back in?