Ahhh, air dried bed linens. Every Monday evening as I crawl into bed at night, the scent of freshly washed and line dried bed linens takes me back, so many years ago, to Grandma's house.
Memories of my paternal grandmother, or Grandma as I called her, are my most treasured memories. As a little bitty girl she was my best friend. As a young girl, she was still my best friend. Even as a teenager, although we were separated by 1,000 miles, it turned out that she was still my best friend.
Grandma was 60 years old when I was born. It wasn't long before I became the apple of her eye. "Babydoll" was her name for me. She called me that even after I'd become a mother myself. When OG was a little bitty girl, my dad often commented on how much she was like me when I was little. If that is true, I can easily see how I quickly became so special to Grandma. OG was the sweetest and happiest little girl.
I remember as a small child living in Grandma's home. A little bitty 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom frame house. She didn't have a car. She didn't have air conditioning. She didn't even have a washing machine. But ahhhhh - love ... she had sooo much love and she showered me with it daily.
When I was little she used to wash the laundry in the bathtub. She used an old plunger handle to stir and swish the water. She'd drain out the wash water and fill the tub with clean rinse water and stir and swish the soap out of the laundry. She did this twice - "wash once, rinse twice" she'd say. Then she's hand wring the laundry and place it in a basket and carry it to her little back stoop where she had a wringer attached. As she fed the laundry into the wringer, she often times let me turn the crank, it would fall into another basket. She would then haul the laundry out to the clothes line and pin it up to dry.
On hot summer evenings, after my bath I would never use a towel to dry off. I'd put my jammie's on while I was still damp. Grandma would then help me brush my teeth and she would brush out and braid my knee length hair. My jammie's would be damp from the bath water when I climbed into her bed. She had a large fan in the window that blew a gentle breeze across the middle of the bed and it would make us just cool enough to fall asleep. Each night I drifted off to sleep with the scent of line dried bed linens and Grandma softly singing old Celtic tunes to me ... "you take the high road and I'll take the low road and I'll be in Scottland 'fore ye ..."
Line dried bed linens - if love had a scent, that's what it would smell like to me.