There’s a knack to drying sheets on the line predicated on the immediate assumption that the wet clothes have been removed from the washing machine post haste. If you’ve allowed them to sit there too long upon the completion of the wash cycle, well, let’s just say that does not bode well for crisp, flat, smooth sheets. Not fussy about wrinkled, crinkly sheets on your bed? Then by all means, proceed. Otherwise, I’d run them through the wash one more time if I were you and then – so you don’t have to do this again – I’d grab them quickly this time around.

Empty the sheets into the laundry basket. Nudge open the screen door leading to the backyard and deposit the sheets on the ground in the center of the clothesline. Unless you’ve been remiss in storing your clothespins in one of those handy holders that loop over the line allowing for easy reaching into and retrieving of said pins, you’ll have to finagle handling the sheets and grabbing these necessary accoutrements as best you can.

I like to begin with the flat sheet. Now, one can attach it so the folded crease is affixed to the line, leaving the fabric to unfurl and billow in the breeze or reverse the process and leave the fold to hang at the bottom. Depending on the ferocity of the wind (and your supply of pins), stagger the pin attachments to the line in even increments allowing enough of them to firmly secure the sheet and keep it from breaking loose and ending up in the neighbors yard.

Next up the pesky fitted sheet. Admittedly, I just wing it with these guys although I do tend to opt for the fold-at-the-bottom method of deployment. The pillow cases, so easily managed, are the best part of hanging wet sheets outdoors to dry. For these babies, I prefer to attach them so they are open at the bottom. When you are finished, hang any other sets of sheets in the same manner unless you’ve determined a better way to do so from your experience with the first load.

Now stand back and admire your work. Don’t they look lovely swaying softly in the breeze? If the winds have picked up a bit since you hung them to dry, make sure your pin coverage is adequate and make adjustments accordingly. Oh. You did check the weather forecast, did you not? Or at least allow yourself a quick glance skyward before deciding to go au natural as opposed to throwing them into the dryer? You sure as heck don’t want them to get rained on. So make note of that for the next go-round if you’ve failed to take the appropriate precautions.

So. Everything went swimmingly. The sun was shining, the breeze was delightful and now your sheets are dry.

Lucky you. You get to make the bed. Always a ‘fun’ chore, amiright? No matter. For your reward, you’ll have fresh-smelling sheets to look forward to when you crawl into bed tonight, the captivating sensory enchantment of which lasts about five minutes. I hope it was worth it.

Daily Prompt: Unfurl

One day a child will return
No longer in shame or chagrin.
There is always a home,
A beginning, initial rays of light, first steps taken.

Night falls in the quiet country
Crickets and critters, shapes and movements among the trees.
The screen door shuts, echoing in the darkness
A cigarette glows fiery red and orange, and then, a sigh.

It embraces you
This homecoming. You could stay here forever.
And perhaps some do, or will.
You either resist or you yield.

No place is Shangri La.
The green is as vivid or lean
As you wish it to be, wherever you are.
So: Will you reclaim this now, again, as Home?

Daily Prompt: Local

Today is Fathers Day and I sure do miss my Daddy. He was a wonderful man in many respects: his was a kind and generous heart, he was a hard worker, he had a fertile imagination and a fantastic sense of humor. While he certainly was not cut from the same mold as many of my girlfriends’ fathers, he was oh, so special to me and my sisters.

One of the ways in which he differed from all those other Dads escorting their girls to Father/Daughter Teas was that my dad enjoyed drinking, and quite often, to excess. I am conflicted as to whether my dad was an alcoholic. I don’t believe that he was although he was by no means just a social drinker. Dad drank with one purpose and one purpose only: to get drunk. This was a revelation I had in my late 20’s or early 30’s as I observed how quickly he consumed his alcohol. He downed his drinks with the swiftness of an apple falling from a tree and then, with gusto and that wonderful laugh of his, he would grab another and yet another after that.

He was an often hilariously funny drunk but sometimes, he would turn mean and nasty. He owned and operated Clark’s Sawmill for fifty years and for most of his tenure running the controls that guided those walnut logs through the big blade, quitting time usually meant drinking time. It made for a sometimes nightmarish, always frustrating existence for my mother and the dysfunctional nature of our childhoods left its mark on all six of his daughters.

There were so many times when he disappointed us, both Mom and us girls, and he was quite adept at embarrassing us too, sometimes excruciatingly so. Sometimes my sisters and I believed divorce would be a far better alternative to all the drinking and fighting we had to live with. However, even though he wasn’t a hands on, Father Knows Best kind of Dad he was, all the same, affectionate with us. We knew we were loved. We were Daddy’s Little Girls. Fortunately, he began to mellow as the years wore on. He and Mom began to travel, to spend more time together. Some of Mom’s favorite memories are those of the two of them drinking tea in the morning, watching the birds and squirrels at the many feeders outside their sunroom window.

Watching him succumb to prostate cancer, seven years of increasing debilitation, was difficult. Losing my dad was something I’d feared much of my later adult years and when it became a reality, it was a bittersweet experience. My mom and one of my sisters and I sat with him that last night – a fiercely awful yet somehow beautiful event. Seeing him draw his last was both horrifying and satisfying, in a way that is hard to describe. It was incredibly difficult but it was an experience I will always cherish. I am glad I was there with him that night.

Toward the end, I believe he felt some anguish for the time he’d lost as both a father and a husband due to the drinking he’d done over the years. I hope he didn’t suffer too much for it, though. He was a good man. I had a girlfriend who lived a couple of miles down the road from us when I was growing up. Her family suffered some staggering losses when their barn and other structures on their farm were destroyed in a fire. She told me how the other neighbors stopped by to gawk and peer through the rubbish, asking her father if he still wanted to keep this or that. My father, she said, was the only one to offer assistance after the disaster. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more proud of my Daddy than at that moment. Drinking or no, he was indeed a very good man.

Daily Prompt: Bottle

Allow for more ~
More joy, more pleasure.
Look. But also see.
There is much to be, to gather, to do.

This is our time.
Blossom and enjoy the life we have,
The life we choose to live.
Perspective, attitude, grace
All are under our control.

We are in charge of our own happiness.
Destiny: That’s ours to manage.
There is bliss to be had
In even just knowing this alone.

Daily Prompt: Blossom

Nothing within
Or without.

What do I have, what can I offer
That is beautiful
Or elegant,
Unique
Or sublime?

Try, just try
She told herself,
Finally.

And so, with genuine effort,
Resolve and enthusiasm
She was able to rock her own world.

Self-confidence: To the moon.
The resulting joy: Profound.
Curiosity: I think I can, I think I can.

This changes everything…

Daily Prompt: Create

We are limited in scope
To what we can accomplish
This day, this hour, this minute.
This life.

The breadth and depth and velocity
Of our passions
Is the key.
The volume of life is consummated in perfection: Love, kindness, nature and beauty.

Nothing matters more. All else matters, really, not at all.

Daily Prompt: Volume