Fri04182014

Food & Wine

Jewish food festival reaches beyond bagels

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Your Health

A local addition that aims to subtract: JumpstartMD weight-loss clinic opens in Mountain View

A local addition that aims to subtract: JumpstartMD weight-loss clinic opens in Mountain View

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Your Home

Branching out: Los Altos native's art celebrates the outdoors

Branching out: Los Altos native's art celebrates the outdoors

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On The Road

How to find out which cars qualify for HOV stickers

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Go Green

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Mtn. View On The Move

More than just a 'Game' for artist : MVHS alumnus takes fan art from Reddit to Red Bubble

More than just a 'Game' for artist : MVHS alumnus takes fan art from Reddit to Red Bubble

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Senior Lifestyles

First phase of senior community renovation nearly complete

First phase of senior community renovation nearly complete

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Wedding To Remember

East Meets West  in modern wedding gowns

East Meets West in modern wedding gowns

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Don't throw in the towel – hang it up in the sunshine

I hang my laundry out to dry, just as my mother did. It seems a waste of sunshine not to. Not everyone enjoys the sight, but I admire the droop of lines heavy with towels and colorful clothes. Sometimes my sheets drag on the ground before I clothes pin them, but the smell of sun-soaked cloth outweighs a smudge or two. The clothes dry stiff and scratchy, but when I hang them wet, I play a part in the water cycle every child learns in school – transpiration, evaporation, condensation and precipitation. It's a pleasure to give moisture back to the air.

When I dress the clothesline, I see images of my family hanging, animated by the wind, and I tell them things I might not if they actually stood in front of me. Spreading waistbands, holes in the knees and sports socks that never come clean get lectures. I clip my children's pants, growing, it seems, with each load, and beg them to slow down. I inspect my husband's shirts for wear and pat him on the back. And I think about the clothesline my mother used in our Midwest garden.

She had the Cadillac model of laundry lines – the circular kind that opened and closed like an umbrella. Her springtime laundry rituals began by propping the pole with a rock. Sometimes, during a high wind, the laundry twirled like a merry-go-round, damp arms and legs dancing, underwear tucked discreetly out of sight. If a breeze caught it from underneath, it lifted off the ground like Dorothy's Kansas house. And if it weren't balanced and had too few socks on one side and too many pairs of jeans on the other, it toppled over altogether.

It takes time to hang clothes and time to let them dry. I don't absolutely need a certain blouse or skirt right away. I can wait. Hanging laundry slows me down and reminds me how simple it is to save energy. And when my family rushes for the dryer, I defend my laundry line and point out that it saves not only our resources but also the Earth's – we all benefit from this old-fashioned approach.

Julia Fuerst is a member of GreenTown Los Altos, a grassroots group that works with the city council to implement ways to reduce the city's carbon footprint.

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