Thursday, January 12, 2012

Seven years without a dryer...

During the rainy season here in Belize I find myself daydreaming about dryers...exciting, huh?
Seriously, though.  No lint on the towels or dog hair in the socks. Joy!

Since we left California we have not owned a dryer.  When we lived in Russia a washing machine was given to us as a gift from a small group in Kansas.  And we had a drying rack inside the house.  Dryers there were unbelievably expensive.  Perhaps prices have come down now.  Back then we thought that $1200 US for a basic dryer was a luxury we could not afford. 

We got used to this life.  Washing clothes a day or two ahead of when you need them.  The real sacrifice is with jeans and towels.  However, if you add enough fabric softener they come out okay.  With towels you can even iron them if you want that soft warm fresh out of the dryer feel.  

Here in Belize we have a washing machine, a clothesline outside and a couple of drying racks inside for when it rains.  Today as I was hanging up clothes in the laundry room I caught a glimpse of the space where the dryer would go.  Dryers here range in price from $650 to $1500 US.  

I got to thinking though.  We live in a good neighborhood.  Many of our neighbors are professional people.  There is a doctor behind us.  An architect a couple houses over, a few university professors live close by. 

Everyone hangs their clothes out on the line.
There is sun here pretty much year round.  
Even in the rainy season you can hang clothes out at least once a week.  
this photo was taken in a small village not far from Belmopan

I love the seeing clothes sway in the wind. 
 I love how they smell when you take them off the line. 

So we have adapted to the culture around us.  I don't have a strong overwhelming desire to buy a dryer.  It would be nice to have some days.  The dry season is coming on strong.  It is getting warmer every day. If we were going to buy an appliance to make my life easier I would rather have an air conditioner...but that is another post.  The cost of electricity here is outrageous!


  1. i always find it so amazing how easily one can adapt to their environment. it is amazing the things we truly can live without that we think we cannot live without.

  2. What a wonderful experience. I grew up in Italy and still marvel (over 20 something years later) how different life in America is from Europe and what we consider neccessities.

  3. i grew up in the bahamas and have always loved the smell of sun dried laundry; and because I'm somewhat anal i love the uniformity of everything hung out to dry.
    I remember pinning the clothespins to my shirt, shaking the laundry, then grabbing a pin and pinning on the line and repeating until everything was done.
    a dryer is handy when it rains, though!

  4. this is how things are done back home in ghana! and i remember my sister drying my niece's clothes au natural...there is something refreshing about this. my friend's dryer broke and she hasn't purchased one and i am always bothering her about it but truth be can be done even if you live on this side of the world! from the title i thought you were referring to a hair dryer!

  5. Faith- it is amazing what we can adapt to and what we can live without.

    Daenel-when I spent a summer in Italy six years ago we had a washing machine in the apartment but no dryer...and the fridge fit under the under the kitchen counter.

    Nylse- I love that uniformity too...the routine and rhythm is so peaceful.

    Mrs. Pancakes- lol! It's been about that long that I gave up my blow dryer as well!

  6. I honestly don't know how I would live without a dryer. I am picturing all our clothes frozen solid 8 months of the year lol! Or all 5 of our clothes spread out over every available surface in our home for 8 months. Nope. I think I'd rathe go without a washing machine than a dryer actually if I had to choose!

    No. That would be horrible too.

    I'd have to move South. :)

    I like the IDEA of hanging clothes on the line though and we do hang blankets and stuff on the line in the summer to air out :)

  7. Anonymous2:17 PM

    ive had to live without a dryer too and didn't like it at all.. I think its wonderful you have adapted to your environment.. your like my idol :D

  8. This reminds me of the days when I would hang clothes out to dry with my grandmother. I'm so spoiled now!

  9. All those many summer of doing ministry in Europe in the summer, we did our clothes by hand. And I actually missed a dryer ... more than a washer. I didn't mind washing the clothes by hand ... but then I wanted them dry and packed back in our bags.

    Seven years ... impressive.


  10. As a child, as soon as I got tall enough to reach the clothesline, hanging out the clothes became my chore. I don't have a clothesline now, but did up until a few years ago. I enjoyed the quietness of being in the yard, listening to the birds, feeling the breeze, and the warmth of the sun. I find that it is a very "zen" thing to do. I spent the entire day doing laundry today. I kind of miss the clothesline.

  11. I remember wishing we had a dryer back when I was I kid.

  12. We are definitely a spoiled people with all our luxurious appliances and such. I remember handing my mom the clothespins when she was hanging out the laundry, and then as a young mom in the 1970s, I chose to hang my son's diapers in the sun just to get that fresh air smell that comes from drying in the sun.

    Alida, you've brought back lots of memories and have humbled those of us who think we couldn't get along without this or that. Thank you!