The Language of Laundry

Laundry with a ViewIn the states, laundry happens in a small (often windowless) room or closet whenever one can spare the moment to flip the load into a machine for washing or drying.  Costa Rica has washing machines  (praise the Lord!) and dryers, too.  Electricity is so expensive, however, that colorfully decked-out clotheslines decorate everyone’s open spaces.  Washing machines are often situated under awnings in open back patios.  This summer I got to pretreat and sort within view of rolling hills and (hopefully) clear skies.   The washing machine emptied its rinse water into the nearby sink and delighted my children by making enormous “sud cakes.”

The language of Laundry is spoken often in Costa Rica because of the warm weather and easy access to dirt, but it is spoken in terms of sunshine and warm breezes, limited only by afternoon rains, line space, and the number of clothespins you own.  In Costa Rica, joy, and laundry, come in the morning.


  1. oh, i love doing laundry! my favorite household job 🙂 and hanging out clothes on the line is the best! your kids will learn that they can really wear clothes more than one day 🙂 except for underwear – lol!

  2. those clotheslines did brighten the day with their many colors; and I had the pleasure of putting up a couple of extra wires for them. Did you see the struggle Luke and a couple others of us had pulling that steel post out of the ground that had been cemented in the ground? We had to enlist Cesar the Giant to break up the concrete….. anyway, this is how we did laundry when i was a wee little short person. Jeans would be so stiff, we’d take all the clothespins off and then run down the line with arms open grabbing the clothes as we went! fun times

  3. This almost makes me want to go do some of my laundry piles that are waiting–but no hanging them outside right now, the day is full of freezing rain! Maybe I’ll put up some clothesline this summer, and join you from afar 😀

    • It’s certainly a fun game I’ll get to play in Costa Rica. Love getting an early start on a beautiful day and beating the afternoon rains. It makes sunshine and warm breezes even more glorious.

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