written for The New York Times

FOR 43 years, Joan Brainard has been hanging laundry twice a week in her backyard in Deep River. All she requires is dry weather above 20 degrees.

Her routine is so established that if neighbors do not see wash pinned to her two 50-foot clotheslines, they ask if she is all right, said her husband, David, 73.

“Basically, I like the way it comes in,” said Mrs. Brainard, 69. “It smells fresh and clean and not like a dryer sheet.”

But there is also a practical reason, one that has some calling on people to unplug their dryers and air dry their clothes.

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About This Article

Joan Brainard lives near me. When the laundry is hanging we know it is Monday or Thursday. She was surprised when I introduced myself and said I wanted to interview her about this way of life. To her, using a dryer was just wasteful. When I went to talk to her in her kitchen, she served me muffins.This article was published by The New York Times newspaper on December 2, 2007 and currently appears in its entirety on their website at the following address: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/02clotheslin…

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