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What I Learned from Camping

    I don’t go camping any more. There was a time, however, when camping was the only way my family got a holiday.

    I learned a lot from camping.  Well, I learned two things. First, I don’t like camping. (I don’t mean to be offensive to anyone who does like it, but what lying on the ground does for arthritic joints is indescribable. That’s not in a good way.) The second thing I learned is that the solution to many of life’s problems is a tarp and a bit of rope.

    It’s this second thing I’ve found useful just now.

    Here is the life problem: I have lupus (surprise!) No, I didn’t cure lupus with a tarp, but if I could wouldn’t it be amazing? Having lupus, being out in the sun doesn’t agree with me very much. This makes hanging clothes outside a bit of a problem, because usually the only time it’s worth hanging clothes outside is while it’s sunny.

    On the other hand, using the electric dryer requires electricity, which is a drain on both the environment and my budget.  (Being more careful of both the environment and my budget, were items on my list of New Year’s Resolutions.)

    The solution, to this problem is: a tarp and a bit of rope. (Yes, really.)

    Having put the tarp over my clothesline, I can now hang out my wash on sunny days, without standing in the sun. I can hang out my wash on rainy days as well.  With the line covered, the clothes dry a little more slowly than if they were hung in full sun but much faster than if I’d hung them inside the house.

    I’ve unplugged the clothes dryer. The dryer’s still there for times when I’m sick and can’t hang things up, but I have fewer reasons/excuses to use it now.

    Together the tarp and rope cost me $10 – I suspect I’ll save more than that each quarter on my electricity bill by not using the dryer.

    (Another tip for the laundry – this one saves your personal energy rather than the electricity. Hang your clothes on hangers. When you take them off the line, just carry straight to the wardrobe and hang.  Most things won’t need ironing, and those that do will be much easier to iron.)