To hang clothes or not to hang

PERKASIE, Pa. - November 19, 2009

A growing number of people are foregoing use of their clothes dryers in favor of old time outdoor clotheslines. It saves money and energy, but it's not always a popular move as Carin Froehlick of Perkasie has learned.

"They're driving by, they're leaving notes on my door, 'it looks like trailer trash,' or they leave notes in my mailbox, they drive by yelling 'go get a new dryer.' I have a beautiful dryer, I just chose not to use it," Froehlick said.

A Pew research study found that fewer and fewer Americans consider their clothes dryers a necessity. Of course, many don't have a choice. Home owners associations and thousands of subdivisions forbid outdoor clotheslines.

Sandy Knoblach lives in an over 55 community where no hanging is allowed, but that's ok with her.

"It just wouldn't look nice. Everything is just so and I just like it that way and I think a lot of people do," Knoblach said.

The Banbury Housing Development in Souderton has a no hang rule, but right across Allentown Road, Peggy Kiser exercises her right to hang and says she's been drying on line for years even while raising five children.

"It smells so nice and clean when you take it in and the whites stay whiter and I just enjoy hanging laundry out," Kiser said.

Carin Froehlich says her harassment has come from people driving by, not from Borough Hall which says hanging laundry is not illegal. Froehlich, who is in the process of publishing a book called Laundry Wisdom, says some have accused her of airing her intimate apparel and question her sanity.

Froehlich understands that hanging her underwear in the yard may not be a good idea and says she's never done it, but she sees no reason why she can't dry with dignity.

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