Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V ~ vädra = let in the fresh air




Today's word is vädra which has no translation, but we'll call it weathering. It means opening up the bedroom windows and getting some of the outside weather in, to freshen the place up, while making the bed. You know how sometimes you go into a bedroom and it has that “somebody slept here” smell? Start with a teenage boy's room, for the full effect, then switch to your own. It's quite nice to air that all out, and get a fresh start on the day.

Striving for a nice-smelling bedroom is hardly uncommon here in the States. Think about all those detergent commercials, the fabric softeners, the “fresh, spring scent, as if dried outdoors”. In Sweden, most do dry their sheets outdoors. Have you ever tried it? It's one of the most wonderful scents that no laundry product can match.

That scent is also my favorite childhood memory. Sometimes I'll catch a whiff of it somewhere (not while doing my laundry I mean) and I'm transported to back to the days of spending the nights at Farmor and Farfar's house. The beds always smelled so nice. Farmor also let me help hang the sheets outdoors and let me walk between them while they were drying, a complete no-no at my house. “You'll get them dirty again!”

Here in Colorado, we get plenty of chances to dry our laundry outdoors, year round. Even if there's snow on the ground, you can still get it dry by the afternoon, if you hang them out early on a sunny day.  We get a LOT of sun around here.  Drying outdoors also makes cotton sheets “crunchy”, which I love. YellowBoy, who chooses his apparel by color (yellow!) AND texture, needs his sheets dried in the dryer. He can't understand why I buy only unscented laundry products (as in boring), but since the three of them all have eczema, I have to. (For more on my unique son and why he's called YellowBoy, read this post.) 

I realize laundry isn't the most exciting topic for a post, but since it demonstrates a cultural difference, I went for it. It's been my goal during April to teach you not only words, but also about the Swedish culture, and share memories, all in one post. Your reward for doing laundry with me today is that tomorrow, I'm teaching you how to order a beer, just as I promised during our first lesson.

Be working on your “graduation” sentences, the button is almost done! Go back one post to catch what I'm talking about, as well as the reminder for the May 7th reflections posts.

What's your favorite childhood memory smell? Have you tried drying your sheets outdoors?

22 comments:

HeatherL said...

Lovely! I have those same fond memories of sheets hanging on the line too! Is it me or did we all have such uncomplicated childhoods? By comparison, it seems like today's kids have too much going on!

raymond alexander kukkee said...

Tina, somehow drying laundry in the great outdoors on a clothesline makes everything smell nicer! We've always done that, and in the winter when everything freezes solid on the line, we are reluctant when forced to use the 'dryer'. It's just not the same, is it!

Danielle B. said...

I love sunshine and fresh air. I love airing out the house. Especially when it blows in the smell of freshly cut grass.

Brian Miller said...

oh but it is..i love the smell of fresh air and sunshine in my sheets...and now i can say it fancy...smiles.

Arlee Bird said...

Okay, this is very bizarre. I was just walking back to my home office from another room and looked in the guestroom and thought, "I should open the window and let some air in". In the summer I usually do this in the mornings and it lets in enough cooler air to keep the house comfortable the rest of the day if it doesn't get too hot outside.

Where I live (L.A.) I wouldn't hang laundry outside. I look at the patio and the furniture and can see how dirty they get from all the crap in the air. I wouldn't want to sleep in sheets that have been basking in the polluted L.A. air. But I agree clean sheets dried in clean air are a delight.


Lee
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Debra Harris-Johnson said...

We own a farm apart from our city home so sheets hanging out doors was a common sight especially when my mother in law was alive. We don't even own a clothes dryer on the farm. Great smell!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Love this post because it reminds me of a very romantic two weeks my husband and I spent in Tuscany. We stayed in part of a 15th century villa. Every morning the lady of the household would throw the bedsheets out the window and let them blow in the breeze for a few hours.

The first morning it happened I thought there was a hot air balloon outside. But then I got used to seeing her push volumes of white puffy bedding out the window, and then beating them with a long-handled spoon!

Haddock said...

I think every one loves the smell of the freshly laundered sun kissed clothes.
Of course my memory is Mama's cooking !!

Lauren S. said...

I love those untranslatable words. And what a beautiful word to describe something that I love to do.

Although I don't really like the crunchy sheets, no matter how good they smell. :)

cleemckenzie said...

I still dry my sheets outdoors. There's nothing better than the smell of ozone saturated sheets on your bed. I'm firmly convinced they help you sleep better, kind of like lying in a bed of ferns on a sunny day. Ferns are super nap inducers!

DL Hammons said...

I have fond memories of my mother hanging laundry on the clothesline and warning us boys to stay away! *Sigh* :)

Leslie said...

so what if I order sheets instead of a beer???

your A to Z is fresh like the smell of the outdoors

my V

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My wife has a thing about fresh air in the house.
Hope to get a sentence for you soon. Been an insane day at work today.

Heather Murphy said...

My mom used to dry our clothes on the line when I was a child. I remember having to run out and take them down when it started raining :)
I'm planning to work on my Swedish post this weekend

Sonia Lal said...

I have no memories of sheets hanging on the line! lol


Sonia Lal @ Story Treasury

Maria said...

Love the smell of freshly laundered sheets on the bed, and yes I do know the smell of a teenage boys bedroom!

Here in the UK, it rains a lot, so we have to use tumble dryers with scented fabric softners etc to get the fresh smell effect.

Good post.

Shelly said...

Line-dried sheets are the best.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

My mom hung the clothes out all spring and summer. The sheets do have a special scent.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I often wish we had a laundry line so i could dry some of my laundry outside. But we don't have any room. Maybe at the next house

Leslie Rose said...

My gramma was a dedicated clothes line dry advocate. She was always sure the dryer would catch on fire.

Laurita said...

Drying clothes on the line is my favourite thing. You really can't beat that freah air smell.I can't wait for sunny days to open up all the windows, and this is one Swedish word I will work into my everyday vocabuary.

Anna said...

Älskar ordet 'vädra'!
Anna