Saturday, July 27, 2013

CLOTHES LINES (remember them?)

OR DO YOU HAVE ONE? I do… and I still use it! My Uncle sent me this in an email the other day. I was amused and thought I might share it with you. Yes, I do have several clothes lines and I use them much of the year… but it can be so humid here that even tho things get hung out early in the morning, they end up in the dryer that evening. And I have been chased back in the house by hungry mosquitoes and resorted to using the dryer. But most of the year, I love the smell of clothes dried on the line. It is usually windy enough around here that the breezes soften clothes as much as the dryer does. One thing, tho’ – I do NOT put my unmentionables on the line. Nope, not even tho I have no neighbors who can see into my backyard as I am protected by woods on 3 sides. I do leave my clothes pins on the line, tacky as it might be, but I have a family of wrens who claim ownership of the clothespin bag and raccoons who routinely dump the basket I tried keeping pins in. I gave up and now leave them on the line.

DSC_0403 Punkin in the shadow of the clothes line…


(If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top.

2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands.

3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes - walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.

5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail!
What would the neighbors think?

6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend,
or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!)

8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... clothes would "freeze-dry."

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky"!

10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

12. IRONED??!! Well, that's a whole OTHER subject!

And now a POEM...

A clothesline was a news forecast, To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry. It also was a friendly link, For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by, To spend a night or two.

For then you'd see the "fancy sheets", And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table cloths", With intricate designs.
The line announced a baby's birth, From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung, So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could, So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed, You'd know how much they'd grown! It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung; Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, Haphazardly were strung.
It also said, "On vacation now", When lines hung limp and bare.

It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare! New folks in town were scorned upon, If wash was dingy and gray, As neighbors carefully raised their brows, And looked the other way.
But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work much less. Now what goes on inside a home, Is anybody's guess!
I really miss that way of life, It was a friendly sign When neighbors knew each other best... By what hung on the line.


Harriet said...

News flash from an earlier time: there are "belly bands" on the clothesline. Someone just had a baby

Ginnie said...

A cute entry, Possum. My mother loved clotheslines and she even had a collection of photos that she took. She put them all in an album and I wonder what ever happened to it. I'd love to have it nowl

ancient one said...

I don't know what the "art" is that I had pictured for photo hunt "really"... I can't believe you didn't get a chance to weld. My neighbor is and artist and taught art at Kinston High School for years.. she has all kinds of metal works in her pasture and around her home that she made... I think the girls around here that want to take welding get a chance to do it...