Thursday, February 02, 2012

Mom's Clothesline

Well, hi, folks. Sorry I'm not blogging much these days, but hope all is well with my old friends. Got this email a few days ago, and yesterday my clothesline fell down, so it seemed appropriate to post this while my dear hubby right now tries to hook it to a different tree.

Love this one and yes, there were people who really did all the correct things in hanging clothes.

I remember my grandmother and mother doing all of these things.

Of course you washed the whites first, then the medium colored and last was the dark dirty work clothes. I've seen this done in during a drought, you used the wash water to wash the floor, then it was dumped on the few dried veggies you had growing. The rinse water you washed the kids feet and it also got dumped on the veggie patches.

Remembering Mom's Clothesline

There is one thing that's left out. We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn't brush the ground and get dirty.

You have to be a "certain age" to appreciate this one....

(But you YOUNGER ones can read about "The GOOD ol' days"!!)

I can hear my mother now.....


(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 neighbours passing by,

There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link, For neighbours 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 neighbours' 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 out on that line.


Patti said...

I was just thinking about you yesterday, wondering how you were doing. I don't even see you around Facebook these days. Perhaps you are taking a computer break. I know that I am fixin' to take an FB break. The whole Zuckerburg/going public thing has convinced me that in many ways FB has become a bit of a god. I think a break is in order, so I am disengaging...not deleting my account, just not going on by my own choice.

The only thing I hang on the clothesline are sheets. I used to hang out many other things, but my family doesn't like the dry, stiff feeling that results. They requested that I use the dryer...but I LOVE the smell and feel of freshly laundered, line-dried sheets. Of course, I only do that in the warm months, which means from late May through early October. After that, even the sheets get the dryer.

Hope all is well. I miss you.


Susan said...

Enjoyed this and surprised by how many of the "rules" I follow, even to today.

Maxine said...

Hey, hey, ladies, and good to hear from some old buddies. Trying to get over for a visit asap.

Well, Patti, it's not that I'm taking a computer break, just that I've been having some interests other places. Still FB a bit, but I never was one to be on there that much anyway.

You are exactly where I am. Now I only hang out sheets, but not in the bitter cold weather. We also use the clothes line to air out things and of course, for curtains whenever I get around to washing them.

Laurie said...

It is always good to hear from you, Maxine, no matter when you post. Oh, how I miss our clothesline since we moved! I was surprised to see that when I did hang laundry on the line, I was following rules I didn't know existed! (Some of them, at least!) I am hoping that come this spring, we will be able to hang a detachable clothesline, so that I can hang our sheets to dry and items in need of airing out. I loved the poem :)

I was on FB, but yesterday I deactivated my account; too much info I didn't need to know. I am also planning on reading more and blogging less, getting back to "life before", but I wil stop and visit blogs occasionally. I have met too many nice friends like you to stop!

Aliene said...

Haven't been here in a long while. Seems all I've had is trouble with blogging. Now my computer is fixed but most of friends are gone. Have to start over. I had to sit and read all about the clothes line. Yes, I grew up with one, even the pole in the middle to push it up. I still like to hang clothes. I got two pulleys for my husband to put up the line but haven't gotten it done yet.
I know ~ we didn't have pulleys when I grew up. Just nail it to a tree, right. I am determined to get my line up before too many more days. Glad I found your blog again. By the way~ do you mind if I use that clothe line poem?
Blessings, friend.

Maxine said...

Sure, Ailene, help yourself--it's not mine anyway. I borrowed it too, lol! And so nice to hear from you. Don't feel bad. Most of us have been rather hit and miss with the blogging these days.

Have a blessed weekend!

Rhonda said...

Ran across your blog tonight...I remember the clothes line and I remember that pole in the middle of it holding the line up so the sheets would not drag the ground...I also remember getting my behind spanked b/c I at nine years old decided I wanted to be in the circus..a tight rope walker...need I say more! ewwwWeee momma got me good her .
enjoye reading your blog

Maxine said...

Oh NOOO! That is so funny, Rhonda. Thanks so much for sharing that and thanks for your visit!