Thursday, January 16, 2014

Remembering Mother's Clothesline

My sisters and I did this for my mother.


Great memories for some of us! It is the poem at the end that's the best!!!

There is one thing that was 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. 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 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" hung 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.

H/T To my friend, Marie!


Lana said...

I remember the clothesline days.

Bernie Vacura said...

Our family used the clothes line for another useful purpose. When we baked bread, it was difficult to cut the loaf without squishing it flat until it cooled to a certain point. So Mom would hang a loaf of bread on the clothesline using a flour sack dish towel until it cooled just enough to slice the freshly baked bread. LOL

Bernie Vacura said...

Actually the above comment is from Othelia, not Bernie!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Oh my have you just brought back some real memories for me.
Everything mentioned here was exactly how my mother and grandmother had us do it. Funny how I grew up pretty fast to hang clothes on the line, iron and wash dishes.
I would love to hang out my clothes now especially sheets. Good ole days and good memories but your right we are the last of the generation to remember these days. That's sad in it's on way.
Thank you for coming back and leaving me a much need sweet comment. I get upset with myself for wasting the days of winter being so depressed. I know I would of felt better if I just of kept blogging.
I have missed you too so I must catch up with you while I am here.
In a hour I will go outside and see if it is warm enough to mow because we have rain coming our way again.
Have a wonderful day and YAHOO it is officially Spring today.

Linda said...

Hi, Maggie!
Wow, it is good to hear from you! As you can see, you aren't the only one not blogging. I need to use my blog as a journal, which I'm sure would bore everyone to tears! My life is not very exciting!

Today, I fried some chicken breasts,made instant potatoes and chicken gravy, with homemade cherry pie for dinner. My hubby and my sister both thought it tasted pretty good! For the cost of all of us going out 2 times, I have enough chicken for many meals. I froze the rest of it.

Anyway, that my excitement for today. Now I need to clean up the kitchen!

Stay in touch!