Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I received these 2 emails last week on the same day from different people. Laundry has been on my mind lately...I cannot do a laundry wash load and a dryer load at the same time because they flip the circuits or whatever (and then it is a circus). Cara's dryer broke when we were visiting them. They ordered a new one but with the snow storm, and the fact Evansville doesn't have plows for the side roads, schools were cancelled for the week, power was gone and worse...the delivery truck couldn't get up their street so she's been hand drying everything. Now remember...this is a mom and dad with 5 kids under 12. So here's for some pleasant reading til I get back.

The clothes line....a dead give away.

Do the kids today even know what a clothes line is?
For all of us who are older, this will bring back the memories.


1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes. Walk the length of each line with a damp cloth around the line.

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

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail. What would the neighbors think?

4. Wash day on a Monday...........never hang clothes on the weekend or Sunday for heaven's sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your 'unmentionables' in the middle.

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

7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes. Pins left on the line was 'tacky'.

8. 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.

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

10. IRONED?????????? Well, that's a whole other subject.

A POEM (city-bred)

A clothes line 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 design.

The line announced a baby's birth
To 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 said, 'Gone 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 gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way..

But clotheslines now are of the past
For dryers make work 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!

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young
Woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
"That laundry is not very clean", she said.
"She doesn't know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap"

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the
young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a
nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her this?"

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and
cleaned our windows."
"And so it is with life. What we see when watching others
depends on the window through which we look.


Jocelyn Christensen said...

If you live in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania you KNOW about clothes lines!!!

Everyone has them.

Plus out old Mennonite neighbors just renovated their house...She now has a beautiful laundry room...and you open a window and get access to the longest clothes line you've ever seen...and the most beautiful scenery overlooking their farm

Lin said...

fun post, do you have a source for these writing or posts-would like to use them for an article. love the clipart also. brought back lots of memories of my grandma and her washing, etc. nowadays new homes don't come with a clothes line.

kimlis said...

That's about the way I learned to dry clothes. Damp cloths to clean line... clothespin bag pushed along as you hung... same pin used to connect individual pieces... shirts hung by tails because the wrinkles didn't matter on the part you tucked in. However, we lived in the country with no near neighbors so we weren't worried much about who saw what. We only had two lines but they were very long. During the winter ours got hung in the house and Mom had a specific way of hanging the clothesline to get the maximum hanging space....

JP said...

I grew up in Lorain and after a while, we couldn't hang clothes outside or they would turn orange! (From the soot of the steel plant!)

Nicole said...

I love this post. I have to hang dry our clothes and have perfected our line up. Since it's on the lanai the wind only comes from one side so the heavy large clothes have to go in the back or the clothes behind them don't dry. It took awhile to realize this. Luckily I remember my mom teaching me the right way to hang clothes.

email updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner