Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I can hear my mother now...

(if you don't know
 what clotheslines are, better skip this) 

1.  You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes - walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.
 (Yep had to do that)

2.  You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.
 ( did that)
3.  You never hung a shirt by the shoulders  - always by the tail! What would the neighbors think? (amen!)

4.  Wash day on a Monday! Never hang clothes on the weekend, or Sunday, for Heaven's sake!
 (Well – a week day anyway)

5.  Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!)
 Oh – you bet we did that!! For 2 teenage girls living in a neighborhood it was just embarrassing to have those things in full view!)

6.   It didn't matter if it was sub zero weather ... clothes would "freeze-dry."
 (Then we had to hang them inside!!)

7.  Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes!  Pins left on the lines were "tacky!"
 (and then THEY were dirty like the lines)

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.
 (that was a game you’d play – the less you used, the less you’d have to take off!)

9.  Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
 (ah.. but many had to be sprinkled and rolled in a plastic bag waiting to be ironed – sometimes they’d even go in the fridge so as not to mildew ‘til mom got to them!)

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

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, "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 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.

No comments: