Friday, October 23, 2009

Trip down memory lane....

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.

-- Author Unknown

I can just picture my Mom outside hanging the laundry for a family of six, wet sheets wrapping around her in the gusty wind blowing in from the coast. In a climate where it rained almost 300 days out of the year, drying clothes was a real challenge. Many were the days I'd hear, "Come help me get the clothes off the line! It's starting to rain!" and away we'd go, making a mad dash out of the back door.

Thanks, cousin Ginger, for sending this along today.


Midlife Jobhunter said...

I still love to hang clothes on the line. A methodical pinning as each sheet goes on the line.

Elizabeth said...

I still hang clothes on the line, in fact my line is "occupied" right now... Some days the clothes will dry in about 15 min. (S. Calif. mid-summer, hot & dry...). We became die-hard clothes line users after the energy crunch a few years ago.

Loretta said...

I remember mom had certain places on the line to hang clothes. Everything HAD to be in it's spot or you took it down and did it over!