Monday, March 29, 2010

Wash Day




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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 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 clothes lines now are of the past
For dryers make work much less
Now what goes on inside the 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.
 ~ Marilyn K. Walker



Basic Rules for Clothes Lines
  1.  You have to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes. ~ walk the entire lengths of each line with a wet cloth around the lines.
  2. You have to hang the clothes in a certain order and always hang whites with whites and hang them first.
  3.  You never hang a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail. What would the neighbors think?
  4. Wash days are on Mondays!  Never hang clothes on a weekend or on Sunday. For Heaven's Sake!
  5. Hang the towels and sheets on the outside lines so you can hide your "  unmentionables"  in the middle. (perverts and busy bodies Ya' Know)
  6. It doesn't matter if it is sub zero temperatures. Clothes will freeze dry.
  7. Always gather clothes pins when taking down clothes. Pins left on the line are tacky!
  8. If you are efficient you will line the clothes up so each item does not require two clothes pins, but shares one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
  9. Take clothes off the clothes line by dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed. 
  10. IRONED? Well that's a whole other post.                            



A big thank you to my long time friend Sue Zaweski for sending this to me. As soon as I read it I knew I had to post it on Moodscapes.

17 comments:

Lynne said...

I love to hang wash outside to dry. In our last house, I had clothes poles set up in the yard and would hang clothes and sheets all year long. Now in this house, it's in the "covenants" that no clothes lines are allowed.

But I'm ready to break the rules. There are no homes in our subdivision behind us and we have a 6-foot fence around the yard. I'm going to get one of those umbrella poles (which I really don't like that much but will be easier to put up and down) and only put it up when I do wash. I always do my wash early in the morning, so I could have it all up and down by noon.

And if I get caught - so what? There's nothing like the smell of clothes hung outside to dry!

Naturegirl said...

How this posts brings back memories of my youth! Did I really say that!!EEK!
Anyway..those were the days when we snooped at our neighbors by way of their clothes line!I remember in winter those freezing hard clumps on the line and mother made me go out and take them off...how in the world did she thing they were going to dry outside in winter!!!
But you know once everything thawed out oh..the fresh scent ...can't bottle that!
Loved your mosaic and your words.
Thanks for the memory of days gone by!

Bobbi said...

Love your mosaic and everything you wrote....very nice!

Anonymous said...

I just told Chris a week or so ago, I would love to have a clothes line, now that I'm home I see no reason to not have one. I remember hanging clothes on the line with my grandma and my mom when we were young we always had to help with the wash. Those were the days!! love you, thanks for the post.
Melody

Lavender Cottage said...

Oh yes, I remember our clothes line at home. From the wringer washer to the outside for fresh smelling laundry.
I picked up a small clothes line gadget that attaches to the wall and pulls out like an accordian. It doesn't give a lot of line space but is perfect for the two of us.
Your post was fun.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

OMG! Boy did that bring back memories!! Love your mosaic too!
Such a sweet poem, thanks for sharing
*hugs*deb

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Whoops I forgot to say thank you for reminding me about scotch gaurd!! Why didn't I think of that? Thanks again!!
*hugs*deb

32˙North said...

I always loved the smell of clothes dried outside. The towels were always a little stiff, but no matter!

Amanda

Traci said...

How I miss hanging my wash out in the summer...I had a picture of my father standing in front of the hedge between our neighbor's house & our's and there behind my Dad, behind the hedge hung Mr. Wiker's "unmentionables". Makes me chuckle to this day!
Your mosaic brought back such sweet memories - thanks!

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

What a great mosaic!! It brings back lots of memories of my kid-hood! We lived in the country (though not on a farm) and we always hung our clothes & sheets out on the line in the summer. We never used the dryer in nice weather! And we for sure followed all the "rules" too; it made me laugh, remembering my mother admonishing us if we hung the "un-mentionables" on the outside.
(We also ironed all the sheets and pillowcases; I still do in my own home!)

oldcrow61 said...

I still use a clothes line, winter and summer. You can't beat the smell of sheets right off the line...heaven!

Traci said...

I don't know why my comment didn't post, but I love this mosaic. It really takes me back to growing up in a small town. I even had a photo of my father standing in front of our hedge with our neighbors laundry hanging in the background and Mr. Wiker's unmentionables in the background of the photo.
Gives me a chuckle to this day!
Thanks for visiting and following my blog!

Joyce said...

I loved this post. It brought back fond memories of my Mom and her sisters hanging clothes out almost every day of the year. I remember running out with Mom and pulling off the laundry as a storm was coming. Freeze dried laundry was always a winter thing. My Aunt Mary use to check out peoples clothes lines and always comment on them. If she thought someone made a nice laundry she would be there friend. I remember clothes pin bags and the smell of fresh sheets on my bed in the summer. Thanks for the fun memories:) Off to put my laundry in the dryer with fabric sheets:)
Joyce

jaydubblah said...

Oooh you've taken me back! I have a nasty whirly gig line now, I don't like it, but I still do a lot of those things.
HERE is mine

PEA said...

Such a delightful post:-) I have a clothesline which I just love using and really miss it in the Winter months when it's too cold to hang clothes outside. To me there is nothing more wonderful than going to bed on sheets that were hung outside to dry:-)

Giggled at the basic rules for clothes lines! hehe I actually do numbers 2, 3, 7 and 8!! lol xoxo

Jess said...

What a neat post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! I don't really remember clothes lines much...but i have heard tons from my grandma and mom.

Love you and have a great rest of the week

Jess

violetlady said...

Jo, I love that mosaic and the poem and rules, too. Certainly brings back memories of my girlhood. I have wanted a clothesline for a few years, but so far no luck with husband putting one up for me. There is nothing like that smell of sheets that have hung on the line.