Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Laundry on the Line

Freshly laundered sheets are swinging in the breeze on this oh so wonderfully rare dry day! I arrived home to a brand new clothline, the type your grandmother might have had in her backyard. Nothing is motorized, nothing retracts or folds up, just a T-pole with 5 ropes strung across. My husband installed it while I was at work and ran some sheets through the wash so they would be drying by the time I arrived home. What a nice surprise!

Now, we'll fashion a clothes pin bag from a recycled plastic milk jug or just pin a few to the bottom of our shirts as we attach each laundered piece letting the sun do its job rather than running the dryer.

We need to get a new dryer, ours is making a terrible racket even after being repaired three times. In the meantime we have been hanging our clothes as much as possible only to discover about a $25 reduction in the electric bill! Now I remember using a clothesline when I was younger so I'm game to keep this going. Perhaps I'll get inspired and sew an apron with a big clothespin pocket!

A Clothesline Poem (Anonymous)
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 tablecloth” with intricate design.
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 by 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.

beekeepersgirl #691
poem link


Manny said...

That T-pole looks pretty cool. I should get it for my mother. She loves to hang clothes on a line. What my mother does is sting a rope across a tree to the grape trellis. Knowing my mother she would probably never use the T-pole. She is so set in her ways...lol.

Mary Christine said...

Great clothesline! I envy you the smell and feel of sunshine dried sheets tonight! There is nothing better!

I have a very small yard, but I really need to put up a clothesline. I went for years without a dryer at all, which works in the arid west. I even used cloth diapers and dried them in the sun when my son was a baby. Wow. That makes me sound OLD!

me said...

I always try and dry outside, weather permitting. I have a rotary dryer. It's pretty big, as I got it when all the boys were at home. It used to house at least twenty school shirts a week, amongst other stuff! My tumble dryer only works when it feels like it! As you say, electric is worth saving too.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Manny, I guess whatever works, works!

Ros: I dont' know what a rotary dryer is but with 20 shirts a week, and that's only for school, it must be big!

The whites are being done today while I am gone since Tom's home today. I just hope he hangs the "unmentionables" on the inside ropes!

MC: Cloth diapers- they are probably better, not necessarily easier-but I have to admit I'm glad I had disposables. I hear that some new moms are going back to cloth.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Great post..

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thank you, Jackie. I've been enjoying yours as well

Unknown said...

Great poem! And how wonderful of your husband to surprise you like that! Enjoy your new line and fresh sheets! I'm sleeping on line dried sheets tonight for the first time in YEARS!! Thanks for sharing!

Linda Leigh @ My Magick Apron said...

I just came across your blog and LOVE this poem! We just recently hung a clothes line between two trees in the back yard of our rental house and I'm hanging clothes out to dry for the very first time!!! I love it!