The following was sent to me by our friend and correspondent, Noel Garland


You have to be a certain age to appreciate this. I can hear my mother

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

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 - perverts and busy bodies,

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

7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins
left on the lines were "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 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 tablecloths
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 raised their brows,
And looked Disgustedly away.

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!

(Author Unknown)


Barbara said…
Don't remember how my Mother did it but most I do as it is common sense. Modern lines fold in and have covers of course so they don't get dirty. I still don't understand why some people peg shirts by the shoulders.
Sue in the Wood said…
No, they should have been hung by the shirt tails!! I don't use a line, now, and haven't in many years...thank God for the guy who invented the dryer!

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