“The clothesline was the original newspaper of the community.” ~ Erma Bombeck
I’ve served my time in suburbia, in neighborhoods resembling a Monopoly board at the game’s final round. I’ve lived in communities that insisted you recycle, but if you attempted to conserve energy and money by daring to hang your laundry out to dry it was cause for controversy.
I know people who look at clotheslines with disdain, as an indicator of wealth or rather, the lack thereof; but for me a clothesline is something more, a long thread connecting to a sometimes dimly remembered past, filled with people I loved. I cannot see one without recalling my Gram or mother wearing an apron over a house dress, standing on a back porch near a laundry basket hanging wet clothes, towels, sheets and pillow cases.
You cannot find the scent of fresh air in a container no matter what the commercial promises. I know I am blessed to live in an age with modern conveniences that save time and energy, but somehow I can’t imagine anyone getting nostalgic gazing at a gas or electric dryer.
“The Clothesline Said So Much”
~ Marilyn K. Walker
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 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 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 carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.
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!
Linking to Decor to Adore’s Friday’s Favorite Pin