Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Soozi just wrote remembering her mother using bleach on wash day, she went on to say the house either smelled like baking or bleach.

After I read her note, I started thinking about clothes lines. Especially since most areas no longer have them. If you wanted to hang things out, where would you put them? People who use cloth diapers still lay them on their lawn to bleach out. That snowy white from the sun can't be matched.

I remember on Oakland Park Road the clothes lines were right out the side door which faced a crab apple orchard and then to the back yard. Mother learned that wren's build nests in pockets.

I remember the clothes lines on Arnold Avenue. The back yard was all landscaped except for where the lines were. It was not a play like yard.

We moved to Kneale Avenue next, the lines where in the back, and instead of two poles, one side was fastened to the garage. The pole was metal and every spring mother painted the pole and the fuel oil tank with silver paint. We were in big trouble if we pretended it was any sort of live being--an elephant, a horse, or even a rhinoceros because it scuffed the paint. Oh well, we rode elephants at other people's houses that didn't paint them.

From Kneale we moved to the farm. Mother had a concrete slab under the lines there. The hunting dog liked to poop there, what did he know, he was raised in a kennel. So on wash day, one not only cleaned the lines with a cloth but shoveled the Diamond do too. We have talked about this before but it is worth mention again: Underwear went in the center as not to be exposed to anyone seeing them and all the crotches better go the same way.

From the farm to Kneale again and when mother went to camp for two weeks, I put everything in the dryer. I saw no reason to drag clothes from the basement to outside, let them dry and bring them back in. Mother always had a dryer; she used it only for towels.

Even in their last house, built in 1975, mother had clothes lines. And you can bet the crotches on the panties were all the same direction on the center line. By now she had graduated to vinyl lines which replaced the metal wire. More than once she had to tighten them up. She had a thing about droopy lines and she NEVER left her clothes pin bag hanging outside. Clothes pins were the straight kind, never the spring kind because the might mark the garment.

Here? I think the posts have been gone for a very long time. DO we have clothes pins? Yes, they work great for sealing cracker tubes, potato chip bags, securing a cloth around a broom to brush walls and dust exposed wood floors. The straight pins make great little people all painted up like tin soldiers!

My question to you is? Do you remember where your clothes line was? Bet you a clothes pin, you do!!!


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