I have been around clotheslines all of my life by women who used them. Today, after 37 years of marriage and six children later, I am still without a dryer because of choice. There is something so special within the act of laundry hanging. It allows you to slow down, taking each piece in hand and snapping it with a wooden clothespin to the line. It gives you time to pray, sort your thoughts, enjoy nature and be touched by a bit of sunshine.
Then the bringing in of that clean, breeze-blown basket of goodness is your reward and if you are doing sheets and bedding, well, that freshly made bed is just pure joy!
I had this poem in my notebook and thought I would share it since a number of us are on the precipice of Spring and all the loveliness it brings, hanging laundry being one.
The Clothes Line
by 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 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 night-clothes, 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 washing was dingy grey,
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 anybodies guess.
I really miss that way of life;
it was a friendly sign,
When neighbors knew each other best,
by what was on the line.