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Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at 8:00 AM

Wash & Wear
Margie has been wanting me to put up a clothesline since almost the day we moved on the farm(stead). I know it's a good idea that will save us money for one thing, but somehow or another, other projects have forced their way ahead of a clothesline.

Now I know I've got poles aplenty for this project around the place, but I need to get some concrete for the pole supports, and some kind of rope or wire that doesn't stretch or rust.

Then, in my email today I get the following so I guess my weekend may be getting planned for me...


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

THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES: (if you don't know what clotheslines are,

better skip this)

1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes-walk the

entire lengths 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 & busybodies, y'know!)

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 table cloths"

With intricate designs.

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 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 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!

Showing comments in chronological order
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I have a clothesline in my back yard that I use quite often. Helps save on the electric bill, and there's nothing quite like the smell of clothes fresh from the line. As far as the rope or wire that doesn't stretch or rust goes, there is now a plastic coated wire that works wonderfully. My mom helped me fix my clothesline a few years ago, and we went to Orscheln for the supplies. They had everything we needed. Good luck with your new project!

-- Posted by dlfiend4ever on Wed, Apr 22, 2009, at 3:19 PM

I love my clothesline. Hubby wanted to build a garage in the back yard but it didn't happen because it would have required taking down my clothesline!

-- Posted by Cavalier Mom on Thu, Apr 23, 2009, at 4:13 PM

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