Friday, July 17, 2009

The Old Clothesline

Back in Style?
Just a few days ago my Dad was mentioned in his blog about old time wash days. It was his entry #1777.

Mand's ClotheslineThen a few days ago my Granddaughter, Mandy, told in her blog about putting up a retractable clothesline. Read about her Green Weekend. Picture is Mandy’s clothesline from her post.

Then a few days ago my friends Faye and Charlie from Kentucky sent me the following about the old time clotheslines. You’ll find it interesting…


  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 "freeze-dry.."
  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.

Tennessee Granddaddy Says:
There are times when we need to clean house. Someone said to get
rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

Quote of the Day
God made time, but man made haste.
~Irish Proverb

Joke of the Day

When the store manager returned from lunch, he noticed his clerk's hand was bandaged, but before he could ask about the bandage, the clerk said he had some very good news for him.

"Guess what, sir?" the clerk said. "I finally sold that terrible, ugly suit we've had so long!"

"Do you mean that repulsive pink-and-blue double-breasted thing?" the manager asked.

"That's the one!"

"That's great!" the manager cried, "I thought we'd never get rid of that monstrosity! That had to be the ugliest suit we've ever had! But tell me. Why is your hand bandaged?"

"Oh," the clerk replied, "after I sold the guy that suit, his guide dog bit me."

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1 comment:

Mary Q Contrarie said...

Thanks for all the clothesline info and fun... I live in an apartment and use a clothes drying rack to dry my laundry. Is there ettiquette about what rooms you can have your unmentionables hanging in?