Elk County Forum

General Category => The Good Old Days => Topic started by: Bonnie M. on March 25, 2008, 12:55:28 PM

Post by: Bonnie M. on March 25, 2008, 12:55:28 PM
This may have been posted before, but I missed it.  (Or, forgot it!)   


The clothes line....a dead give away. Do the kids today even know what a clothes line is? For all of us who are older, this will bring back the memories.


1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes. Walk the length of each line with a damp cloth around the line.

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.

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 line was '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 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!
Post by: pam on March 25, 2008, 12:58:42 PM
I used to love seein a line full of sheets and towels blowin on the line. Still do cause I use my clothesline all the time lol. They just smell so good when you bring em in
Post by: frawin on March 25, 2008, 01:06:12 PM
I, too, grew up using the clothesline and used it after I was married for several years.  I loved hanging the laundry out in good weather, spring, fall and summer, but sure didn't like it when it was cold.  Sometimes I wish I still had one, just to use for a few things.
Post by: Judy Harder on March 25, 2008, 02:40:45 PM
I still hang up my wash. Altho when winter is here unless I am broke I will use the dryer.

Hands get to suffering when I have to cope with freezing temps.

I also hang up the clothes just the way mom use to............but, I don't have enough for two loads so
I must combine the  whole wash.

I don't have Whites.....just light colored and even my towels are colored.....so feel I can deal with that.

I still iron, too.......and it does feel so good when it is all done and I still get exercise then too.
When the winter was so long and the ice was here I just hated to dry in the dryer..........and since it is nice....
each week now you will see my laundry on the line..

As long as health lasts, and God so wills
Post by: frawin on March 25, 2008, 08:43:00 PM
Judy, I iron too!  I hate to see people in clothing that really should have been ironed and isn't.
Post by: Wilma on March 25, 2008, 09:12:31 PM
I can really relate to the clothesline, but I didn't know that the reason my mother insisted the clothespins be removed from the line was because it looked tacky.  I thought is was so they wouldn't get dirty.  I was taught to hang like things together, so I sorted items when taking them from the last rinse.  All the big towels, then all the hand towels, then the wash cloths and when I got to the clothesline they were all ready to be hung without sorting.  Also, when I took them in, they were already sorted ready for folding.

I have good memories of hanging clothes when we lived in Ottawa County.  We were way out in the country, there was an alfalfa field just south of the yard and when it was blooming, you can imagine the fragrance.  One day after the alfalfa had been cut and I was hanging clothes, I looked up and there was a snake running on his hind legs as fast as he could across the alfalfa towards me.  I just stood still, he stopped, stood straight up and looked at me, then continued on his way.  My husband told me later that it must have been a blue racer.  You know I don't like snakes, but this one didn't give me time to react.

There were also days that the dust blew and the clothes got dirty before they got dry.  And days so cold that I didn't need clothespins to keep them on the line.  And sometimes when they were almost dry, I had to hurry and get them in to keep them from being rained on.  Yes, hanging clothes outside was one of the chores that I didn't mind doing, but now, I like putting them in the dryer where they get dry, the snakes don't visit me, I don't have to bring the clothespins in and maybe best of all, they can stay in the dryer until I am ready to fold and put away.
Post by: sixdogsmom on March 25, 2008, 09:34:34 PM
I miss the clothesline. I used to really enjoy hanging out clothes, but it got to be too much and work a job too. It is time consuming and must be tended when needed and not at your convenience. I used to have a great tomcat that liked to bushwhack me from under a sheet or large towel. One day I felt a stare, and looked up to see him out on the tippy end of a close-by tree branch. He had planned to bushwhack me from a new perspective, but he ended up falling out of the tree. He broke his fall by grabbing the clothes on the line on the way down. He was a great cat, and I miss him as well. This thread brings back some great memories; didn't have so much but the quality was there. I worry about the price of gas now, and then I didn't have a car to go in when I wanted. How funny!!
Post by: Judy Harder on March 26, 2008, 08:54:03 AM
aren't memories wonderful?.

A lot of things I wouldn't want to live through again......but, when we reminiss like this
I can smile and say...yep I did that and I lived to tell about it.

Course, there are a lot of things I do wish I could forget................guilt just plain guilt.

Surprising that we all survive and play "remember when".
Post by: flo on March 26, 2008, 09:28:25 AM
When I bought this house, the first thing the "men in the family" said is we need to take down those clothesline poles.  NO WAY - they are a pain to mow around, but dryers have a way to going on the blink and I might need to string up a clothesline  ::) and there is nothing like crawling between sheets fresh off the clothesline, something I haven't done in many a year. :-\
Post by: pam on March 26, 2008, 10:55:12 AM
Lol, first thing I did when we moved out here was talk a guy I knew out of the clothesline poles his wife made him take out of their yard. He couldn't believe I wanted em!
Post by: Lookatmeknow!! on March 26, 2008, 12:50:00 PM
I love to hang my clothes on the lines, too.  I don't take down my clothes pins like I am supposed to.  I was doing really good, but got lazy one day and forgot to take them down.  In the winter I try and pick a good weekend so that I can do my bedding.  Sorry but I dont have time during the week to get my clothes washed have to do it on the weekend. :o
Post by: Wilma on March 26, 2008, 01:39:27 PM
Almost all of us used to work, too.  We know what your time problems are.  Just glad I don't have them anymore.  My main problem with hanging clothes on a line is no line, not able to reach if it if I did have and living in town there is so much dust and exhaust fumes on two sides of me that my clothes wouldn't have that fresh from the line smell.
Post by: pam on March 26, 2008, 01:53:07 PM
yeah i know what ya mean, that's the best thing about out here, it's about 4 miles to the nearest busy road lol make that nearest KINDA busy road. I know what ya mean about time too but since I been layed off I gotta fill the time lol
Post by: Devyn-Leann on March 28, 2008, 10:44:38 AM
That was my first request when we put our new house in. I WANT a clothesline! Did I get it? Yes! Do I love it? Absolutely 100%. I use it as much as I can. And it's especially handy for our big down comforter that won't fit in the dryer. Since I live out in the middle of nowhere, I get the nice fresh smell.
Post by: cheyronni on March 28, 2008, 01:41:15 PM
I learned form my grandma Bonnie Edwards that she hung her bedding items on the line on days that it was supposed to rain so that they smelled good. I did it when I had a clothes line and she was so right I loved climbing in my bed after my sheets had been rained on and they smelled so good.
Post by: Teresa on March 29, 2008, 12:13:53 PM
My mama taught me the "proper" way to hang clothes on a line.. and I have 2 beautiful clotheslines in the back here and that was the first thing my mom said," Ohhh you have clotheslines!"..   I thought she was loony.., cause there is much neater things in this house than THAT!   :D
 I will use it for towels and sheets this spring.. but I fold all my clothes as I take them off the line.. that way it is done and I just have to put away when I get in the house.
Post by: flo on March 29, 2008, 02:48:56 PM
that's what I always done.  You went to the trouble to hang them properly and wrinkle free so why wad them up in a basket -