One of the joys of living where i do is having a clothesline to dry all laundry on. A day like today, sunny, little wind, is perfect for sheets, pillow cases, genes, shirts, skivvies, and all manner of socks, handkerchiefs and even jackets and sweaters. Seems as though the elastic lasts much longer when garments are air dried.
The sunshine and breeze offer a scent that is unmistakable and hard to beat for shear smell of cleanliness. When the weather is foul, I will dry shirts, pants and skivvies inside on the large center beam of my home. Living alone affords the use of the beam for laundry, and just like the clothesline, the drying is fine, and just has to be taken in when company comes by, or in the case of outside, when the sun starts sinking in the west….a couple times i came home, forgot all about the clothesline and next morning had to re-arrange the clothes on the line to dry out again.
There are a few rules for the clothesline, and you might have a few to add to the list…if you’ve ever seen an Amish home clothesline, you are seeing a true ‘masterpiece of laundry drying’…long ropes, usually running from the home to the barn, on a couple of pulleys.
(if you don’t know what clotheslines are, better skip this)
– Hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.
– You never hung a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?
– Wash day on a Monday! . .. . Never hang clothes on the weekend, or Sunday, for Heaven’s sake! I break this rule regularly, since a sunny day, after a week of rain, might afford the best weather conditions for clothesline drying.
– Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!) On the others hand, I hang my skivies and towels first, near the north end of the clothesline, the larger stuff, sheets and pillow cases and shirts follow suit down the line.
– It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather . . . Clothes would freeze-dry.” The wood stove will always thaw a stiff pair of pants and shirt…and in the winter time, putting on warmed clothes is a regal treat.
– Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were “tacky!” Yes…maybe…well some of the time, not all of the time…forget the word ‘tacky’…I always leave clothespins on the line, for those unexpected little jobs…like a towel or doggie bed that ‘just has to be cleaned‘ a few pins are not a problem.
– 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. I don’t do this, although my mom and grand-mom did…i like each item on it’s own, and sometimes with only one pin…if it’s not too windy.
– Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
IRONED? Just kidding…no ironing here. Not with the advent of ‘wash and wear’, perma-pressed and even good old 100% cotton. It all dries great out in the sun and wind. I still have an ironing board and even a ‘steam dry iron’…they are in the linen closet. i used to use the ironing board for sorting photographs and drying them. If you’re looking for a great iron, I suggest you check out the Best Shark Irons to Consider Using in 2021.
But that’s another story. This little story was totally inspired by Bob Dylan’s ‘ Clothesline Saga’….a very funny tune…and very, very true to any of us who don’t really mind doing laundry….