Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rules for a Clothesline

Posted by Donna:

I happened to run across this a few days ago. It was sent to me several years ago by a long time friend. I have had it saved in my "stuff" file. Anytime I find something that I consider "special," I store it in this file for safe keeping. Otherwise, I delete it accidentally. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.


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


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! Pin It Now!


Wa Wa Waughs said...

My daughter has a clothesline at her little rent house...but no washer! Not sure if she would know how to use it! Of course all that's pretty foreign to me, too. Good to think about all the time-saving appliances we have today!

Donna said...

The last clothesline I had was at Eldorado--and I used it quite a bit. I have a friend who has one at her house--with odds and ends hanging on it--just for decoration. It's actually really cute!!! There have been times that I wished I had a small one.

Anonymous said...

LOL my mother refused to buy a dryer and she used the clothes line and followed the rules. Pinning shirts on she shoulder especially t-shirts would leave a lump on the shoulder of the sleeve thats why and she did #8 for sure and removed the pins too. Must say clothes smelled better, especially sheets that were hung outside. Years later when my dad had a couple of heartattacks the house got too much and they sold it, they rented an apartment and mom was shocked at all the lint on the dryer lint holder after one dry she regretted then never getting a dryer and go to dry in the winter at the laundry mat. Yup it was all her choice. Sigh.


Donna said...

That's cute about your mom. After my mother passed away, it was quite fun seeing how Daddy didn't trust all the appliances they had since he had to start using them. He hardly ever ran the dishwasher--afraid something might happen if he did. If he did use it, he wouldn't leave the house while it was running--it might run over!!!!

Anonymous said...

oh no, your poor dad. :)


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