Basic rules for clotheslines

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Last week was perfect weather for line-drying clothes if you were brave enough. I was not for fear my unmentionables would end up all over the neighbourhood.

Received this email which brought back so many memories. I sure it will for many of you as well.

The Basic Rules for Clotheslines

1. Hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top.

2. Hang pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands.

3. WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes - walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. Hang the clothes in order. Always hang whites with whites and hang them first.

5. NEVER hang a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail! (What would the neighbors think?)

6. Wash day is Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines to hide your unmentionables in the middle (perverts and busybodies, y'know!)

8. Don’t worry about sub-zero weather... clothes will freeze-dry.

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines are tacky!

10. If you are efficient, you line the clothes up so clothespins are shared with the next washed item.

11. Get clothes off the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed.

12. IRONED???!! Well, that's a whole OTHER subject!

At home we had a long pole with a groove in the top which we put under the line to prevent clean items like sheets from dragging on the ground. There was also a poem attached to the email. Don’t know who the poet is but they obviously knew of what he/she spoke.

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, "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 out on that line.



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