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Thu Jan 19, 2012, 02:25 PM

Remembering Mom's Clothesline

There is one thing that's left out. We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn't brush the ground and get dirty.

You have to be a "certain age" to appreciate this one.... (But you YOUNGER ones can read about "The GOOD ol' days"!!)

I can hear my mother now.....

THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES:
(If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top.
2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands.
3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes - walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.
4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.
5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?
6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake!
7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!)
8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... clothes would "freeze-dry."
9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky"!
10. 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.
11. Clothes off of 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!

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Remembering Mom's Clothesline (Original post)
csziggy Jan 2012 OP
cyberswede Jan 2012 #1
snacker Jan 2012 #3
csziggy Jan 2012 #4
monmouth Jan 2012 #2
lumpy Jan 2012 #5
csziggy Jan 2012 #9
grilled onions Jan 2012 #6
era veteran Jan 2012 #7
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2012 #12
Lars39 Jan 2012 #17
GoneOffShore Jan 2012 #8
csziggy Jan 2012 #10
GoneOffShore Jan 2012 #23
csziggy Jan 2012 #24
Arugula Latte Jan 2012 #28
femmocrat Jan 2012 #11
Dead_Parrot Jan 2012 #13
annabanana Jan 2012 #14
we can do it Jan 2012 #15
erinlough Jan 2012 #16
snagglepuss Jan 2012 #18
csziggy Jan 2012 #19
ChazII Jan 2012 #20
LNM Jan 2012 #21
csziggy Jan 2012 #25
KT2000 Jan 2012 #22
ChazII Jan 2012 #26
Brother Buzz Jan 2012 #27
tabbycat31 Jan 2012 #29

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 02:52 PM

1. I love my clothesline.

The smell of clothes dried outside is fantastic!

One of my mom's rules: always give the item a good shake before hanging to reduce wrinkles.

Now, ironing is another story...I rarely iron anything - yuck!

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 03:13 PM

3. I agree...

I use mine year-round, even here in Wisconsin. NOTHING smells as wonderful as clothes dried outside on the line!

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 03:29 PM

4. The problem around here is the pollen

In the spring everything is yellow with pollen. If it doesn't rain, there will be little drifts of pollen everywhere. The clothes would be covered in pollen. I'd never be able to wear the clothes dried outside at that time of year, much less use the linens!

Much of the rest of the year it's too wet for clothes hung outside to dry. They'd just hang there and mold.

My older sister sent this clothesline thing to me but apparently she doesn't remember when Mom had to stop using the clothesline because of her (sister's) allergies.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 02:56 PM

2. And the smell, that wonderful smell of clean clothes air-dried. n/t

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 03:58 PM

5. Ah, the clothesline, I remember it well. In the winter I would gather the frozen clothes off

the line. Mom said when they thawed out they were just right for ironing.

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Response to lumpy (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 08:39 PM

9. For doing needlework I've found that the best way to get wrinkles out of linen

Is to dampen the linen, freeze it, then take it out of the freezer and immediately iron it. I've gotten fold lines out that way that would not come out with just ironing damp linen even with the hottest settings on my iron.

I don't iron clothes - if the clothes need ironing, they go to the dry cleaners. But I do iron my needlework fabric and finished projects, LOL.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 04:34 PM

6. I Remember It Well

As a child I used to hang the clothes pin bag around my neck and pretend to be an organ grinder! Many times certain clothes went from line to freezer if one did not have time to sprinkle/iron the clothes.
One always watched the sky for signs of clouds. A heavy rain meant rehanging the clothes indoors. Many a stormy day one had to take a detour around the temporary clothes line in the house/basement/attic and horrors beyond horrors if a friend or relative dropped in. Fortunately most also were home on Monday doing their laundry.
It used to be Monday...washing Tuesday...Ironing Somewhere in there was also starching doilies and what not. They were always stretched out on newspaper and tacked down with pins. Friday was the major cleaning day for weekend guests. As kids we just thought it routine.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 04:43 PM

7. I remember catching one with my Adam's Apple while running.

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Response to era veteran (Reply #7)


Response to era veteran (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 10:09 PM

17. My cousin did that...except Pa used wire instead of rope for the clothesline.

Like to have killed himself and the rest of us like to died laughing at him.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 04:45 PM

8. You got them all. And now for the ironing!

Did you have an electric mangle for ironing sheets? We did.

Or those expandable aluminum forms for putting in trousers so you saved time ironing and put a crease in the pants?

My dad taught me how to iron shirts.

Yoke first, then the back of the collar, then inside of the cuffs and outside of the sleeves, open the shirt and iron the back, fold over one front piece (either - only time you've got a choice) iron that then the other. Place on hanger then button.

Spray starch was fun.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 08:43 PM

10. I had to demonstrate how to iron a shirt for Home Ec class

Got an A for it, but I think I've ironed maybe three shirts in the 45 years since then. I very early along decided that I'd rather pay a dry cleaner to do my "fancy clothes" than do them myself. But since I ran a farm for many years, I didn't need to wear fancy clothes too often. If I'd worked in an office, I couldn't have afforded the dry cleaning bills!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 08:32 AM

23. I still iron shirts when I'm going on holiday.

Had to teach Mrs GoS how to do it, but she hates ironing so it falls to me.

When I worked as a waiter and had to wear a tux I had all my shirts laundered and starched.

I actually like ironing. It's kind of nice to do. Contemplative.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 11:46 AM

24. I've always hated wearing shirts with collars

So the kind of shirts that need ironing are not my preferred. Fortunately as a woman, I can avoid those kinds of shirts for most stuff. But when I was showing horses, I HAD to wear shirts with collars. I'd put one on, go in the class and as soon as the class(es) were over, the shirt came off. Since most of the shows were in the spring or summer in Florida or Georgia, I'd just wear a T-shirt or tank top underneath.

And living in Florida is probably why I hate ironing. The first two decades of my life were spent without air conditioning. Ironing, especially steam ironing, was not the least bit nice or contemplative. Though I do have to say, when you don't have A/C, sleeping on smooth ironed sheets does feel nice.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 12:54 PM

28. I never iron

I just spray wrinkly clothes with a spray bottle and let 'em hang and dry overnight.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 08:43 PM

11. I still "hang out".

And I have nice memories of helping my mother hang, take down, and fold the clothes right off the line. We would sit on the picnic table, folding the clothes.

I always hang pants by the waistband though!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 08:53 PM

13. Hell, I still do all that

Apart from the "off of the line before dinner time" bit. I never have my shit together in the morning.

Ironing.... not so much.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 09:19 PM

14. I break nearly ALL of these rules, but I love

the smell of clothes dried in the sun & wind.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

15. I Love My Clothesline Just Hung Clothes Out Last Week Here In Ohio!

(I don't do the freeze dry thing btw)

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 09:50 PM

16. My mother gave me these same rules.

and, I still follow them!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 10:32 PM

18. I take it that you had a single line without the wheels at either end?

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 11:58 PM

19. Mam had one of the square rigs with a center pole and four arms

With lines run between the arms. Like this:


Since I don't remember it being up all the time, I think she folded it up and put it away except when she was using it. But she quit drying clothes outside when I was about five because of the allergies some of us kids had. The other part was that our washer quit and I think she got so she liked going to the laundromat. They had air conditioning and we didn't, so in the summer it was probably a nice break for her!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 12:30 AM

20. Okay, I admit I break rule

#9 at times. Living in the sun belt I don't have to worry about rule #8. Otherwise I follow the rules but bend number 10. If it is cold and the load is small I will leave more space between each row and each item.

It is cool to see that others use the solar dryer. I did not realize there were so many of us.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 12:35 AM

21. As i recall there was a burning ban on Mondays so you could hang your wash in clean air

that's why everyone washed on Mondays, in the 60s anyway. Maybe in the 50s too.

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Response to LNM (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 11:49 AM

25. I know now there is no burning ban on any day of the week here

In the spring most of the plantations do prescribed burns - burning off the underbrush to encourage quail and reduce underbrush. And that is another reason hanging wash out to dry would not work here - when they are burning, the wash would be covered in ashes!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 03:15 AM

22. A wash well hung is a wash half ironed !

Rule 13 from my mom.

I'm a total fanatic about clothesline drying so I do break rule 6.

And remember this - dryer lint is your clothes and linens wearing out!!

I save a lot of money not using the dryer too.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 11:50 AM

26. Rule 13 is one

that is very important and also true. Less wrinkles if clothes are hung properly. Thanks for adding to the list.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 12:28 PM

27. It may have been "tacky" but we always left a few crappy pins on the line

The old sun-bleached weathered ones were neatly pinned to one end were for incidental use: swimsuits, beach towels, wash rags, etc.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 03:24 PM

29. I use a clothesline (or drying rack_

And I NEVER hang shirts up from the bottom. It stretches them out. Always by the shoulders

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