Sunday, August 22, 2010

For The Love Of A Clothesline

There's just something about a clothesline.  Every time I see one it brings back memories of simpler times.Ever since I can remember we always had a clothesline growing up. Back then it was pretty much out of necessity.With four children and 2 adults there was always laundry to do. I remember our clotheslines were long and I can still see my mom pounding in those thick hooks to hold the pulleys and expertly stringing the line through the tightener to make a perfect clothesline. At times we had so much laundry I can remember the clothesline being full and my mom would put blankets and sheets on the grass to dry. I can also remember the fun we had as kids diving in and out between the sheets and blankets hanging on the line. I'm sure mom knew we did that but I don't remember her yelling at us for it. I can remember hanging clothes on my grandma's clotheslines on the farm and having to use tree branches to prop up the lines to keep the clothes from dragging on the ground.

I think we've all used the concept of a clothesline at one time or another. Can you remember hanging your bathing suit or towel over a tree branch, rock, fence post or porch railing to dry?
I was talking to my stepmother on the phone the other day and she said where they live in Connecticut they are not allowed to have clotheslines.They say it lowers property values and is a marked sign of poverty. Poverty? I say practical. Personally I think  the benefits of having a clothesline far outway the negatives. Dryers use between 6-10 percent of all household energy.  Clotheslines save both energy and money.Sunlight is a natural bleacher and disinfectant. Clothes last longer and don't shrink as much by line drying them.  For me hanging clothes is a stress reliever and a way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. The smell of freshly dried laundryfrom a clothesline just can't be beat.
I'm not saying everybody has to love a clothesline but for me I wouldn't be without one. In fact if a clothesline ban ever comes to Franklin I might just need someone to come and bail me out of jail!

1950's Clothesline LATimes


  1. I would so love a clothesline. Our neighborhood won't allow one. I might bring it up at our neighborhood meeting in September, though!

  2. Your memories are so sweet! My memories are less so.....I remember quilts and heavy work clothes and overalls, and it all being very heavy! And I am probably the only person on the planet who doesn't like the smell of line-dried clothes; it smells hot to me.

    But when you write about it, it all sounds enchanting!

  3. I love clothes dried on the line. Especially my sheets. It does to me what lavender does to others.

  4. Hi Cindy,
    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for some ideas on "women hanging clothes on a clothesline" because that is the next mat I wish to hook...
    My Gosh, the things that you said about hanging clothes and indeed putting extra on bushes, etc..reminds me so much of the way things were in my time...
    Love your blog...