I remember clothes lines.
To those who have grown up with the luxury of just throwing your clothes privately into a clothes dryer, it would seem very strange to do otherwise.
But there was a time when there was a line stretched between two poles and it was called a clothes line.
For those of you, who never experienced those days, consider this your history lesson. For those of you who lived back then, enjoy the memories.
Our family had two clothes lines at one point. My mother creatively put her clothes and mine on one line and my father’s and brother’s on the other. It made it easier to put the clothes away when dry because they were already sorted.
The clothes were attached to the line with clothes pins. My mother carried them in her apron pockets.
There was great rejoicing when we got a new type of clothes line. The new one had a kind of pulley system that allowed you to stand in one spot and hang the clothes and pull the line to the next available vacant spot.
Even better, it had a place to hang a bag that held the clothes pins. We thought we had really moved into the modern world!
Hanging the clothes out in the fresh air seemed to make them feel fresher than all the modern “fresh air” scented dryer sheets of today.
There were a few drawbacks. There was no privacy of clothes, including those “unmentionables.” It was even somewhat of a sport to see what other people had hanging on their lines.
There was also the issue of bird crap. Occasionally birds would either miss their target of earth or deliberately take aim at the clothes of the humans who were littering their air space. My mother would simply sigh deeply and bring the soiled clothes back in for another trip through the washing machine.
Insects also occasionally nested in the clothes pin bag, providing a surprise when one reached in to get a clothes pin.
And then there was the problem of storms, which happened frequently in my native South Carolina. My mother planned wash days in coordination with the weather report.
But there were those pop up showers that even the weatherman (in that time, it was only men who gave the weather) did not seem to know about.
The first roll of thunder was like yelling “incoming” during a war. We all knew our battle stations. We had a designated section of the line where we were to run and snatch the clothes off the line.
Though this was carefully coordinated, there were times when getting the clothes inside could have won us a spot on Candid Camera (and for you youngsters, I will have to tell you some other time what Candid Camera was).
We each headed for the house with our share of the wet clothes, often colliding on the way and having to decide in the rain who was leading and who was following!
When the day finally arrived that we got a
new machine called a clothes dryer, the clothes line was retired. Admittedly, it was easier to deal with drying clothes. But I kind of missed the sport of clothes hanging.
Clothes lines were an advancement before their time, using both wind and solar power!