Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Author unknown


A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbours passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbours 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 neighbours 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 neighbours knew each other best
By what hung on the line.

I remember everyone giggling about how the diapers were hung on the line and it meaning the baby would soon be here. Mom was getting ready or nesting as they used to call it. A friend of mine and I were talking about a mom who had a scheduled C-section and her milk hadn't come in and the baby hasn't had a wet diaper in 24 hours. We discussed that our bodies know when to have milk when we have our babies in God's time and not the doctors.


Goose Hill Farm said...

I love hanging my clothes out on the line. The texture, the smell.....MMMMM!


debbieo said...

Yesterday we had to take the clothes to the laundry mat because its been very cold, in the 20's and the forecast isnt good for a few more days and last night when I put my nightgown on it just didnt smell good. I miss the fresh smell. I am praying the RV park we will be in for a while will let us hang out clothes but I am not holding my breath. They didnt even seem to want kids there and my kids are practically grown.

Yolanda said...

I love the poem! I hope you won't be in an unfriendly neighborhood for too long, Deb! I have to fire back with a little ditty I wrote recently to send to www.right2dry.org Here it is:

Laundry Day (Hip-Hip Hooray!)

“Laundry Day” is said with ease,
But I am moved to differ.
Because of e-lec-tri-ci-ty
Our joints are getting stiffer.

“What can we do?” My heart doth cry,
Are we all doomed to suffer?
With all our faculties awry
Because of power’s buffer..

Between us and the need for work?
We sit and use our thumbs,
For texting, email and the like.
We’re turning into bums.

“No! No!” I cry, it cannot be!
We need lots more activity!
Get up, get out, oh see it there?
There’s swaying clothing in the air!

The sun is out, it’s warm, it’s free!
I’m moved to tears..how can it be
This simple labor I have found
Is possible the whole year round?

My limbs and joints quite happily
Engage in this activity.
I reminisce and contemplate
Beloved Earth’s eventual fate.

If we are very circumspect,
And treat Her with devout respect,
Our grandchildren will join the throng
Of happy launderers who prolong

Their own lives, and the lives of friends.
We will accomplish the good ends
Of clean air, land and water too.
I think this is what we must do!