I Remember The Clothesline

My granddaughter is a very good basketball player. She’s fast as the wind, but she is also very quick on the ball, which makes for good defense. She has, however, recently picked up the very bad habit of playing with her arms outstretched, which makes me insane.

During the halftime of a recent game, she walked over and I grabbed the chance to do a little sideline coaching, and probably at least half a dozen times I told her that she had to quit “clotheslining.” Finally, on about the sixth time that I used the expression a light bulb went off in my head.

“Presley, you don’t know what a clothesline is, do you, baby?

“No ma’am.”

Well, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at my own stupidity! Obviously, by the time we’d gotten that far the half was over, and poor Presley still didn’t know anymore about a clothesline, but I was reminded once again how important it is that we write things down, take pictures, talk into a “tape” recorder (see what I mean?), do whatever we can to record our memories; even something as simple as the fact that people used to use a clothesline will one day interest those who have no idea that people who didn’t have a clothesline used the fence, a bush, or whatever!

I realize that I’ve talked more about basketball than I have an actual clothesline so before I close, let’s travel back a few years. Remember, when you could walk around town and every yard was fluttering on wash day?

And remember when clothespins were wooden and not for keeping a bag of chips fresh? Do we even call those plastic things clothespins or have they become clips? I don’t have a clue, but I do know that all of my grandchildren are going to get a lesson in clotheslines the next time they are here. Then, they will have their own memories to record one day.

“Remember when Gram used to tell us those goofy stories?” LOL

Photo from Wikipedia, but the line appears to be covered with plastic coating. Our clothesline was metal wire!

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About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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16 Responses to I Remember The Clothesline

  1. Kathy Johnston says:

    I remember those days when you hung the clothes out to dry. There was and still is nothing better than the sun to keep our white clothes white. In those days most of us had only white bed sheets, no colors. Those bed sheets fresh from the sun smelled so good!

  2. missy jones says:

    Yes, there is nothing that smells better or feels better than sheets on a bed that have just been brought in from the clothesline. No hotel, no matter how pricey, can get that on their beds. And, I remember I thought I was really grown up when I could, like my Mama, take that pillow, put it under my arm, and slip it into the pillowcase. My mother washed her clothes in a black washpot, with a fire under it to have the water really hot, and she used lye soap (that she had made), or later Proctor and Gamble white bar soap. I could use up two pages telling about washing clothes, and that is among my best memories.

  3. Mary Ann Gore says:

    I have 2 clothes lines, I like to put my husbands jeans and the towels outside on the clothes line. During the summer months and windy days. It saves on electricity and I get to enjoy some time outside. Plus it brings back fond memories of playing in the sheets as they blew in the wind while my mom was hanging out those fresh clean sheets.

  4. Kerry Dudley says:

    I had a clothes line at our house on West College and so did most of our neighbors. I miss it many days and hope to have another one, soon. There’s one at the little guest house we’re remodeling, and I intend to refresh it.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      It’s funny how much you forget, Kerry. Writing this article reminded me of being sent out to get the clothes off of the line. I even suddenly remembered the feel of taking one pin off of something and holding it in my lips while getting the other…not very sanitary, I know!

  5. Mack Courtney says:

    Yes, our dear younguns need to know about clothes-linein’ both on the ball court and in the backyard, since the present CIC in DC has been waging a war on homegrown energy I have noticed many of my neighbors putting up clotheslines. I think that getting rid of the clotheslines became a thing of showing our prosperity back in the 60s and 70s to let folks know we were rich enough to afford a ‘lectric dryer. I think putting up a clothesline today would show how smart and how with the “Go’in Green Culture” we are supposed to be getting into, plus as a flag of protest against “The War on Home grown Energy!” Don’t forget to thank our creator, God for bring the green landscape with all the beautiful flowers to Comanche County via all the much needed ran that we have been recently blessed with…Thank you God!. That is the kind of green I can really get into…

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      My doing away with the clothesline had to do with 2 things only.

      1. I went to work and needed the time saving dryer.
      2. My yard became much prettier without it! LOL

  6. Mack Courtney says:

    P.S. Oh God won’t you let me learn how to type and speell writing right?

  7. Lavoy says:

    Fredda, writing about a clothes line brings another memory…….. Mother would drag
    mattresses, pillows outside to get a day of sunning. It was part of Spring cleaning. The
    mattresses were not 12″ thick then and were made of cotton filling, topped with a feather bed for
    added comfort. I still take pillows outside for a day of sun….you cannot get that clean smell any
    other way!

  8. Sharon Hutson says:

    Lots of things besides clotheslines have gone by the wayside in our lifetime. Manners and “delicacy” being two. Mother and Daddy moved to town in the late 80’s; Mother had a clothesline in the backyard, immediately adjacent to a busy east/west street. Being from a more modest generation she scolded me roundly one day for hanging underwear on the streetside of the two lines. No lady would ever do that; unmentionables went on the inside line, screened from view by sheets, towels, shirts, etc.!! Mother would be horrified in these days of skimpy tops and “fault lines” below jeans waists! SH

  9. lynette355 says:

    I still have my clothes line and use it on any given day. I love that it is now “green” when before it was just me being frugal. Honestly it gives me fresh smelling clothes and time out in the sunshine and fresh air. I also get the benefit of those great bending and stretching exercises as I hang up my laundry. Top it off that is when the dogs know they get to run free with me and not have to stay in the pen. Good thing all the way around to have.

  10. Missy Jones says:

    Concerning the clothesline. A wonderful nephew and his wife built a home in a new division somewhere in the metroplex. they were putting up a clothesline, and found out that was against the “rules”. Now, a number of years later, seems like the gov. wants us to dry our clothes the “green” way. Hey, are we going back or what? missy jones

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