Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Remember the Clothes Line???

The Clothes Line - the best gossiper in the neighborhood!

Do you remember the clothes line?
Oh, what tales it would tell, if it could only speak. Even in its voiceless state it boldly flaunted the kind of underwear a person wore, sizes whether small, medium or large, color combinations that sometimes looked like fruit basket turnover, and of course, how many times the wash rags and dry cloths had been used (this was evidenced by the number of holes and dinginess in color).

What did it tell of the days when the line sagged from being overloaded? Well, before the age of the automobile, long before the jet plane, in order to visit friends and family people had to travel across rocky, dusty terrain either on foot, by horseback, buggy, stage coach or covered wagon. When they reached their destination, the stay normally was not just a few hours or merely one day, but stretched on for days, even weeks. Back then, when someone had company, the clothesline would proudly announce, "Company's here!" Swaying in the breeze one would find extra linens - sheets and pillow cases, cleaning rags, double (maybe triple) daily clothing - more of anything than what was exposed on a regular wash day. This was a time when outside claimed the visitation more than inside. Front porch chatter permeated the air as conversations centered about homes and families with tales of both happy and sad times since the last visit. Children romped and played in the yard until the dinner bell rang or someone shouted, "Come and get it!"

What signs of growth did the clothes line bear? A new member of the family has arrived! Cloth diapers and simple little shirts, all having been washed by hand, dangled one by one, row by row sometimes more than once a day. As for other children, ages of each child could be deciphered from the size and style of each article pinned carefully to the line. From infant to toddler to young child, the cycle of life could be traced as one item no longer found its place along the line and was replaced by another of larger size.

What about Papa and Mama? No modesty allowed here whatsoever! "Daddy needs a new pair of long johns," the clothes line would shout! Shades of grey or bleached white would boldly stretch outward as rays of sunlight filtered through the thin spots reflecting signs of wear. Then, of course, there were the flaps, not securely fastened, but openly catching the wind and flopping about in rhythmic motion with the breeze.

As for Mama, the clothes line had no mercy. No, sir! Panties, bras, petticoats, you name it, all swayed unblushingly as the heat of the noonday sun belted down upon the fabric until every last drop of moisture was sucked up into the clouds. Want to know how much time Mama stayed in the kitchen? Just check out the aprons! On some days it would be hard to tell which burdened the clothes line the most - the diapers or the aprons.

On any given day, one could ascertain the comings and goings, wants and needs of a family just by inspecting its clothes line! On Sundays, the clothes line would get its rest as the dirty laundry would just have to wait one more day.

What about today? Are the clothes lines still carrying their heavy loads or have they been replaced by the modern-day machine that whirls and twirls until what was once a soggy mess becomes soft and fluffy? It is certain the clothes line has not completely become reminiscent of the past but its viability might be questioned.

Let's put it to a test. . .

What are the steps for machine drying?
  • Wash the clothes (obviously)
  • Remove from washer
  • Separate any items that do not go into the dryer
  • Place said items on hangers to air dry
  • Load the dryer with the remaining items
  • Decide on the temperature setting (Will same temp suffice for all items dried together or will the items need to be sorted and await their time?)
  • Set the dryer time (best guess)
  • Listen for the buzzer to announce cycle is over hoping the clothes are dry at the end of this time

What are the steps for line drying?
  • Wash the clothes (obviously)
  • Remove from washer
  • Place all clothes in carrying basket along with clothes pins
  • Hang all clothes on the line while enjoying the fresh air
  • Let the sun do the rest of the work (rainy days you get to rest)

Ah-h-h-h-h! The smell of sundrying beats any dryer sheets on the market!
What do you think - would you be willing to air your (clean) laundry?


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    Hope you enjoyed your visit as you journeyed through a flashback in time.