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Clothesline Fresh

Years ago when I lived in the city, I was surprised to learn that certain subdivisions didn’t allow clotheslines. Evidently the neighbors didn’t think it was very classy to have your laundry flapping in the breeze for all to see. Classy or not, I’m glad I live in the country where I can hang rows and rows of Kindred clothes out to dry.

There’s something therapeutic about carrying out a basket of laundry and pinning one item at a time to the line for the sun to dry and the wind to kiss with the fresh smell of spring. I especially love the way freshly washed sheets smell after drying on the line. It’s like sleeping on sunshine, or bringing a little of the outdoors inside.

My clothesline is right next to our son’s ball court. More often than not, our boys and their friends play ball right next to white skivvies, T-shirts, and jeans. So far no one has complained. In fact, I don’t think they even notice it, except when someone throws the ball out of play and they have to crawl under the clothes to find it.

A friend of mine was reminiscing about hanging clothes on her line. “One day I looked outside and one of the neighbor’s dogs had the toe of my panty hose, and had pulled them as far as they could possibly stretch. I ran out of the house and yelled at him. He let go of the hose and they wound around the line at least five times. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen and it didn’t hurt the hose at all.”

My grandmother’s clothesline was next to her back porch, and in my mind I can still see her white cup towels, as she called them, hanging over a row of yellow daffodils. When Grandma first got married back in the 1930s, she made her own lye soap, then scrubbed her laundry in a big tin tub of scalding water that she heated on the wood stove.

I don’t think I have the time or the stamina to do laundry like she did, but come springtime I sure do enjoy drying clothes the old-fashioned way.

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