Friday, May 14, 2010

Laundry Recollections...

I love hanging laundry out to dry. There are so many fond memories associated with it for me. When I was a little girl, my momma always hung laundry to dry. Even in the wintertime she always had a way to do it in the house. In later years she owned a dryer, but never used it to dry the clothing... only to "fluff up" some things. She said that a dryer would "beat up" the clothes and wear them out faster. She was right. Back in those days the only clothesline available was the white cotton kind, which stretches, and she had some long pieces of wood with notches in the ends and she would prop up the middle of the clotheslines so the laundry would not drag on the ground. My favorite part was how she hung our sheets. One end was pinned to one line, and the other end was pinned to the adjacent line, so there was this beautiful sheet with a "tunnel" in the middle. I used to go and look at that and wish that I could climb up in there and take a nap. I think about that every time I hang out the sheets!

Here is today's laundry:

In 1977 we lived in a little house that had no place to hook up a washer or dryer. Money was very tight, so I couldn't afford to go to a laundromat. I did our washing in a wash tub in the bathroom and found an old hand-cranked wringer that I attached to an open drawer. Needless to say, doing the laundry was quite a chore! Even so, though, I didn't have to heat the water like our grandmothers would have. One day I had hung all the laundry out to dry, and my little girl (see her in the picture) who was 3 years old, pulled one of the sheets off the line and got it all dirty. I was not pleased, and in order to make the punishment fit the crime, I made her wash it again for me. She thought it was great fun! Fortunately, she never repeated her crime. :-)

Scroll forward about 22 years and here is another laundry photo. This is the daughter of the little girl you see above, enjoying HER mom's drying sheets!

These pictures are all framed and hanging in my laundry room. This next one is a drawing that one of our granddaughters drew of the hanging laundry when she was living here.

And I still have that washboard.....


  1. What a neat idea for decorations in the laundry room. I have my washboards up and stuff like that, but I like the family photos. I may have to do that. My husband said he is hanging his wash on the line and he loves it.
    I agree with your mom, the dryer does beat up and wear out your clothes.
    I wonder why it is such an enjoyable chore to hand out clothes?

  2. For me, at least, there are no down sides to the chore. Being outside in the sun, listening to the birds, saving money on the utility bill, taking more careful care of the clothes.... yep, it's a win-win!

  3. I wish we could hang up our clothes. It make them more fresh than a dryer.

  4. Yes, it certainly does. I wish you could, too.

  5. I love hanging out my clothes too. I love the way that they smell, I also like saving money, and I like being outside. I don't ever remember hating to hang out the clothes when I was a kid either... I think it is terrible that Isabel can't hang laundry out there where they live. They even have a walled in back yard. Its not like anyone would see it if that is what they are worried about.

  6. I don't know how I missed this post before! I love those pictures! I wish we could hang out our laundry. Homeowners Association you are mean!!!! The people next to use might "see" our laundry hanging out if they are in the top floor of their house looking outside, and we can't have that now, can we?

  7. Hello! You have such sweet memories - they were a pleasure to read. :)

    The pictures are SO cute! :)

    My Grandma hung out all of her clothes, too. And she washed all of the clothes in a wringer washing machine in the 1970's and 1980's. My brother lived with her one year and I can remember our jeans frozen stiff on the line in winter. lol We would 'knock' on them to show how frozen they were.

    Have a wonderful day, Robin

  8. Robin, my mother had a wringer washer too! I can remember so clearly helping her with the laundry. Glad you like my pictures. :)

  9. I love that these things are in your laundry room with so much meaning and memories behind them!

  10. I love to hang out laundry too…. I don't have a clothesline outside, but I think I am getting one this coming spring. I have fond memories of hanging the laundry at my Grandma's house (she is the one that taught me) and she had the same wooden poles that you mentioned in your story. Every time I the laundry I think of my Grandma. She taught me to shake the clothes when they come out of the washing machine, less wrinkles, easier drying… and I always shake my laundry. I just taught my 5-year old daughter about shaking the laundry… she loves it!

    1. AmyD, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories. Your daughter is very lucky. :D How nice that you will be getting a clothesline in the spring!


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