St. Patrick's Day

Good afternoon, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. Welcome. I think I posted enough St. Patrick's cards, so didn't have one for today. The poem below came into our email today, and thought I'd share it with you. Some of you may have memories of the clothesline.  I surely do. Miss having one now.  I can remember propping a pole with a slotted end to hold up the clothesline so that it didn't sag with the weight of the clothes. I  also remember the wind blowing the pole down, and you'd have to run outside so the clean clothes didn't drag the ground too!. Enjoy .

It's the poem at the end that's the best!!!
Remembering Mom's Clothesline

There is one thing that's left out.
We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clotheslines up
so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn't brush the ground and get dirty.

I can hear my mother now...


(If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top.
2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands.
3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes
walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.
5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail!
What would the neighbors think?

6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend,
or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could
hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!)

8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... clothes would "freeze-dry."

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes!
Pins left on the lines were "tacky"!

10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

12. IRONED??!! Well, that's a whole OTHER subject!
And now a POEM...

A clothesline was a news forecast, To neighbors passing by, There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, For neighbors 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, "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 neighbors 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 neighbors knew each other best... By what hung on the line


Thanks for joining me - on another gloomy rainy afternoon. Come again soon. Hugs


  1. Mary every word of the clothes line is so true, my washing goes out on the line when it can, infact I had a couple of wash loads out and dried yesterday. We had a great drying wind and I got all the bedding done dried, ironed and put back on the bed because the fresh air smell was wonderful. I had the pillows and duvets out to for a while so it was great getting into bed last night. And yes I use wash poles too. Hazel xx

  2. Happy St Patrick's Day.
    Oh! how! true! You can tell a lot about people by the things on their line.
    I just LOVE to hang my clothes out. I have to have 2 clothes pins the same colour for each garment. A bit OCD but that's me.
    Had all my clothes out today, dried, ironed, and put away, including all the bedding
    Crafty Hugs

    Patricia x

  3. Yes I still have a clothes line and dutifully cleaned it the other day before hanging out the sheets, first time this year. I was always taught the rule of thumb for hanging out washing is, if you wear it above the waist you hang it by the bottom and if you wear it below the waist you hang it by the top.
    My Daughter hangs out washing when weather permits but she have a dryer, I do not and have never wanted one.
    Props we call them over here.
    Also I was taught to never, never, ever hang washing out on Good Friday.

    Kath x

  4. I had a lot of good visits with my clothes hanging neighbors too! I miss the fresh clean smell that the dryer just can't replicate. I don't miss having to wash them again because of the birds!

  5. What a fun post!You can't beat a line of washing dancing and spinning in the wind-non of those whirlygig round washing thingies for me-my long washing line goes on and on and i love seeing the dancing clothes!
    Nessa xxx

  6. Lovely poem Mary, l had my washing blowing on the line today as l do every day when the weather permits. I used to love seeing toweling nappies on the line blowing in the wind but of course they are now a thing of the past. Happy St Patricks day x Susan x

  7. What a fun post!! We never actually used a clothesline, but I bet the clothes smelled fresh and outdoorsey :) I hope you are having a fabulous St. Patrick's Day :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  8. This brings back memories. I have to admit that for probably twenty odd years I used a rotary line, and since we moved to house with a much smaller garden I have dried clothes indoors, but it certainly is no substitute for drying outdoors. My mum always had a 'proper' line, and all the things mentioned in the poem I can remember, especially running a damp cloth over it before hanging the clothes, and the clothes prop and hanging the small things in the middle, and the longer more bulky things towards the outside. It's nice sometimes to reminisce as both my parents have been gone for many years now, so thank you Mary for that bit of nostalgia. x

  9. Gosh Mary, I remember to do all those things. I love my clothes lines and to see my washing blowing in the wind. Old habits die hard as they say. I do have a dryer for extremely bad weather though. My mother had a mangle and then a wringer , what a lot of work in the Good old Days. Love your verse. Hugs Rita xxx

  10. Ha Ha! Hanging clothes outside has always been a way of life for me until the past few years when I could no longer reach up high enough anymore to hang them! I love the fresh smell of sheets and bedding dried outside, but oddly enough - I've never given this much thought to my clothesline! LOL Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  11. Hahaha, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
    I actually still hang my clothes out all summer!

  12. Oh my goodness, I remember my mother's clothesline. What a wonderful memory this has brought. It is kind of sad to think it is no more...for the most part. It was also funny to read. Thanks, Mary.

  13. Oh, I enjoyed this, Mary!!! ...and you know what, in sunny South Africa we all still have clotheslines!!! Yes, we still dry our clothes outside in the sun and wind - even if the weather is not that great I would still take a chance to hang the washing outside and not use the tumbledrier. I love the smell of washing that hung outside all day to dry and yes, I still fold it to be ironed later!!! Luckily no one can see my washingline as it is in a small private backyard. Thanks for sharing this, Mary, I really enjoyed it!!
    Have a great day!! Greetings from Africa!!

  14. So true!! Mum always said "if you wear it on the top hang it from the bottom and if you wear it on the bottom hang it from the top". I still do that and on the rare occasion that I ask my boys to hang out the washing I always tell them the same!! xx

  15. Oh the memories this evokes! I hang out all my washing whenever possible. The only thing I use the tumble drier for is my towels - so soft and fluffy! I am very OCD when it comes to hanging out my washing! Pegs have to be the same colour on each garment, socks have to be facing the same way, same type of garment along side each other - ( I could go on!!) Hugs Christine xx

  16. Oh my!! I remember those days when my mother had a clothes line. I remember when she used to hang the sheets out we used to run through them to get cool. If she only new then we did tell her about it some 20+ years later. The only clothesline I have now is one that hangs over my washer and dryer to hang things I don't put in dryer which is very seldom

  17. I love hanging my clothes out! Still do in the summer or really nice days, but I don't hang out the white for Dwayne had a fit the first time I did it. lol Everyone in my neighborhood hangs their clothes out, but they do it year round-I don't hang out in the winter. Yes, you will see us wipe down the lines and everyone has a different way of hanging our clothing. I have to hang all shirts together so they can share the pin. lol I start with hankies and socks, then shirts, sweatshirts, pants. I don't hand my sheets anymore because it is to much of a struggle to get them over the line with me being so short. I don't have a pole to prop up my lines if I had I might could get those sheets on the line. lol Manly because of my allergies I don't hang out the sheets, but sure do love how they smelled like fresh air and sunshine. I also don't hang out on the days when my farmer and the other farmers are spreading manure! lol That draws in real fast. Thanks for the walk down memory land Momma Mary. Oh to the one commentator, nappies (cloth diapers) are making a come back. I know many of the younger woman using them now. Only they don't have to fight with the pins anymore! lol My daughter in law uses cloth diapers.

  18. HaHAHa what a fun list. I still hang clothes love the smell of fresh air in them :) It looks like some things I'm hanging wrong oh well still worked out just fine :)

  19. I love your little poem, but I have to say I still have a long clothes line, strung tight enough not to need a prop though. As 'nippers' my sister and I were always in trouble if we dared to touch the prop. I love to see a long line of clothes flapping in the breeze, and fortunately I have not needed to use the drier since I moved to Spain. I do sort the clothes and hang like with like, but I have got a bit lazy about removing all the pegs (pins), when the clothes are dry!
    Happy St.Patrick's Day for yesterday! Kate x

  20. It's a shame we no longer have clotheslines. Our neighborhood homeowners association would faint dead away if I suggested it! When we first got married I wore bikini underwear. We stayed with my MIL when we had our first baby because we had stairs at our house and at that time you weren't allowed to go up stairs for a while after having a baby. Anyway, my MIL wouldn't let me hang my underwear on the clothesline because "what would the neighbors think". I still crack up over that. Great walk down memory lane.

  21. Oh! Memories memories, but do you know, I still do a lot of what is written there, I have even taken photographs of the washing on the line, like my line full of sparkling white nappies when my son was a baby, and my first wash on the line the length of the garden, AND there is nothing like clothes dried outside, I still press my head into the centre of the wash when I take them off the line.

  22. I still have a clothes line the length of the garden but no longer walk the length with a damp cloth lol I also hate to see the pegs left on an empty line very tacky,and I fold my clothes in the basket in the order to hang out towels or jeans at the end then going down in size order to the undies and sock hanger at the end -my clothes prop is metal now not wooden -my DIL also uses nappies but they are shaped and not like the terry squares we had-omg I remember boiling them in a metal bath on the gas stove before I had a baby burco boiler lol x

  23. Thanks so much for sharing this Mary, I can hear my Mother's words ringing in my ears now! Hugs, Anne x

  24. This is cute...and I guess I am dating myself when I say that during spring and summer I hang most of my laundry outside, and also abide by some of the rules you posted...but not all...LOL...This winter it has just been too cold and I hurt my I am very thankful that I have a dryer right now.

  25. Thanks for sharing this, Mary! LOL. I have a clothesline! In fact when we were looking to buy a house all those ago, having a yard was top priority for me because I insisted on a clothesline! Why? Because my mama has one... and that was reason enough for me! But I take a step further - colour coordinated pegs, garments in order of size with special attention to point 7 on your list! LOL! Yes... I'm a little neurotic... but nothing beats the smell on sun-dried clothes...which probably explains why I'm a cranky ol' goat in winter!
    hugs, Asha

  26. My memory of clotheslines is hauling out a bunch of lightweight blankets and clothespins to pin them all together like a fort with a roof and floor. I guess that is the outdoor version of a blanket over a card table.

  27. Nothing fresher smelling than clothes off the clothes line! Very cute!

    I'm slowly trying to catch up and know I've missed some wonderful cards.


  28. For me I only ever used a clothes dryer when I lived in the US (We had no clothesline). We have a dryer now but it is rarely used - everything goes out on the ol Hills Hoist - the rotary clothesline invented in Australia. I don't totally agree with the how to hang out your wash but it all brought a smile to my face TFS

  29. I definitely remember a clothes line, Mary! We used one when I was a child. When we bought our first and second houses, they both had clothes lines which I used even when I had a dryer. Nothing beats the fresh smell of sun dried clothes :)