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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Grand Day for Clothes

We put out our clothesline last week on a glorious spring day, 15 degrees Celsius, with a nice breeze. It was a grand day for clothes, as was said in our neighbourhoods when we were growing up in Newfoundland. Every woman loved a day when she could put the clothes on the line and they'd dry quickly. Any beautiful day you also heard, "This would have been a grand day on clothes." The women were sorry to miss such a great day for the washing.




We are the only ones in the neighbourhood making that comment now since we live in a different province. But there are other changes too. In our neighbourhood today, there are very few clotheslines and if there are any, they are small. Gone are the days when huge lines of clothes hung in the back yards, blowing in the breeze. Our line is one of those square umbrella clotheslines which can hold lots of clothes but just doesn't look right.

Long gone are the frozen clothes, brought from the line in winter, frozen into shape. I remember my grandfather's overalls, frozen stiff, hung from a line behind the stove in their kitchen. Now, we too are part of the clothes dryer society for six months, rather than brave the elements, hanging out and taking in frozen clothes.

Gone too are the conversations with the neighbours as you hang the clothes. Most of the women in the neighbourhood now are working outside their homes. There is no one in the area to speak with during the day. The sharing of family news and discussion of current events or gossip don't occur over the clothesline any more. Many people barely know their neighbours.

These days, we are the dinosaurs of the neighbourhood;  the oldest people on the block, hanging out clothes, ready to talk to anyone who happens by...Oh, there's the letter carrier! 

Besides, on those grand days here, the man of the house hangs out the clothes.




18 comments:

  1. I am almost surprised that you are allowed to hang out the clothes. There are covenants in some subdivisions.

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    1. Not so here. We have the highest electricity rates in Canada. There would be an uproar here if they outlawed clotheslines.

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  2. Nothing like a good drying day.

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  3. I remember my Mom hanging the washing on the clothesline in our back yard, summer and winter. When I was a teenager, I would help as well. Never have I had a clothesline as an adult. Those days are all gone with the wind now, so to speak.

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    1. For us it's the fresh air smell on the clothes and the save in energy costs.

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  4. I've had my umbrella line out for two weeks, now. I have it rigged up on a corner of the deck, as there is not convenient way to have it in the yard. So, my clothes sail high on the main mast, over the deck, for all the world to see as they pass by.

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    1. Those lines hold a lot and work well.

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  5. I love to place clothes to dry outdoors however in this new parsonage where we live they do not have a line for hanging the laundry.

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    1. Too bad there is no clothesline in your new location.

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  6. I remember when the diapers froze on the line. When you carried them in all stiif with ice they quickly thawed and were very soft.

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    1. There is nothing like drying or freezing the clothes outdoors.

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  7. I would love to have a clothes line like yours and have priced them several times, but I just don't think I could secure it in the ground by myself. I did rig up a line on my porch (second story) to hang some things. Sheets, blankets, rugs - things like that get hung. Some things get dried in the dryer because I forget or need them quickly. If I had a nice clothes line I'll bet I would use it 90% of the time here in Texas.

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    1. You certainly could use it all the time there. It is a save on electricity for sure and the fresh air smell is wonderful as you know.

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  8. What a grand man of the house. Bravo. Yes, clothes from the dryer don't smell as good.

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    1. He has always put out the clothes. He is good at all household chores. We both worked at similar jobs and my husband did everything I did at home, which was the right thing. However I was one of the lucky women who didn't have all of the home responsibility as well as work.

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  9. You reminded me of days in the past when I would hang my jeans on the line to dry, only to find them frozen into something rather lethal. That was when I lived in Colorado. Here you can hang your clothes on the line, but they usually have one or two more rainy sessions before you can bring them in dry. :-)

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  10. What a fabulous "down memory lane" post for those of us who truly remember this, Marie. Somewhere in my stash of pics is one of frozen diapers hanging on the line back in Michigan when we all were kids. Here in the Netherlands you see many clotheslines out in the neighborhoods. Often you also see bed linens (duvet covers especially) hanging out the upper windows, draped over the sills. I should do a collage on them one day.

    I do our wash every Tuesday and have a clothes rack I put up here in our living area for the things that don't go in the dryer. Those on the ground floors of our complex hang them on racks outside. So this practice is still very much alive and well for me here where I live. I love it for me...and for YOU!

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