An abstract artist friend of mine did a fantastic painting of two women at a clothesline, gossiping.
A blogger friend wrote a piece on a childhood memory of her mother and aunt talking over the clothesline, as they hung their garments to dry. These friends have evoked a number of clothesline memories for me.
These are a dozen of the many lessons I learned about the clothesline:
1) Sheets hung in the breeze, after being boiled in a big kettle on the stove to increase their whiteness, are not to be hidden behind, wound up in, or touched by grimey children's hands, no matter how tempting they may look.
2) Garments and linens smell wonderful after being hung in the sun and slapped by the wind. They have a freshness and crispness that cannot be compared to anything making it's way out of an electric box in which they have been dried.
3) Terry cloth towels, t-shirts and jeans dried on the line have a stiffness that will rub the skin off your body more efficiently than any store-bought pumice or exfoliater ever could...better than even rough grit sandpaper can!
4) Clothing hung outside in temperatures below 32 degrees freeze faster than you can pull them from the laundry basket.
5) Fingers hanging clothing in temperatures below 32 degrees freeze to the clothespins made to hold garments to the line.
6) Clothing taken in from the line after hanging in temperatures below 32 degrees must be hung again, this time from a rack of some kind which stands in close proximity to a heat source...preferably not too close to same. (for example, floor furnaces provide a good deal of heat, and clothing standing too close, or falling on to one, sufficiently alters the garment by adding a scorched pattern of gridwork, as well as a destinctive and unattractive fragrance.)
7) It makes no sense to me to hang wet clothing in 32 degree temperatures and later remove frozen items from the outside to hang on racks to thaw. Such an act returns the garments to the original state they held when removed from the washing machine....wet!
8) It makes no sense to me that clean, wet items be hung in 32 degree temperatures so they will smell fresh. My reasoning? All freshness is left outside when clothing is hung on a rack near a heat source.
9) Likewise, the hanging of said items on a clothesline in the basement removes freshness and also adds a musty fragrance, equally as unattractive as the one offered by a too-close heat source.
10) Hanging clothing on a clothesline is time-consuming, especially when you're twelve years old and would rather do something else with that time.
11) Dawdling doesn't make the job go faster, nor does complaining about having to do the job get you out of doing it.
12) That the cons far out-weigh the pros when it comes to clothes drying.
Being a person who weighs all options, I vowed that a clothes drier would be the first appliance I'd purchase when I was married. To heck with the freshness!