Country summer wash
Colorful pegged clothes flapping—
Sudden shower rinse
~Linda A. Mohr
This clothes line scene was a nostalgic find on my recent vacation! Drying laundry the old-fashioned way is back in fashion in some areas. I grew up with three wire clothes lines strung from trees. The wringer washing machine on the back porch was just a few steps to the side yard where the lines were suspended.
My sister and I helped pin the wash to the lines when we were tall enough. The line had to be wiped down with a damp cloth. The wooden clothes pins were stored in a fabric bag and kept inside the house until needed. If you left them pinned to the wire, they deteriorated and left dark marks on clean clothing. Bed sheets were the hardest to hang. We had to keep them from dragging on the ground. But once they were in place, I liked the flapping sound they made. They were also fun to hide behind. Socks were easy to pin up by the toe, one by one. Shirts, dresses, and pants were hung by their hems, and the wind blew the sleeves up like balloons. Items like towels were joined together to economize on clothes pins.
Removing dry laundry, folding, and taking into the house were more chores. Often another basket of wet laundry was waiting to be hung. This process could indeed occupy the whole day. Sometimes, we had to quickly strip the lines before rain soaked the dry clothes. But it was not unusual for the wash to get a second rinsing!
Photo Credit: Linda A. Mohr