Friday Funnies ~ Clotheslines

I grew up in the era of clotheslines. As a little one, I would help my mom hang our washed clothes on the clothesline in our backyard and she connected two pieces of clothing with one clothespin to save room on the line. I was amazed how the clothes froze in the cold Chicago weather.


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, "Gone 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.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone. Be sure to smile today! For more funnies, drop by and visit Kim at Homesteader's Heart.


  1. Oh I loved that poem. I told my hubby that I want to start hanging our clothes out to dry at least some of the time. The dryer uses up so much electricity and I'm doing laundry ALL THE TIME! LOL!
    So look for me in my backyard this Spring, granny panties and all. LOL!

    Have a great day my friend.

  2. Did you write the poem? I love it!!!
    I too remember frozen underwear. LOL
    My parents had ten children ... I am number ten. A few years after my marriage my parents received their first dryer. My daddy would not use it at first ... after a while (cold winter) he began to use it. Once Spring arrived he returned to the clothesline. Oh Mary I miss him so.

    God bless you my friend for making me remember a "good" memory.


  3. I loved the poem, Mary, and for the lifestyle it spoke of. I, too, helped my mother and grandmother hang clothes on the lines in the yard. When weather was bad we hung them on the porch. Those were such wonderful years. I would love to have a clothesline once again! :-)

  4. A cute poem...I love it! I grew up with a clothesline too, and spent many times hanging clean clothes on the line. I wish I had one now in my yard! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Gosh, but this brought back some fond memories!
    Funny, but my last "clear" mental snapshot was one involving my mother and the lady next door hanging the wash and shaking their heads about that awful "long hair" on that new band, Beatles-something-or-another.

  6. Hi Saleslady371 -

    I enjoyed your poem and the trip down memory land. I too remember the clothesline days. One of my sisters prefers using one as opposed to her dryer. She uses her dryer some...

  7. I still love my clothesline and I remember adoring hanging clothes on the line...what sweet memories!!
    Love the true!!
    Have a great day sweet friend!!

    Deborah xoxoxoxo

  8. I loved this poem, Mary. I remember those days, too. And do you remember how fresh and clean the laundry smelled? It smelled like outdoors - it smelled like sunshine!

    Thanks for this memory - hope you're having a blessed Sunday!


  9. Hi, I couldn't believe there were no longer closthes lines in America. I love mine here in is so much healthier for clothes to dry naturally not to say cheaper on power. Great poem also.

  10. Boy did that ever take me back! I always hung our laundry on the line in the first years of marriage. Not only did I stop, but our entire city did, or maybe even the world? I can't remember the last time I saw clothes on a line. I've seen clothes in the dryer, clothes in the laundry basket, even clothes on the floor...but not on lines...not no more :)

  11. That's a great poem! It brought back some great memories of my mother hanging clothes on the line. We had neighbors whose clotheslines were very near ours. It became a competition among the women to see who could hang the best-looking lines of clothes! There was a certain way to hang everything, and your "status" in the neighborhood depended upon your ability to keep house, cook meals, and hang clothes!

    Thanks for reminding me of days gone by. :-)


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