I am a Rebel!

If my mama could only see me now!  She would flip out completely. 

What?  You don’t see anything wrong here?  Oooo my mama would.  Big time.  One of the choicest tidbits of my home economics education…(on this, I was home schooled.  Never even heard of home schooling at that point!) was you never, EVER hung your laundry on the fence for the whole world to see!  Ever.

You see, she grew up in the country…waaaaay out in the country.  Where sometimes neighbors, because they were far out in the country too, hung their wash on their fences.  THIS was a thing NOT to be done.  Tacky, just tacky.  Years later when I was old enough to remember, we would drive to relative’s in the country and on the way, we’d pass a home…with wash on the fence… and she’d say, “Just look at that.  They’ve done their wash again. Tacky.” And tsk, tsk all the way to my Grandma’s house. Always cracked me up because I didn’t see anything wrong with it.  Heck, they lived in the country, so very few, if any, people saw their laundry mishaps!  And did those people hang their laundry on the fences because they had run out room on the clothesline or did they even have a clothesline?  Then, as quickly as these thoughts raced through my head, they were gone.  I was a kid.  Kid’s don’t worry about things like that, do they?!

So it was drilled into my head that if the good Lord was wise enough to give us clothes lines, we were to put them to good use.  This applied even after the advent of clothes dryers.  She still hung her sheets out on nice days because nothing smells better than freshly washed and line-dried sheets.  I totally agree.  See?  I did learn something!!!  Besides, as a kid, I thought it was huge fun to hide in the sheets or play like they were walls in my playhouse!

As a matter of fact, one of the first requests I made of my new husband was could I please have a clothes line?  I got it.  And when we moved to West Texas, once again a clothesline was put in place beside our little mobile home almost as soon as we got the trailer tied down. Then the mobile home was moved to Kansas, where a clothesline was installed immediately.  Yes, I had a dryer by that time, but like my mother, I really loved having fresh line-dried sheets, pillowcases, quilts, bedspreads and mattress covers.  About once a month the whole bed was stripped down, from top to bottom…the sheets were laundered once a week otherwise. 

And when diaper rash made an entrance into our home, the cloth diapers were washed in bleach and then hung on the line.  My pediatrician said it was the best way to sanitize diapers so my little darlin’s could go diaper rash free!  (I loved that man and believed everything he told me.  Actually, it was as hard to leave him in Texas when we moved to Kansas as it was to leave my parents!!  He was an angel and how anyone could raise a child without him was beyond my comprehension!)

Anyway, as soon as we completed our brand spankin new real rock house, we moved out of the mobile home that leaked snow the previous winter.  I was ready for a  solid house that had a basement after ten years of mobile home living!  And,  I got a new clothesline!  A 3 liner.  Wow, could I load that thing up now! 

In the process of raising 3 boys, I used the clothesline a lot!  Being my economical self, I’d hang most everything out there until it was just damp, then bring it all in and run them in the dryer 10 or 15 minutes to take wrinkles out and soften them up a bit.  Blue jeans can be a little “stiff” when completely dried outside!  And some days here you could dry the thickest jeans in 20 minutes flat what with the winds we have!

Then all of the boys left home and it was just me and Big Boss again.  Only now, Big Boss had his own bathroom out in the garage.  (That’s a whole other story!) And his own washer and dryer. But…he doesn’t like running the dryer, especially in the summer. So the above photo is what happens because it’s closer than the clothesline on the other side of the house.  He just slings them over the  *GASP* fence.  Some days, the fence on the left, right and beyond are covered in his wash…mainly jeans, underwear, work shirts and socks.  Occasionally, we have to retrieve them from the other side of the fence on a windy day. Once I found a pair of underwear out in the driveway, much to the Schwann’s man’s curiosity.  We were loading up on ice cream and frozen yogurt at the time. 

I make sure he doesn’t do this dastardly deed when my mother visits though.  She would be appalled.  And she would say, “Well, for Pete’s Sake, it looks like the ………..s live here!” and shake her head.  I know, I know.  She raised me better.  But she missed out on Big Boss totally!!!  Doesn’t bother him in the least. And at last, I am living on the edge.  Completely ignoring my upbringing and becoming a rebel at the ripe old age of….nevermind.

Any day now, you may find me strumming a guitar while singing “Puff the Magic Dragon”….:)

And imagine my dismay upon hearing that some communities have banned clotheslines. REALLY?  Why? I thought it was cool to be environmentally sound and smart and save energy and all that.  Seriously.  It messes up the neighborhood?  Well, possibly, if you listen to my mama!  G-d bless her heart!  I love you mama!! She is a woman ahead of her times.

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9 Responses to I am a Rebel!

  1. servetus says:

    There were similar cultural prejudices in Germany until fairly recently — you weren’t supposed to hang out your washing on Sunday or a saint’s day in Bavaria. Wonder if that’s still true.

    You’ve found one of those points where liberal conviction and yuppie pride conflict — better not to dry your clothes but let people people hang them up outside and there goes the neighborhood …


  2. The Queen says:

    Absolutely NEVER on Sunday!!! *checking the sky for possible lightening* And I don’t remember anyone in our neighborhood hanging the laundry out on a Sunday. EVER! And our clotheslines were in the back of the backyard…you couldn’t see them from the street. The alley maybe.

    Wonder how long we’ll be allowed to hang clothes out period? Foks, a regulation is just around your neighborhood corner. A little common sense is desperately needed here!!! 🙂


  3. servetus says:

    I think those are usually private agreements, aren’t they? Like the rules in certain communities in Florida that you may not leave your car parked in your driveway overnight, or store any vehicle outside your home?


  4. Teuchter says:

    You’re a girl after my own heart, Queenie! I truly love hanging washing outside but rarely get the chance these days. Not a washing line in sight in THIS newer neighbourhood!! When we lived in Scotland I did nothing else but, as we had no drier! Quite a challenge in the winter when clothes, towels, jeans etc would come in as stiff as a board with frost and you almost needed to karate-chop them to get them to bend!! 🙂 Seems antiquated now but back then kitchens were smaller and those all-in-one washer/driers like many have in the UK now (and many other countries no doubt) weren’t readily available. I can only get a “fix” when I go to my son’s home as my DiL has a line from their deck, which is on the second floor, and it reaches all the way to the end of their yard with a pulley system. Terrific!

    When we stayed in NZ for a short time it was one of my joys to go out and hang the washing in the beautiful sunshine and warm breezes. The house had one of those large umbrella-type driers which could be cranked up higher to catch whatever wind there was. Hot sunshine is THE best stain remover so that I never once needed to use bleach! Mind you I wasn’t too thrilled when I found ants running over my bare feet! EEK!!

    I can also relate to what Servetus said about not hanging out washing on Sunday! In my young day it just wasn’t the done thing whether you were a church goer or not. Later when we lived in the Western Highlands it was hugely frowned upon. We stayed with friends for a few days and she forgot to take the washing in on the Saturday night. The next morning when she realized the oversight they rushed out, dragged the washing off the lines and threw it on the grass where their sheep obligingly trampled all over it! Needless to say it had to be brought in on Monday and washed all over again. She was obviously more worried what the neighbours might think. If she was concerned about “working” on the Sabbath Day, (Sunday) she would have left them where they were, but she didn’t dare. She would certainly have been censured for doing so. Those were the days!


    • The Queen says:

      There’s NOTHING sweeter than fallling into a bed that has freshly dried sheets! As a kid, I always looked forward to Modays!!

      In the summers, it was my job to bring the clothes each afternoon, usually right after lunch. I’d literally run out to the line (TX summer heat was oppresive to say the least) and gather everything up as fast as possible because the durned chiggers were waiting to lunch on my lily white skin! And sometimes ants….

      Then Mother and I would sit and fold clothes while we watched “Days of Our Lives”. ( Ever notice how scratchy towels were after line-drying?! )What followed then always puzzled me….we took the shirts, pants, dresses that we had just washed and line dried, then we’d sprinkle them down w/hot (always HOT) water, cram them all in a big plastic bag, let them set for a couple of hours and THEN iron them. Why didn’t we just bring everything in before it was dry and skip all those steps?!!!

      No sheets hung on Sundays here even to this day. It would be just….weird.


  5. servetus says:

    I love being at my parents’ because I can hang things outside, but there are about three weeks during the summer when I have to watch it. There’s something blooming in the backyard that blows into my clothes and makes me sneeze 🙂


  6. The Queen says:

    Ragweed does it for me. We have wonderful crops of ragweed. Of course, it too, is burning up. 7 days in a row of 110 in the shade temps. Teuchter may have to make room for me up there in North. I feel a vacation coming on!!


  7. bccmee says:

    I remember days so hot, I could take hang up the laundry and by the time I hung up the last thing, I could start taking down the first things.

    Your fence looks like a piece of modern art: Dungaree Dreams.


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