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Passing on the old ways
by Lora Ann Huff
Apr 20, 2017 | 2497 views | 0 0 comments | 106 106 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The other day I pinned two thick bath towels on my outdoor clothesline since my load of laundry was too much for the clothes dryer. Keeping those two big items out allowed ample space for the other pieces in the dryer to tumble and finish more quickly.

That afternoon our six-year-old granddaughter was walking through the yard with me as I reached up to get the two towels off the line. Rilee Bea was fascinated and remarked, “Momaw, how did you get those up there?”

I laughed and explained how and why they were there – as I realized she had never seen clothes dried outside on the line. I don’t do that much anymore, but my next goal is to let Rilee Bea help me hang some clothes out to dry one day when she’s at my house. Everyone needs to at least know how it’s done. Right?

Recently I saw a post, probably on Facebook, that was to remind people of how “things used to be” when families dried their clothes on the line. I was bothered by the example they used because it showed children’s shirts being pinned by the shoulders and socks hung by the tops.

I decided the photo shoot must have been set up by someone who had never “hung clothes out” because my mother and the older folks I knew would never hang shirts by the shoulders – always by the tail – and socks were hung by the toes. No one wanted pinched and stretched tabs on the shirt shoulders after they dried.

…So if and when I take time to show my granddaughter how to use a clothesline, I’ll try to remember some of the rules:

Wipe the line first and then hang socks by the toes, shirts by the tail. Hang whites with whites and colors with colors. Place the pieces close together so each item doesn’t need two pins – they can share pins with the next piece.

And remember when we never washed on Sunday because that was work – and because we would never hang clothes out on Sunday? That would have been a disgrace unless there was an illness or family emergency.

…So it’s fun to remember the days when we worked much harder to do our laundry, but it surely is nice to just sort the clothes and throw them into the automatic washer and then be ready to toss them into the dryer a few minutes later. Much less fuss and much more time to do other things while our clothes get clean.

While I love the outdoor-fresh smell of sunshine dried clothes and linens, I’ll stick with my electric clothes dryer – but I still want to teach the grandkids about the original option provided by Mother Nature.

Lora Ann Huff is a Wenasoga resident and special columnist for the Daily Corinthian. Her column appears Friday. She may be reached at 1774 CR 700, Corinth, MS 38834.

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