THE CLOTHES LINE — Remember when…..

1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging my clothes.
Walk the length of each line with a damp cloth around the line to clean it off..

2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order and always hang whites with whites and hang them first.

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail.
What would the neighbors think?

4. Wash day on a Monday……..never hang clothes on the weekend or Sunday for heaven’s sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your ‘unmentionables’ in the middle.

6. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather………….clothes would ‘freeze dry.’

7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes.
Pins left on the line were ‘tacky’.

8. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED?????????? Well, that’s a whole other subject.


A clothes line 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 design.

The line announced a baby’s birth
To 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 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 gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way..

But clotheslines now are of the past
For dryers make work 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!

Marcia Ripperger Chumbley

A native of the Midwest farm country in Iowa, Marcia Ripperger has lived in a number of locations. She has resided in Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Minneapolis, Minnesota., Living in rural and metropolitan areas taught Marcia to always look for the best opportunities each community could offer. She now lives in a rural area of Minnesota that has a small city flare and closeness to the land. Marcia’s work experiences outside the home include over 30 years in the medical and insurance field in manager, investigator and administrative roles. She has also worked as a contract administrator for a world wide security company. Marcia has work in the corporate world outside of her home and has various home based businesses over the years. She holds a degree in business management and is CMOM certified. Marcia is the founder and publisher of ” Christian Work From Moms and Grandparents” web site, Faithful “Work At Home Divas Online for Boomers, Crafters and Stay At Home Moms, and Work At Home Moms Choices Marcia Ripperger: Specializing in Cooking Recipes She is a well known published and  featured author through out the internet and public speaker on domestic violence and a breast cancer survivor. She was chosen as a WAHM and SAHM of the 1st quarter of 2009 by Stay At Home Moms Online.