Friday, May 13, 2011

Gossip Lines of the Past...

   I was looking at the Lehman's site today and I saw this poem. I knew I had to share it....

A rotary clothes line in Invercargill, New Zea...Image via Wikipedia

A Clothesline Poem (Anonymous)

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 tablecloth” with intricate design.

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 by 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.

   So it has been a human trait since time began to peak at your neighbors, and then spread the news. Always in a most concerned way, of course.
   Oscar Wilde once said "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

   Just what kind of good neighbor would we be if we let that happen on our block. We are not our brother's keeper, but we are are neighbor's public relations person. It is an important job, that we must not ignore.

   Of course, today we have home owner's Associations' rules banning outdoor clothes lines. This makes the job a lot harder to do.

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Just Sayin... said...

Living in an apartment I soooo miss having a clothes line.

Theres just life said...

Hi Just Sayin, I now have room and no HOA to spoil the fun. So I am back to hanging out the clothes.

Laura Eno said...

HOAs take away all the fun! ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm glad clotheslines were replaced, but it is sad I only know two of my neighbors.

Title Loans said...

I think we've just become too "politically correct" to say things to people's face, at least the way that we mean. Plus, if we didn't gossip, how would tabloids be in business? I think it's funny that they've banned clothes lines in most areas, because it's my favorite way to dry clothes! (And cost-efficient)

The Words Crafter said...

I didn't know they'd banned clothes lines! I can remember being a kid and riding my bike through the sheets hanging on grandma's lines. Oooo, she'd get mad at us! And they smelled so read!

Helen Ginger said...

I do sometimes miss the clothesline form my youth. It's easier to use the dryer, of course. But there's something to be said for clothes dried outside.

The Golden Eagle said...

I've heard of banning lines before--but they're still around in our neighborhood!

Theres just life said...

A lot of the HOAs in neighborhoods have a rule stating no clothes lines as well as other things. I just hate when others tell me what I can and can't do, that is why I no longer live in a sub-division.
W.C. we use to do that too. It was so much fun (for us) to ride into the sheet, feel it pull across our face until suddenly we were through. Momma and Grandma weren't to happy with us either. Specially if we were dirty and sweaty from playing.
Helen, The dryer is way quicker, but your right, nothing beats the smell of sunshine and wind in you laundry.
Laura, HOAs are put on this earth to try to suck all the fun and freedom out of our lives.
Alex, Yes sometimes they were an eyesore but they always remind me of simpler ways and times. At least for me...I didn't have to do the laundry then.
Title loans, 'Politically Correct" is just another way to try to control us. Not everything is political, despite what the government thinks.

karuski said...

I had fun reading this poem, thanks for sharing it.
We do have cloth lines here and I love how the laundry gets fresh when dried outside. So glad the summer is here again.

Theres just life said...

There is no product that will leave you clothes as fresh as the sun and wind.