“Look after your laundry, and your soul will look after itself.”

I’m late this morning. I slept in and so did Gracie. She sleeps in her crate for most of the night then joins me on the couch at no particular time. Today it was close to 7:30. I helped her get on the couch then got comfy and went back to sleep. That has become our daily ritual.

Last night was an afghan night, and the chill is still in the air mostly in the back of my house, in the shade. I wear a sweatshirt now while I wait for Gracie to finish in the yard. While I was outside, I noticed the bird feeders were empty so I filled two with sunflower seeds and another with thistle. Immediately, chickadees went for the sunflower and gold finches for the thistle. They arrived so quickly I figured they were hanging around on branches waiting and hoping. I’m glad I didn’t disappoint.

My dance card is pretty empty. I do have two errands which I’ll finish this afternoon. My inside plants need watering so that’s on my other list. The dust in this room is almost bad enough to force me to clean it but not yet. Maybe in a few days. I espouse the maxim that dusting today still means dusting tomorrow. It is a never ending chore.

When I was a kid, my mother cleaned the house while I was in school. It was a miracle of sorts. I’d leave for school and when I got home, the house was clean, the dishes washed and the beds made. My mother was like the shoemaker’s elves. The only chores I ever saw her do were cooking dinner and doing dishes at night and taking clothes off the line in the backyard.

We lived in a duplex so we shared the backyard with our immediate neighbor. We each had our own clotheslines, either two or three apiece. I forget which. The end of the lines were attached to metal poles which were green but always seemed to need paint. I remember the silver-colored metal underneath the green. Below the lines was pitch or what we called hot top. It was square-shaped except for the small walkway leading to the back door. The rest of the yard was grass. My mother kept her clothespins in a bag which attached to the line and could be slid up and down so she had easy access to the clothespins.

My mother hung the laundry upside down. I never asked her why. I just figured that’s how laundry is hung. What I remember the most are the sheets doubled over the lines. In my mind’s eye, they are all white. I can still see them billowing and flapping, and I remember the sound of the sheets in wind. I also remember running between and under the sheets. My mother always yelled at us.

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8 Comments on ““Look after your laundry, and your soul will look after itself.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    It isn’t that chilly any longer but everything feels damp since it has rained so much so I have two radiators running but just enough warm to keep my home dry. We’ll get lots of rain this week they say so they’ll stay on all the time.

    The entire apartment bui,lding shared clothes lines they had put up in the yard. There was only one problem with that, the entire yard (almost as big as a football field) were filled with dark grey sand and all we kids played there šŸ™‚ Not a good combination so every now and again they scoulded us for hitting their white sheets with a dirty football šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      I hate that damp feeling. It seems to settle into the bones. I also turn on the heat as it is the only way to get rid of the damp.

      My mother hated us near the clotheslines. I’m thinking putting the lines near the grey sand was looking for trouble.

      Have a great evening!

  2. greg washington Says:

    back in the day Minneapolis house all had incinerators and burned
    some of their garbage in the back yard…someone always burned their garbage when the clothes were out hanging..!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    For awhile my mother had one of those carousel clothes lines. It was in the back yard next to a bridal veil bush and under the apple tree. The cess pool was over that way, too. The washing machine was in the pantry at the back of the house which meant that she had to lug the wet laundry down the cellar stairs to the front of the house then through the cellar to the back. Not the best placement. But inconvenience is a major characteristic of the architecture of my house. Practically nothing is where it would be if someone was thinking logistically. When my mother finally got a washer and dryer, they went in the cellar near the clothesline. Except that now she had a dryer and didn’t need the clothesline for much so it would have been more logical to have the washer and dryer upstairs in the pantry nearer to where the clothes live. šŸ™‚

    I have birdseed I keep meaning to put out but don’t get around to it. I’m hesitant because now there are a lot of Cooper’s hawks in the area and they eat birds. Nothing like setting up a food station for migrating birds which also serves as a buffet for migrating hawks.

    Today was a lovely day. I did nothing except walk the dogs a couple of times, read a bit, and knit.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I think logic doesn’t always come into play when building a house. Your mother had quite the trek. My mother went from the cellar where the washer was, up the outside stairway to the backyard. Hers wasn’t a huge trek except for carrying the heavy laundry basket.

      In our Cape house, the washer and dryer were in the kitchen as we didn’t have a cellar. My mother liked them there, not so far from the bedrooms.

      I never did go out but now I really have to tomorrow. I have a meeting at 9 then need to have blood drawn and I need small dog food cans and cat food.

      All my birds are small ones so I don’t worry except they do fly at each other to make room at the feeders. I love watching the birds fly in and out.

      Have a great evening!

      • Caryn Says:

        The funny thing is that I never realized the trek my mother had to hang out laundry until I was very much older and actually took a long look at the illogical way my house is configured.
        The original builder of 1908 had a drilled well and hand pump in the corner of the cellar. His wife had set tubs down there and did her laundry near the original exterior cellar door and the clothes line. Very logical. The indoor plumbing addition was added in 1920-ish. The laundry was still in the cellar but it was in the “new” cellar with new set tubs that had faucets and running water! It was now even closer to the clothesline. The well in the corner was forgotten by all.
        My parents bought the house in 1946 and screwed up all that logic by getting rid of the cellar set tubs and putting the washing machine upstairs in the pantry. šŸ˜€ The drilled well is still there lurking behind the oil burner.

      • katry Says:

        Wow, that is a great old house. I guess each subsequent owner put his/her stamp on it. The original builder and the indoor plumbing site were logical, near the lines. I guess your parents didn’t really give the lines much thought. I bet your mother every time she did a wash.

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