Saturday, April 30, 2016

Life's Simplicity-The Laundry Line Tablescape

I am sure we all have heard of the wonderful little poem, The Clothes Line by Marilyn K. Walker, (included below) some where in our contacts through the internet. I happen to love this endearing poem. I keep it in my files and bring it out when I feel a little nostalgic. On occasion when I read this poem, I am always reminded that I am someone who hangs all of her laundry outside even though I have a fairly new clothes dryer in the basement. I also use my laundry line even in the dead of winter to hang dry bedding that can be refreshed. Are you someone that uses the laundry line outside rather than your dryer?

There are two main reasons for hanging my clothing, bedding and linens outside. One is that there is no scent, including dryer sheets, that leave your fabric more fresher than the items that come from the outside. After bringing in the day's wash which was outside for most of the day, the whites are brighter and the bedding takes on the crisp clean scent of pure country air. I can't think of a better luxury than to snuggle down into cool, fragrant sheets that have been playfully dancing and fluttering in the delicate breeze all day. Watching the laundry sway in a gentle motion on a sunny day is like watching the waves rhythmically ebbing to and from the sandy seashore or watching an colorful autumn leaf swirling through the air as it falls from the tree. All of them bring about a sense of calm to one's soul.

Another reason why I prefer to hang my laundry outside is entirely one that is in reminiscence of days gone by. It is my small chance to relive "the old days" when I watched my mother stand next to her wringer washing machine and lovingly and carefully run the wet dripping clothes through the wringer into the rinse water on one side of the stationary tub and then once again into the other side of the tub with the fabric softener. After one last trip through the wringer rollers, the laundry was ready for the laundry line outside. If it was bedding, it remained on the line long after it was dry and until late in the day when it was taken from the line and went straight onto the bed. As children, our bath or shower was taken in proper timing with the task of making the bed, so that when finished, we could happily burrow down in those fresh aromatic sheets. The long-lasting earthy scent of those spotless sheets made you feel you were still playing in the brisk outdoors and the exhilarating scent lingered long into the night's slumber.

The Clothes Line

by Marilyn K. Walker

A clothes line was a news forecast,
to neighbours passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep,
when clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link,
for neighbours 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 tablecloths,
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 night-clothes, 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 washing was dingy grey,
As neighbours raised their brows,
and looked disgustedly away.
But clotheslines now are of the past,
for dryers make work less,
Now what goes on inside a home,
is anybodies guess.

I really miss that way of life;
it was a friendly sign,
When neighbours knew each other best,
by what was on the line.

So in honor of the extraordinary memories of mom's laundry day and the upcoming Mother's Day celebration, I thought it would be appropriate to create a tablescape which expresses those sentimental feelings and cherished memories.

I loved learning how to fold my napkins into these cute little pants that could hang from a mini laundry line with these mini clothespins.  (See my upcoming post on how to fold a napkin into mini pants.)  So darling for a laundry line tablescape.

Happy Mother's Day!



  1. Such a cute blog and post! I do love soft blue

  2. Oh wow... I loved this post. So filled with charm and nostalgia for me. Amazing and creative. This may be my favorite post for the week.

  3. My dryer and I are joined at the hip but I remember hanging clothes on the line when I was a little girl. I'd never read the poem before so thank you for sharing it here. Also thank you for sharing it and your lovely table at Celebrate Your Story.

  4. Wow what a sweet and sentimental post. I do remember my mother hanging out laundry out and smelling them and loving it. I did try hanging clothes for a while but got a way from it. Your thoughts and that poem make it all seem so appealing. I never thought about how the clothes line could tell a story about people's lives but it really is true! Love the cute clothespin napkins!
    Have a wonderful Mother's Day,

  5. Wow, how utterly charming and adorable to do a Mother's Day tribute with a laundry theme! Laundry is such a big part of motherhood, a never ending process, but you have elevated it into a most welcome task full of sunshine and fresh breezes! I will always remember my mother's clothesline, and thinking how awful that must have been, but from now on my thoughts will be of sleeping in the outdoor freshness. Happy Mother's Day,

  6. This is a cute and adorable post, especially for Mother's Day. Yes, I do remember watching my mother and grandmother hanging laundry on the clothesline. Your vignette is so sweet. Such a happy blog. Happy Mothers day. I would love it, if you share your post at Dishing It & Digging It tomorrow, Sundays at 4:00 EST.

  7. How cute! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  8. Thank you so much for your lovely comments about the poem, "The Clothesline". Currently I am sending the next poetry book entitled THE CLOTHESLINE to the publisher. It brings me great pleasure to know so many have enjoyed this poem, Marilyn K. Walker.


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