THAT’S A BEAUTIFUL THING…# 27


I do not know if it was just a Southern thing, or not, but hanging the clothes on the line is a vivid memory of my childhood. Not necessarily a happy one at the time, but a memory nonetheless. And one I do recall fondly now.

I recall how hard it was to get both sides of the garment up on the line and pinned, before one side would fall down and twist upon itself into a mad wad. I remember seeing the clothes my mom hung out and they were all joined together with a common pin between them. Hers always looked so neat and straight. I could not get the garments to share a pin no matter how hard I tried. One was always too thick or unwieldy. Therefore, I would always run out of pins and leave the stragglers in the clothes basket doomed to hang on the line for dear life while struggling in the breeze attached with only 1 pin. Some, I am sad to say, did not make it. They would fall to the ground in a sad heap of wet clothes, dirt and grass clippings.
And, I can still see the look on Mama’s face when she realized her bra was hanging across the line with 2 clothespins instead of dangling discreetly with only one. Didn’t make that mistake again!

The sheets were always especially hard to hang. When hung up by my mom or my Aunt Katherine, who lived next door and with whom we shared a common line, they were a thing of beauty. When the wind would catch them, they would billow out like a sail in the wind on a sea of green. But, mine never billowed. They would flap a little. But they were so horribly twisted where the sheet met the line, that they never stood a chance.

The smell! Do you recall the smell of freshly washed clothes? A mixture of hot sunshine, Alabama air, and the scent of whatever flower was in bloom at the time. A scent only God himself could concoct! I would bury my face in those just removed clothes and inhale deeply…enough to last me till the next laundry day. And though it has been years since I have smelled that divine perfume…when I close my eyes, and think of the sheets…I think I can smell it still! It was a beautiful thing!
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FYI: April 19 is designated as National Hanging Out Day. It is designed to help educate the public on the amount of energy they can save by hanging out their laundry in the sunshine instead of using a clothing dryer. Our Moms knew that all along!

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