Friday, June 10, 2011


Well, it finally happened. The old clothesline, purchased in 1988, did not make it through the winter. Yeah -- we should have taken it in, but it was getting old anyway and I guess we lost interest in protecting it from the elements. But we have to have a clothesline at the farm, so I researched online -- the only place you're going to find clotheslines for sale -- and finally chose a model I hoped would be more than adequate for my needs.

"It's here," exclaimed Mike as we drove into the farm yard. "There it is on the porch." Well, you know Mike -- as soon as the Dakota was unloaded, he had opened that box and tackled the problem at hand -- setting up the new clothesline. It took longer than you might think because the old post was stuck in the concrete, but eventually we overcame that obstacle and the new unit -- a jim-dandy if I do say so myself -- was installed.

Hmmm. I might need a retro clothes pin bag to complement my new retro appliance. KW

UPDATE: Mike wanted to commemorate the inauguration of the new clothesline with some pictures. I was reminded of when my parents used to take pictures of me hanging the first ornament on the Christmas tree.

Mike was really impressed with the quality of the aluminum, the solid construction, and the protective packaging of this "Breezecatcher" unit. The experience of ordering this clothesline through has been positive. Of course, it's wonderful to have a sturdy clothesline after working with the broken one. I like that the lines are longer.


Hallie said...

Looks good! I didn't expect the lines to be green. Is that what makes it retro? I like that you caught Nellie in the background. :)

Kathy said...

No . . . it's retro because it's a clothesline in the age of automatic dryers. I consider hanging clothes a retro activity even when we practice it in the modern world.

Oooooo! I hear thunder -- and I have clothes on the line!

Nellie looked for you the last time we came. She said, "I know she told me good-bye, but I just want to see for myself that she's not in her room."

Hallie said...

It does look like a very nice model. I'll be interested to see what a retro clothes pin bag looks like.

Poor Nellie...we do have so much fun together. I told her that we'd be back soon so that might have been why she checked the room. She's smart!

Chris said...

I've been pondering getting another clothes line. We had one when we moved in here, but trees had grown over it and when I went to get my clothes, they weren't always clean: bug spots and bird droppings. Plus, I was working and didn't want to spend my carefree summer days hanging up and taking down clothes. I had Dan take it down and didn't miss it. Now I'm thinking an umbrella style like yours might be a nice thing to have. We could take it down when it was mowing time and in the winter. So, I'm pondering.

P.S. I just did a new blog post about my computer woes. The short version. I'm not sure I even comprehend all that Eric had to go through.

Leah said...

When we bought our first house in 1962, I had a clothes line installed that stretched maybe 25 ft. or more at the back of our long lot. The poles at each end were anchored in concrete and there were about 4 or 6 lines made of a heavy wire. It didn't rust, either. Mike may know what type of wire it was. After we got an electric dryer, that changed my washday ritual.

If you want to go way back, let's say the 20's, 30's & 40's, every woman hung her clothes in the back yard on lines such as mine in the 60's. They used bushel baskets made of thin slats of wood to carry the wet clothes to the line. They were called "bushel baskets" because they held a bushel. Plastic cothes baskets hadn't been invented yet. Often a housewife would buy a liner for her bushel basket made of oilcloth and it was decorated with bright patterns like the fabrics of the day. The housewives confiscated these bushel baskets from the farmers who used them in the fields. I doubt if many women allowed their "wash" baskets to go back to the fields once they had a new life.

Hallie, I don't think you'd call a clothes pin bag retro because there is no modern counterpart. All of them are essentilaly "retro." Kathy, I'll bet you can find retro clothes pin bag patterns, though. I remember bags made like dolls and the bottom of the bag would be her dress. I've also seen crocheted ones and other fun designs.

And let's not forget the lowly wooden clothes pin. There are 2 kinds, the one piece slim "two leg" clip with a round head and the two piece spring design. Now this really brings back fond memories. In the 40's, I made clothes pin dolls with the other girls in the neighborhood and we made tiny dresses for them. What fun and we were creating things without buying a thing.

Hallie, next time you go to a large grocery store, you might find clothes pin bags (they won't be fancy)and maybe wooden clothes pins. They will be near the clothes hangers and closet items.

Congrats on the new clothes line. Mike did a great job.

An afterthought. My son, Brian told me that his Aunt Ann lamented the invention of indoor dryers. She said they were the beginning of the end of back yard gossip!

Leah said...

Oh! Oh! When I Googled "clothespin bags" (under images) I saw dozens and dozens of unique designs. I never dreamed that they could be a part of today's lifestyle. There are animals and monsters and of course sweet little dresses.

Hallie, you could get one and use it for wall decor in your laundry room. They can also be used to store something in your closet.

Anyone that Googles "clothespin dolls" will see the retro world in it's finest.

Dr. Julie-Ann aka The Modern Retro Woman said...

I have one of those clotheslines with two T's on either end. Alas, the wire has rusted so badly that it is unusable. The Mister has told me that he prefers his clothes tumbled dried, so.... But I miss the ritual of hanging them up and taking them down. In the summer, if we were in the triple digits, the wash was almost dry by the time I finished hanging everything up! There are SOME benefits to living in Los Angeles! *laugh*

Kathy said...

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. Don't hold your breath waiting for that retro clothespin bag. I have lots of "someday" ideas.

Yes, it's true. Sheets are great from the line but towels and most of what we wear improve when tumble dried. I think the wind is a factor in softening line-dried clothes. When son Milo was at home, I often dried the white clothes because his feet were sensitive to the harshness of line-dried socks.

But here at the homestead we don't have a dryer and so the clothesline takes on importance. It does mean handling the clothes a lot -- sometimes moving them indoors and re-hanging. It's labor-intensive and time-consuming all right.

I do miss a clothesline in town for hanging sheets, delicate items, and things like Mike's synthetic cycling clothes that I never put in the dryer.

Leah said...

What was Ina's "wash day" like?