This past weekend one of my projects was to secure a couple old wobbly clothes poles in the side yard. True confession: They’ve needed it for quite some time. But now they’re straight as an arrow, firmly secured in fresh concrete and ready to resume service as part of our energy efficient solar laundry system. My mom would get a real chuckle out of that 21st century description of her “Clothesline”!
So, with all the beautiful weather we’ve been having lately, we were eating lunch on the deck admiring the newly transformed clothesline and it just took me back down memory lane. So much so that I decided to place a call to my childhood next door neighbor who grew up in the row house next door in NJ very similar to what you see in the opening of Archie Bunker’s “All In The Family” TV program.
Back in those days most women were fulltime housewives even though it was a post-WW II economy; the transition to wives working outside the home was underway but not far. Part of the reason was the labor saving devices we enjoy today were simply not invented yet; think automatic washers and driers. Indeed, Monday was laundry day and housewives all over the neighborhood would lug their laundry down to their basements, run the clothes through their washing machines that included an electric agitator but a hand cranked wringer.
And this was also before permanent press fabric, so all those white shirts the men wore to church on Sunday had to be starched and then ironed afterward. Wow, I have a new appreciation for my mom just recalling and writing this!
During the winter, the clothes were hung in the basement to dry but in late spring, summer and early fall they were hung on the clothesline in the back yard. By the time my wife and I took up housekeeping we had moved on to automatic washers and driers as we know them today but she has always had an affection for clothes dried on a line outside; she loves the fresh outdoors scent! I don’t really care myself as long as my underwear is clean! So, when the clothesline went back up over the weekend I “earned some points” from my bride; always a good thing!
Back to the phone call to my neighbor. We went on to reminisce about some of our other memories of those “Good ‘Ole Days”. In particular we remembered all the home delivery we enjoyed before this era of Uber deliveries and everyone else who has jumped into that delivery market. We actually had home delivery by:
- The Milk man
- The Bread man
- The Ice man
- The Coal man, and believe it or not,
- The Clothes Prop man!
It was a delightful walk down memory lane last week and again this morning as I see the laundry blowing in the fresh air on the “New” clothesline! I hope your childhood memories are as delightful as mine!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week
Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org