I was driving around yesterday when I noticed some clothes hanging out on a line to dry out. It dawned on me that this is quickly becoming another relic from the past. As little as 20 years ago such a sight would have been very common, these days not so much save for rural areas. The modern electric indoor dryer has made the clothesline an obsolete nuisance for many folks these days.
I vividly recall in my younger years seeing two T-shaped poles with two connecting lines in numerous backyards throughout my hometown. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone dig one up to have it removed yet they seem to have almost all vanished over time. Like many folks of the time, my family had a clothesline out in the backyard despite having an indoor dryer. We mainly used it for the “heavy” laundry such as blankets, sheets and blue jeans.
A clothesline was a wonderful way to gauge the intensity and direction of wind as the clothes would flap around in the breeze. It wasn’t, however, all fun and games as anyone who has had a rain storm sneak up on them can tell you. If you want to see some fast and fancy footwork just watch the mad scramble that ensues at the first sign of sprinkles. I’ve made the mad dash a time or two myself to rush out and fetch some clothes from getting an unwanted rain rinsing.
I pity children today who won’t know the joy of having a pull-up bar in their backyard. I also remember using the clothesline as a makeshift goal post to kick field goals over. The birds seemed to enjoy having a nice place to perch too. I’m sure of the why or how but I distinctly remember getting tangled in the line on at least one or two occasions. The clothes pins to hang the clothes up were also a great way to torment an unsuspecting sibling or friends ear by clamping it on them from behind.