Sadly, in my neighborhood, we are not allowed to hang a clothesline. That means no sheets whipping in the breeze, no clean air smell on your towels in the morning no heaving that basket of clothes up from the basement. But wait, my mother has a clothesline….so off I went.
I called my mom about 9:00 this morning and asked if I could ‘hang out’ at her house. I threw my clean sheets in the basket and drove the 2 miles to her house. She was on the back porch, clothespins in hand, ready to go. She has a system and I sat back and let my mom do her thing. We chatted and she explained how to hand a fitted sheet vs. a flat sheet; how to use one clothespin to lay over two pieces of sheets; and how to put that thingy on the line so your clothes stay off the ground and flapping in the wind. At 87 degrees today, you bet they will be dry.
I stood on that porch with my mother and prayed I would not lose her for a long time. I take her for granted sometimes, and I hate myself when I do. She is the best. She says she is not like her mother, my grandmother Amelia, but she is. I remember a time standing on the back porch with my grandmother. She just finished the sheets and ‘whites’ in the wringer washer she had in that musty old basement. She told me of a time when she did laundry as a young girl. (Guys, this is a girl discussion for a sec….) She told me when you got your period, what I fondly call Ralph, you had to hand wash the torn pieces of sheets or rags in Clorox and hang them on the line…the whole neighborhood seeing this and knowing Ralph was here for a visit. (Hence the term, pardon my bluntness, ‘on the rag’.)
After a trip to the farmer’s market, we stopped back at the house and the sheets were indeed dry. The towels stayed behind and I will go back later. As we folded the sheets, I watched my 5’1″ little Italian mother whip and bend and fold that queen sized sheet into a perfectly folded square. I can never do it. Maybe one day I will be on a porch with my daughter and grand-daughter and tell them this story so they know how great my mother was. See the picture below. Doesn’t everyone have a St. Anthony in their yard watching over the laundry?