Thursday, May 09, 2019


Most years it's the same thing:  After a bitter winter, all of us long for spring, and usually, at some point in March, there might be a day or two with highs in the 60's.  Or it may get up to 80 in February.  See, that's the thing; almost anything can happen, weather-wise, in Missouri.  We do have four seasons that are usually well-defined, but those seasons are never quite the same.  But we like to complain, don't we?  So every year we all forget that there is no "same" weather pattern in the midwest and whine about it.  It might snow a lot in winter, but maybe not.  Last year we hardly had any spring; we went right into 90 degree temperatures in May, with little rain.  This year, typical for Missouri springtime, it'll be warm for awhile, then cold... sometimes all that in one day.

So I wash a lot of clothes when it's like this.  It's been up to 80 a few times already this year:  I will get out of bed, keep my flannel pajamas on, slip on a fluffy housecoat, and enjoy my "me time" with the dog until Cliff gets up at 7.  At some point I get dressed, and maybe it's 60 degrees by then, so I put on appropriate-for-the-weather sweatshirt and jeans.  By noon I have the windows open and have changed into shorts and a t-shirt because it's 75.  If it's still warm at bedtime, I dig out a light summer nightgown for bed and toss the flannel pajamas in the dirty clothes.  I have now changed clothes three times, but wait!  If we go anywhere during the day that requires my getting out of the car and going inside a place where I'll see people, that's another change, because I only wear shorts at home these days.  My legs look like a road map of Georgia with all the veins showing.  Unless I've been outside gardening, none of these clothes really gets all that dirty.  But I can't keep piling them in the floor for use the next day.  So eventually I do laundry, even though half of the articles of clothing were only worn two to four hours.  I don't like to hang clothes I've worn back in the closet, and there aren't that many other places to put lightly-worn clothes.  

We did have a nice weekend before the rain started again this week.  It has rained a little every day, with us receiving over an inch in three days.  Today there was only a morning sprinkle, but it is cold.  The furnace has been kicking on from time to time.  It's 50 now at 4 PM, and heading down to around 40 tonight.  What a roller coaster!  I'll tell you, though, it's great for the morel mushrooms!  They like things cool and damp.    

Since this appeared to be the first day we've had without rain for awhile... and since I had four loads of clothes to wash... I decided to hang some clothes on the line.  Yes, even with the temperature at 50.  Since there's a brisk wind, the clothes are almost all dry already.  

While I was at the clothesline, I took a trip down memory lane, remembering how women of my mother's generation took great pride in their clean clothes hanging on the line.  They wanted their whites to be almost blinding, no matter what it took, and their colored clothes had to be bright and lovely.  They didn't just hang the clothes up willy-nilly; all whites hung together, towels together, jeans and overalls together.  You get the picture.  I don't really make an effort to hang anything a certain way; I just pick up whatever my hand touches.  I'm not creating art here, I'm just trying to get my clothes dried in a frugal manner.  Besides, the clothesline is in my back yard, which faces the pasture.  It's a very rare occasion when anybody is there to see anything; I like that about my back yard.  But when I was a kid, women liked to admire the neighbor's wash and comment on the bright whites (and perhaps judge people by their laundry).  I remember Cliff's mom saying, as we were together going someplace in the car, "Oh, look at that pretty wash!"  When my sister and her husband used to be winter Texans she told about riding down into Mexico on a train, seeing lots of poor people living in shacks.  She said some of them had laundry hanging out on a line, and even in their poverty, their white clothes were practically blinding, they were so clean.  

If you drive through Amish country on a Monday you will see clothes on lines everywhere, weather permitting, hung more or less the way my mom and her friends did them.  Orderly,  bright, neat, and sorted according to kind.  

Here's a picture of my two children playing in the soapy water of my wringer washer.  Before my daughter was born we invested in a dryer, which was kept in the basement of that old house.  I was SO happy, knowing I wouldn't be freezing my hands off hanging out diapers in winter again.  

We could have gotten an automatic washer at the same time, but I was stubborn and really hated to get rid of my old wringer washer.  I don't know why it's hard for me to let go of old things.  I get so attached to them.  It's a trait my mother passed on to me.  

Enough musings for today.

Yours truly, 


Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

My mom wasn't that obsessive about how the clothes were hung. We had a dryer, but there is something about line-dried clothes. I was sorry when our clothes line, which was attached to our barn, met its demise when the barn collapsed. I miss those sweet smelling line-dried sheets. We are just a little tired of the rain down here in south central but I imagine come August we will be wishing we could have some.

Margaret said...

My mom used to hang clothes from the line. I loved the feel and smell of sheets dried outside. They were so crisp and fresh. I did finally tell her to PLEASE not dry towels on the line because they were like sandpaper! We are getting 80s right now, and I prefer 60s and 70s this time of year. I'm hoping that it doesn't mean another super hot summer. For here, that's 90s. We're cool weather people.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Oh yes, hanging out the wash was always a great thing for me. I'd still do it but don't have a way to do that here. I've been to Amish country and seen those lines stretching form the house to the barn. What a sight to see. I started out my married life with an automatic washer, but learned to wash clothes with my grandmothers wringer washer. What a trip down memory lane/


i learned to wash clothes in a wringer washer. loved hanging them out to dry. i just got back from my fathers funeral on the east coast, so i'm behind in my blog reading and commenting.

krueth said...

As a kid at home, we also had the wringer washer. We heated water on the stove and dumped in. Mom always made sure she and then us girls, as we hung the clothes up, made sure the "unmentionables" haha! all the undies, bra's, nighties were in the back so no one could see them. I love to still hang my sheets out and have the fresh air smell when I go to bed at night. But oh, its so much easier to just toss it all in the dryer now days. We are finally warming up here. Up in the mid 60's today. yay! Spring has had a tough time arriving here in Northern MN this year. Wendy