A clothesline was a news forecast To neighbors passing by. There were no secrets you could keep When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, For neighbors always knew, If company had stopped on by To spend a night or two.
For then you'd see the fancy sheets And towels out on the line; You'd see the company tablecloths With intricate design.
The line announced a baby's birth To folks who lived inside, As brand new infants clothes were hung So carefully with pride.
And the lines were full of diapers, So white and bright and clean. Because in those days of yore, In stores Pampers were not yet seen.
The ages of the children could So readily be known, By watching how the sizes changed You'd know how much they'd grown.
It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung; Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too, Haphazardly were strung.
It said, "Gone on vacation now," When lines hung limp and bare. It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare.
But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work less, Now what goes on inside a house Is anybody's guess.
I really miss that way of life. It was a friendly sign, When others knew each other best, By what hung on the line.
I don't know if this poem would inspire me to skip the ease of the electric dryer. It seems to take a bigger shock to the system than a cozy feeling conjured up by the sweet ideals in this piece. Poverty usually does the trick. It was a sacrifice for me to stop using the dryer. I have yet to see the new electric bill's praise for my determination. And it will be harder to keep using the line if there's not a big difference in the amount next month. The good news is, if I can use a clothesline exclusively, anyone can do it. If you have children, enlist their help by paying them the difference in the electric bill for the help they give in lowering it. We had a family meeting complete with a pot of tea, and notebooks in which to jot down ways to save. The girls have been more helpful than I imagined they could be since then. Don't underestimate the little folks' help in living frugally.