poetry. thoughts and more than make-believe.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

To the clothesline!

I'm feeling pretty joyous today...could be the beautiful warm July air, walking my dog, eating lunch with my boy--amazing last night OMG's wrapped around sheets or it could be:


I've got my Grandma's clotheline in place,
not incognito
in my backyard raring to go!!

I grew up with my mom using a clothesline and I can pretty well say-- I didn't like it.
I didn't like my jeans being crispy-
I didn't like my towels being crunchy-
I didn't like my shirts being unshapely (though it was the 80's so how this mattered, I'm not so sure--but it did)-
And then I grew up.

My former and I bought my house...right next door to my Grandma.
And while I never imagined living next door to this amazing woman, I can't think of another way it could have been.

My Grandma had her clothesline set up in her backyard and when we moved it I was free to use it whenever I wanted.
I quickly found it to be the perfect way to be in the moment
little girls playing tent
babies laying sunward

saving money
dry baby dry
air baby air
swoosh swoosh swoosh

and another way to learn about my Grandma's life.  She often would come outside, sit in her backyard chair, beginning my day the way it should've been...simple.  The stories I heard through the years through household work... 

Then last year my Grandma passed away.
I used her clothesline till my parents sold her house.
Then the folks who bought it knew they'd never use it
wanting to build a backpatio...so they asked if I wanted it.


I now think it seems silly I didn't get it before the house was sold, but sadness doesn't always let the brain think correctly.

So...today I raise my glass to my clothesline,
passed down...thank you Grandma.


ClaireMontgomeryMD said...

aaawww . . . i love this. and you. and your grandma. miss her.

lizzy said...

Not sure who you are but enjoyed the story of the clothesline. :)

Not Emily said...

Thanks Claire..miss her too.

Lizzy--thanks--hope you enjoy a clothesline someday too:))

Alicia said...

This brought up a well of emotions for me. The similarities are eerie. When I think of clotheslines, I think of my grandmother too because she had no less than 4 of them in her backyard and used them religiously year-round, even in CT winters. She had The Big One hooked up from the house to this 30 foot pole set at the boundary of her house and the house next door. You could fit a few sets of sheets on it. Then she had 2 rigged up on the property line at head level. And a last one again at head level between 2 trees in the yard.

I also moved into the house next to my grandparents when I turned 20. I grew up with them, so moving in next to them was nice. I got to see them everyday.

Sadly, my grandmother passed away in 2002, my grandfather in 2004. I miss them both terribly and think about them every day. They never got to meet my daughter. That kills me.

I just toyed with putting a clothesline up in my yard this year, and immediately thought back to my grandmother and her crispy clothes. The funniest thing I remember is her bringing them in around January/February and actually standing them up in front of the heater grate to defrost.

Thank you so much for this post. Now I think I need to write my own.

Not Emily said...


Wow--your response was uncanny similiar...thank you so much for sharing. And yes--please write about it also!!

The last few years my Grandma would take my towels off the line just before they were dry and put them in HER dryer-- "just to fluff them up" as she would say. I always felt so bad that she was doing this extra work for me, but she seemed to LOVE and WANT to do it. So--I let it be and appreciated her way of still trying to care for me.

Sounds as if we've both been pretty lucky:))

"Happiness is only real when shared".....from Into the Wild

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