THE BASIC RULES FOR  CLOTHES LINES:  
(if you don't know what clotheslines are, they were what was used in the olden times before dryers) 

      1.  You had to wash the clothes line before hanging
any clothes- walk the entire lengths of each line with a
damp cloth around the lines. 

      2.  You had to hang the clothes in a certain order,
and always hang "whites" with "whites,"
and hang them first... 

      3.  You never hung a shirt by the shoulders  - always
by the tail!  What would the  neighbors think? 

      4..  Wash day on a Monday! . . . Never hang clothes on
the  weekend, or Sunday, for Heaven's sake! 
 
      5.  Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines
so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the
middle (perverts & busybodies,  y'know!) 

      6.  It didn't matter if it was sub zero weather
.. . . Clothes would "freeze-dry." 

      7.  Always gather the clothes pins when taking down
dry clothes!  Pins left on the lines  were "tacky!" 

      8..  If you were efficient, you would line the clothes
up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but
shared one  of the clothes pins with the next washed item. 

      9.  Clothes off of  the line before dinner time,
neatly folded in the clothes basket, and  ready to be
ironed. 

      10. IRONED?!  Well, that's a whole other subject! 

      A  POEM 

      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 upon the line; 
      You'd see the  "company table cloths
      With intricate designs

      The line announced a baby's birth 
      From folks who lived inside - 
      As brand new infant clothes were hung, 
      So carefully with pride! 

      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 also 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! 

      New folks in town were scorned upon 
      If wash was dingy and gray, 
      As neighbors carefully raised their brows, 
      And looked the other way . . . 

      But clotheslines now are of the past, 
      For dryers make work much less. 
      Now what goes on inside a home 
      Is anybody's guess! 

      I really miss that way of life. 
      It was a friendly sign 
      When neighbors knew each other best 
      By what hung on the line!
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