better outdoor living at home spring

Laundry Day & Childhood Memories

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I was reading a post that mentioned clothes pins, and when ever I think of clothes pins, I think of our Mom.

I will never forget our Mom hanging laundry in the back yard under towering shade trees in the summer when my brothers and sisters and I were little. Back then Mondays were laundry day, or wash day, unlike today where any given day there could be a load of laundry in the washer. And, by the way, Mondays are still wash day at our Mom’s house! But now it’s an indoor event.



Source: pinterest


On wash day way back then, our Mom had the laundry hanging process down to a science. She was awesome, equipped with her endless cotton clothes line, an arsenal of wooden clothes pins, and a big white fabric laundry cart that held the wet laundry first, and then the dry laundry, courtesy of the warm summer breeze.


A laundry cart very similar to this –



Source: pinterest


I love Pinterest for all the photos of old and vintage things that you hardly ever see any more!


Her outdoor laundry day chores began with unrolling a couple of balls of cotton clothesline – she would roll the line into a ball to keep it from getting tangled. From post to post she would string the line to create 2 to 3 very long runs of line to hang the clothes from.


The lines were so long that when the wet clothes were hung, they would sag. Our dad made supports from long pieces of wood (maybe 1 x 2’s) with a v-shaped notch in the top to prop up the clothesline. Supports were especially needed for very large pieces, like sheets and blankets.


The posts were metal, tall, set in concrete, and located out of the way of activities. They were dark in color, so they sort of blended into the background any other day of the week. The post caps had hooks for securing the clothesline and changing its direction –


kilian hardware

Source: Kilian Hardware


Our Mom would work her way down the clothes line, just above her head, grabbing the wood clothes pin to hang all the clean laundry – big white sheets, bath towels, every type of clothing, and shirts would be hung upside-down by the shirt tail. And if they were one of our dad’s dress shirts, the collar and cuffs would get dipped into a liquid starch so they always looked nice and crisp.


I remember natural wood clothes pins like these 2 photos –



Source: pinterest



Source: pinterest


I would love to have posts in my backyard for hanging laundry, and a bag full of wood clothes pins – maybe some day!


As she focused on her laundry day chores, we kids were usually playing near by in the yard. And I no doubt stopped to watch her, because this childhood memory with all the little details are so clear to me today. I’ll bet many of you have similar memories of your mom, too!



Source: pinterest


I’m sure I wanted to help with the laundry, because some chores might look like ‘fun’ when you’re little, but my ‘helping’ likely just slowed down the process!


I do vividly remember the big white sheets hanging on the line, and we kids loved to run under them as the breeze would lift them in the air. So much fun!


I’ll have to tell her of my memories of laundry day when back then, and she’ll probably smile!


Do you have a happy memory of your mom this Mother’s Day?  Share it with us!



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