Friday, September 23, 2011

Thoughts From A Clothesline

Back in the days of wringer washing machines and clotheslines the neighborhood social barometer often was based on how white your sheets were and if you observed laundry day like everyone else. Women paid particular attention on washing days to what was hung on their neighbor's clothesline. Also hanging wash on the line meant you had time to visit with your neighbor. Small children often were kept occupied handing their mothers clothespins. Unfortunately, in many places, clotheslines have become a thing of the past. Many homeowners associations have rules preventing clotheslines. I have read that in North America the clothesline controversy has prompted many government to pass "right to dry laws" allowing their use. As of October 2009, Florida, Colorado, Utah, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont actually have passed laws that forbid bans on the use of clotheslines.
Environmental concerns and higher energy prices have created a new generation of clothes-line advocates. Hanging clothes outside does save money and there are zero greenhouse gas emissions per load. One of life's simple pleasures is the smell of fresh clean laundry that has been hung outside to dry. Over time clotheslines have become associated with "home town" character in the neighborhood.
The following is a poem that uses the clothesline as a metaphor and with its unusual structure it caught my attention. It is Clothesline by Marilyn Machiel.

those people
wouldn't it be lovely
if one could
on a constant state
of we?
some of the most
can be some of the biggest
what if there was only
if words could be seen
as they floated out
of our mouths
would we feel no
as they passed beyond
our lips?
if we were to string
our words
on a communal clothesline
would we feel proud
as our thoughts
flapped in the breeze?

Perhaps after neighbors hung up their wash on a clothesline they would find time for a cup of tea or coffee and a tasty apple treat to celebrate the first day of Fall.
Apple Crisp
  • 7 cups of diced apples about 6 large apples-choose Granny or another tart apple for best flavor and baking
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 TB. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • Lightly grease 13 x 9 pan
  • In a large bowl mix apples with lemon juice, sugar and 2 TB cinnamon and 1/3 cup flour-set aside
  • In food processor mix butter, brown sugar, rolled oats, 1 cup flour, 2 tsp cinnamon add nuts by hand
  • In pan first layer apples and then sprinkle topping on
  • Bake about 45 minutes @ 350 uncovered
  • Serve warm-splurge with ice cream

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