I was on my way to the post office this afternoon when something caught my eye that I had not seen in a long time: a clothesline. With real clothes hanging from it. With clothespins. You are probably thinking why am I making such a big deal about it. I guess it’s just at that moment I was transported back to my childhood, picturing my mom hanging our clothes out to dry. Even when we finally got an automatic dryer, my mom would still hang clothes if the weather was cooperating.She said it just made the clothes smell fresher.

Back then there were a lot of moms hanging clothes in the backyards of our street. Lots of conversations took place over and under those clotheslines. “Hey Irene!” Mrs. Bonatatti yelled from her yard one morning, “Guess what I found in my basement this morning!” “What’s that?” my mom hollered back as she reached into the clothespin bag. “A snake! A big ‘ol black snake! I killed it with a hoe!” Unbeknownst to my mom, that was my black snake which I had just released the day before in the vacant field next to the Bonatatti house. The snake was living in a cage in our basement, and had recently bitten me on the toe. I figured if he was getting that high tempered that it be best that I let him go. I felt bad that he died such a horrible death, but I sure didn’t lead on that I knew anything about it.

When I cought a glimpse of the clothesline today, I parked my truck and walked about a block with my camera. Just as I was about to take my photo, a man walked into the yard carrying a gasoline can. I know he saw me, so I yelled out,”Excuse me sir!” He just looked at me. “Sir.” I said again, hoping to get a response. I got a low kind of…well….grunt. “Sir, I just want to take a photo of your clothesline.” “It’s not mine! he yells, somewhat irritated that I am even bothering him, “It’s her’s, downstairs!” as he points to a door to a lower-level apartment.

“Well I just want to take a picture of it, you know”….(and here is where my brain goes to mush)…”to show my kids. You don’t see clothes hanging out to dry anymore.” Now my “kids” are all adults and I am sure that my photo of a clothesline is not going to impress them, but that is all I could come up with! “I’ll just go ahead and take it then,” I said. He makes a quick motion towards that basement door with his free hand. Now I read a book years ago called “Body Language”, and what I read from his body language was this: Just take your damn photo and leave me the hell alone. I did, and I apologized for my interruption. (He had one of those kind of faces that keeps one apologizing a lot.) “‘At’s allright”, he grumbled.

ANd one more thing. I thought that line full of clothes would make an excellent subject for a watercolor painting. I’ll put that on my to-do list.


1 Response to “Clothesline”

  1. 1 Susan C Hogan
    April 29, 2013 at 12:07 am

    nice….my neighbors still do, all the blue jeans from her contractor husband, her sheets, even in the winter when it’s a dry day….sure beats Bounce! Have you sent the BIRDS to Sandy? on the Island? Do you want me to help?Thnx, Susan See you at 4:15 at Stifel

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