Friday, June 7, 2013

Getting To Know Me

When I was a kid of about 9 or 10, I remember one of my 'duties'
at home was to hang out the laundry. 

Coming from a family with 9 children you can just imagine
the amount of clothes that needed washing and drying
on a daily basis.

Mom and Dad always put up a weekly 'duty schedule' for us kids. They attempted to change 
it around as best they could to give us something different every now and then.

We had a big back yard and a long clothes line. I learned pretty quickly that hanging out 
clothes was one of the things I really liked to do.

Maybe it was  because it was a solitary task with no one else around.....being in a large
family doesn't always afford one peace and quiet. So this 'duty' was one I welcomed!

I never gave it a second thought until a boy from the neighbourhood one day was
watching me at the clothesline and said 'How is Mrs.Cuvelier doing today?'

I thought what is he talking about? I really didn't understand what he meant at the time
but I gradually got the idea that I was doing a woman's/girl's task.

And you know what? I could care less and thought his comment
was ridiculous. He would continue with the comments a few
more times until he saw that it wasn't bothering me in the least.

To this day I still enjoy the act of hanging clothes out to dry.
It can be a sort of art form you know.

And I am sure everyone has their own 'method' of doing it. I break it down into categories:
lengthy clothes first, then taper it back to the shortest being the last socks.

Of course the whites have to be together if at all possible, as well as the towels, shirts
 and mixing allowed!

Ron thinks I am a tad OCD about this, especially when I rush to the washer
ahead of him to get the wet clothes to hang.

And you know, he may be right!! But I still love the orderliness of it all.....everything
in its place. And it is a solo task making it quiet and peaceful.

So, there are lots of advantages that came from a large family setting and
especially one that had a 'duty list'.

I will forever be thankful for my parents for teaching their children 
about sharing the work tasks at home.


  1. Never thought I would see the day -
    Another clothesline sort freak!
    Hee Hee Hee!
    Like me!
    I also have a certain way to rack the dishes, I lose it when they aren't racked right.
    Says the lady with the messiest house with the neatest stacks of towels, color coordinated, plates, stacked according to size and well, you know. :D

    1. LOL! Yes I do! We'd be a pair, wouldn't we!!

  2. How wonderful that your parents taught all of you to do an assortment of chores regardless of gender. You were right...that boy's comments were ridiculous.

    I enjoy hanging laundry, too, and I also organize it! I guess we all have a tad of OCD in one way or another.

    1. I am sure all they knew was that they couldn't do it all and needed some help getting things done. And it was a good way to teach us all something we would need later in life.
      That boys comment probably wouldn't have made me stop a little if I hadn't known that something was 'different' about me that I didn't understand at the time. Then again, I wonder if my other brothers were worried what people said? I will ask.

  3. a wonderful post-I really enjoy hanging laundry on the line too-I look forward to it as soon as the weather warms-I get serenaded by all the song birds, and never know if I may get a visitor-a deer or a fox, and calico kitty always stops by too-I always found is so peaceful too-and reminds me of my grandma
    I organize my laundry on the line too-easier to keep it in order as it comes off the line.
    we always had our chores too growing up-I think that is missing in allot of homes now

    1. I wonder if kids today have chores, Kathy?
      I too listen to the birds while hanging of the is always a solitary process which I so like. I would love to get my hands on those longer and older clothes pins that were all one piece and not two pieces with a spring. Remember those? I bet you can get them online...I'll check. Have a great weekend, Kathy!

  4. I love your color blocking technique...makes for a lovely line of washing. You parents must also have instilled a good amount of confidence in you so that you were able to ignore the snide comments of that boy. And that's what kids need. The confidence NOT to let words and taunting bother them.

    I use an umbrella style washing line. Knickers always on the inside lines so they're not flapping in the breeze for everyone to see.

    1. The 'blocking' is probably my OCD kicking in!! But hey, it's fun to 'play' with the colours!
      I probably never told my parents about this guy and I guess they did instill some confidence just by example as all of us had to do the same chores, boys and girls.
      There is little bit of distance between us and the neighbours I don't need to worry about 'exposing' my

  5. I love pictures of clothes hanging on the line... Yep, sounds like that OCD thingy going on with you (haha). We have it here too (Gary) but it's okay. I think it just means you are very particular about the way you do things... it's all good! Oh, and BTW... I had the job of washing the dishes when I was young, and I hated that job. I used to cry and tell mom it made my hands shrivel up and gave me goosebumps. That's when she bought me rubber gloves... No way of getting out of that one, LOL. You had a big family. We only had 7 kids in ours.. Have a good weekend, Jim.

    1. Hi Bobbi! 'The dishes' was one of my tasks as well on other weeks. I wonder if men are more OCD than women?
      7 kids eh....where did you fit in?
      A good weekend to you too Bobbi and Gary!

  6. I remember reading in a novel somewhere

    the properly hung wash must have multiple lines
    you need to hang underwear and other "unmentionables" on the inside line and shield the sight of them using other items on the outer line

    We had a drying line in the back yard and I do miss line dried towels. It saved electricity on those days when the weather was fine enough for line drying

    1. Oh geez! You mean I should have been 'hiding' the unmentionables?! Time to set up an outer line I guess!!

  7. Great post, Jim. It sounds as if you have this down to a T. Good on you. I also enjoy the smell of freshly cleaned clothes swaying in the breeze.

    1. I do Linda, guess it's all the practice over the years!!

  8. I always LOVED hanging clothes on the clothesline when I was a kid! I was so sad when my parents took the clothesline down to put up a pool. :(

    S.J. Qualls made me laugh out loud! I totally relate to the OCD regarding the dishes! Not only does my dishrack have to be "in order," the dishwasher also has to be loaded just so. If I had a nickel for every time I moved something someone else put in the dishwasher, I'd have enough money to hire a maid to do the darn dishes! But, this is what really hit close to home - "Says the lady with the messiest house with the neatest stacks of towels, color coordinated, plates, stacked according to size and well, you know. :D" That's ME!!!

    Have a great weekend, Jim!

    1. Let me see....a clothesline or a pool? That would be...POOL!!! lol
      I can understand the dish thingy too....guess I am OCD, Lisa!!

  9. I love order. I'm so glad you ignored that kid.


  10. Me too, Janie, helps to de-clutter the mind.

  11. It seems strange that once upon a time there was "women's work", like household tasks, and "men's" work. I also remember snippy comments about "women drivers". Some things have changed for the better.

    We had a concrete clothesline holder instead of a metal pole. I used to climb up on it, straddle it, and pretend it was a horse.

    1. That makes perfect sense to me Terry! lol Even as a child you had horses on your mind.
      yes some things are certainly changing for the better.

  12. Nothing smells better than sheets dried in the sunshiny breeze. Nice, colorful shots, Jim.

  13. Hi Jim!
    I loved this trip down Memory Lane through your pictures and writing! Hawaiians hang a lot of clothes out to dry in their lovely Trade Winds.

    I used to hang clothes out to dry on the clothesline too, but I see that you use a different hanging technique from mine. I had to overlap each item to conserve clothespins. Maybe you just have lots of clothespins. They always seemed to be disappearing at our house. I didn't like taking the clothes in though, especially when it was cold and they had frozen on the line. I'll bet that you had a clotheshorse somewhere in your house to drape the clothes if they were still damp or stiff or you couldn't hang them outside.

    My mom used to leash me to the clothesline, so I could run around the yard safely but not go too far afield. Did your mom leash you or your sibs to the clothesline? LOL!

    That Sophie ~ she led me to believe that you were going to post about your approaching storm clouds. I was hoping to get a closer look. One or two of Ron's cloud pictures looked like some of the clouds had a touch of mammatus in them.
    They are some of my most favorite clouds because they portend a very disturbed atmosphere and imminent wild weather.
    I can't help it! I like wild and disturbed!

    I hope you have a good weekend, my friend! I also hope that Tropical Storm Andrea weakens a lot more. It looks like she's going to gobble Nova Scotia completely up!

    1. Sorry about that LouLouDoodle ~~ I thought Jimbo was going to do a cloud montage too! Maybe he will or maybe he won't. Cancers are like that aren't they ~~~ minds of their own!

    2. Now that explains a lot! A Cancer! Thanks, Soph!

  14. I also had to overlap each item so as to save on clothespins...they don't grow on trees you know!! oh yeah, they do. Well anyway, I love doing laundry, it's my favourite household chore. There is just something about clean clothes, dried in the sun, smelling wonderful, folded neatly, that gets my heart singing! Who knew that 'boys' could enjoy girly things eh?

    1. This boy does!! That's just who I am.....a good mix/shake-up of those hormones I guess! lol
      So good to see you Joanne! My favourite part is the 'hanging out' part and taking in part. I find that overlapping doesn't allow that point to always dry out completely and besides I somehow acquired a TON of clothes pins from my parents and Ron's mother.

  15. I love to help with hanging laundry too ~~~ I sit and stare at the guys as they manage this process they call LOVE!!

    Sophie 'not lifting a hand' Doodle here!

  16. I really love this post : ). I am glad you had chores and you learned about working hard when you were young. Look how great you turned out now!


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