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One of the delights of spring is being able to finally let the freshly washed laundry dry in the warm air and sunshine. I’ve enjoyed hanging out the laundry for decades. This afternoon’s laundry was mostly royal blue workout clothes, black athletic socks, with the twin bedding from my son’s dorm.
As I was hanging the clothes on the line, I thought about all the years of hanging laundry to dry and how the items hung out have changed over the course of our family’s life. I realized that the clothesline tells our life story.
Today’s Clothesline Story
My son is home from college for the summer.
My daughter’s laundry no longer hangs on my clothesline. She’s been an adult for a while now and lives on her own and does her own laundry. I miss her clothes being mixed in with ours.
My efforts at exercising every day are paying off. My workout clothes are hanging on the line a lot because they’re dirty a lot. That’s good.
That paint-stained pair of cutoff sweatpant shorts (sworts?!) 🙂 and paint-stained shirt are drying and waiting to be used on the next paint project: my front door.
Today, my clothesline tells the story of the muddy, wet years in the garden, the messy, beautiful bringing forth of life during calving season, my expanding waistline due to a battle with the hormones, and the kids going from babies to adults.
And also the drab, mundane stuff of middle age.
Previous Clothesline Stories
The kids’ workout clothes used to be mostly red, then briefly green. The clothesline for a few years was filled with purple, and now blue is the dominant color, telling the story of my kids’ middle school and teen sports activities and the schools they attended.
My daughter’s bright orange bedding hung there once. NASA called to complain her sheets were blinding the astronauts in the space station. 🙂 Her room used to be painted bright orange and yellow, and her bedding and curtains were bright orange, yellow, hot pink and turquoise with big Gerbera daisies printed on them.
Because you’re only 10 once.
She doesn’t have bright orange sheets and walls anymore. She’s a grown woman now. But she does have a pretty bedspread with an orange design. Some things stay the same but take different forms as people morph from child to adult.
At one time, there were no children’s clothes on the clothesline. Just the clothes of a young couple trying to make their way in the world. Those clothes were smaller then. 🙂
Then one day there were these big, flowy tops and stretch pants. They got huge as the months went along.
Then, one day, there were baby onesies and tiny pink socks. A few years later there were onesies again, and tiny blue socks. There were small sheets and pillowcases and blankets. Even some cloth diapers and burp cloths.
Those tiny socks eventually were replaced with little girl and little boy socks in various colors and styles. A Kurt Warner Rams jersey hung there for years and kept getting bigger.
Those gave way to gymnastics leotards, basketball, baseball, and football jerseys in various sizes and colors. Bedding that reflected the varying changes in bedroom decor.
Through the teen years, the laundry pile was called Mount Laundry. We tore it down only to see it rise up again. Sometimes Mount Laundry just moved from one room to another.
But now, Mount Laundry is merely a pile again. Jerseys and uniforms don’t hang on the clothesline anymore. Just workout clothes and team gear in blue. My son still wears a blue football jersey, but now it has his name on it rather than Kurt Warner’s.
On the clothesline, at least for now, there is a reminder in the twin sheets and blue workout gear that a young man who as a little boy idolized Kurt Warner still calls this place home. And that makes me glad.