Friday, April 22, 2016

Tender Years: Sheets?





"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson



Peeling back the layers.



All through my life, Mama often hung our clothes out on the line.  I loved the billowing garments, especially the big things like sheets!  I liked to play among them, grab them, smell them.  Of course Mama would get on to me and tell me to leave them alone, as she didn't want dirty little kid stuff all over her nice clean laundry.  

I also loved it when Mama brought the clean, fresh linen in the house and put it on the beds.  When she'd stand on one side of the bed and pop that top sheet so that it floated down evenly across the mattress, it seemed like magic.  Occasionally, if I were fairly clean, I could convince her to let it billow down over me a time or too before she actually put it on the bed.  I indulged my own children in this same manner.

While we were attending church at First Baptist, I was finally old enough I started to actually listen and understand some of what was said and sung.  I remember Mama standing, hymnal open in her hands, singing with a smile on her face, what I thought was "We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheets."  I couldn't comprehend.  Why was Mama smiling and singing about something I know she viewed as only a chore that had to be done.  She was never that happy bringing in the laundry! Finally a little time and some more learning, and I understood the word they were singing was "sheaves" and not sheets.  A few more years and I understood the sheaves were symbolic, not actual. 

Were clotheslines a  part of your childhood?  Ever misunderstand something the grownups were doing?  Ever have a sheet billow down over you like a cloud?

Thanks for sharing!

Barbara

18 comments:

  1. I remember my mother hanging clothes on the line. But we lived in the city and didn't do it very often. We used to have a very old washing machine. I mean this was old, even for my time. It had one of those wringers on it. You know what I mean? You'd feed the clothes through it and it would wring all the water out before you went to put the clothes on a line. I used to love playing with that and one day I got my hand caught in it. It hurt and scared me so much. I remember yelling up, "I cut my hand off!" Poor little, confused Jeffrey. My parents released my hand and I was fine. I don't recall playing with the wringer again.

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    1. Mama never used one, but I've seen them on a back porch or two in my time and I've seen people make planters out of them.

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  2. I remember hanging clothes as well as sheets out too. We were a poor family and with seven children it was hard keeping up with the laundry. There were times when my sisters and I would throw clothes in the bathtub and wash them and then of course hang them out on the line. I will never forget that fresh smell when you went to gather them in. Of course we had to be careful of the bees, sometimes they got tangled among the clothes.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

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    1. I don't remember having to watch for bees in the clothes, but I remember that smell! Fresh air and sunshine@

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  3. No, we had a dryer as well as a washer. I spent lots of time listening to the grown ups, so I'm sure there was much I misunderstood.

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  4. Bringing in the sheets. Love that. I used to think "souvenirs" was "silver-nears" and in "Winter Wonderland," I thought the line was "Make believe that he is possum brown."

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    1. Good heavens! I think I was in my late teens before I knew they were saying "Parson Brown"!

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  5. Clotheslines were very much a part of my childhood. My mama had 4 children under the age of three and we went through a LOT of laundry. This was back in the day of cloth diapers. She told me that she'd use every line in the neighborhood to hang those diapers out to dry. :)

    I don't know that I ever really understood what the grownups in my life were doing. Except for maybe my grandparents, the grownups never made much sense to me.

    Yes, to the sheet question, though Mama wasn't the one billowing it. I would do it myself. Also, something similar would happen sometimes when my elementary school class had PE. We had this huge circle of parachute fabric that we'd all line up around. We'd each grab the edge of it, hold it as we tossed it skyward, then let go and run under it. It was great fun!

    I enjoyed your story and loved the sheaves vs sheets part. It is funny what little kids hear vs what is actually said. :)

    Have a blessed evening!

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    1. Ha! What a fun game for an elementary school to have! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I spent a lot of time with my great grandma who had a wringer washer (pinches the fingers!) and clothes lines. Her dryer was a stand for plants, basically. She loved the smell of the sheets after they'd hung out and the dryer was just something she used in winter because my uncle bought it for her.

    Lovely post, as usual!
    Cherdo
    Cherdo on the Flipside
    "Favorite Characters, Favorite Lines" on the A-to-Z Challenge 2016

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    1. Thank you, Cherdo. Though the convenience of the dryer may of been a blessing in bad weather, it just couldn't match what she'd been used to all of her life.

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  7. Your post brings nostalgic memories of childhood when sis and me would build a tent out of sheets and play house house

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    1. That is a great memory! Thanks for sharing it.

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  8. Yes all a part of my life and the big black wash pot to boil the white clothes. Even after I got married I cooked starch and ironed my husbands work uniforms.

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    1. Oh, my, that made me remember Mama using starch in a an old Fanta bottle with a sprinkler stopper on the top! She'd starch and press Daddy's khaki work pants and white work shirts.

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  9. Lots to identify with here. When our clothes line wasn't being used for drying, my mom tethered my little sister to the line so she wouldn't wander out of the yard

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    1. LOL One really clever mom there! Thanks for sharing!

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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