In bygone days these small pieces of forked wood were laundry-day necessities. But now their time has passed. I haven’t seen or used one in many years. Today I toss the wet laundered clothes into the dryer. But I have many good memories of those clothespin days.
Hanging up clothes was my favorite part of washday. This gave me an opportunity to spend an hour outdoors. On a quiet rural Monday morning, I often would be entertained with meadowlark music as I slipped the clothespins, one by one, over sheets, towels, striped farmer- overalls and other clothing. Some years you could have seen me sticking clothespins into rows of diapers. In Spring, my washday was enhanced by the sweet fragrances of apple blossoms and lilacs. A filled clothesline tells a story. Passersby could eye it and determine by the sizes of the overalls and dresses what boys and girls, men and women were living at our house.
After emptying the clothes basket, I left the drying process to the sun and the breezes. By afternoon the laundry could be gathered in. I would pull out one clothespin after another and drop them into the clothespin bag to be used another week.
That evening everyone went to bed with sheets that had that wonderful fresh, air-dried scent, which is so special that Tide and Downy are still trying to copy it.
As we look back at those old days, life then seemed to move at a slower and more contented pace. Of course, laundry in clothespin days took more of our time and labor, but there were blessings in many other ways.
A clothespin was perhaps a small item, but it did its job!
By Doris Stensland – October, 2013