Hunter's Moon at Dusk 2010

Hunter's Moon at Dusk 2010
View of Hunter's Moon Spectacular

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hanging Laundry on the Line

What is it about laundry hanging out to dry that fascinates me so? Is it the quipping of sheets and towels making the soft clamor of the fabric? Is it the brilliant sunlight reflected on white? Or is it a sign of the normalcy that I had known as a child?

Neighbors may have been immigrants from any country, but all had a laundry day as kind of a common denominator. There was a certain peacefulness and bonding that we middle class people had.

As a child walking to school, it was reassuring to know that Mrs. Clancy was well, as shown by blue overalls all in a row on her laundry day. Or the multiple aprons that Mrs. Ardelaine, the Romanian neighbor displayed so proudly with either lace pockets or the simple broadcloth of her every day aprons.

Neighbors with children had the most interesting variety. My sisters and I could snigger a bit when we’d see our classmate’s undies out on the line.

Today, when I see laundry hanging, I am reminded how unusual it has been of late to see the textiles on the wing of the breeze. It’s more common to see beach towels and bathing suits flopped over a clothesline, instead.

The lack of middle class pursuit of excellence that made laundry into and art of craftsmanship is gone. Sometimes a line full of clothes may pop into view while driving down the road. It spurs that nostalgia of a day gone by.

Along with that day that’s passed is the dwindling existence of a middle class. The median gets smaller all the time. With a focus on getting rich, we watch television and see the fabulously wealthy politicians and movie stars.

We often hear of the poor, and huddled masses of large families on the welfare roles. We may read of the immigrants who are living the good life with their golden babies that provided parents with citizenship, and free hospitalization.

We hardly ever hear anything about middle class people anymore.

So when I see the clotheslines of the few, and the flapping towels and sheets, I am comforted with reminiscences of that bygone day of sincerity and hard working people. Of the short lived peaceful times. Of contentment and heroes home from the war and clean laundry waving in the breeze.

No comments: