Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Clothespins! My Clothespins! NOOOOOOO!

NOTE #1: This was written much earlier, in the springtime. I forgot it was writ. But it looks like there's some amusing laundry humor here, so...uh...might as well...uh... .
(from 4/29/09)

NOTE #2: I can't fix the consarned picture! Will one of my lovely daughters take pity on me and put a margin around the clothespin? No? Maybe later? When?

Clothespin *It's raining out there for the first time in several days. We've had an unusual early heatwave in Sub-Philly, broken today by cooler temps and rain.

I've been frantically hanging out laundry for the past few days; near-90°F temps + brisk winds = FFTP (the frantic flapping of the textiles phenomenon) and dry towels in 45 minutes. We're so lucky to live in a neighborhood where the women can hang wet wash out on clotheslines and spit tobacco juice into empty coffee cans.

On a side note, wet weather can make exposed clothespins turn gray with rusty hinges after awhile, so it would be better to bring them in each day rather than leave them out on the line. It gives the neighbor ladies less to discuss if the actual clothing is brought in from the line each day, along with the pins.

Clothespin Blues
(Blind Dry R. Sheetz, c. 1932)

Mah pins is gray,
Dey comes from France,
Mah pins leves rust spots
On da ass o'Mah pants!

Dis load been warshed,
Dis load bin hanged,
Dis load bin breaking Mah back,
Ah'l be gol-danged!

Oh. Oh, dear. *wipes away tear* Those old blues standards always make me weepy!

There are more sophisticated neighborhoods all around us--McMansions on culs-de-sac, big-screen televisions, lawn service, pool service, identical mailbox styles, identical yuppie soccer moms driving identical SUVs, no fences, no clotheslines, no swingsets for the yuplets. Things are a bit looser and nonconforming here in Threadbare Terrace. The rules of this once-pristine development have sort in the three or so decades since construction began.

A good percentage of our neighbors are original buyers within our development. Over the years since they settled in, they've tended their properties, been active in the community, grown their gardens, voted in municipal elections, supported local schools, raised their families and stayed in one place until retirement.

With many neighbors now in their senior years, children grown and flown, attending to the homesteads has become somewhat burdensome. Heavy maintenance has been forsaken, and the residences have taken on a patina of lassitude. Broken windows now take longer to be repaired, darkened Christmas lights still remain stapled to windows and roof edges, sidewalks have heaved up in oddly angular ruin, lawns are tended haphazardly. One of our more weary neighbors has taken to jamming plastic flowers up and down her walkway every spring, to the great amusment of the other residents. Matter of fact, a few of her plastic geraniums, faded but stalwart, were seen poking up out of the snow last January. Ooops!

Most neighbors have flowers in their yards that come up every spring--daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths--reminders of better years, before our knees became too arthritic to spend time kneeling down with a spade and a bag of bulbs.

This fall, I'm going to invest in the future and stick bulbs all over the estate. If my kids keep the property after Mr. Pseudonym and I are sitting up on clouds and laughing at them, they'll be surprised each spring by the brilliant flowers springing up, and they'll stop to remember the day dear old Momma wouldn't stop buying bulbs and had to be carted off to Dazed Valley Recovery Center for a much needed rest.

*Clothespin by Claes Oldenburg + Philadelphia City Hall


Caustic Cupcake said...

Awww. Nice post! The early Greeks wasted a lot of time planting olive trees that wouldn't mature within their lifetimes, knowing that their children and grandchildren would someday be able to sit around on their asses eating olives for hundreds of years. They were totally right.

Anonymous said...

Dear Priscilla. I hope all is well. I miss you.