I think it was Erma Bombeck who wrote about clothes lines and how, years ago, the stuff hanging on them used to tell the world what was going on in your household. Illness, a new baby and other special events were all telegraphed by diapers and other items strung along those lines. Hardly anyone has a clothes line anymore, except me. My husband hates it. He thinks it makes us look like the Beverly Hillbillies. Sorry, hon. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. It's great for drying swimsuits and pool towels and filling my sheets with sweet smelling pollen.
As I was running through our neighborhood this morning, I realized that even without the clothes lines, we all leave little signals as to what's going on in our homes. The Millers have been gone for three days. That usually means they're in Louisville visiting the new grandbaby. The Scott's have four cars in their driveway. That extra Chrysler means their daughter is still on the outs with her husband. Mr. Darnall isn't sitting in his lawn swing. He's usually out there by 10am. Hmm. I make a mental note to check on him if he doesn't emerge by lunchtime. He's 83 now and getting feeble. From the looks of the debris scattered in the Thompson's yard, their sons are home from college now, and they're still drinking like fish. I wish they'd pick up their beer cans. Oh, look. Mr. Ballard is cleaning up his carport. I'll be they bought that boat they've been talking about. Hey, Mr. Brooks is mowing his yard. I guess he's recovering okay from that light stroke he had last month. Yep. A jog around the subdivision keeps my thighs from turning to Jello, but it also tells me what's going on with my neighbors without ever speaking to them.
Hmm. I wonder what my house and yard says to them. I can hear them now. Look at all that cheap underwear on the clothes line. She must have found another sale at Walmart. I wish she'd wear more of it when she walks the dog at 5:30 in the morning. Can you believe they still use a clothes line? What hillbillies.
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