Out To Dry


Picnik collage

I grew up in a small town in rural Illinois.

I walked to school, to my dad's office in town and everyone knew us (that can be good and bad).

Every home was different.

There were no subdivisions or track homes.

Most yards had a clothesline.


All summer we would help my mom hang the clothes, sheets and blankets.

It is funny how quickly a memory can come back to you!

I just remembered the smell and warmth of the sheets as we were running through them playing in the backyard.

I am now pretty sure my mom didn't love us dirtying up her clean sheets!

I now live in a town much bigger than the little town I grew up in.

We have subdivisions and covenants and no clotheslines.

When I got home from France I soaked my vintage French linens for a few days, washed them and took them to my sister's home in the country.

She has a clothesline:-)

Picnik collage1

I wish we could have one just for sheets, towels etc.  I am not about to show my neighbors my underwear and bras flapping in the wind.

So I hung my clothes for a little while, folded all my vintage goodness and headed back to my clothesline-less life:-)

Picnik collage2

Are you able to have a clothesline in your neighborhood???

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  1. Nathalie

    Oh, that brought back memories of the days my mom hung our clothes on the line… funny story.. I got married in the backyard and in my wedding picture was my mom’s clothes hanging out to dry. We still get a kick out of that picture.

  2. deborah

    no clothesline for us either. ugh. i’d love one. and chickens, too;) my *bad-girl* wish list keeps growing. i bet the linens smell soooooo sweet.

  3. Amanda Purvis

    Jeanne, you can come to our house anytime! We live in downtown CR and have the best vintage clothes line at our old house, and it’s right in the city!

  4. paige

    we did not, but some of my sweet memories are those of spending summer time days with my grandmother in south georgia. she had a clothes line. she would chat over the fence to her sweet neighbor as they both hung the wash. honestly i can smell that fresh laundry smell now.
    she grew tomoatoes…the best i’ve ever tasted too
    sweet memories
    lovely images of simple linens…just beautiful xo

  5. Allison

    I grew up with a clothesline that was used routinely when summer weather warranted. However, I must confess I am not much a fan of the stiff towels and shirts that follow a good hanging-out-to-dry. That soft, fluffy feeling post-dryer is much more comforting to me. Of course photos of clotheslines are much more romantic than those of dryers. πŸ™‚

  6. shannon

    I think my neighbors would think I had gone crazy! I love these pictures all your vintage French Linens look amazing flowing in the wind.

  7. Heather

    We have a clothesline and I love it..we use it for mostly towels and sheets, lol! I have a deal with my neighbor that they can use it if they want and I will never hang our underwear on it (and neither can they)! lol…I remember that my grandmother on my dads side had the BEST clothesline. I can still see the sheets blowing out there with the breeze coming off the bay…I loved it!

  8. What would I do without my clothesline? Here in Indiana, I live in a vintage Craftsman-inspired home in an historic district. Throughout our “warm” seasons, I line dry knits and cottons I don’t care to shrink in the dryer, in addition to blankets and the like I’ve used during colder months.
    It’s a time for introspective thoughts and de-accelerating from life in the crass lane while enjoying God’s out-of-doors and backyard creatures (butterflies, birds, etc.).
    Every backyard should have a clothesline! πŸ˜‰

  9. Becky @ Farmgirl Paints

    Oh I remember my mom’s clotheline. The towels hard from flapping in the wind. Smelled so good though! Your vintage stuff looks good hanging there. Makes a pretty picture:)
    Went to the market today. Had lots of fun. I’ll call and tell ya all about it soon.

  10. Becky @ Farmgirl Paints

    Oh and I’m kicking myself for not going to that Creative Connections. My friend went and it sounded FABULOUS! Next year girl it’s on!! Ree Drummond, Amy Butler, Lisa Leonard, Lisa Sowers etc…were all there! Oh and I met Beth Quinn today. She’s a doll:)

  11. rachel

    Lovely pics! We used to have a clothesline in our backyard when I was little. I remember my mom using it on a daily basis. Happy weekend! πŸ™‚

  12. Tammy

    I remember when I first learned that sub divisions in the States had by laws preventing home owners from having clotheslines. OMGoodness what a shock. I think here in Australia clotheslines are largely the norm.

  13. Destiny (The Ruffled Nest)

    I always wondered how often the birds “got” the laundry if you know what I mean….strangely, I can’t recall it ever happening when I was younger…Wish I had a line now : ) I supposed I could put one up from one side of the deck to the other : )

  14. Gail

    i grew up with a clothesline as well but my little 40’s ranch doesn’t have one. BUT I have created my own by stringing some clothes line rope from the shed to the back porch. I know my neighbors think I am crazy but the smell of all my clothes is lovely plus I only dry socks and undies in the dryer. Trying to live a bit more green. I take it down after laundry dayl I love the memory of sheets flapping in the wind.

  15. lissa

    this was a dreamy post! I wish I could do a clothesline that looked like that! I’m afraid that most days everything would get rained on. But doesn’t it just look peaceful.
    ps while writing this comment becky called and happened to share your comment on her husbands blog. That cracks me up so bad! You slay me!

  16. FrenchGardenHouse

    Great photos! I have a clothesline, one that I make when needed, to hang all my French and Victorian linens on. There just is NOTHING like linens that dry outside. I can’t believe you CAN’T have clotheslines. ack.

  17. elyse

    i don’t have a clothesline and didn’t grow up with one. gee, i guess i could hang one though. my oldest sister has one and uses it all year, all four seasons. hardcore!
    happy weekend

  18. Sherry Hicks

    We live in a town that is growing rapidly but we live on the outskirts on an acre where we can have animals, park boats do whatever we want, there is a house down the street that has a zebra in the front yard. However I do not have a clothesline. Your post did bring back memories of my childhood when even living in neighborhoods most people had clotheslines for at least towels and bedsheets. We used ours for everything as we did not get a dryer until I was a teen, it came about the same time as the microwave in our house. You cannot beat the smell of clothes hanging on a line, Jeans got real stiff though……..I really enjoy your photography!

  19. V.

    Most Australian backyards still have a clothesline – it would be criminal to use a dryer when we have all that sunshine. Rather than a long one like your photo, we usually have a rotary one, similar to a large umbrella.

  20. LouBoo

    Hi – awww gorgeous images…I love clothes lines and am mildly obsessive about trying to dry clothes outdoors – they just smell better! I am not a tumble dryer kinda girl. This post has cemented my thoughts – it’s outside or nothing! Lou x

  21. Martha

    Looks just beautiful!!! But we don’t have clotheslines either…at least we would be able to in the subdivision we live in

  22. staceyyaculastudio

    Yes, I have a clothes line! When the kids were really little I barely got the clothes washed & dried. But, now that they are older I hang my clothes when ever I can. I love the smell! Nothing like it! I guess it’s the simple things that bring such joy.
    Your pieces from France are so beautiful!

  23. Suzen

    Every weekend from earliest spring to the first snowflakes I hang out our white sheets to dry. Without any scientific proof I have to say I think the ions in the fresh-air dried sheets help us to sleep better. There is something so simple and comforting to about clotheslines and I’m sorry that they are regarded as an eyesore by many. A claw footed tub and clotheslines are basic necessities for me. I love your photos, Jeanne…beautiful!

  24. Jayme, The Coop Keeper

    We live on three acres in NW Indiana and I loooove my clothesline. I can’t imagine life without it. I do miss my jeans not standing up on their own though, but whatcha gonna do? I do hang my bras and underwear out there!

  25. Stacey

    No clothesline for us either – against the covenants. When we lived back in Wyoming in the country we had a clothesline and we used it a lot – they way the clothes smell after drying outside – heaven!!!
    Your photos – dreamy!!!

  26. Oh Jeanne ~ I truly love my clothesline. There is nothing better than hanging your sheets on the line. I am with you though ~ no undies get hung up ~ they stay in the house!

  27. Julie

    We had one growing up. I don’t have one now but have thought about it. Love the way clothes smell after drying outdoors. I don’t know how often the weather would cooperate over here though.

  28. Lorie

    I currently have a clothesline in my yard. We live out in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road, and that was a requirement that I had of my husband when we moved here. That was my mother’s Day gift one year. How exciting, right? πŸ™‚ I use it alot in the summer, and have one in my basement for the winter.
    I also have memories like yours of when I was a kid running through the clothes on the clothesline. I’m sorry you can’t have one.

  29. Lori

    What a beautiful sight! We live just out of the city limits and have a clothes line. I wait for the first day in spring when I can hang up the laundry, sheets and blankets especially, because there is nothing like falling asleep under air dried bed linens.

  30. susan

    i love hanging clothes out, it just brings back a simpler time for me. we are allowed to hang clothes but we aren’t in a traditional neighborhood. it reminds me of my grandmothers. have a nice day! susan

  31. Wanda

    I grew up with a clothesline, but now in California they are not the norm. I sort of live in the ghetto though, so I bet I could have one. I mean, if you can have a shopping cart in front of your house, you should be able to have a clothesline in your backyard! πŸ˜‰ I am thinking I should put one in! I love those little hangers my grandma would make out of children’s clothes to hold the clothespins. Do you know what I mean?

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