Friday, December 09, 2011

Clothes Poles

Mimmie had no use for “permanent press.” She liked cotton and ironed everything regularly, from her housedresses to Uncle Buddy’s blue jeans to sheets and pillowcases. When a tablecloth became worn or stained, it finished its life as a cover for her old wooden ironing board. Mimmie had a wringer washer at the old house, and an automatic one at her mobile home, but she did not have a dryer. Stretched between two trees in her yard was a clothes line, and due to its extreme length, she used Y-shaped poles every few feet to prop it up. Her linens never dragged on the ground as they dried in the breeze, and hunting for appropriate poles for this important task was her continuous endeavor. You won’t find them near the Tide and Wisk in the supermarket, or even with the ironing boards and clothes pins in a discount department store. Mimmie’s perfect clothes-pole specimens grew in the woods near her house.

illustration by Janette Kahil

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