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Lessons From the Clothesline

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Some testing last spring revealed my hormones have pretty much flat-lined – among other things. My preference is to use natural remedies working in harmony with my body; however natural remedies aren’t covered by insurance. And they are expensive.

Because I really wanted to go the natural route, I began praying for a way to fund the extra expense.

The solution came in a surprising way. It all started with my grandmother’s clothesline.

As a child, I recall running through the sheets and towels cascading down from the line in her backyard with the fresh scent of “clean” wafting around me.

Those warm memories – and my desire to reduce my share of wear and tear on this beautiful earth we call home – gave me a desire to set up my own clothesline.

One day I came home to discover my husband had rigged one up for me. “Giddy” would accurately describe my feelings. I couldn’t wait to make use of it!

Lessons from my clothesline:

Surprisingly, stepping outside with my freshly washed clothes and pins is a joyful experience. Instead of confining ceilings and walls, a bright blue sky opens overhead. Regardless of the challenges I’m facing, my mind opens and I’m reminded of the largeness of God. I feel his presence.

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Melodies from birds and cicadas greet me instead of the whir of a dryer. My soul feels a little bit lighter. Their music makes me smile and helps the little irritations closing in around me to dissipate . . . float away. Peace seeps in.

The scent of trees and earth replace stale household air. Fresh air invigorates and fills my lungs with life.  And I breathe . . . slow and deep.

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Rather than isolation, our dog sits perched on the porch curiously watching as I pin clothes to the line. My son wanders out to help and conversation flows. Who knew a clothesline could birth “moments” of intimacy and togetherness, and bring richness to my ordinary days?

The items on the line remind me of the people I love and the blessings we share as a family. They are associated with pieces of true significance in my life and gratitude rises up in my heart. At the clothesline, I thank God for his goodness to us.

As I watch the fabric and color drape the line, a sense of satisfaction increases and spreads. Being kind to the earth I love, the earth God created for you and me, makes me hopeful for future generations – especially my children. It’s as though I’m helping my kids as I help the earth. It’s also a way for me to honor God as I become a more responsible steward of the natural resources he’s entrusted to us.

As I step back into the house, my soul is strangely invigorated and refreshed. Doing laundry used to be an unwanted, stressful task to rush through.

With the clothesline, there’s no rush. It’s more about how to draw out these moments.

Then came another unexpected benefit. This benefit was discovered as I opened the envelope containing our electric bill. Our home doesn’t have access to natural gas. Everything’s electric including the dryer.

Allowing our clothes to dry in the air God provides cut my electric bill in half . . . enough to cover the added expense of my medications. 

Lessons from the clothesline . . . how sweet they are.

mywarminghouse.com, clothesline


Other links you might like:

Traditional Wood Clothespins (vintage style)

 Classic American Clothespins (with springs that don’t rust)

 Homemade laundry soap (from one of my sweetest of friends, Ruthann)

Do you have a clothesline? Do you have memories of a distant clothesline in a former time?







  1. dee dolloff says:

    Love this, Lisa!!! I had a clothesline in the country, but I don’t have one any more. I had hoped to use it all of the time when I lived there, but it seemed that I was always rushed and didn’t use it much. My mom uses hers a lot and always has. This makes me want another clothesline — just to savor the moments and slow down the fast-paced life. PLUS, decrease the electric bill — that’s definitely a plus! Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed day! Dee

  2. Kathleen says:

    It cut your bill in half? Marvelous! I have a clothesline I only use rarely. I think I’ll begin using it more. Thank you!

  3. Keri says:

    Some of my favorite childhood memories are of running in and out of the sheets on Nan’s clothesline! Thanks for bringing back a good memory and hope you make many more of your own 🙂

  4. Christy says:

    This is a great post, Lisa. I have the same fond memories of running through Grandma’s freshly washed clothes. I wonder if she shared some of your insights and experiences from the clothesline. What a difference this akes for the Earth, your health, and your pocketbook!

  5. Kathy Hoeck says:

    Lisa! As usual … another incredible, creative use of the written word. You bless my soul so much. Love the richness of your descriptions. My kids tease me when I recycle … I keep telling them it’s for their future! What a beautiful way to honor the Lord and this planet we call home … for now! Love you dear friend.

  6. Donna Abercrombie says:

    Dear Lisa, new to your website. I live in the country and use my clothesline. my husband saw that two lines weren’t enough,so he got me a second clothesline that spins with the wind. always brings back memories of how life used to be living with my grandmother. her time to pray and hum hymns. the fresh smell of clean clothes, and the wonderful smell as you go to bed at night. Thank you for sharing your faith. i’ve enjoyed your site.May God truely bless you. Donna

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