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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Line

By Johna Ferguson

Now I wonder what that conjures up in your mind as there are all kinds of lines. In fact, I was shocked when I looked in the dictionary and found more than 30 different definitions of line and I was only thinking of one that pleased me so much this morning.

In reading over the long list, I decided how difficult a language English would be to learn but when I read down the list, I was used to all the different uses. But could see how confusing it might be for a non-native speaker.

When the teacher said, “Draw a line on your paper,” it could be drawn with a pen, pencil, even a paintbrush. Then it could be curved, straight, squiggly or full of angles.

When someone remarks, “Her face is really lined,” we all know she must be old. I guess lines would be a more polite way of saying wrinkles.

If I were going fishing, I would surely pack my hooks, lines and sinkers. Those lines could be made of nylon, cable, rope or just string but they would all, hopefully with the proper attachments, catch fish.

When someone makes a ridiculous or lewd statement we might say that that person is out of line. If it’s an official policy, then we could say it’s just the party line. If we were talking about one subject and someone else brought up a different subject we could say that he has a different line of thought.

Then there’s the telephone line, the football line of scrimmage or hitting a line ball in baseball. Oh so many uses of just one word. I could go on and on but none of these were the one I was so happy about.

This one was promised me two years ago on my birthday as my youngest son’s gift to me. It was something I had wanted for years and finally he said he could solve it. It’s just that it took two-and-a-half years for him to do it but better now than never.

It brings me such pleasure and I use it whenever it isn’t raining. The sun does not have to shine for me to use it, just no rain. It takes hardly any storage space in one of my closets and is simple to use.

Now remember, I used to live in a co-op which was a 32-unit, four-story brick apartment building built 75 years ago. There is no actual yard; a few big flower gardens in front and on both narrow sides. The back yard was a grassed area but only about five feet wide.

I wanted it in back there where it wouldn’t show or bother the neighbors but that would be too big a job. So my son and I figured out a way to put it diagonally across just one back corner.

I’m sure by now you’ve guessed what it is. Yes, it’s a line to hang clothes on. I didn’t want much line but enough to hang out and air our two down comforters and to air our woolen things before packing them away for summer.

We had lots of lines for drying in our co-op basement so I don’t need one for regular laundry as the windows open wide in that room so the clothes still had that fresh smell.

He attached a round-eyed screw into the neighbors cement dividing wall, (14 feet high - the wall, not the hook) and another kitty-corner in a heavy wooden retaining wall of the next-door neighbors, all with their approval.

Then he strung a plastic-coated wire line between the two with big clips that would be easy for me to attach to the two eye screws. It must be about 30 feet in length, but was plenty for my use.

On a very sunny day in Seattle, I was able to hang out our winter sweaters and jackets to air the entire day. Truthfully, I was in seventh heaven; all that from a simple clothes line.

But now we’ve moved from that co-op into a condo with no yard and no drying room. I only have a dryer which I really don’t like. Not only does it take electricity but also the clothes never smell quite fresh.

One answer would be in good weather to open all the windows and hang some lines out the windows like they do in China but I think that would be frowned upon here. Any suggestions are welcome.

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Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Wow! Johna, what a great read.
Before I comment I have a few lines myself.

How about "Drop me a line."

"Politicians line their own pockets."

"I always sail on the Cunard Line."

Now you can proudly say "My coats and comforters had a nice clean fresh air smell because my son was clever enough to give me my own LINE"

I have one suggestion about a new way to air your stuff. Put your Perry Ellis out the window and close the window on one sleeve and let it sway in the wind for an hour.

It will be fresh as a daisy and that's no line!

I have no answer to your dilemma, but your story brought
back good memories of the smell of sheets that had spent time hanging in the sunshine, lovely.

A folding clothes rack?

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