Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Clothes Lines and Silver Dollars

When I was a kid, our folks would ship me and my sister off to our grandparents' for a week or two every summer. The days were full of sunshine, bare feet, aunts, uncles and cousins, fried foods, coke floats, Vacation Bible School, and sitting on the piano bench by Grandmom as she played the hymns at church.

Sometimes, the phone in the house would ring and we'd run to answer it. Grandmom and Grand Dad were on a party line and they would, to my bewilderment, tell us the phone wasn't for us.

Other times, the phone was ringing for Grandmom and it was someone inquiring if the grandkids were visiting. Know how they knew? Our shorts and t-shirts were hanging on the clothes line in the backyard for all to see!
Old Wooden Clothespin

Before the clothes ended up on the line, Grandmom would call for me to come help her in the shed. The shed is where the washing machine was, on a dirt floor, as I recall. I'd help her get the clothes out of the washing machine and without fail, Grand Dad would have forgotten to empty his pants' pockets. There, in the tub of the washer would be a US Silver Dollar Coin.

The coin always felt so big and heavy in my hand. Grandmom would tell me that if Grand Dad couldn't empty his pockets, well, then, I'd just get to keep the silver coin. I loved helping "catch" my Grand Dad! To this day, I have the silver dollars that Grand Dad "forgot" each time we visited.

When the sun shines and the wind moves just right, I remember those barefoot summers with clothes lines and silver dollars.

Happy Tuesday!


  1. I love this Mindy!
    It brings back so many memories of my childhood too!
    What a sweet memory of Grandpa and helping Grandma too...I would have been delighted to help her with the laundry. My only problem is I'm such a little pig, I would have spent the fifty cents right away when I heard the ice cream truck. Shucks.

  2. Oh - I love it!!!! Aren't Grandparents the best? What a wonderful memory for a Tuesday - yes indeed!!!

    We used to tie our cat up to the clothesline...
    that's all i'm sayin'.

    ;-) You are so fun to know!!!

  3. that is so precious! i could add popcorn and watermelon on the back porch to the food list! my grand dad always gave me a quarter and my brother and sister a dollar! i thought i was way more special...wait...i was! heehee!

  4. Jodie, good times, huh?

    Robelyn, keep that cat story to yourself. Ick!

    Janet, we took the watermelon out to a cow pasture and there, I learned how to spit seeds! haha


  5. What a great memory! You were an adorable kid. Those days with your grandparents sound wonderful.

  6. Pictures were dancing on my mind's eye as I read, charmingly thoughtful memories well worded... I became a grandma twice in the last 5 months... How about cranking some homemade ice cream, or am I too much older than you? Don't answer,Lezlee

  7. FringeGirl, thanks! We always enjoyed our times with them.

    Lezlee, I remember the rock salt and crank in my own driveway. Don't recollect turning the crank at the grandparents house. But, I did paint the bottom 3 boards on their house, cuz that was as high as I could reach. My grandfather wasn't impressed with my drips! haha

  8. Great post, yes grandparents are the best. Isn't it amazing how the most simple things and experiences with our grandparents are things we remember most. Steve and I have talked about this, about how we stress over bday and Christmas gifts for our kids. He asked if I remember gifts I got as a child or if it was just times I remember. Of course it's the "just times" that I remember and mean the most to me.

  9. What sweet memories! I had the the prettiest movie going in my mind about your summers at your grandparents, but now all I can see is Robelyn's cat strung up on that clothesline! :(

  10. Look at YOU!
    Aren't you just a doll!
    You have the exact same baby blues, I do believe.

    My best memories were those made at my Mammaw and Pappaw's house in Waco. I remember amusing myself for endless hours sitting on their front porch with a flyswatter in hand, swatting flies 'til the sun went down.
    Weird kid! ;-)


  11. Tracy, you just gotta love the memories, don't ya?

    MALisa, I got Robelyn to elaborate, and it's not as horrific as you or I imagined.

    Anne, Thanks! Yes, I recall having some good swatting skills, sitting on the stoop of the front porch! ~Mindy

  12. What a sweet post! The days with the Grandparents are the best!!! Blessings... Daphne

  13. Mindy, I love your memories of your Grandparents..
    They are wonderful! Is that sweet little girl you? sandi

  14. What lovely memories, Mindy. Ahh, the old clothesline - NOT allowed in our neighbourhood in the city. Guess that's what our farmhouse is for :)

  15. My in-laws had a 3 way party line and it was the first time I experienced it - I was 17 - my dad worked for the phone company - I was spoiled with a princess phone in my room (only child) what memories! Jennifer jennsthreegraces

  16. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm older than you, but my childhood memories of Mama and Tip are so similar. Mama had a wash house with a wringer washer no less!
    Just have to say...maybe Robelyn thought she was hanging the cat's pajamas.
    P.S. I know I'm older, but when I came by earlier for a quick peek at this post...was it JFK I sawon two coins or am I losing my grip on reality? If I am...let's just blame it on being tired, 'kay?

  17. Such wonderful memories! I love that you still have those coins! :)

  18. Ha Ha! I love stories about Granparents...they are soooo special!

    Check my blog tomorrow if you have time...we went to your shop in Poetry, Texas...LOVE IT!


  19. I gave you a little plug on my blog today. Lezlee

  20. Oh my...you and I must have shared the same grandparents! I loved spending time with mine. Many of the same memories...but also going to the cellar to get some can goods for dinner, or picking stuff from the garden to cook. Getting up to go feed the chickens with my grandfather and being scared of the mean rooster. How blessed I am to have had so many wonderful years with my Grandparents...not everyone is so lucky.

  21. Daphne, good times with the g'parents, for sure!

    Sandi, yup. That's me! I was bout 2 1/2 years old.

    Zita, I am on the search for the t bars/clothes line for my place. I just can't resist the idea!

    Jennifer, that party line thing was odd, wasn't it?

    Debbie, With us both being native Texans, I think our age difference goes out the door. We got to enjoy what Texans do! And you know as well as I do that revisions happen on blogs, even after they are published! ha! (yes, you saw JFK half dollar coins)

    Amy, it was fun sharing my memories. Thanks!

    David, thank ya!

    Sandy, WHAT??? Oh, dear! Primitiques is almost naked. Please come to Warrenton, or come back to Poetry after April 4. K? But, I'm really glad you came out!

    Lezlee, you rock! Thank you so much! Like I told Sandy, the store will get filled back up after the show.

    Denis, I love it! I haven't found a nice rooster, that's for sure! haha ~Mindy

  22. My Father-in-Law would always have candy in his pocket for my oldest son - except one time, he forgot. Stephen hopped up in his lap and peaked in his shirt pocket - his EMPTY shirt pocket. Oooops!

    Happy Hunting,

  23. Great story Mindy! Brought tears to my eyes...must be missing my grandparents! Thanks for sharing!


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