Pat Shingleton: "Hardwater, Softwater and a Clothesline"
A summertime task was “stretching the clothesline.” Secured at the garage, the flagpole, and the porch, the line was stretched back to the garage. Here is where mom “hung-out-the-clothes” - kept off the ground with a “clothes-prop.” A shower emptied the house whereby kids, a grandfather and neighborhood buddies scrambled to retrieve the clothes before they were re-rinsed by Mother Nature. My brother Denis was never alert when it came to bike riding and often strangled himself on that line, traversing the yard before it was taken down. Another green initiative includes people opting to hang their laundry on clotheslines instead of using energy-sucking dryers. As rainwater falls it is naturally soft. Entering the ground and into waterways, it gathers a variety of minerals, including chalk, lime, calcium and magnesium, transferring the water from soft to hard. These minerals also assist in providing taste and nutrition for our drinking water. Baton Rouge claims the second best drinking water in the country. Mom appreciated another benefit of rainwater. Hearing the sound of a thundershower, she would position a pot on the patio to capture the “soft rain.” She also insisted that it was much softer than the tap water for shampooing her hair. However, clothes that remained “on the line” during a shower disturbed Mom. She didn’t know that hard water makes clothes look dingy as soap is less effective because of magnesium and calcium.