Friday, May 1, 2009


"In The Line of Duty" is a monotype that I did a few years ago. It speaks to me in more ways than one. I'll let you decide for yourself just exactly what it says to you. That is what art is supposed to do: elicit a response from people; make people question and wonder "why". Not all art "says" the same thing to each person. Some people see things that others don't. Perhaps even the artist never really thought about some of the responses.

Do people still wear aprons I wonder? I have a few but always seem to forget to put it one before I start baking or frying something on the stove that invariably creates a spill or a splash and then...whoops! too late...the stain is there. And sometimes it NEVER comes out. I should remember to put the apron on before the spill or splash but most of the time I am in too much of a hurry. I bet there are ways to get those stains out. Lemon juice and sunshine on a wash line? That's another thing: how many people have wash lines still?

When I was a child we had a wash line that extended from the house porch all the way over to the garage and was attached to a pulley system so you could hang something up, pull the line, and send it out toward the garage. The line was huge so it always would handle an entire load of laundry. Laundry in those days (at least it seems that way to me) was more methodical. Sheets were done on Thursday. Nothing else...just sheets, hung out to dry and came back smelling fresh and clean. Towels were done on another day as well as socks and underwear. Today it seems that everything is either done all on the same day or when I need something in a hurry. No time for the laundry line.

We used to have a line here at our house. I loved seeing all the clothes hanging out there and doing the laundry has never been a chore for me. I find it kind of soothing and actually get in a rhythm about it. I actually could say that I "enjoy" doing laundry. Most people consider it a chore but there is something very zen about it to me. I enjoy the process but miss the fresh outdoors-y smell of my childhood. My Grandmother was even known to iron her sheets. I can remember slipping into one of her guest beds as a child and the pillow slips and sheets were so crisp and cold. You wouldn't find a wrinkle in sight. Maybe she even used starch! It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Things were different years ago. Now we have washing machines and dryers that offer steam so that the clothes don't wrinkle. I wonder if they can infuse the fresh smell of sunlight on clothes as they do their job? I highly doubt it. Women in those days didn't work outside the home but they sure did work. Does anyone remember wringer washers? I had one once that I bought at a yard sale. It sat outside as a reminder of days gone by. It was white with bright red accents. I used to love to look at that machine. My friend borrowed it once to actually USE and she never returned it. I somehow miss having that piece of nostalgia here but it has long been thrown away.

All these memories remind me just how much my ancestors used to do in their daily routine just to exist. They certainly knew the meaning of "in the line of duty". A part of me wishes that things were less complicated in today's world. Yet, less complication equates to more work wish in turn equates to less time to do the things that I truly enjoy. I guess there are compensations for everything new we choose to embrace. My grandmother certainly never thought about writing on a computer or having her own blog. She barely finished high school. But, she sure knew how to make a great cinnamon roll and she drew up the plans for her own house. She was an incredible gardener, quilter, and seamstress. She just didn't have a diploma to prove how smart she was. She kept a spotless house and I know darn well that she NEVER forgot to wear HER apron!


  1. oh my gosh, teri, i have *no doubt* that mrs. mizzle would ADORE living with you!! i have sure enjoyed my visit and will be back! : )

  2. Beautiful post. I have similar memories. Part of my current series "Old Bones" is about these memories. I feel good I knew these people who took care of themselves so well.


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