Anthology of Embellished Memories Sketch #1 – The “Obsolete Line”


It was a warm July day and me & my best friend, Johnny Walker had been out playing baseball. Our appetites were beginning to interfere with our game so we decided to suspend the ninth inning just long enough to retrieve a fried bologna sandwich from our respective homes.

I was downstairs finishing up my lunch and studying over my baseball cards when suddenly my concentration was interrupted. “Daniel… Daniel…, are you still downstairs?” Startled by the distress in my mother’s voice, I dropped my baseball cards and ran to the bottom of the steps. “Yea, Mom, what’s wrong?” “Daniel, would you run quickly and bring in the clothes from the line? It is starting to rain! ”

I could already hear the pelting of the raindrops hitting the aluminum awning over the basement door. I didn’t bother retrieving my shirt or shoes since the clothes on the line were already being dusted by the summer shower. I hurried to the screen door dragging the laundry basket behind me. The sky was now black with leaking storm clouds.

I snatched the clothes pins from my dad’s overalls and quickly threw them into the wicker basket. A boom of thunder caught me like cannon fire and I dropped to my knees pressing my hands against my ears.

The rain was now flowing down like a river from heaven and my bare back was feeling the chill. I jumped up from my crouch frantically to continue gathering the remaining garments. There was no use. The clothes were wetter now than when Mom had hung them out. I pushed away my soaked hair from my eyes and gave in to defeat.

Mom stepped out onto the back stoop and from the protection of the awning hollered for me to come back in and leave the remaining items on the line. She was holding a beach towel in her arms and I was glad to oblige.

I ran for the back door and mom caught me and wrapped the towel around my drenched body. I looked up into her eyes as a smile emerged. “I guess the Lord likes to remind us that He is still the one in control,” she said as she snugged her arms around me.

By the time she loosened her embrace she was as wet as I was. We both enjoyed a laugh but the increasing deluge quickly turned our attention back to the crisis still hanging on the line. We both stood quietly for what must have been the better part of ten minutes watching God re-wash our clean clothes.

For the longest time, I saw little significance from this event in my life. But as I’ve grown older the lesson from that clothes line now shines bright. Today’s niceties afford us great leisure but seldom do we consider what we have given up in the exchange.

Our family has decided to take a few steps back, to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, to lean more on God and less on man’s fragile pseudo security. In fact, we are going to sell our electric dryer and reinstall that old “obsolete line!”

So if you are ever out at the farm on a warm sunny day, and a shower approaches, if you don’t mind gathering in the clothes from the line, we’d sure appreciate it. I left the wicker basket by the door.


This entry was posted in Embellished Memories and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anthology of Embellished Memories Sketch #1 – The “Obsolete Line”

  1. Sara D says:

    Nothing beats the smell of clothes dried on the line in Gods sunshine! Although we still have our dryer, we too hung up a line about a month or so ago 🙂

  2. Lyn says:

    Beautifully written, Daniel.

  3. Grandma CeCe says:

    This brings back pleasant memories of growing up in Colorado where sudden Summer showers were a daily occurrence. The game on wash day was “who can bring in the most dry clothes before the clouds roll in.” Love the pictures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *