I remember hot, sunny summer days handing clothespins to my pretty, dark-haired Mommy. I loved being with her and helping her, and I wanted to be just like her...very sweet, kind to everyone and very pretty.
When I was older, I helped Mama hang the laundry in the summer. (She did it alone when I was in school.) And finally, it became my summertime chore. There must have been three - or maybe four - wires on the backyard clothesline because I still remember that modesty required that our girl underwear be hung out-of-sight on the inner line. Sheets and towels, shirts and pants and socks on the outer wires.
And then we got an automatic clothes dryer, which helped with all the diapers. I was the second of seven kids, and it seemed like Mom was always about to have a baby or had just had one. I remember her teaching me how to change diapers too. We had cloth diapers with big safety pins back then. I stuck my little fingers many times while changing a squirmy younger sibling's diapers. You always had to keep your own fingers between the pin, the diaper and the baby's tender skin. I wonder if Mom noticed the many times there were tiny little drops of my blood to be washed off the sides of the diapers. The pins went through the diapers a little easier if you ran the point of the pin through your hair before trying to insert them into the cloth. Just enough of the natural oil from your hair would transfer to the pin. Funny, the things you remember on a hot summer day.
I remember loving sharing that time on those hot summer days in the backyard with my mother. We didn't have many 'alone times', and I treasured them.