Where Are The Clothes Lines & Roosters?

The other morning it was a beautiful spring day so I started the washing machine early so I could hang my sheets in the fresh breeze.Fresh Sheets While hanging out the sheets my 12-year-old rooster was crowing away.Rooster Then it hit me. This is something that is leaving our cultures. I am an American living in Belgium and I can say that Belgium is quite a bit more traditional than America these days in comparison. But even here you do not see many clothes hanging on the clothes line and when I am in America unless it is on a real back road I never see it.

I recently asked a friend who I know use to hang clothes out why she does not do it any more, she said it takes too much time. Hmmm, it took me all of 3 minutes to hang out my sheets, I was breathing fresh air, enjoy the sound of my rooster and my sheets will smell like the great outdoors when I put them back on my bed. I would say that is worth a minute or two. Not to mention the electricity I saved and how long my sheets will last from not being wore out in the dryer.

As far as the rooster goes, here in Belgium there are many chickens and roosters in people's yards. You can hear them all the time. But in the States, hardly ever, again unless you are in a real rural area. Belgium permits farm animals in residential areas as long as you have the room. I have seen donkeys, sheep, chickens, and an occasional cow on a regular size lot. They still seem to still hold on to the tradition of having these animals, also the reward of having fresh eggs in the morning. The American culture has all but given up on the traditional farm life. Everything comes from the store or Wal-Mart.

When I am in the States I miss the cozy feeling of a chickens, gardens, and clothes blowing in the wind.

So as long as I live here I will continue with hanging my clothes out, and feeding most of our leftovers that the dogs don't eat to the chickens and the rest goes in the compost pile for the garden. Remember when being self-sufficient was a necessity and not a fade?

So if the world of electricity and technology should come crashing down, I think I could survive ok, other than  writing this blog. I would really miss that.

Remembering Old Wives Tales

Wise Woman The other day I was helping my husband move his 80-year-old mother into a smaller place. Since all the furniture was not set up, we had her stay with us for a few days until she got settled. Her and I were taking a much-needed break at end of a long day and having a cup of tea.  She was gazing out the window looking over to the chicken pen when she said to me in her dutch language that it was going to rain in a day or two because the chickens were still scratching and it was after 7:00pm. I had never heard of that before and it got me thinking of other "old wives tales" that have been passed on over the ages. I decided to list some of the ones I found interesting.

  • When the swallows fly high it will be a nice day, when they fly close to the ground it will rain
  • Chickens will follow the sun eating if they are not penned in
  • Don't tie the rope until the calf is born (Belgian saying) or don't count your chicks until they hatch
  • A cow in calf will have a bull if the hair is standing up between her horns, and a heifer  if it is laying down
  • If the mist or fog is close to the ground the day will be nice
  • If  peacocks are making lot's of noise it is going to rain
  • If it rains on Easter Sunday, it rains seven Sundays after
  • Never give a knife as a gift or it will sever the relationship
  • Some people are penny wise, but pound foolish

These saying give me a chuckle and I guess some have a lot of truth in them, but what I am wondering is will we have any tales we that will be remembered in the future? Do we have modern day old wives tales to pass on? Maybe they will come in a different form like something to do with the internet or computers or social media. I just think it would be a shame if this generation did not have any everyday sayings to pass on to the next.

I enjoy old wives tales, just like I have always enjoyed the Farmers Alamanac to predict the weather. I suppose in the agriculture era this all was very important.

If you have any interesting "old wives tales" that you remember, would love to have you share them in this blog.

Until next time, and remember if you are a taking a photograph always look behind you, you may just see a better view.