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SOME HANDY THOUGHTS
16 October 2005
When did I get such old hands?
Fingers that have pains shoot through them occasionally (fortunately, not often)
What are these old hands doing on a person who only feels 35?
Who snuck in in the middle of the night and turned me into a Senior Citizen?
I never did have good looking hands. I always wanted good looking hands, nice long tapered fingers, slim hands. But I was not blessed with those hands (Paul was...then he had to go spoil it by biting his nails).
When we were designing the yearbook for my senior year in high school (I was editor), one title page was going to have someone's hands holding a corsage in a box. Nobody on the yearbook staff had decent looking hands and we had to go out checking all the hands of other seniors to find ones that looked the best.
That distinction went to Gail Brandeburgo (amazing how these names just come rolling off the brain when you start thinking about it).
My hands have served me well over the years, for the most part. They have also let me down on occasion.
The first use I had for these hands really revolved around the thumb. I was a chronic thumb sucker. It got so bad that there was some concern that I might get a blood infection -- I don't know how old I was, but I can remember it, so I was not merely a toddler -- that they put a metal coiled "cage" around my finger to keep me from sucking it, but I liked the taste of the wet metal. Then they had me soak my thumb in some vile tasting liquid, which, my mother tells me, I would lick at, making horrible faces until I finally had all the bad taste gone and could suck my thumb again.
I did eventually outgrow thumb sucking, but my hands sometimes disappointed me. They did not play the piano as well as my father (and grandmother) hoped. Sister Mary Victor's ruler smashing down on my fingers didn't add to my enthusiasm for sticking with piano lessons.
But put these hands on a typewriter or computer keyboard and they have no peer. They fly across the keyboard in nothing flat. These fingers were made for typing. I knew that from the first day I entered typing class and put my hands on the keyboard of an old black upright manual typewriter and typed my very first exercise.
At one point in college I went with a group of kids up into the mountains for my very first ski trip. I was a rank beginner--and a klutz to boot--and so I was started on the bunny slope. I don't know how beginners' slopes are now, but then we had to hang on to a rope tow and be pulled up to the top so we could ski down. But I did not have a firm grip in my hands and after two trips up the slope, I no longer had any strength in my hands at all and that, combined with the heel coming off of my ski boot, ended my skiing career.
Over the years, these hands have been a frustration because I don't have the strength in them to do a lot of things. You'd think that with all the exercise the fingers get, they'd have Olympic strength, wouldn't you?
These hands have also made their share of bread dough, sinking fingers into nice, soft dough, kneading the dough until it becomes elastic and then putting it out to rise. (In the days before bread machines, this is how we made bread, children...)
These hands have changed diapers, dried tears, folded laundry, scrubbed floors (once in awhile), cleaned out pumpkins, decorated birthday cakes, gave haircuts, smoothed ruffled feathers and fur, held loved ones.
These hands never get manicured or lotioned or anything else. The nails are short because it's easier that way. They've never had fancy nails applied, rarely have been polished, and, like my hair, they just are and have to make do with what nature gives them.
I guess that when you consider that they've been used and abused for 62 years, it's not surprising that they show the wear and tear. It's no wonder they don't look the 35 that I often feel. I suppose that, like my grey hair, I should wear age spots and wrinkles with the same degree of pride, because I earned them.
I'd like to get some feedback. If you have ever tried to view any of the videos I post, could you please let me know if you have been successful? I am hearing that some people can see them, some can't. Jeri tried the movie that I've linked to today and says she can hear the music, but can't see the movie. I'm very disappointed because I added one of her pieces of music and it fit so perfectly with the film that I was really tickled and hoped she could see it. So I'd like to know how many people have actually tried and if they are able to see the videos or not.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Walt's sister sent this to him today. I