24 November 2007

Weeding the Lot

this is the picture the entry below references:

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

There are a few pictures of me that I really do like.  This is one of them.  Actually, it is the only favorite one I currently have in my possession.  I was four.  I was wearing my favorite sweatshirt.  I was very happy.  See?

It was my dearly departed maternal grandmother’s favorite picture of me.  She had it inside a locket she wore on her necklace.  I think my mother still has the locket, for safe keeping, with other very special mementos.

Can I be found in that little girl from then?  Is there a part of that little girl from then in me now?  Yes to both questions.  I am still the same in many ways.

I experience happiness and joy the same now as then.  Last night, a smidgeon of that giggly ecstasy broke through when I got the wonderful news about the Heartsong Award.  I still chatter on ceaselessly, wearing out the ear canals of just about anyone who will listen to me.  I still am a klutz, tripping over my own feet and sometimes losing my balance for no apparent reason.

When I first came upon the picture last year, I scanned it into my computer and e-mailed it to several friends.  Most said that they could still see little resemblance.  One said that my hands have not changed a bit, other than they are now slightly larger.

I peered closely and she is right, my hands do look remarkably the same then as now.  I did not realize that could be so.  Somehow, this seems important to me.  I am not sure why.

I do know that hands tell lots about a person.  I come from a line of seamstresses.  My mother went to work at the shirt factory her mother worked in, within a week of graduating high-school.  My mother told me that if ever I went to work in a sewing factory, she’d break every one of my fingers.  I believed her.

My grandmother seemed like such a very old lady to me, as a small child.  I loved her very much.  One day I told her that I could tell she was an old person.  Know how?  Cuz she got scruchee skin, I pronounced, rubbing the back of her hand carefully.  I hope I age as gracefully, lovely as she did.

My mother’s hands are fine, slender fingers with naturally pretty nails that are strong.  Her cool palm held my forehead when I would be sick.  Her fingers move nimbly about, threading needles, kneading dough, doing a multitude of tasks.

But, years of labor have curved her fingers, leaving her knuckles swollen and arthritic.  She has beautiful hands; hands that raised the four year old child pictured to the woman who uses her hands to write/type now.  Her skin is only slightly scruchee.

My hands are scarred with numerous tiny creases from untold, unremembered cuts, scrapes, and such.  Recently I went through an elaborate fingerprinting process so that I could be cleared for a background check in order that I might volunteer with a very special segment of our population, those with mental retardation.  I was quite fascinated with all the whorls, swirls, interruptions, creases, and the like.

I don’t know what I would do without my hands.  I’ve grown rather attached to them over the years.  I hope I might keep them always.  Even when I am old and they are scruchee.


  1. What a beautiful picture this is how bonny you were. I too am from a seamstress family.I have done much sewing in my life.I seem to always tell a persons age by there hands funnily enough.I often remark when I see stars on tv who have had all the plastic surgery etc on there faces to make them look twenty year younger then you at there hands at the same time and well I think they look odd.This picture reminds me of my youngest Grandaughter very much.Take Care God Bless Kath
    astoriasand http://journals.aol.co.uk/astoriasand/MYSIMPLERHYMES

  2. You have given me a bit of inspiration and I think that there is a poem somewhere in me about the stories told by our hands. There is a song that I heard many years ago that has a line, "Grandma's hands clapped in church on Sunday morning, Grandma's hands picked me up each time I fell." Your entry made me think of that song.--Sheria


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