Hand in hand

The McLeod River Post - - Points Of View - by June McInnes June McInnes

As a child I was fas­ci­nated by peo­ple’s hands, the size of them the shape of them, even the colour. The way the peo­ple could use them to do so much to make things to bake things was won­der­ful to me when I was young.

My mother had nice hands, long el­e­gant fin­gers with nice nails. My fa­ther’s hands were dif­fer­ent to her’s, more chunky, stronger, he seemed to be able to build any­thing with his. When I looked at my hands, they were a mix of both my par­ents, a 50-50 split, which is a good thing. My palms were like my dad’s and the back of my hands were like my mother’s.

Peo­ple are so di­verse there is a myr­iad of things that they can make with their hands it’s won­der­ful how dex­trous hu­mans, mon­keys and apes are. I’ve used my hands so much over the years. I’ve built walls, plas­tered them, car­ried bricks, cut wood, made bread, done laun­dry, painted, dec­o­rated, knit­ted, cro­cheted and done dress mak­ing so many things.

So many move­ments we don’t think about at the time. Now, as I’m get­ting older I find I have carpal tun­nel, it lim­its the move­ments of my hands and what I can do, it’s also quite painful some days even the weather and the time of year has an ef­fect on it so in­creas­ingly I pick the jobs I need to do in or­der of pri­or­ity to limit the pain. It won’t stop me, not ever, if I have to strap a pen to my arm I will still draw or paint, I won’t give in, I will rest oc­ca­sion­ally, but never give up, I’ve seen what that can do for a per­son, noth­ing, they sit around moan­ing about things never try­ing to change them, I might com­plain when the pain’s bad, but I won’t give up, not this chicken.

I’m still cro­chet­ing I find it hurts less than knit­ting but that’s just me, I do some then I rest then do some more then I rest, that’s how it is, I feel that be­ing able to do some­thing is bet­ter than noth­ing.

There are lots of adages that men­tion hands...”hands across the world” “hand that rocks the cra­dle”“time on your hands” “your life in their hands “we use them a lot in ev­ery day life. hands are im­por­tant. Peo­ple say “I’ve got to hand it to you” you do a “hand over” at work to some­one, it’s ev­ery­where.

Me, I look down at my hands now and see how they have aged, the scars, the skin changes and I think about what I’ve done with mine. Raised chil­dren, that was great, bathing them, dress­ing them, feed­ing them all, busy all the time. I was an out worker and did var­i­ous jobs like ty­ing bows for the cloth­ing in­dus­try or bows for Christ­mas crack­ers, I knit­ted jumpers for one lady and made cush­ion cov­ers for an­other, busy hands mine were. I tried a lot of dif­fer­ent jobs, try­ing to find the one I like the most so work­ing in a sweet fac­tory was in­tense all that pre­cise place­ment that goes on in band work. Hair­dress­ing, more pre­cise work and hard on our hands be­cause of the many move­ments needed to use the scis­sors and comb, curlers etc., up­hol­stery was very tough on my poor hands al­though I did en­joy it. So, I guess as the adage goes I’m “here by my own hands” I don’t mind though, it’s been very stim­u­lat­ing to do the things I’ve done. Like I said be­fore I may be slow­ing down, but I won’t give up yet. Pass me the painkillers on the bad days and look out hands.

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