I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Sunday, January 29, 2012


When I was about 12 years old I volunteered at a nursing home and I often found myself looking at the gnarled hands of one or another of the old ladies, resting in her lap, usually a well worn gold wedding band on her left hand, and I would imagine all the things those hands had done... twirled one end of a long skipping rope, held the hand of her boyfriend for the first time, caressed a lover, dug up the earth to plant flowers, bathed a new baby, rolled out pastry for pies, smoothed the sheets on a freshly made bed, rubbed a babies back to get a burp, clapped with joy as her children blew out their birthday cake candles, stroked back the hair from a small fevered forehead, tied the shoelaces of her child as she taught them how to do it, carefully wrapped up Christmas presents, brushed crumbs off of a small mouth, held the roller or brush to paint a room, stirred a pot of home made soup, carefully dusted treasured knick knacks (and where are those treasures today?), flung open the curtains of a bedroom on a sunny morning, patted sand into a pail to help build a sandcastle....a myriad of things those hands had done throughout a long life.

And now they lay folded, idle, bent and swollen from arthritis. They won't do much anymore, it's hard to even pull on stockings.

Then I'd look up into the face and eyes of the owner with a renewed sense of respect and care and compassion and smile and they would smile back and, somehow, I think they knew that I saw them for who they really were.

I still do this sometimes; at the mall, at church, waiting in the doctors office. And, now and then, I look down at my own hands which all too often are a bit stiff and sore in the mornings, and the skin is starting to look leathery and the age spots are starting to appear and I wonder how long I have before my hands sit idle in my lap and I look down at them to remember all the things they once did.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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