Thursday, 16 August 2012

My Grandma's hands

Just look at the state of my hands, how on earth did they become so wrinkled and dried up with the veins bulging! You wouldn't believe these hands are 63 years old would you, no I wouldn't either, they look like the hands of an 80 year old.

My grandma's hands looked old and wrinkled just like this, I noticed them when I was a teenager, I used to stay at her house for the school summer holidays. She was a whiz at baking, her hands were often covered in flour as she pummelled a lump of dough to death on the kitchen table. Her index and middle finger on her left hand were stained brown after a lifetime of smoking. Put me right off it for life. If it did that to your fingers what would her insides have been like. I'm glad I never started, never even tried it in fact. Another thing Grandma did was to dangle her cigarette from her lips while she was cooking. Eventually the ash would drop off, and hopefully if she was ready for it it would land on the floor. Grandma was skinny as well, I think I take after her side of the family, that's my fathers side. Maybe that's why I have wrinkled hands like hers.

The two rings I wear were my mothers. I put them on after her funeral 27 years ago and have never taken them off. I can't get them off now as they are no longer round, having got squashed a lot when I was doing manual work. Also my knuckles are a bit fatter now. When I went into hospital they stuck masking tape over them to cover them up, something about not transmitting germs and infections.

I have a scar on the index finger of my left hand, I did something silly, I am always doing something silly. I was cutting the weeds back in my garden with one of those crescent shaped steel blades with a wooden handle, a sickle I think you call it. I didn't seem to be making much progress, as soon as I took a swipe at the grass all it did was flatten it, I thought the blade might be blunt. So bright spark here thought if I grab a bunch of grass with my left hand then slash at it with the blade, it would cut the grass and not flatten it. Wrong. My aim wasn't very good and I sliced through my finger instead, the blade was sharp. Good job the hospital was just down the road, I wrapped a tea towel around my hand and it was soaked in blood by the time I got there. Ouch.

My right hand also has a scar, I was careless with a kitchen knife and sliced through the small finger. I used to bite my nails a lot but don't any more. If they got too long I would have a nibble and then they got a ragged edge which caught on my clothing, so I would nibble some more to try and smooth the edge, but of course it never did, it just made it worse. And then I made my fingers sore. I have learnt my lesson, I now use nail scissors.

I sometimes use hand cream but not very often, I usually forget or can't be bothered. Maybe if I'd paid more attention to my hands they might not be like wrinkled dried up prunes. I have neglected them a bit. Perhaps they would look better if I was a bit chubbier.

I suppose I am lucky that I haven't got arthritis, my friend has and her hands are terribly misshapen and painfull. I wish my hands didn't look so old. I don't feel old so why have I got old hands. I think I'm going to wear my green wristwarmers all the time, that will cover them up, maybe set a trend. And perhaps make a green neck warmer with the rest of the fabric as some have suggested, that would cover up my scrawny neck  ;o)  Toodle pip.


  1. I would say those are not the hands of a lazy person! Don't be so hard on yourself. I wouldn't want my hands to look like they have never done an honest days work nor to look twenty years younger than the rest of me. Lol!

  2. Those hands look like loving hands to thankful that you do have hands, and that they are capable of doing all the chores and projects that you get involved in.
    I myself have Essential tremor in my hands, but I won't trade them for anything in the world.
    I'm always afraid to lose an eye or a limb, as I'm not sure how I would survive after a loss like that, but I'm sure that I would.
    If you can, lather in some good lotion and go to bed in mittens, that will help, and stop worrying when there's no need to.

  3. You have just reminded me of Max Bygraves song, 'You need hands'. I'm off to see if it's on youtube.

  4. I have 'old' hands too. They look so much older than my face...they show work and usefulness.
    I once burnt off my fingerprints on one finger in an accident...I could be a robber if I only used that finger!!
    Jane xx
    Ps How the baby?...e mail me if you don't want naggers!

  5. My hands are very similar ! but I've done a lot, achieved a lot, and they tell the story. Years ago I would have been horrified - but now it doesn't matter - after all, who are we trying to impress, if anyone ? My hands tell my story, I also have some swollen joints bt only on my right hand, thank goodness no pain, I've been told it's because of a lifetime of knitting ! probably a lifetime of looking after animals too, cleaning them out etc.,so there's more testament to my life of industry. Be proud of your hands.

  6. Right I'll do my medical bit now. Hands age faster than the rest of our face because the skin is thinner there. Also we better protect other bits of our body with clothing and sun screen. x

  7. They are good hands.

    Hands that have seen years of good honest labour, hands that have stroked little kittens and brought comfort to many. Just sit and think of some of the things they have done in the last 63 years, from holding onto your mothers finger, to grasping her hand when you learnt to walk and then onto truck maintenanace etc etc, they have touched the world as much as you have seen it with your eyes, No wonder they show some of the scars.

    Your hands are beautiful.

    Sue xx

  8. I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure it's only you that would really notice anyway! I have a number of scars on fingers from silly incidents too! I never tried smoking either, I don't see the appeal at all and what an expensive habit. All my grandparents smoked though. I get through a lot of handcream. My hands get so dry if I even wash them in plain cold water and it's so uncomfortable I can't stand the feeling and can't use my hands until I've moisturised them. I hate putting so much junk on my skin but I can't bear the dryness.

  9. You have hard working hands like my mother - be proud of them! Only cover up to keep warm. Getting older should be something we respect, not be ashamed of. All my life I have been covering moles on my face and in honesty, it's become exhausting. Better to just like who I am and be a free person than be a slave to covering up for the rest of my life. I'm working on it.

  10. I'm 63 and my hands look the same way. It's always good for a laugh in the morning. Thanks for the laugh this morning. It's nice laughing at someone else's hands for a change. Three "laughs" in four sentences. Four in five. I better stop.

  11. I think that it is the luck of genes along with what hands have been doing. I am older than you and my hands look much younger than yours when you show me. However, if I were around you, I would not notice your hands or compare our hands. Some things just don't matter to other people who are not judging you by your hands. As we get older, we lose the layer of fat under the skin. It happens. I bemoan my old looking hands, too.

    I was reading something about whick nutrients and foods help us to keep that layer of fat under our skin that keeps our hands from aging so much. You are not a person who appears to have a lot of fat anywhere on your body.

    When I was so ill (50 hrs of diarrhea and throwing up continually), my veins on the back of my hands disappeared because I was dehydrated. So, I think you look well-hydrated as evidenced by your hands and full

    I have done stupid things and sliced my fingers and hands. It happens if a person is actually active in her life. Your aim is like mine.

    Right now, I am having a foot crisis. Because of back on one knee, I have trouble reaching my feet to do anything to nails. Limping has caused corns. I guess we all have something to annoy us.

  12. I meant because of my back and one knee I cannot reach my feet easily.

  13. I've got granny hands too, but then I am a granny.They have served me well even though they are scarred and wrinkly. I love looking at people's hands, they tell a whole life story of their own.

  14. I like hands to have character and to show you have a history, which yours obviously do!! (I mean the accidents not the fact that you think they look like grandmother's hands). I am younger than you and mine are not grandmothery yet but I don't feel that I will mind when they do, I like to garden without gloves so that I can feel the soil and can never be bothered to put washing up gloves on. My only scar on them is a 'present' from my ex....

  15. I use to complain about my hands when I was younger (thought my fingers were to short) and I was complaining once to my aunt she said " Can you imagine not having any hands? My hands have served me well". That has stuck with me to this day! So I no longer complain about my hands. :)

  16. hello i always find a bit of vaseline rubbed into hands makes them a bit plumper after a while :)

  17. reminds me of a picture I saw once. the text on it went along the lines of not wanting to arrive in heaven in pristine condition without a scratch or dent in the bodywork, but to skid in sideways yelling 'oh yeaaah, what a ride'. I cant remember exactly, but thats the jist. Our scars and wrinkles show we have lived, not merely existed.
    I use Atrixo on my hands, (when I remember).

  18. Hi Ilona I have nearly completed reading your whole blog - from 2009 - to here. Most of the comments too. Whew. I have loved every bit of it - thank you I think you are a very special lady. I remember complaining to my mother about my large hands when I was a teenager. She said - as long as those hands are honest hands that's all that matters. I have never forgotten. Sandy in NZ