I need my hands. My hands are my living. I need to make things with my hands every day.
Often, when I am looking for inspiration for starting to write a blog post I look to the internet for images or quotations to giving me a helping ‘hand’. Here’s a really great quote:
“You have two hands
One to help yourself………….
………………..the second to help others.”
So to go back to the beginning, my hands are my living. I realised the importance of my hands the other day when I was teaching a 5 year old lad to make marshmallow flowers for his cupcakes. He said:
“You are a proper teacher like Miss C.” (I won’t name her online!but if she reads this I hope she knows I mean her.)
“Oh, thank you for saying that. What do you mean?”
“I mean you teach properly….” he paused, gathering his thoughts. “…..and you have hands like hers.”
My hands look exactly like my mother’s hands, and then the other day I thought to myself that they were, in fact, my gran’s hands. I don’t think we look alike necessarily, but the hands (and feet) are identical. I am working a little from memory as my grandmother passed away many years ago – but the liver spots are familiar. She hated hers but I quite like them because they remind me of her.
I need my hands, just as I need to make things everyday or at least do things with them. At times it is drawing or doodling. I’m no artist but give me a pen or a pencil and I’m away.
My hands need to make things, edible things, pretty things, wearable things…..anything. They like to be busy, and obviously I need them to write.
They should not be taken for granted and they are more important to me now than ever. To be told my hands are like Miss C’s is an accolade and a huge complement – she is one of the most creative and clever people I know. A fantastic artist.
And I think, that with my hands I am helping others. Whether it is teaching a cookery class, moulding chocolate or making sugar paste flowers to go on a celebration cake that’s what I am doing. OK – at a price because I don’t do this for nothing. But my hands are literally my living. I need them for my paid employment too.
Last week I delivered a Chicken and Vegetable Casserole to a lady for her lunch who can no longer use her hands. She can just about manage the microwave for a jacket potato but she has recently taken the plunge and tried my home delivery service. Her one order has turned into a weekly order. Last week I suggested a pudding to go with her lunch.
Oh, I can’t tell you what it was like. She thought for a minute and then asked what sort of pudding. “Strawberry mousse, or how about a chocolate mousse?” I could see she was not sure….”How about a mini fruit pie?”
Her face lit up with a fabulous smile.
“You would do that for me?” she asked ” A fruit pie for me?”
“Of course…I’ll do you an apple pie.”
“Oh thank you – an apple pie just for me.”
Wow. It is an absolute joy and a privilege to be able to do something to make someone so happy. This week when I delivered her dinner she gave me a card. Inside was a thank you note.
Of course – it is a pleasure. I’m hoping to build my business and to be delivering and making and teaching enough to make a living but in a way one or two lunches a week to give a helping hand to the elderly in the community and one or two cookery lessons a week would be okay too. The work I do with my hands is helping me to understand that moving from a highly stressful working environment to one that is far easier and more comfortable (if a little lonelier) to work in has improved the quality of my life. And to gain a small complement about my hands or to see the eyes and fact lit by a smile because of something I have made has had the same impact.