So, yesterday, when I crossed hydrangea off the life list, I scrolled down to the bottom and added #103, which was to take 500 pictures of hands.

I guess that sounds a bit odd, but ……..I look at hands like some people look at faces. They just fascinate me. I often find myself watching people’s hands when they aren’t looking at me. They are just so….graceful and elegant, or strong, or or or….the list of adjectives is endless. The fact that we have a blob of meat on the ends of our arms with five wiggly digits attached that we can maneuver to do the finest tasks………fascinating.

I remember watching That One’s hands not long ago, as they flicked over the keys of his laptop. He has huge hands, and the keys were all practically covered and yet, he picked out each letter as easily as I do, and I have to stretch mine to reach all the keys. And when he asked what I was doing I blushed and said nothing, and then I told the truth.

I remember watching MMH’s hands hold my newborn 5 pound child and marveling that hands I had seen as rough and rugged all my life could be so soft and gentle. BTW, MMH stands for My Mother’s Husband and is the new blog name for the man I once called “Daddy”. Sorry for any confusion that may cause, but it is necessary.

And I remember looking at my Grandmother in her casket, seeing her face, telling her that was a fine red dress and looking at her hands, laying there. And her hands were wrong, and it broke my heart. All my life, her hands had been horribly blotched with what she always called “places”, because she bruised so easily in later life. And her hands were white. Nasty, pasty white, and not my Grandmother’s hands at all.

And I remember looking at Granny’s hands, in her casket, wearing nail polish. I’d never seen her wearing nail polish in life, and it was pretty on her.

And Ms.B, also wearing nail polish, which she always had.

Apparently, I do not like the face of death, huh? I look at the hands instead. I am the same with babies. I drink in their wonderful little faces and smell their delicious smell and then I study their hands.

And it is hands with which we perform loving acts of service for others: cooking, stroking, holding, knitting.

I caught myself the last time I was up in Polkton, studying Aunt Lady’s hands, too, and comparing them to mine. Similar here, but not so much there. And then I compared her to Uncle Big’s, similar here but not some much there. Marks of family and individuality.

So, anyway, hands. Five hundred of them, captured in little moments that probably won’t be important, except that I plan to take some of them holding mine, and then put them all in a little book. It will take a long time, because I don’t even know 500 people.