Photo a Week: Hands

For Nancy’s ‘Photo a Week’ challenge ‘Hands‘,  I was reminded of that old Max Bygraves song, ‘You Need Hands’.

The first verse went like this:

You need hands to hold someone you care for
You need hands to show that you’re sincere
When you fear nobody wants to know you
You need hands to brush away the tears.

Hubby and I  have always held hands when we’re out together. A friend at our country club remarked on it,  saying that it’s unusual to see this in couples who’ve been married for so long, and that we must still be very much in love. Well, she was right about that. I’m sure we’ll still be holding hands for as long as we’re together.

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My hands also come in very useful when I play the piano, something which I’m really looking forward to doing in the not too distant future when the house is finished and we can get my new piano delivered.

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Our son also uses his hands to make music.

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My darling Mom had the most beautiful cool hands. They were hardworking hands, always busy; be it submerged in laundry soap suds, scrubbing floors, baking delicious pies, sewing beautiful dresses for my sister and I,  knitting warm sweaters for the whole family, brushing and plaiting my long hair, stroking my fevered brow when I wasn’t well, and  also regularly clasped together in prayer. She had no time or money to pamper herself,  yet her hands stayed young for the whole of her 90 years. Some of you may remember this photo which I took a couple of years ago, on a visit to see her in the care home. We were sitting trying to hold a conversation, something which had become increasingly difficult as the dementia had cruelly set in, when the lady in the next chair, rousing a little from her slumbers and without  even opening hr eyes, reached her hand over the arm of the chair until it found my mom’s. She grasped it tightly, and as mom gently stroked her fingers, I saw a glimmer of a smile on her face, probably remembering a time in the past when she had someone’s hand to hold, maybe a husband or even a child. This lady never had any visitors, but I’m sure that the cool touch of mom’s fingers brought comfort to her heart, just as it used to for me when I was a child.

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“Nothing in this world compares to the comfort and security of having someone just hold your hand.”  ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

Wishing you all a wonderful week with lots of hand holding.

 

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The Big Reveal…….Ta-Dah!

I won’t keep you waiting any longer to know why I’m so excited about my Saturday purchase. Here’s my new ‘baby’.

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When we sold our house in February and moved into this unfinished ‘renovator’s nightmare’, I couldn’t of course bring my piano with me, so I asked the guy we bought it from, to take it on consignment and sell it for me.  I had never felt any affinity with that piano as I had to the one I’d owned back in South Africa,  which our daughter now has and absolutely loves.

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This piano had been my beautiful and faithful friend for over thirty years, and had given timid me the confidence to go out and perform in many different venues, such as hotels, restaurants, parties in private homes, and also for weddings and funerals.  It was on this piano that I composed songs for school concerts, practising endlessly to improve my playing. It had been with me through two house moves, adjusting well to living at the coast in air-conditioning, after fifteen years at high altitude in Johannesburg.  When we left South Africa, I was really sad to have to part with it, but I was comforted in the knowledge that it would still be in the family and would encourage our daughter to play again now that her children are grown up and she has more time on hr hands.

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I asked my piano guy Roger to keep a look out for a black Yamaha G5, and on Friday he called to say that he had one in excellent condition for me to look at. It had been bought some years ago by a family who thought that their daughter was going to be a concert pianist. Their dream for her didn’t materialise as she lost interest, but they kept the piano anyway because it looked good in their home. When they decided to move to a smaller house, they had to sell, and Roger who had had been tuning it for years, was asked to sell it for them. Now it’s mine to enjoy, or at least it will be once hubby has finished with all the dust and mess. Yesterday he finished dry-walling the domed ceiling under which the piano will sit. Now it just has to be spackled and painted, and we need to buy a chandelier to hang in the centre.

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The kitchen cabinets arrived  yesterday evening in huge flat packs, so there’s all that to do, not to mention the painting of walls and ceilings,  and the wooden floors to put down. I know it will still be a while until I can take delivery of my new baby, but it’s my shining light at the end of the tunnel.

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I think I must get my whip out and speed up the proceedings, although I do believe hubby is pedalling as fast as he can, and I have to remember that he too needs to eat and sleep.

Happy Tuesday to you all.  Not one of you guessed what my exciting purchase was, so no prizes to give out. I’ll have to eat all the chocolate myself. 🙂

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Looking back and pressing forward

Happy New Year everyone. Here are a few of my memories of 2014. It was very difficult to choose just one photo from each month, but I hope you enjoy these.

In January we were here in Florida, and I was wearing my fingers to the bone for the concert that never happened. After all the time and energy spent learning the songs and practising endlessly with the cast, I was more than a little p’d off with the organisers.

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In February, our 6 month visitors’ visa was up, so we had to say goodbye to our home here, and go back to South Africa.

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One of the first things we did on our return, was to take a trip up to Johannesburg to see our daughter and family. It was our grandson’s 15th birthday, and we had an unforgettable evening at the ‘Madame Zingara’ dinner and show at Monte Casino. Here is a waiter whose image is forever etched in my memory.

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In April, we went to my sister’s house for a delicious Easter lunch, and I provided the dessert, a decadent chocolate cheesecake complete with little bunnies, who all got eaten with not even a passing thought for their cuteness.

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In May, our mom celebrated her 89th birthday, and my sister made a delicious chocolate cake to share with all the residents at the care home.

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In June, hubby and I made a trip down the coast to meet up with my very longstanding blogger friend Kragenhai, and Cindy his gorgeous St Bernard.

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In July, I had a birthday high tea at the Oyster Box Hotel, just up the road from our house.

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In August, our daughter treated us to a luxurious weekend stay at the same hotel. It was fabulous to sit out on the balcony and watch the dolphins cavorting in the waves.

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We returned to Florida in September, and it was so exciting to see the brand new roof  on the ‘abandoned house’ we’d bought earlier in the year. Hubby started the renovation work inside, that same week.

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In October we took a flight up the New Jersey to see our son and his lovely family. One of the highlights was accompanying our little granddaughter on her school trip to the pumpkin farm.

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In November, we brought home this exquisite orchid, which is still blooming profusely.

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In December I decided to try my hand at painting, and joined an art class. It’s a six week course, and I still have two weeks to go.

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This morning, we will start the New Year as we mean to go on. There’s a ‘New Year’s Day Master Class’ at our gym. At 10am we have Kick Boxing and Boot Camp, followed by Bokwa and Strength Conditioning, and rounded off with Abs and Core plus a bit of Yoga. Two and a half hours in all. How are you spending your first day of the year? Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015.