Thursday, July 2, 2009


Six hands.

Every one of them is covered with age spots and wrinkles. Most are crooked from arthritis. They all bear scars and callouses from years of hard work. These hands all wiped away wailing children's tears, patted naked baby bottoms and washed endless dishes. Most of them milked cows, tilled a garden, sewed clothing and created artwork. Some of them waved sad goodbyes as husbands or sons went off to war. Every single one of them wore a wedding ring for over 40 years, one of them for nearly 58 years. They still miss holding the hands of their beloved husbands who have since passed away.

These six hands belong to the Swimming Ladies. The hands tell the stories of lifetimes. Written in the lines of these hands are the following totals:

Birthdays celebrated: 491
Average age: 82
Years of marriage: 283
Children: 28
Grandchildren: 87
Great-grandchildren: 74 (and counting)

Last Thursday we took another train trip to the Big City for lunch. The days spent with these incredible women are some of my favorites. They chat about the old days and tell of experiences they had in their youth when times were so different. They are all deeply religious and talk about their life experiences freely.

And the smiles. The smiles! I never tire of the smiles! I love every one of them!


Photo notes: Eris met us for lunch and rode the train home with us. She sat with Mom and they talked the entire time. The extra guy on the end was a tourist from Sweden. His buddy was behind the camera so he joined us in the picture.

The last photo of the two sisters will probably always be one of my favorites.


bleason said...

You can tell, those hands belong to great women. The stories they could tell. What do they think about your coinage hobby? Wonderful post!

The Numismatist said...

These ladies greet me three mornings a week at the pool after my ralks. They always ask about my totals and are happy with me when I have a good day. Many of them have been the recipients of "lucky pennies", those that have been stuck in crevices on the street and have been bent in half. Two of them actually had holes drilled in them and wore them as a necklace. Maybe that explains their longevity, that and the fact that they are all at the pool exercising for 90 minutes three times a week.

Eris said...

Funnest lunch and train ride ever!

mfranti said...

i would have liked to spend the day with you and those ladies.

i'm kinda jealous.

glad to hear you had a good time.