My Grandmother’s Hands

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Sitting at the computer early one morning, contemplating the challenges of aging gracefully, I glanced down and recoiled in horror! My grandmother’s hands rested on the keyboard. Attached to my wrists! Yep…there they were–wrinkled and age-spotted, with the same osteoarthritis-gnarled knuckles that to me, as a child, had looked so fascinating. They didn’t look so darn fascinating now!

How did this happen? I went to bed with the silky smooth hands of a young fifty-ish year-old, and woke up this morning with purple, pitted prune hands and knobby fingers! I grabbed the industrial strength, advanced healing, super hydrating, hand cream, practically exhausting the contents of a 10-ounce bottle. There. That should do it. Feeling the lotion soaking into my bone-dry skin and swollen knuckles, I reflected on the idea of bringing back my mother’s white gloves…vintage 40’s and 50’s.

Realizing this was not an option, since I’d look pretty silly wearing gloves to the beach, my mind shifted from vanity to thoughts of my grandmother and the summers spent at her house.

I saw her hands plucking the delicate blooms off her prize purple petunias, and showing me how to pick them off without damaging the rest of the plant.

I saw her hands dishing out homemade ice cream, and giant-size servings of her delicious white cake topped with buttery caramel icing.

I saw her hands holding a fluffy, warm towel as she greeted a shivering five-year- old wading out of the creek that ran behind her house.

I saw her hands dealing a deck of cards and patiently teaching me how to play canasta.

Maybe I over-reacted. After all, the love in my grandmother’s hands was a far more cherished and lasting memory than their superficial appearance.

Glancing down at the keyboard, I stretched and felt warmth and contentment spread through my fingers…remembering my grandmother’s hands.

 

Want more heartwarming stories? Buy WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty!

A light-hearted look at the joys and frustrations of the aging process.

The Writing Life

I’d written all my life, but until the ripe old age of fifty, had never ventured beyond family memoirs and very bad poetry. Then five crazy broads got together and formed WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty. All of us had reached that magic milestone, or were about to, and weren’t all that thrilled with the ramifications. Hormones, hot flashes, hair loss, and weight gain were just a few of the complaints.

We decided we could either continue to bitch or become proactive bitches and write a book that not only made light of our fate, but honor our love of dogs, too. We embarked on the WOOF adventure including contributions, Hormones and Harmonies, Are We Barking Up The Wrong Tree, The Hair Of the Dog, and Old Dog/New Tricks.

Really, if we’re going to gain weight, lose hair, and feel like we’re sitting in a pre-bake oven half the night, why not learn to laugh at it?

From there, I moved on to middle-grade fantasy. Huh? Not a natural transition? When you have a recurring dream about a friend’s attic that served as your clubhouse on rainy days when you couldn’t be outside jumping rope or playing softball, you have to write about it. Write? Er…right? Cynthia’s Attic, all five books featuring best friends, ancestors family stories, and time travel, sprang to life.

Magical costumes, disappearing stairs and a spooky attic filled with dusty antiques–what more could two, adventurous, young girls ask for?

Best friends, Cynthia and Gus as she prefers to be called, are as “different as bubble gum and broccoli.” They are, however, equal in their ability to get into trouble without much effort.

Another middle-grade series, The Adventures of Max & Maddie, is also in the works. Again with the time travel! Can you tell H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine was one of my favorite books as a kid? Max and best friend, Maddie, delve more into history instead of magic.

I’ve now jumped into a totally different genre. An adult mystery series about an inept travel agent whose real talent is amateur sleuthing.

Andi Anna Jones (to find out how she got her unusual name, stay tuned!) never suspected the promise to “watch over” her late father’s wife, would involve a cruise ship murder. When her dad said he’d met a “Firecracker Redhead” at the Hialeah Bingo Palace, she should’ve known they were all in for trouble.

Margaritas, Mayhem, & Murder: An Andi Anna Jones Mystery (# 1), will be coming out in late Fall, 2017 with Imajin Books. If you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, we’ll all be winners!