Saturday, June 28, 2014


I was born left-handed, like my dad.  I vaguely recall my mom, on my first day of school at the one-room schoolhouse, informing my teacher, Mrs. Eighmy, of my "infirmity", and the teacher asking her if she wanted me to learn to write right-handed.  Mother said yes, if possible, because things are so awkward for left-handers.  She added the "if possible" because Daddy always told the story of how his first teacher tried to get him to switch to the right hand and he adamantly refused.  

I don't recall having any problem with it.  My handwriting has never been the prettiest, and I always wondered if I would have had neater handwriting if I had been allowed to remain a lefty.  But the switch was no problem for me, perhaps because I had never learned to write with my left hand.  

I have also wondered at what age I started eating with my right hand.  Did I always use my right hand to hold my fork?  Perhaps Mother encouraged it from my earliest days.  

Here's the thing:  Even now, at the age of seventy, there are still a lot of things I do as a lefty.  Cliff notices this a lot more than I do.  I only think about it when my left hand becomes disabled.  Last week I was doing some pruning and pruned the tip off the index finger of my left hand.  It bled profusely, and Cliff helped me get it wrapped up nice and snug.  For a week I've been attempting to keep that bandaged finger clean, and it's very frustrating for me.  When I wash dishes, I normally hold the dishes with the right hand and wash them with the dishrag in my left hand; if I do it that way now, the left hand is the one that gets soaked, so I'm switching band-aids when I'm done.  I've become aware, these past few days, that I pull weeds better with my left hand, and try as I might, I will finally find myself using that hand.  This means dirty band-aids.  All I'd have to do is slip on a glove for the task, but I never go outside with the intention of pulling weeds.  I go to see how things are growing, or perhaps to tend to the chickens, and can't help but notice the weeds.  I start pulling them, not thinking about keeping my bandaged finger clean.  By the time I realize what I'm doing, I figure it's already dirty and keep on right on pulling weeds.  Yeah, you can switch a lefty's writing hand sometimes, but you can't take the left-handed leanings away.  

On another note, the electric fence around the garden is working great.  My tomatoes are safe.  It's rather funny to see the cats avoiding the garden area, as well as the chickens, when I turn them loose.  Some of them have obviously gotten zapped.     


Lori said...

Thomas writes right-handed but does a lot of things with his left hand, including shooting a gun and a bow. I've wondered in the past if perhaps he was born left-handed but was taught to write with is right hand.

Margaret said...

Your weed pulling habits are the same as mine!LOL I have ruined many a manicure that way. My brother is a lefty and his 2 year old daughter is one as well. Eric does some things with his right hand though. When he went to kindergarten, my mom thought something was wrong with him because he came home crying about not being able to use the scissors. (before the days of the left handed ones)


I do some things left handed too. Hope your finger heals soon, so you can do things the way you usually do.

Jon said...

It's really unique that you were born a lefty but had been taught to write with your right hand.
My Mother was a lefty. The Catholic school tried to force her to use her right hand, but her father wouldn't hear of it. She remained a lefty her entire life.

I'm right-handed but I do lots of things with my left, including eating. This probably comes from playing the piano, because at the keyboard my left hand has to be as efficient as my right.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

My late husband was a lefty and did many things right handed. He wrote with his left and his hand witting was beautiful. Much better than mine. I'm sure some teacher along the way must have spent a lot of time with him. Funny none of my 7 children inherited this trait. They are all right handed. Glad your tomatoes are doing well.

Average Jane said...

I'm a lefty and no one ever tried to make me switch hands. However, I figured out on my own that it was easier to learn to use right-handed scissors than to try to reliably find a pair of left-handed ones. Also, I learned to crochet right-handed because it was easier for my great-aunt to teach me that way.

When I've taught myself a manual skill (latch hooking, for example), I've always gone left-handed.