I don’t wear gardening gloves. They get in my way. I want to feel what I’m touching, get my hands dirty…. If I get blisters on my hands, I prefer it be due to hard work and not from an ill fitting glove. And, if I’m handling briars, thorned limbs or spiny veggies, I greatly dislike having to stop what I’m doing to unhook my glove from the points of said barbs.
Better the glove than the fingers, some would say. But, I’m not some…I’m me.
And, yes, I’ve received some injuries that I wouldn’t have had I been wearing gardening gloves. And, I have the scars to remind me. Nuff said.
Still, I prefer to go sans gloves.
And, as I see it, for good reason. I’ve also prevented some awful injuries because I wasn’t wearing gloves. When you’re snipping branches and can’t see what you’re snipping and going only by feel…it’s good to have bare fingers and not gloved fingers. Gloved fingers won’t feel the snips until it’s too late.
Anyway, as a result of my sans gloves way of gardening, I sit here with a throbbing thumb. Every time it dances on the space bar I’m reminded that I prefer to garden sans gloves.
(How many times did I hit the space bar in the above paragraph?)
A few days ago, while picking cucumbers and okra from the garden, I grabbed one of the afore mentioned veggies (both contain needle like spikes) in my bare hands as I’ve done hundreds of times and introduced three of those needle like spikes into the pad of my right thumb.
I could see them but I couldn’t get them out. My skin is tough and leathery and once in, things have a tendency to remain in until they work themselves out.
Yesterday, as I sat to type I noticed my right thumb felt a bit “odd” as it banged the space bar on my laptop. A quick examination revealed redness and a swollen knot. By evening, the swollen knot had become puss-filled with a dark center (yep that dark center is the little needle like spike).
Before I went to bed, I coated it with a dab of ichthammol ointment and wrapped the tarry, smelly stuff in three bandages. (Ichthammol is a drawing salve – today’s over the counter preparation is not as strong as what was available 60 years ago, but sufficiently strong to produce results.)
This morning the knot strains against the bandage and throbs in time with my heart. In a few hours, I’ll release my damaged thumb from its bandage and wash off the black stuff. And, depending on what I find, I’ll either apply more ichthammol ointment and wrap it again, or I’ll sterilize a needle and make a way through my tough skin for the spike to retreat as pressure beneath it builds and pushes it upward and out.
As I look out toward the garden, I know it’s time to pick okra and cucumbers again. For only a moment I consider slipping on Hubby’s work gloves for the task of picking them…for only a moment.
Part of the joy of gardening (for me) is to feel – skin on skin. I love the textures, the feel, the lumps and bumps, the smoothness and roughness, the fuzziness, slipperyness, wet coolness or dry warmth of each fruit that I handle. From touch I can tell the size, ripeness, health, maturity, and pickability of each thing that my hand grasps. My fingers see what my eyes cannot. Touching – it’s all a part of the experience. And, I want to experience it all.
Even if that means the occasional thorn in the flesh. 😉