Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The hands of a pioneer woman

Above: The photo from which these hands were cropped has always moved me...Margaret Bourke is dressed in all of her finery for a photo with her daughter and grandchildren, yet the eye is immediately drawn to the crippled old hands which lay in her lap. I imagine the work that they would have carried out over their sixty-plus years...clearing virgin land on their Burramine selection, cooking,cleaning and sewing for her husband and family and nursing through their final illnesses six of her nine children who died before their time.

The photograph of Margaret Bourke always causes a smile amongst her Sheridan descendants, because in it she looks exactly like our grandfather, Patrick 'Bob' Sheridan ( her grandson) wearing a dress. I feel guilty for laughing, but the likeness is uncanny!

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