When we first moved into our home, in an older suburb, I noticed that many people had put chairs on their verandas. Some of the chairs were old and sagging, others more modern. Most were accompanied by a table.
We put a sturdy wooden coffee table on our veranda with a wooden chair either side.
Our veranda makes a good place to sit, so one afternoon during the lockdown, I went and sat on one of the wooden chairs.
The road was devoid of traffic as everyone was complying with the request to stay indoors due to the pandemic.
It was very quiet.
In the quietness I wondered what I could do to cheer people up as they walked on the footpath just beyond our wooden fence? At first, I thought of
making a string of small flags, but with my sewing machine out of action I was at a loss to know how to do this.
Having discarded the idea of making flags, another idea came to mind. I would ask family and friends to draw around one of their hands including their wrists in stiff coloured paper. If they agreed to do this, I would bend the wrists over and staple the hand to a string. I could then festoon the hands across the weather boards on the front of our house. They would also be protected from the elements by the overhang and would be readily seen by passers-by.
I knew that others were encouraged by what I had previously displayed, because a stranger had told me. I presumed she was referring to the cross and a white paper dove I had affixed to our front door at Eastertime. I realised then that our door and veranda were like a community notice board.
While family and friends who lived nearby had complied with my request for a cut-out hand, one set arrived by post. They were from our son and his family who live in country Victoria. Because of the lockdown we hadn’t seen them for ages.
As I opened the envelope containing their hands and added them to those already in place, I felt quite emotional. The string of colourful hands are a visual reminder of family and friends and the hugs we aren’t able to give each other at this time. As well they add colour to our veranda, and I hope they will brighten the lives of passers-by.