O.K. To pick up the bobbin thread correctly, you must first raise the foot either with the knee lift or the lever on the back of the machine. With the cover over the bobbin open, thread your bobbin and leave about 6" of thread to the rear of the machine. Turn the hand wheel so that the eye of the needle is below the hole in the foot. Pull the top thread out the right side of the needle and hold it down at the front of the sewing machine's table. Turn the hand wheel toward you while still holding the top thread down, and the hook will pick up the bobbin thread. Pull the bobbin thread out to the edge of the table, cut off both pieces of thread so they're both about 6" long and then push them to the back left behind the needle. I will post some pictures later, I have to leave right now.
To start sewing, you need to hold both pieces of thread and turn the hand wheel toward the front so that the needle penetrates the work. At that point you can sew all you want. You can also just hold both pieces of thread and push the foot pedal. The first method is the correct way, the second way works fine too, but not as well as the first method.
No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.