Wednesday, June 23, 2010


My parents married in 1947.Due to five years of German occupation, there were a horrible shortage of everything.
No house had been built for five years, all materials and man power had been used to build fortresses all along the Norwegian coast. "Festung Norwegen", Fortress Norway, the occupants called our country.
My parents were lucky to let two rooms in the attic of a small cottage. Here my mother gave birth to two children, her only, in 15 months. The water had to be carried from a brook near by, and the cotton napkins were boiled on the kitchen stove.
My father worked 80 hours a week, and took mercantile education at nights (with straight A s).
Even so he took the time to take this poetic photo of my mother, hanging out laundry for dry.
It's so beautiful, love over love, makes me want to cry every time I see it.
Gunnar found the film and scanned it, I converted it with tint sepia.
Teach Mary is the host of Sepia Scenes.
Visit her!


Ma.links said...

GREAT shot!

Ralph said...

The deprivation of the war adds to the stark character of this scene. Yet no matter how hard life in the war years and after, this simple view shows that no matter how hard, people are survivors and the work of daily life will go on. Nice capture!

B i r g i t t a said...

I find the picture so beautiful and full of love :) There is also a special light in it :)

Kramer said...

What an excellent capture, and it's naturally sepia...

Amrita said...

Oh Felisol, this is a prize winning photo with the history attatched to it.

Both your parents were trailblazers, so strong and exemplary. They have left footprints which cannot be earsed. You hacve a rich family heritage.

I am sure when your motrher looks at this photo she smiles.

Carol Joy said...

Felisol, you are just so absolutely special! I read your comment on my sister Sonja's blog, and now this beautiful picture on your post. Oh my! Been going through old Norway photos to take to my daughter's wedding in Tromso in July, and cry every time I look at the old little cold storage shed my mother used to store meat in, somehow that one gets me. Also the little white country church that they were married in...we visited with them on their 50th anniversary with our children as they knelt at the altar in that little church. Precious memories of love.
Now they are in Heaven and we will visit that same church with my daughter and her fiance soon. We are so thrilled to be in Norway and carry on the marriage tradition.
Again Felisol, you are just plain special! Thanks for being so real!

Love from your Norwegian friend,
Carol Joy

Kim, USA said...

I love this photo!! Magnificent!

SS~Allis Chalmers

maryt/theteach said...

Felisol, it is a marvelous picture! And wonderful that you still have it from the 1940s. Thanks for posting for Sepia Scenes! :)

Jada's Gigi said...

You have a fabulous history, my dear! and photography obviously runs in your family! Guess what? my Norwegian friends are in the states and coming to dinner on Friday!!

Trish said...

So hauntingly beautiful Felisol!
What a gift...I can feel the love. You are blessed.

Lennie said...

This one is really lovely!

John Cowart said...

Is that a toy boat on the ground to the left of t6he clothesline?

When Ginny used to hang out our laundry, she always had to check the pants' pockets before bringing it into the house because little birds called wrens would go into the pockets in search of a nesting place.

ps: We may visit Chamblin's this weekend, I'll ask about Norwegian books.

Jada's Gigi said...

Felisol! You won't believe it!! My Norwegian friend are from YOUR TOWN!! Is that at crazy or what? We all joked about it at dinner..and they wrote down the name of their town for me so I came up later and looked up your note to about it...and can you believe...the very same city! said...

What a touchingly beautiful photo Felisol. It could be any of our mother's. It was a different time back then, and how fast the years are going!
Stil... I do remember clothespins! :)

Norwegian & Texas hugs!


Terra said...

Hi from me in California. I saw your comment on Amrita's blog and came over for a visit. The photo is stunningly beautiful and evocative, and then to hear that it is of your mom. Wow. Love it.

Terry said...

dear felisol, what a treasure that gunnar has found for you and how clever you are that you have created such a picture!
it looks like your mom is wearing a golden did in those days whenever she did laundry.
oh those were the days, eh felisol.
your little mother holding the fort while your dad worked and she looked after the two precious children!
this IS such a treasure! terry

ps if this picture brings tears to YOUR eyes felisol, what do you think it would do for mom ljung!
her birthday is july 2nd.right?
wouldn't it make a great birthday gift for her?

Felisol said...

Dear Terry,
My mother has as you say birthday on July 2nd.
She'll be 85 years.
Already friends in Sauda have made her a nice birthday party.
The Day she'll celebrate with us, her closest.
But no, she's not fond of this picture. She only sees that she's not looking her best from behind, back then.
A little bit of vanity still lingers on.
My dad saw the beauty, and I am thankful for that.
Even today, still a bit shaky after her brain stroke tow years ago, my mother will carry clothes from her wash cellar and hang it under our veranda.
She has a tumble drier, but she so loves the fresh smell of sun in her clothes.
Luckily the days are over when she used the glass waghing board every Monday, and rubbed her finger knuckles till they bled.

I do remember that time very well.
Shehad a machine to cook the clothes back in the late fifties, but no washing machine. (Even though my dad had offered to buy her one.
Till she suddenly one day burst out ,"Now I will not wash a handkerchief anymore till the washing machine is installed."
We have laughed about this many times. A bit unpredictable she was. I think that's a woman's prerogative.

Even now my mother cleans her home from attic to cellar every Saturday. She has been offered help, but reclined.
"I like to work. I can manage anything as long as I can work", she says.

I am her greatest admirer.
I so well know what she's been up against.

Terry said...

ha! that is funny felisol...just last week when little john was installing the air conditioner in dad golden's apartment, i was helping him a little by holding it while he did the installing, and that gracie got a hold of my camera and snapped two pictures of me...not nice..big behind if you know what i mean?
mom golden loved her wringer washer when we were growing up felisol,
"it does a lot better job", she would say and so it DID felisol but it was too hard of a job for her as she got older.
when we were old enough, we all got together and bought her an automatic and what could she do but start to use it?
she still insisted on hanging her clothes on the line though.
i remember out in my beloved manitoba, that the clothes would freeze solid! funny!
but my! your mom is right..they smell so fresh!
god bless your little mother felisol..she is the proverbs lady even at 84 almost 85!
god bless you too my dearest friend and have a great birthday party with your was a fun one last year, eh with your brother, kel and serina there eh?
love terry

Felisol said...

Dear Terry,
Are you still up, this late??
We have always celebrated my mother's birthday together.
My mother is not a fan of huge parties, though, so for now, I'll just tell that we have found a way of gathering very private, we, her closest, including my brother, who is her "apple of her eye".

Terry said...

good night felisol!
love terry

night hawk..ha!

Crown of Beauty said...

Now finally I can talk.

We got our wifi back just an hour ago.

I have been quiet about it the past two months or three, but something happened to our wi fi internet connection at home. Won't elaborate. Suffice it to say I didn't have internet connection for three months. Would go to starbucks, get a coffee, and stay for three hours for free connection. Three to four times a week. That's how I managed.

But that is only internet. And we are not at war. Not really.

Having a baby in the midst of war. No water. Boiling the cotton napkins to sterilize them

Your dad working 80 hours a week.

Getting himself educated through the hardship and getting straight As.

I love the story, and this picture is awe inspiring.

Thank you for sharing it.

My nephew will leave for Bergen next week. He's 11 years old, and I don't want to bother him about anything.

ONe of these days, I may have something from the Philippines sent over to you, my dear friend.

ONe of my dear friend married a nice Norwegian man, an author by the name of Haavard Sand. They serve with YWAM Philippines, but I heard they might go back home to Norway soon.

Love your post, as always.