A sweet picture of my sister Martha Lou as a baby.

Her two older sisters, Betty Rose and Jean Marie, would have been 4 and 3 years old.  I picture them at the kitchen table not too far away eating and talking and spilling and crying — all the normal noises of a house with very small children in it.  And I see wood floor with a linoleum “rug” on it, and that the ceiling is high, so there wouldn’t have been much to muffle the sound — so it’s probably pretty loud in the room.  But I guess noise is a constant most of the time in a house with three very small residents, so the “normal din” probably wouldn’t have kept the baby from falling aleep!

She was born in May (1933) and I’m guessing she’s not a year old yet here.  Which would mean this could be in early springtime — maybe about this time of year — March.  If it was weather like we’re having right now, it would have still been chilly outside, and houses weren’t very well insulated then, so maybe after Mama was done feeding Martha Lou, she moved her high chair over by the warmth of the stove, and Martha Lou, with her tummy full and now toasty warm, promptly fell asleep!

I talked to ML today and told her I had posted this picture.  She said, “Oh, the one with jam on my face!”  I hadn’t noticed that, but now I do think I can see some.  It just makes the picture even sweeter.

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26 Responses to Asleep

  1. Hilary says:

    That’s an absolutely beautiful photo. And it’s made even more special by your filling in possible/probable background. I love how you’ve caused me to notice so many details with your narrative. Classic you!

  2. cathy says:

    Wow – simpler days when people didn’t think twice about having a hot water heater (or whatever that monster thing in the corner is) in their kitchen! We’d all die of embarrassment now if we had to share our kitchens with that.
    What a sweet picture and great narrative!

  3. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Thank you so much! It was fun trying to imagine what might be going on around the sleeping baby. I fell in love with this picture as soon as I saw it, so I’m delighted to share it and have friends like you enjoy it with me! 🙂

    Cathy — You are absolutely right — we would NOT want to be cooking in this kitchen especially with that water heater (I assume that’s what it is too), would we? But then, you and I haven’t lived in a house where there WAS no water heater, and we had to heat any hot water we needed on the stove! It’s all relative, isn’t it. 🙂

  4. lesley says:

    Hello Sandra,
    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I’ve been on double shifts at the hospital all through Feb!
    I’m thinking about our first granddaughter all the time at the moment as she’s expected in about 19 days time! I often wonder what photo’s to take, rather than the normal posing ones, so when I saw your sister in the high chair, I though just perfect! Thank you for sharing x

  5. Sandra says:

    Lesley — How exciting for you! I hope they live near-by so that you’ll get to spend lots of time with her. Yes, I like unposed pictures too — I think that’s the reason this one charmed me so much.

    My best wishes to all of you at such an exciting time! 🙂

  6. C. Beth says:

    Adorable. 🙂 I love all the details you picked out, and the ones you imagined too.

  7. C says:

    What a great picture! I love these photos. It makes me resolve to take more so that someday my family can enjoy them like this…we’ll see (best laid plans) C

  8. Sandra says:

    Beth — Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I did have fun imagining what was going on around her. 🙂

    C — Now that I am enjoying using the many, many pictures my mother took, I wish I had taken more too. But, it’s never too late — let’s both resolve to take more, now! 🙂

    Chrissy — It is so much fun for me to get to enjoy these old family pictures, but it’s even more fun because all of you are enjoying them with me. Thank you!

  9. Tim King says:

    Chuckle. I think my parents have one of my brother in that position. I think there was spaghetti involved (with red sauce).


  10. Kelly H-Y says:

    What an adorable and special photo!

  11. Sandra says:

    Tim — Babies are such perfect “photo ops”, even or should I say especially when they’re asleep! 🙂

    Hi, Kelly — Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed this post! 🙂

  12. What a cute photo… Thank you for sharing this with us like this. 🙂 My kids both managed to fall asleep almost anywhere too when they were little, I can remember that and smile sometimes… Congrats on the POTW from Hilary! Love/ Jo.

  13. SueAnn says:

    Wonderful picture…so sweet! Congrats on you POTW award.

  14. Kevin says:

    What a neat memory. Thanks for sharing this, and congrats on Post of the Week.

  15. Cricket says:

    Priceless photo. I remember having a water heater in my childhood kitchen. And the linoleum just laid on the floor. I’d forgotten. Thanks for the reminder and congratulations on the potw mention.

  16. Sandra says:

    Johanna — It always amazed me how quickly little ones could go — “snap” — from loud and active to quiet and asleep! My mother would be thrilled that you are all enjoying this picture that she took all those years ago! 🙂

    SunAnn — Thank you. It’s especially flattering to have an artist’s eye appreciate it!

    Kevin — It IS a neat memory. And every time I do a post like this, I think about future generations of my family getting to see these pictures too! I am so thankful that blogging has given me this opportunity to make some of our family history so “share-able”.

  17. Sandra says:

    Cricket — I’m so glad this picture brought back fond memories for you! Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Daryl says:

    Congrats on POTW mention from Hilary

  19. Land of shimp says:

    Hello, congratulations on the post of the week mention. I do love imaginative time traveling, and that’s exactly what you’ve evoked here. By concentrating, you’ve brought forth the details of life surrounding that picture. I love her little shoes, with the completely unworn soles on them.

    The detail that struck me? Someone there was so charmed by the image, so wanted to remember the moment, that they went and got the camera. It’s something we give no thought to now, we’re never far from a camera these days, really. But in 1933 taking photographs of everyday life had a bit more…what…thought perhaps? Behind it. My dad, who was an “older dad” by the time I was born, was born in 1929 and your photograph made me realize something:

    I’ve only ever seen one sort of “daily life” photograph of my father’s childhood. There were a few, but mostly they were studio shots, and only one snapshot I can recall. He was born just as the Depression started.

    That’s the detail I wanted to mention to you — not only is this a charming photograph, but someone (your mother? Father?) wanted to capture the moment enough that they did something a tiny bit extravagant in the midst of the Depression.

  20. Suldog says:

    Saw you got a mention at Hilary’s “Post of The Week”! Congrats! Well-deserved, of course.

  21. Sandra says:

    Daryl — Thank you!

    LoS — Thank you so much for your thought-provoking comment! Because my mother was always a picture taker, I forget that she wasn’t the norm, especially back in the days when she took this picture (and earlier!). Her life-long interest in photography began when she worked in a photography shop in her late teens (What year did Lindbergh fly the Atlantic? She was working there when he did that — because she developed some pictures of him when he visited Kansas City.)

    Our family have many, many photo albums full of her pictures — and I am gradually coming to realize how fortunate we are to have that family record. And, she also wrote a book called “I Remember” so we have her words too. The woman was a communicator — there’s no doubt about that!

    Thank you, Suldog. Hilary is a good friend to many of us, isn’t she. 🙂

  22. cloudia says:

    wonderful image: picture and words!

  23. Sandra says:

    Cloudia — Thank you so much.

  24. Tammie says:

    this photo is completely charming!

  25. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Tammie!

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