Hope and Love

248-2 - Version 2

The history behind this photograph has been lost, but this evocative image speaks to me of that moment when you hold a new baby and time stops. This young woman likely had a physically hard and tenuous life (look at the freshly tilled fields, the unpainted buildings and the horizon that stretches on into a flat distance) but she is prospering. She has a companion dog (this is her pet, not a working farm dog), the wherewithal to own a beautiful dress, and a healthy child to hold. This photograph captures that moment in motherhood when the present and the future are all wrapped in an intense love of that new person in your arms. There will be time for trials and sadness, joy and change, but for the moment there is only hope and love.


  1. Beautiful picture and beautifully written. You put a lump in my throat. Happy Mothers Day to you.

  2. Of course she wears her best dress today. It is a special day: the baby is baptized. He/she wears a christening gown.

  3. This is an absolutely beautiful picture. It immediately reminded me of my father. He was born in a sod house in the middle of Nebraska in 1911. His home was more humble, but from photos and stories, the farming life was probably similar.

    • So pleased to hear that your family still has photos. I think that of the stories of why the photos that I collect are no longer in families…

  4. I have a picture of my great great grandmother carrying my great grandmother as a baby out of a log cabin. She was born 3 years after the assassination of Lincoln. She lived to be 104. I hope I follow in her footsteps..Happy Mother’s Day to you Terry! P.S…The feed bags are in the mail..hope you can make something cute from them!

  5. I love this photo Terry. I look through my one remaining Vintage book I purchased from you all the time! I guess I’m a nostalgic kind of gal and wish for quieter times. I’d like to wish all of the Hencam family and friends a Happy Mother’s Day!

  6. beautiful picture and beautiful words. so very true. i hope you had a wonderful mothers day!

  7. Rich babies wore gowns like that routinely, in some places…but I think that might be a christening gown, too. But, it is covered with lace, and very full, so it is an expensive one. Mom had the time and energy to spend a long time doing up her hair in that high style, with crisp silk ribbons!

    Definitely a prosperous farm.

    • I also believe that it is a christening gown. I wonder if it is in someone’s attic today. The mother’s dress was called a “mother hubbard” and it allowed for much looser undergarments (can you imagine corsets after childbirth?) It looks new and expensive. Yes, it does seem that this this family was optimistic about prospering on the prairie.

      • Yes, may be it is in someone’s attic and worn by several generations. I remember that a christening gown was sometimes made from the fabric of a wedding dress.