Playing in the snow

Winter has started in Sweden and 2020 has arrived with promises of something new and perhaps better. As I summarize the past year, I find that I’ve had lots of fun looking into my family history and getting to know my long-gone relatives. It might sound funny, but that’s what it feels like, when you get closer to history and the lives, loves and interests of those who’ve gone before you.

There has only been little snowfall in Sweden so far, but I know it’s just around the corner. And it makes me think about the seasonal changes for my great grandparents in China. They mostly lived at missionary stations in the neighbouring regions of Shaanxi and Shanxi. The climate there can be very cold during winter and super hot in the summer. I know they sometimes went to the mountains to cool off in the summer, but the possibilty to travel otherwise was slim.

I found this photo of my great grandmother playing in the snow with a dog. It’s a very rare kind of photograph. Not just because it’s one of few taken during wintertime in China, or because somebody else is photographing her – she was usually the one taking the photos in this family. No, what surprised me was the fact that this might be the only photo of her doing something. And she’s playing!

In every other photo, she sits or stands seriously before the camera, showing almost no emotion. Here, she’s having fun – or, at least I think so…

Olga, playing with a dog in the snow.

I can’t find any verified information about exactly where she is at the time, but the section of photos leading up to this one, says she is in a village called Yu-tao-ho and the year might be 1931. The house behind her is probably the missionary station.

I found another photo from what might be the same place – but during summer. It says it’s the missionary station and that Olga and her husband lived there. But is it the same place?

The missionary station in summertime.

It does look like the construction material is similar – but it’s a bit hard to tell from the smaller section one can make out in the first photo, don’t you think?

In any case, it’s nice to see Olga this way – it does show another side of her.

Have a great weekend – with or without snow – and Happy New Year!

9 thoughts on “Playing in the snow

    • Thérèse Amnéus says:

      Thank you! Yes, I have had less time lately, but finding this photo set me off again 😀 Looking forward to reading about your photos as well! I actually found a very interesting album with visitcards and cabinettcards in a store recently – they’re all from late 1800:s, beginning 1900:s. Perhaps there are some photographers in there that you have written about – I will have a look 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tokens of Companionship says:

        A whole album, how exciting! 😀

        I love photos of people with animals. The interaction between them can tell you something special about the person (almost always positive). I can easily understand how the photo of Olga would inspire you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thérèse Amnéus says:

        I find the same, it gets them off guard, and shows some unusual spontaneity. I knew the station housed some animals – like chickens, some pig and such, but this looks like a pet dog (not a watchdog, don’t you think)? I have not yet read about them having pets over there, but it’s not impossible…

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s