Chores at the Window by Kay Kempton Raade

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My grandmother, Hannah, and her sister, Ragnhild, not long after coming from Norway to America. They were either peeling potatoes or crab apples at a rooming house in Illinois.

I’ve been wanting to use this pic for over 30 years when I first saw it in my great aunt’s photos. When they’d get together in their 80’s and 90’s,they’d stay up and talk all night, go out to lunches and “just go along for the ride” at every chance. Most of our time was getting them in and out of the car. They called themselves the “Cane Sisters.” They’d speak English, but a combo word would slip out now and then and they’d giggle some more. They were always up for a game of “31.”

The unpopular, overbearing and blurry “Effie” is also in the original and they wanted me to draw them and take her out long before we knew about photoshop.
When I saw the picture of my granddaughter here I thought of this picture.


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  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyabout 4 years ago

    What a wonderful old photo, Kay, and a marvellous restoration and editing job. These old images are priceless keepsakes.

  • I was so happy to find this one in my mom’s things, I did a wild dance through the retirement home!! They might have called the white coats.

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • GiselaSchneider
    GiselaSchneiderabout 4 years ago

    When I saw this thumbnail, I knew it was yours Kay !! This is just gorgeous and it also has the spirit of Evelyn Cameron in subject and light. I think you have added to the aesthetics of the image by your edit and it is so beautifully done !!!!

  • Wow, thanks so much, Gisela. The photographer is probably the house-mother at the rooming house. I think it was Effie’s mother.

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • Sprezzatura
    Sprezzaturaabout 4 years ago

    Almost ethereal Kay with the beautiful quality of light, further enhanced so beautifully by your artisitc eye. What an incredible feel for that era:)Cat

  • GiselaSchneider
    GiselaSchneiderabout 4 years ago

    The photographers of the past really understood light or their images just would not turn out. I think we can still learn lessons from them. If they messed up there was limited technology to save an image . I think you took this image to another level !!

  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedleabout 4 years ago

    Wonderful photos!

  • Thanks so much, Rick.

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • polly470
    polly470about 4 years ago

    So beautiful…..

  • Thank you Miss Polly, I appreciate your!!

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • DottieDees
    DottieDeesabout 4 years ago

    Oh, Kay, what a prize! This is fabulous…and something to cherish…I really appreciate what you have done…it is perfect!

  • Thanks so much, Dottie.

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • Carol Knudsen
    Carol Knudsenabout 4 years ago

    Adorably precious!

  • Thanks so much, Carol.

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • WesternArt
    WesternArtabout 4 years ago

    WOnderful image Kay. It is such a beautiful memory that you have shared.

  • Thanks so much!!

    – Kay Kempton Raade

  • JanT
    JanTabout 4 years ago

    Lovely old photo! I think they do show a closeness. But who was Effie?

  • Thanks, Effie was the one they didn’t like. She or her parents owned the rooming house and was very bossy.

    – Kay Kempton Raade

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