A Hope is Not a Plan

A Hope is Not a Plan

I have my work cut out for me now. I am in receipt of approximately 3500 family photos, or thereabouts. My plan is to scan them all and have them accessible for those who are interested in seeing them at one point. Whew, I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Some of these photos are old black and whites, most from my Mom, and some are slides from my uncle who has recently become incapacitated and likely doesn’t even recall that he has photos. I hope to scan and return them all.

Yes, I know, “a hope is not a plan”, perhaps an ‘expectation’ is better. A hope is not a plan is a saying one of my old bosses used to use. I thought it silly at the time but it carries more import than we give it credit for.

One photo that I came across, and that struck me in particular, was included in the many acquired from my Mother. It’s a photo taken in Watrous, Saskatchewan. I’m not sure of the year but I’d guess about 1950 give or take a year or two.

The photo shows (L to R) my Grandma Olsen (Mom’s Mom), my Mother Janna, her brother Orval, and her sister Eleanor. Where my Grandfather Otto is at this time I’m not sure.

Olsen Family, In Watrous, Saskatchewan.
Olsen Family, In Watrous, Saskatchewan.

What hit home for me in seeing this was the sense of family I got from the photo. My Mom has recently relocated to the big city to help care for her younger brother Orval after he suffered a stroke. Now some may wonder why she would leave the family situation she has with us, living with us and drawing support from us, but I think the bigger picture needs to be appreciated.

Here is a woman who helped care for her siblings, perhaps her Mother also, while her Father was either off in the war or hanging out with his buddies in the bar after work. I won’t go into much detail here, that’s for her to tell, but needless to say the childhood was not good and while she was not yet a Mother I imagine her mothering instincts toward her siblings were strong. I also suspect they continue to this day. That may be one of the reasons she has such a strong pull to care for her brother.

At any rate I’m sure her “hopes” were not her “plan”. Her life has taken a turn, in a directions she didn’t anticipate. She will make the best of it though and rely heavily on the faith that has carried her for so long.

Me, I will persevere with the scanning and cataloging of the other many photos. I expect to come across some other jems and may share them with you here.


  1. What a windfall, responsibility and challenge all at the same time! That is a lot of family photos so I’m wishing you luck with getting them all scanned and posted and I look forward to seeing them. Although your mom is only related to me through marriage, I find her story very interesting and compelling. The challenges that she’s faced and her resilience and triumph over them is truly inspiring. And it hasn’t ended just because she a senior.

    1. Thanks Bev. You are always so supportive and you have such a positive nature.
      My Mom is an inspiration in a number of ways. I’m helping her put together a web page for her side of the family and she commented that she had to hurry because she only had 23 years left. I aspire to the optimism you both have.
      Ps I’ll try to get a post on Murielskids soon.

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