Passages - March 26, 2009
Tips From South Africa For Seeley Lakers

By Pr. Rod Kvamme
Seeley Lake

A couple of years ago, I was sitting at a table during a Christmas bazaar. I was handling “Cabin Fever” for the Seeley Lake Historical Society as well as some books I have written. I sat there for six hours and sold only one book. It was bought by a lady from South Africa. Yes, that’s right… a lady from South Africa.
She, her husband, and a grown son came here because they wanted to have the experience of snow and winter-time. They were not disappointed. Pauline and I got to know them pretty well during the week they were in Seeley Lake.
As their time of departure grew near, we asked them what had impressed them the most. They said it was the snow and the fact that they never had to look over their shoulders. In South Africa, they live in a compound of four homes. A high, electrified fence surrounds their homes. A locked gate is the only entrance and it is often tended to by armed guards.
They had pictures of road signs in their area that said “Do not get out of your car for the next 20 miles” or “Do not stop to help anyone who appears to be having car trouble.”
We happen to enjoy winter and snow (most days!). In fact, we have lived in Seeley year-round for twenty-five years, and we both know the rigors of winter from being born and raised in North Dakota and Minnesota. But it helped to be reminded to notice the wonder and grandeur of snow.
We miss noting many blessings, because we let them become a commonplace experience and the “WOW” element fades as we take things, and also people, for granted.
But the greatest reminder of common blessings was their gratitude for not having to look over their shoulders all the time. Our everyday life has been enriched by getting to know Margaret, Barry and Adrian, and by being given these “tips from South Africa for Seeley Lakers.”
A few weeks ago, we received another letter from Newcastle, South Africa. Margaret was sending us greetings for the New Year. She closes with a wish I know she would be delighted to share with anyone reading this article.
“We all wish you a blessed New Year!
God says: You are mine.
So 2009
Will be fine.”

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