snowing–and growing–in october

9 11 2014


Instagram had the hashtag #snöioktober.  So I use that as inspiration for an October catchup, as it was remarkable in our lives.  We have never before had snow, and a good amount of it in October.  (or most other months, especially not in the middle of Africa!)  We had about 2 weeks altogether of snow, but it is all pretty much gone as I type.  So, yes.  We now have full conversations based on the weather.  We have experienced a week of –15 Celcius at night, with days up to about –6.  That is also new for us.  Most of the waterways have iced up in the last week from 20141107_103649 (Small)these temperatures.  They all melted two or so weeks ago, so it is not really worth trying to do too much on the ice yet, but that does not stop high school kids, who went out on the spark (kick)  on Friday at breaktime.  And got me out there too… but I am still very uncertain of this white stuff that was plain old cold water a week or so ago! 

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It was great fun to play a bit in the snow, when we had it.  Just enough to make snow lanterns and slide around a bit.    Which led to physical impairment, as a result off this spatially and co-ordinationally challenged girl…


The moment husband captures, just before you could have hit a tree. That he saved you from. With his own arms.  And pulled his muscles and tendons for you…   such is Deon’s love.  But I had fun going down the slope…

But we now have stories of other things to tell. We so loved having our special Lundmark friends with us to enjoy the snow.  Our water went off just before they arrived, but, hey.  This is Sweden.  Everything works soon enough, right?   


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There was a very dry summer here in the north of Sweden and the water levels are all low.  In our flat, we get water from the Volgsjon River, which is also very low.  And for about ten days we had water issues. A week of no water, through to very muddy water, through to off-again-on-again.   We are glad that our water is now flowing well again.  But we have stories to tell of walking (un-barefoot) in the snow to get water by the bucketload.  (Deon had very sore arms, remember!) and getting up extra early to go shower at school. And not being able to quickly run out to pee outside, as one would do in Africa.  One does not quickly run outside to do anything at this time of the year.  Ever.  It is always layering on the clothing, carefully tying shoes and putting on gloves, hats and scarves.  It was a week of learning, saying thanks for blessings of hot water at school and being so grateful to flush a toilet, when the water was eventually functional again!  (I think our African years prepared us well.  We knew how to make several coping plans!)

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We enjoy beautiful sunsets regularly.  Also notice the warning sign of a snow scooter route.  The school kids are antsy for real snow to come so that they can get the engines revving.  This is the big reason that several northern Swedes like living in northern Sweden, I have discovered.  Snow scooters rule, apparently.  We will let you know if we experience this ourselves.  Right now I am terrified of all snow activities.  If I cannot even go down a small slope on my butt on a mattress, I cannot be trusted on anything higher, methinks…

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But Deon, a real master, got to share his abilities last weekend. 

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My dear man got behind a sound desk again!  He joined Peter, the pastor of our church, at Gud Hjärta Norrland, a youth conference in Östersund.  It was wonderful to see my man shine in the skills God has given him and to make a real difference where it was needed.  I loved seeing God work in people’s lives, and having a good look around Andrew’s (my brother) town in Sweden, where he first lived and went to university. 

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We continue to feel the sense of purpose and pleasure at being where we are.  We love the people of northern Sweden and are glad to be here. We love the small town we are in. We feel privileged and blessed to be part of the church community where we fellowship.  We stand in admiration of the gifts and talents given to Peter and Camilla, the church leaders, as well as the others in the church. 

Oh yes.  The statistic is that at anytime, there are 600 000 Swedes singing in choirs across the country.

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Now there are 600 000 Swedes and 2 South Africans.  We are loving being part of the small choir preparing for Christmas songs. Friday evenings, when we both feel tired, we go and sing and after a short while feel re-energised and excited to be alive again.  It is great to be PART of something… community, sharing talents, being alive. 

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We are preparing for the big freeze, soon. It has warmed up to around zero today, and the roads will be icy this week.  But soon it will be all white under snow, I hope.  The darkness is beginning to make life challenging: the sun begins setting at 3 or so (this week.  It gets earlier each week) and by 4 it is very dark. 

We do value prayers… that we endure the darkness, that we continue to use what God has given us and be His blessings here.  Pray for health and strength for us too, please.  Also, to stay strong in battles… they come at us from all sides, in various forms.

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But we have His endless grace and help in every challenge.  Even surrounded by ice and snow.




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