Monday, January 4, 2016

A Special Meeting Over a Calendar

This is the calendar that hangs in my kitchen. The wall has had this particular series of calendars hanging on it for many years. They are my favorite because of the artistic rendition of places and culture in Sweden created by Erkers Marie Persson.

In June 2015, my sister, Kris, and I finally were able to cross "Visit Sweden" off our lists with a wonderful trip which included meeting cousins we didn't know we had two years earlier.

Meeting Swedish cousins was wonderful all in itself but a special *S* appeared while we were telling them of our plans for the next week of our trip. We told them we planned on a few days in Mora, Dalarna and hoped to experience some of the traditional cultural aspects of their country. Marianne and her husband, Bobo, told us they had a summer home near Mora and were actually planning to be there the next two weeks! They asked if they could show us around.

Really? Out of all the places we could have visited in Sweden or that they could have a home and they are the same place? *S* for sure!

A few days later, we were on our way North from Stockholm to meet Marianne and Bobo in Leksand, Dalarna. When we arrived, Marianne had the program already planned for our us! We were off!

Bobo grew up in Mora, so he and Marianne knew exactly where and when to take us around the area! We visited the church and grounds in Leksand, then got back in our cars and headed North. Our first stop was the village of Tällberg on the shores of Lake Siljan. We stopped at a group of small red buildings and left our cars to explore it. Some of the buildings were set up to show how life was lived many years ago. (In Wichita, we have Cow Town, with buildings set to look like life 150 years ago. People can walk through them to experience the past.)

Across the square was a small, two story building that had the work of a folk artist displayed. I started up the stairs with Marianne. She stopped me about half way and pointed at a calendar on the wall. She said, "This is the calendar I have in my house." I was surprised and told her it also hung in my house. How fun!

We reached the second floor and I was immediately drawn to a display of figurines that caught my attention. They were of St. Lucia. They seemed so familiar and I had soon chosen two to take back to the U.S. with me. Marianne and Bobo had been in a conversation with the woman at a desk in the corner. They were speaking Swedish so I was only able to understand bits of their conversation.
When I walked over to them, they switched to English and I listened as the woman told them of her busy day with a new shipment.

I saw the same calendar on her desk that had hung in the stairway. I pointed to it and said, "I have this calendar hanging in my kitchen in Kansas!" She looked surprised but said, "No, you don't have this calendar." Then I saw that it was a 2016 calendar. All of a sudden, I understood the conversation I had been listening to! The 2016 calendars had just arrived and she was getting ready to mail them out to stores and customers around the world! This woman was the artist!

*S* Marianne and Bobo had just so happened to take us to a tiny shop in a little village in Sweden which just happened to be the shop of the artist of the calendar I love to hang in my kitchen in America! I hadn't told them about my calendars and they had no way of knowing.
I told the woman that I always order her calendars and had one hanging in my Kansas kitchen back at home. I was so excited and I think she was excited to have me tell her just that!

Needless to say, I have a signed calendar hanging in my home for 2016 and when I look at it, I feel loved by God.

That's the purpose of *S*erendipity.