The New Year has arrived and still there has been no recorded visit from South Dakota. Since I did not launch Summit to Shore until January 5, 2009, there is still time remaining for South Dakota to step up to the plate. (hint, hint)
If I knew anyone in South Dakota I would call or email them and ask them to visit Summit to Shore. The only name I can associate with South Dakota, however, is that of one of my favorite authors, Kathleen Norris. While I know her through her writing, she doesn’t know me from my reading, so I really can't call or email her. Besides, she might be in Hawaii this time of year.
Several years ago I read Dakota: A Spiritual Geography but could not remember if Kathleen was living in North Dakota or South Dakota. Having already read Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, The Cloister Walk, and The Quotidian Mysteries, I am now finally getting around to reading The Virgin of Bennington. Reading the second chapter of Virgin reminded me that Kathleen’s grandparents had lived in Lemmon, South Dakota, where her mother had grown up, where she had spent her childhood summers, and where she now sometimes lives and writes, dividing her time between South Dakota and Hawaii.
Lemmon is the home of the Spencer Memorial Presbyterian Church, with 117 members in 2008, one of those members being Kathleen Norris. Kathleen has regularly preached at her home church. I had the opportunity to hear Kathleen Norris preach at the 209th General Assembly (1997) of The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) meeting in Syracuse, NY and thought she was an outstanding preacher. I used to have a recording of her sermon but loaned it out and it was never returned. One of these days I will get around to reading the only book by Kathleen that I have not yet read, Acedia and Me.
Kathleen's home state of South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. It is also the home of Mount Rushmore National Monument. The Capital is Pierre. To date, it is the only state out of 50 without a logged visit to Summit to Shore. (another hint)