Blessings in a Pandemic: A Reader Shares Her Silver Linings

The best part of our job at Travelers Rest Here has always been meeting our readers.

Without you, there’s no need for any word we publish or any store we promote or any event we tell you about.

Whether it’s running into you on Main Street, chatting at Trailblazer Park or getting acquainted via direct messages and emails, YOU are the reason we exist.

Kay Owen is a reader who reached out to us to share a word of encouragement in a season that continues to stretch and to shape us all. And her hopeful message of the lovely gifts of our community is one we wanted to share with y’all.  (Plus – her photos are so beautiful, we knew you’d love those too.)






Story & Photos by Kay Owen


As I reflect on the past year, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for.   Last February, as we started getting reports of a deadly virus that was spreading across the globe, I became overwhelmed with fear and worry. However, in the midst of my fear, I was reminded of the words to “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford,

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well,
it is well with my soul.

Those words were a profound and calming blessing, to be reminded that God is in control no matter what. 




Since then, our lifestyle has changed a bit, but my husband and I have enjoyed the slower pace.  Thankfully, we have been able to continue getting together with our children and grandchildren, who are our greatest joys, and even though we have not had as many gatherings, it has been a huge blessing to still have family time.

Another change is that there have been fewer opportunities to spend time with friends and meet new people, but due to some interesting circumstances we did meet some folks here in TR who have ultimately become our friends. 




Here is how it went. 

In August, we realized we had to find someone to help us take care of our property but had no idea where to look.  I knew that the Harding family was well-known in TR, so even though we had never met, I messaged Rachel Harding and explained our situation and asked if she could recommend anyone.  Rachel had no idea who I was but she sent me an extremely kind response and gave me one name – Clint Keels. 

I contacted Clint, and he turned out to be the perfect person to help us. He continues to work for us on a regular basis and his help is a tremendous blessing, to say the least.  Also, since Rachel had been so helpful, I sought her out at a Saturday Travelers Rest Farmers Market to thank her in person and tell her what a blessing it was that she had taken time to respond to my inquiry.  Since then, Ian and Rachel Harding and Clint and Koula Keels have become our dear friends, and we are so thankful for them.



One more change is that we have not been able to travel this past year, BUT we are super blessed to live right in the middle of one of the most beautiful areas on earth. 

There are so many amazing destinations that are within an hour or two of our home, such as Jones Gap State Park, Table Rock State Park, Bald Rock, White Water Falls, Lake Jocassee, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, just to name a few, and we love visiting these places and we never get tired of them!



So, yes, I do have a lot to be thankful for! 

Even in the middle of a pandemic, God has blessed me beyond measure, and I am extremely grateful for my family, my friends, and my place. 


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