Finding Rest for My Soul on Labor Day Weekend.

We had some incredibly beautiful weather over the weekend here in southern Indiana. Saturday, I visited Indianapolis, courtesy one of my clients. I drove out to Raceway Park for the NHRA MAC Tools U.S. Nationals. I spent the day watching shockingly adept professionals doing their thing, in a job they all clearly loved.

The Team Kalitta guys, rocking their automotive awesomeness thing.

When I drove back home, I jumped off I-65 at Columbus, had a gyro at Dimitri’s, and traveled the rest of the way back via S.R. 135. It’s a glorious, winding stretch of state highway that runs through Brown County State Park. I had the windows down and was listening to classical music from the local IU radio station.

Story, Indiana. Which would be a great book title, I think.

I don’t know that many women who would enjoy both drag racing, and a scenic drive with opera blaring from the radio, in the same day. But I totally did enjoy it. Sometimes, my past (which is, let’s face it, more than a little redneck) seems totally incongruous with my present, particularly my work life. I have entirely the wrong pedigree for an advertising agency. But Saturday was one of those neat moments when my past and present actually fit beautifully together.

There was a moment when I had left the woods of the park behind, and was driving through this immense sea of deep green soybean fields, rippling in the breeze. The sun was shining, the air smelled great, and I was just struck with the perfection of the moment. It was like a postcard from heaven, signed by God, “Wish you were here. Oh, wait. You are. Enjoy!”

Stopped off in Salem, at a place called “The Cheddar Depot.” Because really, how can you not stop at a place called The Cheddar Depot? Right? They had sugar-free fudge (for my diabetic spouse and my father-in-law, who is in visiting). They also had pumpkin fudge, which was full of sugar and intended for me (and the kids, and my mother-in-law, but mostly, yeah, me.) It’s like a Starbucks pumpkin latte, only FUDGE. Oh, yeah.

Got back to scenic Palmyra in time for a cookout at my son’s best friend’s birthday party. It was actually my second birthday party of the week–the first had been Friday night, for my husband’s good friend. That was also a great time of friendship and food, celebration and reconnection.

Sunday? Sunday was amazing. The message and music during worship was encouraging and real and honest. Once again, I was struck, as I had been on my drive Saturday, with a sense of belonging. Of being in exactly the right place.

I love my church, but sometimes I feel like everyone there looks like they stepped out of a Target commercial. I feel old and out-of-step and self-conscious. But Sunday, my self-consciousness slipped off like a cardigan that had grown too warm and uncomfortable. I enjoyed the sense of shared intent, a whole community with our minds and hearts at least trying our best to tune to the same pitch.

Monday was a lot more low-key, but it had its moments as well. The delicious scent of hanging fresh laundry in the breezy, sun-spattered shade of my back yard. Grocery shopping (which I actually enjoy). A nice visit with a girlfriend.

So that was my holiday. I hope yours was restful, energizing and full of grace.

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