Two days of silence broken only by moments of brief connection with the sounds coming from the truck and the schizophrenic collision of every day thoughts has ceased. Sheryl Crow wrote a song “Three Days in Rome”. Maybe I’ll call mine “Two Days In.” Two days in and I’m glad to know I’m really not — schizophrenic. Kinda catchy.

Moments of clarity have returned, sighs of relief, deep breaths surge to my core, all fear and trepidation are gone. I’m reminded of my own capabilities and of what I’ve got stored down below ready for retrieval if or when I ever had to have it. I can interact with each and every person with whom I come in contact with no interference of expectation or environment, of who they are in the world or who I am. All pretense has faded away, there is no lost effort on how to act or what to say. Mere faith in myself is replaced by power and empowerment. The jumble of thoughts has stopped. I’ve been returned to myself. PEACE.

At different times in my life, it’s taken 5 days to get here. Those days are not fondly recalled.

Now that you know WHY I take these trips and you’ve heard the story about my encounter with the mysterious light source, let’s discuss the trip!

The first day’s goal was Sidney, Nebraska which would put me spending the next couple of days in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. I made Sidney alright, after 15 hours of hard driving. Had it not been for Lindsborg, Kansas, the drive would have been an easy 12.

But it’s a road trip and the day is sunny and warm (65 degrees F.) and I’m free on the open road, and curious. Seemingly innocuous things tempt me. Like a roadside sign about “Little Sweden” that I’d seen numerous times and never felt the urge to pursue.

Bethany Lutheran Church. Lindsborg, Kansas

Bethany Lutheran Church. Lindsborg, Kansas

See? Manjit, I told you it was sunny and breezy and a perfect day for exploration!  Lindsborg, Kansas is just South of Salina on Highway 135. It’s known as Little Sweden, U.S.A. because the first settlers of the valley came from Sweden establishing the community in 1869. The shops are filled with hand-made (right in the shops) and imported Scandinavian crafts and art.  I’d love to go back for Svensk Hyllningsfest, a celebration to honor the Swedish immigrants who settled the area. It’s only held every other year and is scheduled for October 9, 10, 11 of 2009.  I’m just glad all I have to do is write the name of the festival and not pronounce it.

xoxo

Mingenback Art Center. Several metal sculptures on the grounds were captivating. If only I'd had the time to visit the museum -- next time!

But I did have time to eat.

xoxo

Vegetarian Panini, Swedish Style

Lingonberry Shortbread Cookies

Lingonberry Shortbread Cookies

As you know I’m not a vegetarian, but this sandwich at the Courtyard Bakery & Bistro on Main Street sounded so fantastic on the menu, I couldn’t resist. Besides I’m on this diet and I figured by going with vegetables I could afford to eat both of the Lingonberry cookies. I swear I did not dip the sandwich into the cucumber hollandaise sauce included on the side.  I did eat both cookies. This was one of the 2 most memorable meals I had during the 8 days on the road, not including the “meal” of truffles at The Chubby Chipmunk (more about that later).  Actually “memorable” is not the most accurate term. I had a few “memorable” meals. More accurately, this meal was one of the 2 BEST.

xoxo

Swensson Park. I enjoyed the above meal here.

P.S. A National Geographic Photographer, Jim Richardson lives in and works from Lindsborg, Kansas

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