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Kris and I returned our son’s dog, Slater, today. On our return, Kris and I couldn’t resist a trip through Middlebury Indiana, a place surrounded with Amish.

When our kids were grade schoolers, we spent an afternoon with Milton and Lizzie Yoder in Middlebury in their home. When I met Milt, he asked me pretty quickly this question: “What do you do for a living?” Now that has some gravity for the Amish, who take their vocations far more seriously than a thing done to make money. I told Milt, “I am a teacher.” To which he replied, “That is a worthy calling.” I wish more of us thought about our vocations in such serious terms. What is, I am often led to ask, a “worthy calling”?

Well, today, we wandered through the countryside, waving at farmers and nodding to buggy drivers and saying hellos to women tending to their gardens, and simply enjoyed their attachment to family, community, and land. At one home there were four buggies parked and a bundle of people on a front porch having lunch and swapping stories.

If you happen to get to Middlebury, I recommend a visit to The Country Lane Bakery, owned and operated (=vocationed) by Howard and Ida Yoder (they are perhaps related to Milton and Lizzie, but I didn’t ask). It sits on 59162 CR 43 (which seems a very non-Amish way of locating a fine plot of land and a fine bakery). My recommendation is to buy a pie and some bread and some “Whoopie pies” if you’ve a yen for them. Howard’s a good man, with a story to tell and kindness in his eyes. When we left he gave us a pecan roll because, as he put it, “They’re everyone’s favorite.”

If you go, tell Howard we’ll be back.

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