Over the past month I have been consistently led to locations that are said to exist, but in fact do not. The erroneous hand that guides me is my GPS, a seemingly innocent device that is actually the harbinger of all the world’s evil forces. There are no expressions of hatred strong enough to adequately describe how much I loathe my GPS and it’s purple line of deception. Telling a sleep-deprived nomad that “Nanette’s Nook,” a supposed establishment that sounds replete with lattes and warm cinnamon buns, is just 2.6 miles Northwest of her current location and then delivering a “Mike’s Mechanic’s and Stuff” is cruel and unusual punishment of the highest degree.

Today, after two lackluster high school visits and the unfulfilled promise of three local eateries, I decided to embrace independent exploration and took off to search for lunch on foot, sans GPS (which will forevermore be known to me as Gadget Plundering my Sanity). My first stop was a local deli. Barely two seconds (literally) after I walked in I was assaulted with, “So are you sitting down or not?” I managed to mumble a polite sentence along the lines of not. Next stop was a pizza shop, but the smells coming from the kitchen did not smell like pizza, so I decided it did not smell like lunch, either. About-face #2. Back on the street I passed tattoo parlors, gift shops, and many an obscure town business. My search was beginning to seem fruitless and I had the slightest twinge of empathy for my GPS. I started to head back to my car, defeated, when I saw a sign for a bakery. PERFECTION.

Upon walking through the doors of the bakery I was not accosted by hostess nor fragrance, but was instead greeted by the scent of breads: invitingly sweet, delectable breads. The woman behind the counter welcomed me enthusiastically and suggested three menu items she thought I would enjoy before I even had the chance to say hello. Together we decided on the pulled pork sandwich with a side of freshly cut apples. She ushered me to a table with, “Oh now you go right ahead and sit down wherever you please and I will bring your lunch out in a giffy.” I could have cried. The kindness of strangers really can reduce a starved admissions counselor to tears.

When she came back with my lunch in hand she commented on how beautiful the apple was, all streaked through with pinks and reds on the inside, and that sealed the deal on this woman being my heaven-sent messenger of joy. As she was standing there I kept thinking over that verse in the bible – How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

Indeed. Good news and comfort food.