Shabbat is Coming

A few more hours until Shabbat. This is a week when I am going down to Salem. Oddly enough, this weekend I’m down in Salem on Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday, because religious school is canceled for Presidents Day Weekend. So I am prepping for this odd weekend when I work shabbat and then have Sunday off.

On Friday afternoons when I’m headed down to Salem, I leave very early. Services start at 7:30. Theoretically, it’s about 1 hour to get down to Salem, 1.5 hours with rush hour traffic (though I have spent as long as 2.5 hours on the trip on one particularly awful Friday afternoon). So I could leave around 5:30 or 6 and probably be fine. Instead, I leave around 3:30 or 4, which gets me into Salem at 5 or a little afterwards. Which gives me roughly 2 hours to relax, prepare for Shabbat and do any last minute preparation for services before people begin to arrive.

I use these two hours in a variety of ways. Sometimes I will finsh preparation on a sermon for the evening, or spend some time working on the Torah portion for Saturday morning. More often, I try to use the time in a non-work type of way. I’ll read or knit. Sometimes I’ll listen to an audio book on the computer while I knit. Sometimes I’ll eat a light early supper, but often I’ll count on a late lunch to carry me through.

It’s an interesting and odd way¬† to move into Shabbat…driving through rush hour traffic and then relaxing, and then pumping myself up for services again. But it’s become a pattern that feels like the beginning of Shabbat to me.