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.