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Sabbath Day – A Little of Everything

May 2, 2013

Sabbath Day is a weekly post to keep me accountable for observing a weekly time of rest and  restoration. It is a day for myself, my family, and ultimately for God to use.

We work six days, and on the seventh day we rest. We do this in imitation of God, and as a reminder that we are not slaves to production. Here is how I enjoyed non-productive time in creation today.

Fiddling Around: My sabbath began last evening at sundown. My wife and son had been to a farmers market and prepared a dinner of baked acorn squash, fresh sautéed spinach and an apple salad. It was delicious and made me yearn for our summer garden. After that Noelle needed to spend some time with a young couple who is getting married next weekend, so August and I accepted an invitation to an Irish Pub where local fiddlers were gathering for an Irish folk jam. Chocolate ice cream and beer!

Food Stewards: This morning was lovely. August and I had time to play with his new airplane in the front yard before school. On the way to school we made our monthly delivery of food the Ecumenical Food Pantry (August is one of the “Food Stewards” at the church, charged with carrying the contributions of the congregation to where they are most needed). We’ve finally worked out our routine for dropping off the food without being late for school.

Walking Westchester: Continuing my goal of visiting 100 parks, arboretums, sanctuaries, preserves and trail systems in my community, I headed up to Millwood to walk the Pruyn Sanctuary. There are only about 3 miles of trails in the sanctuary, much of which consists of boardwalk through swamp, and including a convenient bird blind. I didn’t see another person the whole time I was there, but did run into half a dozen deer. I even outlined my sermon for Sunday while I was walking. It was bold to go back to Millwood because I had hiked another park in that neighborhood earlier this week and brought home a tick. I found it the next morning attached to my stomach. This was the first time I’ve been bitten and was glad to discover I had everything I needed to remove him. Yuck.

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Climbing: After my hike, I found a coffee shop in Valhalla for a cup of coffee and to drop into a new novel. I’ve just begun Edward Rutherford’s New York: The Novel, which is new out in paperback. Then off to the gym for an hour of climbing. I spent most of my time trying to climb above my ability until I just couldn’t anymore. It was a good change up, and my arms felt like I was a newbie again. Then home for a shower and to check for ticks.

Reading/Music: After my shower I cleaned out the car so Noelle to take it to the carwash when she went out in the afternoon (she loves to do this). I put on some good jams, placed a chair in the sun, and continued reading my novel. I’m 140 pages into New York. and enjoying every minute. I plan to include some early New York history in my sermon on Sunday, so this is perfect.

Silver Lake:  Silver Lake Preserve is 167 acres of trails and lake just a mile from our house. It wanders over The Hills, the site of an important skirmish on October 28, 1776 during the Battle of White Plains, and the home of a Westchester’s first free black community, which included houses, a church, school and cemetery. The Hills (Merritt Hill and Hatfield Hill), now part of the Town of Harrison, were originally part of a land grant for the Purchase Friends Community. The Friends (Quakers) voluntarily freed their slaves. To cite Jane and Walt Daniels, “Many residents were literate and recorded their views in letters to family members. Their 6.5 acre cemetery, Stony Hill Cemetery, is now owned by Mt. Hope A.M.E. Zion Church of White Plains. It contains  the remains of approximately 200 residents as well as many Civil War veterans.” The history of the congregation I currently serve includes the donation of the schoolhouse to this community. Our family afternoon in Silver Lake Preserve is hike #40 in the Westchester 100 and marks my tenth completed hike.

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Oktoberfest: OK, the hike got us muddy. Home for a shower and then off to Oktoberfest. On the first Thursday each month Dunne’s Irish Pub offers a German menu with Spaten on tap, so off we went as a family for sauerbraten, red cabbage, potato pancakes, veal schnitzel and wurst. Yum.

Iron Man 3: And now, as the day is winding to a close, I am off to the movie theater to see the premier of Iron Man 3.

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