Sabbatical started Jan 8. It feels like I have accomplished little, but in truth there has been a lot going on.
The first day was a travel day, which started early - everything was packed and, for the most part, in the car, the night of the 7th - a pretty good accomplishment considering we started and ended that day with meetings. The laundry was done, save the 3 odd socks I found hiding after the last load was in the dryer. The cats had their self feeder and self-waterers filled and their litter box cleaned, the plants were watered, and the folks keeping an eye on the house were shown where everything - including the alarm system - is. Hal and I split the drive time, and while he was driving I finished one baby blanket and started another. On our way, we stopped at a Subway for lunch - thanks, Amity folks, for the gift cards that you gave us for Pastor Appreciation Month. After we got to my sister Carol's, I went with her to pick her grandchildren up, to bring them home for dinner. We had a good evening, playing with the kids and just hanging out, and went across the street to visit with a neighbor with my sister Cathy.
The 9th was my sister Carol's birthday. We three sisters went shopping, hung out, and then celebrated Carol's birthday with family. After birthday celebrations, we exchanged Christmas gifts and played games. Before bed, I read a devotional, and read a little in John C. Maxwell's "Intentional Living," a book I had started in December and put aside. I also took the time to read a novel, something I have not done in quite a while.
On the 10th, I went to church early with Carol to help her set up communion, putting the glasses in the trays for her to fill with juice. Next time you have communion, make sure you thank the person/people responsible for setting it up and setting it out - and if you don't know who that is, find out! Hal and I went in and had coffee before the service, chatting with several of the folks from the church. After the service, we went to lunch, and when we got home I went into the back room by myself to take the second class in the online Gospel of John class that I am taking. I passed the test for that session! I will be putting my notes from the classes in a more legible form after I get back. I am learning quite a lot about this particular Gospel, and am eager to share more of it with you all.
On Monday, I did a little more reading, this time in Maxwell's book, my devotional, and picked up the Max Lucado book that I'm planning on using during Lent. When Cathy got home from work, she, Carol, and I packed up Carol's car and drove out to spend a night in a hotel near where Carol was having surgery the next day. We met Cathy's older daughter for dinner, and went back and played a few hands of cards to pass the time. If you like games, and get the chance, pick up a deck of "Spot It!" cards (not that I'm advertising them - but they are really fun!). We went to bed early - not that I slept much.
This morning Cathy's alarm went off at 3:30. I was up before mine went off at 4, and we were to the hospital just about 5 am. I had finished the 2nd baby blanket on the drive in last night, and started the 3rd while waiting for Carol to get checked in. Everyone we dealt with there was wonderful, and put us all at ease. Her surgery went well, and she was ready to be home sooner than we had anticipated. We were home in time for lunch - although I think we all were more tired than hungry, the first thing any of us did was nap!
Through this all, we've been keeping up with you, through emails, phone calls, texts, and facebook messages. We don't disconnect easily, and it's not our intention to completely disconnect while we're on Sabbatical. We know we have some folks who are ill, some who have gone into the hospital, and some things that we forgot to pass off to someone else in our absence. We are thankful to those of you who are picking up the tasks that need done, and appreciate you more than you know.
Blessings to you all!