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153http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2013/06/RabbiLyonsBlog-06_28_2013
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 06_28_2013
06/27/2013 07:00 AM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
June 28, 2013

 

The last day in June holds particular interest for me. You see, it’s the beginning of my vacation and I look forward to it for many reasons. Here are my top 3 reasons:

1.     My family needs my full attention: Lisa and my children, though mostly grown up (23, 21, 20 & 15), have learned over many years about my meetings, hospital visits, funerals and weddings. But, they’ve also learned that they can reach me immediately by phone or text, as long as I’m not at the graveside or under the chuppah. Even if I have to call them back, they know that they won’t get my voicemail. While on vacation, they have my full attention without having to wait in any line of any kind. I like it, too.

2.     I need a change of scenery. The drive from Bellaire to North Braeswood means I’m never stuck in traffic on the way to and from Temple, so I’m not complaining. But, summer time also means choosing mountains over flat terrain and cool, thin air over humidity. In higher elevations, we hike, fish, eat and commune. It’s a respite that I’m eager to enjoy with Lisa and dear friends very soon.

3.     I welcome time to read and write. My favorite pastime is reading a good book in a comfortable chair with a cup of strong black coffee within reach. With a pencil in one hand, and despite past librarians’ warnings not to write in books, I put checkmarks and make reference notes about ideas I want to remember in the books I own. I like to open my laptop, too, and write notes for sermons, articles, and chapters I’m preparing. Without deadlines or obligations, reading and writing for pleasure are inexpensive ways to get away.

As a rabbi, I also look forward to Shabbat while on vacation. Away from the bimah, Shabbat still happens wherever we go. Candles, wine and bread travel easily. With Lisa and friends, we can welcome Shabbat before dinner and I can stay for the whole evening. But, this year, we can also attend services with you by Live-Streaming at www.beth-israel.org.

                One of the activities that I’ll continue to enjoy is sharing my weekly blog with you. In past years, I’ve blogged about my fishing adventures – whitefish on the Elk River – and some of my hiking excursions – 11,500 feet up Aspen Mountain. You might be asking yourself, “I didn’t know David fished and hiked!?” Don’t get carried away. I can throw a fair line into the water and I can carry a back-pack full of water and trail mix on my back, but I’m best at smiling for the camera. Look carefully; they’re all “before” photos. The “after” photos following a half-day of fishing on the river, or 4 hours of hiking up the mountain are stored in a vault deep in the hills of Tennessee.

                Back in a comfortable chair, I find my real peace. Vacations are many things to many people, and when I’m away I like to try new things to stimulate my senses and to show that I’m really a good sport. But, vacations are also time to do the things that I don’t have enough time to do the rest of the year. So, forgive me if it sounds like a dull afternoon with a book and a cup of coffee; but, some days it’s like heaven to me.

                I’ll see you on Shabbat this week and then I’m off. Rabbi Adrienne Scott and Rabbi Mark Miller will be on the bimah and on-call. Have a restful summer. Thank you for the time away. I look forward to seeing you in August, refreshed and armed with stories from the wilderness (or something like that).

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

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