It's a fact of athletic endeavor that we are supposed to have a "recovery meal" after strenuous activity. My husband, who loves to ride his bicycle fifty to a hundred miles at a stretch, is very intentional (as he is at all things) in eating a recovery meal, something with proteins and carbs and such to rebuild his body.
For those of us in the pastoring business, we need a bit or recovery after the marathon of services that comprises the period from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. Recovery meal? Perhaps some Peeps and some ham and some lamb, depending on whether you follow Southern or Northern food traditions on Easter Sunday. At our house, we had a lovely leg of lamb, following a delightfully simple recipe from Julia Child, roasted fingerling potatoes, and steamed asparagus. Some Sister Schubert rolls - I cannot top them - and homemade key lime pie for dessert. Nothing says Spring more than a meal like this. And, yes, there was a nice bottle of Pinot Noir to go with.
But the real recovery for me was not the meal, it was this time of silence and relaxation that follows. I did not go into the office yesterday. Today I went in briefly, and made a visit to the hospital to pray with a parishioner prior to surgery. I did a little work on a doctoral project, but that will be it for me this week.
On Thursday, Doug and I will head out to The Homestead, a hotel/resort in the grand tradition. The first iteration of the resort was in 1766, when an 18-room hotel was built on land deeded to Captain Thomas Bullett by Col. George Washington. It's a bit larger now: almost 500 rooms, a spa, golf course, many outdoor activities, great restaurants, etc.
It's also rather pricey, and not the sort of place that Doug an I could normally afford. But last summer we received a call from WCVE-FM, our local public radio station. At the moment the call came in, I was a tad annoyed, because we had sat down for dinner, and I thought "Gee, whiz, I just called them and renewed my membership. Don't they keep good records about who pays?"
(At this point, you might wonder why I even answered the phone in the midst of dinner. The fact of the matter is that, as a working Episcopal priest, the cell phone is more or less permanently attached to my person, because folks call at all hours with emergencies, and this is a vocation, not a 9-5 kind of job. )
But when I answered the phone, Lisa Tait, the lovely lady who is VP of Development - read fundraising - said, "Before you say anything, I'm not calling to ask for money. [whew!] You've won a prize in our drive."
"Hmmm," I thought. "Prize. I don't remember anything about prizes. I just called and renewed because WCVE is my little place of sanity in the midst of my crazy days. It's the place where I chill out with classical music, where I get the news uncolored by bias, where I hear favorite shows like Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, This American Life...but wait - what's the prize?"
"What's the prize?" I said. She told me we had won a three-day weekend getaway to The Homestead, courtesy of Covington Travel. We could pick the dates we wanted to go.
I gushed a bit and thanked her profusely - I never win ANYTHING so this was a shocker. Told Doug and he was equally shocked. He never wins anything either.
But there you are. We thought about when we'd like to go for about 48 seconds. I knew I really wanted to get a break after Easter. Hot Springs would be beautiful at that time of year, and I would really need some recovery time.
So many thanks to WCVE and Covington Travel for helping this tired priest get a break to relax and recharge! Wish I could bring you all with us (well, no, not really, but I do wish you'd all renew your memberships so that you would have a chance to win something like this!)
Watch this space and you might see some posts and pictures and such from the trip!