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(east/west, day five: Oklahoma City)

A day of rest today is in fact what’s called for

And I take the day to shake off the fatigue of the road

Not the usual “Shabbos” that I don’t roll for

But still an opportunity to loosen my load

I took the last room, even though it was a smoker

But it was better to take it than go look for somewhere else

It was worth the extra bucks, though now I’m that much broker

Guess I’ll go downstairs and have some dinner by myself

Oh Sabbath

Oh peaceful restful Sabbath

Oh blissful joyful Sabbath

of blessed sweet relief.

The hotel’s booked solid with a church lady convention

Well isn’t that special—such a divine time!

I watch from a distance and keep my belief in suspension

As I read the local papers at dinnertime

Seems the whole state’s full of people who want to convert me

And nobody questions whether in fact it’s OK

But so help me, my faith will never desert me

No matter what anyone here in the bible belt may say

Oh Sabbath

Oh great and holy Sabbath

Oh light and lovely Sabbath

It beggars all belief.

And I realize how terribly I miss my family

When I’m pausing for a break in the midst of the ride

I may not think of it much while I’m busy driving

But it’ll be great to rejoin them when I reach the other side.

So what do I do to keep myself occupied

In this time and place I’ve chosen to stay

Glad I didn’t take a room in that dive by the rodeside

Otherwise I’d have hit the road today

Now what’s to do in a strange town on a Saturday night

What’s there to do when I’m out on my own

Do I check out the bands and trip the party lights

It just don’t feel right to be doing things alone

Maybe this isn’t the greatest occasion

I need to gather my strength for what still lies ahead

So I don’t think I’ll go out, I believe I’ll stay in

Say Have a good week, and then just go to bed

Oh Sabbath

It was a relaxing Sabbath

And now it’s after Sabbath

Oh blessed sweet relief.

Oh Sabbath

I didn’t roll this Sabbath

I’m glad I took this Sabbath

Though it was all too brief.

©2024 The Hesh Inc.

"Shabbos in OKC" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
Shabbos in OKC with a hotel full of church ladies ... truth is stranger than fiction, folks.

I reached Oklahoma City in the midafternoon on Friday, June 20, after about ten hours rattling and bouncing along I-40 from eastern Arkansas, and checked in to the first hotel where I could park my truck/van combo. I took the last available room in the hotel ... it was a smoking room, but I took it anyway rather than go hunt for another hotel in the bedraggled condition I was in. I had looked in the local phone book for anything Jewish related that might able to assist me in actually keeping Shabbos on the road, but I found nothing, so I was left to improvise. To make things more interesting, the hotel was filled with the participants of a Lutheran women's convention, so I shared the premises with a lobbyful of Midwestern Dana Carveys ... "now isn't that special." Reading the local paper over dinner, I came upon an article dealing with the subject of how to convert the Jews. Not whether in fact it's OK to do so ... that was a given ... but rather how to go about it. I'm glad I was not the test case there in that hotel that weekend; I'm sure some of the locals would have loved to try. Maybe I couldn't keep Shabbos the way I normally would, but G-d had a way of reminding me of the importance of staying Jewish ... even in a place like the buckle of the Bible Belt.

Shomer Shabbos or not, I made it my business to stay off the road on Saturday and spent the whole day resting and relaxing ... it would have been great to hang out by the pool, especially in the 90-degree weather, but alas, I had left my bathing suit inside the truck. Oh well. Shabbat shalom and shavua tov, y'all ... next stop, Texas.


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