The first two holiday days of Sukkot are over, as is the first intermediate day. We've been blessed so far with lovely weather. It's a little cool, especially at night or first thing in the morning, but I really enjoy eating in the sukkah. I just bundle up a little.
My Hubby took 3 days off and is enjoying spending time with Dear Child, who is off school until next Tuesday. And Dear Child's social life has never been more active. Her teacher had the class over this afternoon to her sukkah for a little party, she's going tonight to the centre for dinner and a movie with her big sister and 2 nieces, and she's having a pajama party/movie night with her best girlfriend on Thursday (although she's not actually sleeping over).
Part of the fun she's having this year is the joy of eating in as many sukkahs as possible. With what's planned, she'll eat in 3 other sukkahs, besides our own. Plus, Eldest Daughter and her family all ate with us tonight (Monday night). The past 2 years we've spent all or most of Sukkot at our rural home. We love that too, but it's a different feeling. We're the only Jews for miles, so she never even sees another sukkah. And we invite all the neighbours for an afternoon sukkah party and have our next door neighbours over for dinner in the sukkah, but it's all about educating them. Yes, we're those funny people who eat in that strange tent with bamboo on the roof for a week, but it's okay, we don't bite....
This is the difference between living in a community and starting one of your own. When there are lots of other people doing the same thing it's a lot of fun and you feel like you're part of something. When you're the pioneers it can be lonely. For a child, sometimes it's nice to see that all your friends do the same thing (and at the same time, just how different each family's sukkah can be).
The difference for me is that I'm working all the intermediate days this year. I love having those days off at the house, getting the garden ready for winter, doing little tasks in the house. For some reason, it usually includes putting furniture together at some point. I even like that!
Right now I have 2 bookshelves at the house that need to be assembled. One is for books and will go in our bedroom. The other is for display in the dining room. I've taken a lot of the memorabilia from the various trips I took as a child there and I'm looking forward to setting things up on the shelves! These are things like a wooden and woven palm outrigger canoe from Fiji or aboriginal print mats from my parents' trip to Australia, or a huge beautiful shell. I don't even remember half the things that are wrapped up in those boxes and I'm looking forward to seeing them again after quite a few years. All the things come with great memories of the trips we took but I'm one of those people who really needs to see and touch them in order to truly remember.
For me, this nesting that I do at the house in the fall is a wonderful way to unwind. I miss that I'm not getting the chance to do that this year. I'll go back after Sukkot to take the sukkah back to the house and do a quick once-over of house and yard, but it won't be the same. It'll be rushed and busy, with me trying to cram as much as possible into a day.
I'm telling myself that the advantages are that I won't be falling behind at a busy time at work and that DC can socialize with her friends in their sukkahs, but I have to be honest. I'm missing the quiet time at my own house.