Our succa is up, and if you can ignore the fact that my digital camera is now favoring a pink hue (gotta get to the camera store today), one can see that I, constuction-challenged Laurie, have succeeded in, once again, erecting a kosher succa for my family.
OK, it's not the wood boards with a window and doors that we used to have when Yoni, a master craftsman by anyone's standards, was here.
The walls are plastic canvas which tie onto the permanent poles that have been here for years. Most of the schach is also roll-up bamboo-type.
But, by golly, it's up. The tree was successfully pruned to fill in the schach where there is none, decorations are up, and the food is being prepared as we write/read.
It's succot, more than any other time of the year, when I am aware that I can do the things that I always relied on Yoni to do. I can put up a succa. I can fix a leaky toilet. I can silicone when needed, check mezuzzas (taking down and putting back up), put up pictures (making holes in the wall), take care of the garden, do barbques, bury dead animals, check halacha on questions that I don't know....
It's on succot that I most strongly feel the saying that God doesn't give us any tests that we can't pass. If you would have told me that, 3 years ago, I'd be doing all this, in addition to working full-time, taking care of all the kids' needs (and my own), keeping up the house, and doing all sorts of extra things to make money (teaching english, renting out our room downstairs, working in a gallery-office, selling t-shirts, making Shabbat sushi to sell) I'd have said, no way. I can't.....I can't.....
But guess what? I CAN!
So when I sit in my succa this evening (well, we're invited out this evening, so tomorrow....), that's what I will be reflecting on. That God gives us strength when we need it, courage when we need it, wisdom when we need it. We just need to be open to accepting what He's trying to give us.
Living as a single mother is not a test that I wanted. Raising my children alone, being alone.....that was for someone else, not me. I couldn't handle it, right? HA! LOOK AT MY SUCCA!