Less than twenty-four hours to Sukkot, and I have no sukkah. What I have is a cabana frame with no way to attach the Chinese silver grass (and no promise the frame will support the weight) and no way to affix the sheets I plan on using as curtains. Oh, I also have a mother who says, “You know I like things elaborate,” and “I just ran out of time to make the curtains.” Funny how we’re back to using the sheets I suggested in the first place and she dismissed as hillbilly.
This is round two of building a sukkah for the Gibson Family. You’ll recall last year’s efforts (Learning Curve) were redneck at best. We’ve come a long way since then, and we’ve learned a few things. Such as sukkahs need four walls and branches still attached to the tree don’t count. Still, we did our best, and I truly believe Adonai was honored by our efforts. This year, I’m thinking He might be grading on a tougher curve, and we’re getting points checked off for lack of preparedness.
You see, I had this all planned out on Monday when Mom and I went to buy the PVC pipe, three-way elbows, and the shower curtain clips. We were on our way to Home Depot and ended up everywhere except Home Depot. I could have had this finished Monday evening and been peacefully admiring my sukkah in anticipation of sundown Wednesday. Instead, I’m anticipating watching my mother weave paracord around the top of the frame (at minus five-foot-short, I have no idea how she’s going to reach the top of the ten-foot-plus, peaked cabana frame) probably while standing on a step ladder (I’m not sure we own one anymore) placed on uneven ground. I’m having flashbacks to Mom and Dad fighting over the set-up of…well, just about everything.
And the grasses still need cut down. With a reciprocating saw. I know we own one of those, but I have absolutely no idea what it looks like or where it is. Dad is supposed to help me with this, but then I wonder who will watch Mom while she’s weaving paracord on a ladder? This is not going well. At least Dad should be sufficiently occupied cutting grasses so as not to pick a fight with Mom. And nobody better pick a fight with me because I have a headache already. Is it too early in the day for a glass of bourbon?
Here’s the kicker: we have until sundown this evening to complete this, except Mom wants to eats dinner in the sukkah as a family. My husband, William, leaves for work at 3:30 PM. So, we have roughly four and a half hours to get this thing ready. I’m thinking we should have completed the sukkah today, enjoyed some coffee, tea, and cake in it, and then tomorrow when husband’s vacation starts, enjoy dinner as a family. Am I the only person who sees this spiraling out of control?
Don’t even get me started on dinner. Mom asked what I planned on making for the first evening. This is code for “I’m buying the cabana frame, so you make dinner.” Not a problem at all. Really. I figured we’d have the sukkah up by Monday evening anyhow, so I’d be free to prepare food. Then she texts me with a picture of the marinara sauce she’s making for dinner. I hadn’t even suggested a menu, and already she nixed it. Again, not a problem. We like marinara over spaghetti, and I have back-up sauce in case our teenager snarls his nose at it.
It’s anyone’s guess how this is going to go off. I know there are a few details we still aren’t going to get right, but like life in general, Adonai gives us time to grow. It’s anyone’s guess whether it’s His voice or mother’s in my head saying, “Have a little faith.”