For the basics of Sukkot, please visit here.
The days of chol hamoed Sukkot (the intermediate days of the Sukkot holiday) have been a lovely mix of taking some local trips and sitting around the house relaxing. Some day we’ll get our computer back and I will be able to upload the photos of our trips to Maarat Netifim, Neot Kedumim, and Shefayim (for a hike) & Herzliya (for the beach).
Celebrating Sukkot in Israel is amazing, of course. We have our own personal sukkah for the first time, which means that Taxman and I can actually eat meals together. In New York I’d usually opt out of eating there due to the inconvenience (women and minors are not obligated to eat in a sukkah); and Taxman would be working during the intermediate days and usually came home really late to make up for the work days he had missed for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. I’d send him out to the sukkah at 9 pm with leftovers or a sandwich and stay home with the (usually) sleeping kids. Eating dinner with him, in our tiny (2 meters by 1.5 meters)-but-expandable-for-the-future sukkah strung with chili pepper Christmas lights, feels really nice.
The weather is great for outdoor dining; many restaurants and popular tourist attractions (like the Maarat Netifim) have sukkot available for patrons. Our favorite falafel place [not Ofer, sorry Roses!] not only had a sukkah, but also a lulav and etrog set (see above link about Sukkot and/or Leviticus 23:40) for customers’ use. We have two lulavim and etrogim floating around; they are so inexpensive compared to the US prices, and this way we keep one set up for the lefty [Taxman] and one for the rightys [me and Miss M…AM still unknown, but uses my lulav]. The kids don’t have school, Taxman’s only been to work for one day and one afternoon all week, and things just seem festive.
Returning to the regular routine, which had barely started before it was interrupted by Rosh Hashana, will be difficult. There is a long stretch of six-day school weeks for the kids until Chanukah (Miss M has vacation then); I go back to my Hebrew immersion classes; Taxman will go to work Sunday through Thursday, every week. We’ll have finish unpacking, get into a normal life, shop and cook and clean and have Shabbat guests with something approaching “the usual.” Not that we have a usual. Note to self: find a usual. Get motivated to cook. Enjoy keeping house outside of hanging the laundry. (Ok, not “enjoy.” But do it anyway.) Go to bed earlier in order to be able to get up and run at 5:something. Find a meal other than pasta or French toast where the kids’ tastes intersect. You know, get back to life.