Chag Sameach, everyone!

So last year my partner Emily and I built our very first sukkah ever. It was a momentous occasion and we were quite excited, despite the fact that the only place we had to build was a little strip of grass out behind our apartment building. Unfortunately, neither of us really knows the first thing about building anything, so what we ended up with was a rather rickety structure that looked like this:

Which was all well and good until the first strong wind came around and the whole thing came crashing down in less time than it takes to shake a lulav.

This year we decided to take a different approach. I thought that since neither of us was likely to actually sleep out in the alley behind our apartment anyway, we might as well have some fun and build a blanket fort. It would be in many respects like a sukkah without causing so many potential problems. I think Emily was a little leery of the idea at first, but she soon recognized it for the stroke of mad genius it was and we got to work. The final product didn’t turn out half bad, if I say so myself:

You can’t really see it well in the first picture, but the sheet that forms the roof is green with a leaf pattern on it. Brilliant, amirite? What’s that, you say? What about being able to see the stars through the top? Well, we provided our own:

Or at any rate twinkle lights that look very much like stars.

So that’s our sukkah this year. Perhaps not quite the same as the real thing. Perhaps not entirely according to halachic standards. But it was a lot of fun to build and sitting in it makes me feel like I’m eight years old and having a sleepover, which actually sort of accomplishes the goal of taking you out of your ordinary space and making you feel like you’re on an adventure.

A year ago, I’m not sure I could have done something like this. One of the most positive effects of all the changes in my life recently has been that they’ve helped me loosen up and not take things so seriously all the time. Hope all my readers have a really wonderful Chag and a joyous Simchat Torah!