We’ve lived in our house for three years now and for three years I have sat in my plain white-paneled sukkah looking at the blank walls. Sure, there were always tons of decorations hanging from above, but unless you were lying down on the ground (which actually sounds great), it was the white walls that were at eye level.
So every year I would tell myself that I need to paint the walls and every year I don’t. I’m not sure why this year was different, but yahoo, the walls are now painted! We are now the happy owners of an original mural painted right onto the walls. The patio floor is also kind of painted too but we’ll worry about that when the sukkah comes down.
So really quickly, what we did: I took a red permanent marker (I would have preferred black or at worst, blue, but when the baby only catnaps people who can only find red markers can’t be choosey), took a deep breath and drew on the walls. On the first panel I started with stuff that was hard to mess up – a sun, flowers, a tree and some grass. Another panel has a very unartistic rendition of the walls around the Old City of Jerusalem and another two panels have cartoony pictures of the whole family. Do they look like us? Not at all. Do we care? Not at all. We just drew a little nametag on each person in case we got confused.
I’d been thinking about making a bruchim habaim (welcome) sign for the sukkah too. So that night, after I was still on a mural drawing high, I sat down at the computer and in font size 999 (did you know you can’t go any higher than that, at least in Publisher? Me neither) I printed out the Hebrew letters for ”bruchim habaim” and “l’shana haba b’yerushalayim”. Then I cut out each letter, traced it onto colored printer paper and cut each letter out. In retrospect, I could have just run the colored printer paper through the printer and saved myself about 2 hours of tracing and cutting, but I choose to believe that hard work builds character and blah blah blah.
Then, and this is the part that I think I might be most excited about – I used my good friend Modge Podge (if you don’t have some, run (run!) and get some. And while you’re at Michael’s, get yourself a glue gun too) to glue the letters to the sukkah wall. When they were dry, I modge podged over them and chango presto – the letters on the wall were now waterproof and stuck there, well, forever – so it might be a good idea to give your sukkah sign some thought before you start. Also, as an aside, I just learned that modge podge now comes in fabric mode so if you get that kind, you can make your sign on your canvas sukkah… Very intriguing, I know.
Anyway, the next morning, the kids painted it. I forget why there was no school that day – I know it wasn’t a Sunday so I am going to have to assume it was an erev-something or other. Anyway, the boys had a blast painting the pictures and the whole thing came out adorable. I’m really so proud of all of us. And the really best part – I had been praying for a rain-free Sukkot because the paint we used was washable. So of course there was a huge storm with tons of rain, wind, thunder and lightning the first night of Sukkot. (I guess you all can blame the rain on me.) I stood by the back door watching the rain fall into the sukkah for what seemed like forever. I kept waiting for our hard work to be washed away, but woohoo, when it was over, not only was the sukkah still standing, but the mural was too. It’s a Sukkot miracle.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)