Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sukkot 2015

Just 10 days after we got home from Camp, it was time to head out again. This time for a different kind of camp: Sukkot at Hagan-Stone Park. We've camped there for Sukkot 3 of the last 4 years and really love it there. What's Sukkot? Sukkot is also called the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. It's the time of year when, for 8 days, God commanded the Israelites to dwell in temporary shelters in remembrance of the time they spent in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. We also choose to celebrate the birth of Messiah at this same time. There is some reasonable evidence that suggests he was born around this time of year.

As is typical of this time of year, they were forecasting rain. Not just a day or two... almost every day starting the day we were supposed to set up.
  So, with that in mind, I went down a day early to set up our tent. I picked up a 20'x30' heavy duty tarp at Lowe's and strung it up over the tent in anticipation of the rains so that we could have dry places to cook and eat as well as sleep. No sooner did I get set up than it started raining. It rained off and on for 4 straight days to start us off. That didn't stop us, tho! :) The actually forecasted a hurricane for the second weekend, but fortunately, it turned away. We did, however, have the fire department come out to see who was nuts enough to actually camp in all that rain. Fortunately, their services weren't necessary. There were some high winds and we heard quite a few trees fall, but we were kept safe!
 During the lulls, we still managed to start a fire and cook over it whenever possible. We even got a chance or two to roast marshmallows. But the it would pour just about all night, every night. I think Wednesday was the first day we saw the sun since arriving on Friday.
 We took advantage of that day to go fishing, though with little success. I've lived down here for a total of 18 years and I still haven't figured out southern fishing. The fish just stared at my lure as it went by...
 Irene took advantage of one of the lulls in the rain to do a little Bruce Banner impersonation. After our one day of sunshine, the rain started back off and on until the following Sunday.
 We weren't alone in our determination to celebrate Sukkot. We met another family, a dad and his 11-year-old son from up near Elkin, NC that stuck out the terrible weather. We celebrated Shabbat with them the second Friday night. The kids had a lot of fun playing with Jaden, going on short hikes and running around. That night the rain was deafening on the tent for a couple hours. And our dry creek bed next to our campsite had a stream the next morning.
 Finally, at the end of the holiday, the weather cleared and we had a couple of nice days of drying out. The sun didn't really emerge until I was packing up, but as least the rain had stopped. All told, Hagan-Stone got more than 6 inches of rain that week. We took advantage of the nicer weather to hike around the park to the playground and let the kiddos burn off some energy.
 We spotted some "deer" on our walk.

 Irene has become a real trooper. she enjoys walking on her own rather than being carried all the time.
 Though neither she nor Emma are opposed to a little help every now and then.

At the park, the kids went at it with gusto.
 Even Irene was determined to make a go of the rope climb.

And the last day, Monday, we celebrated the end of Sukkot with a simple but special lunch and sang "Happy Birthday" to Yeshua. :) I have to say, for as wet as this Sukkot was, we never really got too stir crazy or down about it. We stuck it out and had a really good, relaxing and fun time.

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