Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Family Growth Chart

 Many years ago, we bought a metal frame and white cotton fabric walls to build our sukkah. The frame stayed up all year, I sewed together several bed sheets to throw on top to make a shade, and we'd often have our Shabbat meals outside on the patio when the weather cooperated.

After a few holidays of getting tired of staring at the plain white walls, I decided I wanted to design something to paint on the walls. First I thought something rather industrious - traditionally on Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles), there is the concept of seven holy guests - Ushpizin - who visit the sukkah, one for each day of the holiday. Then I thought maybe to start a bit more simply, the seven species of fruit associated with the Land of Israel, and the four species associated with the holiday of Sukkot.

And then I hit on a family-inclusive, long-term project. Using just one handprint from each family member, we would build a mosaic over the years.

The first year was 2010.

We started with a sun. Six members of the family, and a false start.

In 2011, we added part of the sky. And a son-in-law.

2012 saw grass grow, and a grandson.

2013 we had flowers bloom.

In 2014, the multicolored butterflies arrived.

And in 2015, we did the other part of the sky, and welcomed a second grandson to the family and to the sukkah family project.

In 2016 we moved to a location where we don't have a place to build our own sukkah, so for now, the family project is on hold. Happily, as soon as it's up and going again (please God, for Sukkot in 2021), we will be adding several new family members.

So, any interesting traditions you have to chronicle the growth of your own families?


  1. That's amazing. I remember when you first started it, but I never got to see the progress after that. That is just so awesome and beautiful.