Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Building a Sukka?

"How lovely are your uh, dwelling places....."
As part of our Sukkot celebration, we're instructed to build a "sukka" otherwise known as a "temporary dwelling".  Since we already live in what is considered by many to be "a temporary dwelling" or AKA, an RV, a tent seems like a step in the direction of being somewhat more of a temporary dwelling.  We already have a small tent suitable for backpacking/hiking that is quick and easy to set up.  

However, in light of considering the "Greater Exodus" and the time of the Great Tribulation which is prophesied to last for 3 1/2 years, living in a small tent doesn't seem like truly being prepared.  With that in mind, we set our thoughts to purchasing a larger, more substantial tent that might stand up to 3 1/2 years of life in the "wilderness of man".  That task alone took several months and a lot of money to accomplish.

After exploring a multitude of websites devoted to camping, outdoor living and the "wilderness experience", I turned in my frustration back to the basics of army tents.  Soldiers represent the true experts at spending long periods of time living in tents and no amount of camping can ever really replicate the challenges of actually living in a tent for an extended period of time.  Combining that thought with the very real dangers of trying to survive during an Alaskan winter, led us to purchase a very large (or so it seemed) Arctic 10-man tent.

While our intent was not really in the direction of trying to shelter 10 men, but more in the direction of providing for some actual "living space", this tent seemed to fit the task.  The tent, liner and pole combine in weight to something close to about 90 pounds.  Combine the weight with the very real frustration of trying to put up the tent properly and we found ourselves with a Herculean task divided between two physically challenged adults that are not well-attuned to working together.  

Needless to say there were plenty of "AFHV"*-worthy moments and the end results (as the picture clearly shows) were far from "livable".  My favorite moment was DannyLee's attempt to crawl under the canvas to put the pole in place and raise the 90+ pounds of tent.  As the weight of the canvas and the darkness overwhelmed him, his struggles drove me to an insane combination of laughter and tears as I tried to figure out how to free him from the mess.  (He still doesn't think that this was at all funny so I write about it here with a bit of trepidation.)  After three hours of wrestling canvas, ropes, stakes and each other, as the temperatures started to drop below bearable, we finally gave up and collapsed our "sukka" back into it's "jacket" and retreated to our much more comfortable RV.  

We know that the day may come sooner, rather than later when we are once again faced with trying to put our shelter back up in much less than optimal conditions.  Our prayer is that on that day, we are surrounded by a small company of "experts" that are willing to pitch in and help us to pitch it.  Until then, we just might have to fall back on our simple little Kelty if the need for a more temporary dwelling arises.  At least, I'm confident that I do know how to put that one up all by myself!

* "America's Funniest Home Videos"

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