Each year, as the seasons change from summer to fall, we commemorate those years by constructing a temporary hut - called a succah - outside of our homes in celebration of the holiday of Succot. For eight days we eat all of our meals in these huts, and some people even have the custom to sleep in them, something I don't do now, but did once with my sisters and friends when I was about eleven and sleeping outside was a fabulous adventure.
Succot is, above all, a time of happiness and joy. The ten days of repentance are over, and for eight days we fill our succahs with guests, have meals together, and celebrate family, unity and Jewish continuity.
This year in our new house, we got to build a succah of our very own. My parents came to visit for the holiday, the weather has been glorious, and we have spent much of the past four days enjoying it right here: