As we move through the month of Tishrei, now at Sukkot, I must say that holidays are always great and meaningful and include a lot of time spent together as a family - so important - but they also mean we are operating on a very tight schedule. There's a lot of feverish cooking and cleaning going on those in-between days which aren't actually a holy day or Shabbat, not to mention a lot of washing accumulating by-and-by.
In addition, we are now harvesting olives - for the delicious homemade preserves my husband is going to make - and figs in abundance. It might look as though we are going to have a surplus of figs for drying or making jam, neither of which I've tried and both of which are interesting possibilities.
And... some other little thing that has been on my mind. We spent the first day of Sukkot with family, and in the morning I took my girls to a nice playground we like to visit, which included, as I recalled, a lovely big sandbox. Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the soft golden sand is gone and replaced by a surface made from recylced rubber.
This is a trend that I've noticed in many places in Israel lately - sandboxes being replaced by recycled rubber. I'm not sure why this is happening; perhaps because recylced rubber is the trendy ecological thing; perhaps because in some places, stray cats use sandboxes as toilets; perhaps because parents are clamoring for "neater" play - and I must say, it does give me a twinge of sadness every time to hear mothers scold, "don't touch the sand!" - either way, I'm convinced there's nothing like sand for children to be creative with, to dig in and build and "cook" with. I'm voting for the return of the old-fashioned sandbox, and perhaps will discuss with my husband the option of having something like this one in our yard.