Saturday, February 9, 2013

The End of an Era: Collapse of the Yurt

"Mama, let's build a new yurt," Alten said while standing within the penciled 20' circle on the barn floor.  We were out wandering on a sunny afternoon this week and happened to be in the barn.  Seeing the yurt footprint on the floor reminded me of the beginning of construction and repair and the excitement with which I viewed the whole process, from seeing the posting on craig's list through the final yurt-raising.  I can claim constant excitement and optimism, recognizing Dan experienced constant hesitancy, frustration, and doubt.

I sat quietly on the futon in the yurt (Alten napped there in the summer a few times) waiting for the women in my spirituality group to arrive one night and was thrilled by the simplicity that having such little living space would invite.  It took me back to our one room cabin in California and I was filled with a sense of joy and anticipation.  However, it is time to say goodbye.

Thursday, December 20th we had a potent storm with lots of wind.  We weren't too worried about it, simply hoping for good travel weather because we were going to Milford for Christmas the following Saturday.  Friday it was cold and snowy, Dan's boss called and cancelled their work day so we mobilized to leave early for Milford.  Dan popped over to the garden to check the temperatures and we were ready to pack the car and leave.  To his surprise, he saw this:

Do you hear the squeal of the air being slowly being let out of a balloon?  So much forward momentum and enthusiasm stopped in one moment.  The joy in leaving early for vacation, more time with family, and most of all finally moving into our own space (albeit temporary) in the spring and being close to the garden and our dreams.  Wow.

Almost down
We moved through it pretty well, stayed home that day for Dan to collapse the rest of the structure and protect the platform from coming rain, and headed to Milford on Saturday as planned.  We started making new plans for temporary housing and are wondering where the time will come from to move forward on creating a livable space in the house that stands on the land now.  We are hoping to be in something this growing season.

The era of the yurt, 2010-2012, brought us several things:
  • knowledge to always research a purchase well before committing your mind and your wallet, 
  • lots of great conversation,
  • a black cloud looming over Dan's head,
  • experience with virtually all that can go wrong with a yurt,
  • a constructive community with yurt forum,
  • a beautiful and functional yurt platform, 
  • deeper appreciation for my Dad (the platform guru),
  • meaningful time with the men from Dayton Mennonite Fellowship, 
  • a circular, sacred space to gather my women's spirituality group that didn't interrupt anyone's bedtime,
  • a place for napping close to the garden,
  • a place for toddler play while working, teaching, and gatherings were going on, and
  • redirection when we clearly needed it.
It is fitting that I am writing this farewell post, as the yurt was a positive for me and a negative for Dan.  Nice to send it off with appreciation.

In other news, Isaac found his toes and is just starting to giggle.  Alten enjoys his machines and words as never before.  Please note the new sidebar: Alten's quote for the week. 

Cute boy pile
Next post to come: Esther and CSHEP


  1. I heard Lloyd Kahn, who wrote several books on domes, mention at Maker Faire that he'd given up on them. This article by someone else gives interesting insights:'s_blues.html Apparently there are lots of challenges.


  2. We just rode Iselle Hurricane nicely. Our yurts have the "wind kit". This is a 2x4 attacted to each bottom of the raft beams and then to the floor, snugged up to the lattice wall. We have 4 of the 30ft. models and all are just fine with NO damage. I hope this helps. Keith, Big Island Hawaii