Tag Archives: nature

The Yurt’s First Overnight Guests

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Journal from December 17th, 2012

Nate and Hannah came to visit this weekend. We pulled out lots of extra blankets and set up the futon so they could sleep in the yurt with us. Thankfully, they are both really laid back and didn’t mind the lack of running water.

Nate has been entertaining us with Christmas songs on his fiddle, and they have both been helping with food, dishes, wood, and holding Alma. One couldn’t ask for better guests.

Mike cooking; Hannah napping; Nate making music

Mike cooking; Hannah napping; Nate making music

I hope that they weren’t awoken too many times last night by Alma’s grunting and slurping. She was really hungry and kept making really loud noises.

It snowed yesterday and is still snowing now, so it is really beautiful outside. Maybe we will cut down our Christmas tree soon.

The yurt has been a really nice temperature since yesterday. I feel so much happier about life when I’m not cold.

I should probably go stoke the fire now.

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To Europe and Back Again

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Last night, I wandered Vieux-Nice and drank wine beside the Mediterranean Sea before going to bed. Tonight, I am watching the light fade in the sky whilst comfortably sitting on my couch inside the yurt.

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I am growing to realize that I live a life of stark contrasts. From our life in the middle of a field where one must carry in the day’s worth of water, to a Mediterranean vacation where one sips espressos in the market square each morning.

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We spent the past two weeks in Europe, revisiting our old apartment in Vieux-Nice and witnessing the nuptials of two dear friends. While enjoying the sights, smells, and tastes of Europe I couldn’t help but reflect on how different my “other” life was in comparison.

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enjoying the museum gardens

My life in the yurt consists of birds singing, minimal water, and listening to the radio. My life in France consisted of tourists, espressos, and live accordion music wafting in from the street below. The yurt boasts an outdoor toilet and a bucket to in which to wash laundry; the apartment boasted a hot shower and a washing machine. The yurt is in the middle of a field; the apartment is in the middle of an old city.

hanging laundry from the balcony

hanging laundry from the balcony

By day, in France, we visited museums, relaxed on the beach, and napped after lunch. When in the yurt, we wash and hang diapers, work in the garden, and nap after lunch. Some things apparently don’t change regardless of where we are in the world.

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The apartment often smelled of fresh bread; the yurt often smells of wool. When I was hungry in France I ran to the market, a mere two-minute walk; when in the yurt, I run to the garden, a mere a two-minute walk. I wore high heels and dresses in France; I wear overalls and rubber boots at home. In Vieux-Nice, morning was heralded by the sound of street-washers, church bells, and espresso drinkers; at home, morning is welcomed by crowing roosters, and singing birds.

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As one would imagine, I love my double life. I enjoyed being at the centre of Nice and able to profit from everything a city has to offer. However, I equally enjoy listening to birds sing whilst nestled in my armchair sipping tea.

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a day at the beach

I relished the constant fellowship that a never-sleeping city offers.

Nonetheless, I also revel in the silence and simplicity the countryside expresses as I fall asleep in my big tent.

Each lifestyle compels me to appreciate its counterpart.

Pros and Cons of Yurt Life

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Pros

  • peaceful and quiet in a way similar to a cottage
  • makes one appreciate simple things
  • free heat (if you don’t count the man hours)
  • we can hear the birds
  • nice and sunny inside because of skylight
  • we can look at the stars at night from the coziness of our bed
  • it is much cheaper than living in an apartment
  • we use less water and electricity than we normally would
  • great for having friends over
  • there is always something to do

Cons

  • can’t leave for more than four hours without the yurt becoming an ice box in the winter
  • we have to get up multiple times in the night to stoke fire in the winter
  • dishes and laundry take a lot longer than usual
  • it takes a lot of effort to heat the place
  • it is too hot to keep fire going on warm days, so we must do all cooking/baking/washing early in the morning or late in the evening when the stove is hot
  • hornets are interested in our home and continue to find their way in but not out
  • we have a resident vole who lives with us; he is polite and discrete, however I’d still rather he stay outdoors
  • wind has been a big issue multiple times (it tried to blow our roof off a few times)
  • after two weeks of nearly constant rain, the roof started to leak and the yurt smelled like a wet sheep for a couple days
  • there is always something to do