Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)

Because the Moon Can See the Sun (and Other Reasons Not To Be Afraid)

"Mommy, is the moon on fire, like the sun?" That's my middle daughter, talking. "Nope. It's just a big rock." We're on the way to the bathroom, as we always are at bedtime. We live in a yurt with no indoor plumbing, so our bathroom is outside. "How is it lit up, then?"

Letter From the Yurt In the Woods (Second Winter)

I can't for another minute pretend the winter isn't coming to a close. All signs are here, and they are miracles, every one of them. Light through the yurt windows, sprouts in a seed tray, and best of all, full peace and quiet while the kids play outside all day long. I think we made it through.

By |March 9th, 2015|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|3 Comments

This Post May Contain Nostalgia As Well As Hope (Sorry Not Sorry)

With February comes the morning sunlight. (Choirs of angels sing.) Bright shards of light fall across my desk and spill into the tiled hearth. Another winter, come and nearly gone. We did it. Already, nearly time to plant again. I can hardly believe this, but the next lilac blossoming will have us two years living in our yurt. Two years.  The newborn I carried here in my arms is gone, replaced with a little imp who likes to unload the spice rack. I look at her...and wonder if I have aged as much as she has. Okay, so sue me. I’m [...]

By |February 17th, 2015|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories), Writing Life|2 Comments

How To Fall In Love With Your Life, Part II

I made the mistake this week of reading a novel that is better than anything I'll ever write. Bah humbug, was my incredibly intelligent critical response. I had to curl up and feel sorry for myself for hours afterward. This is where it falls apart. Does this happen to you? When everything out there is prettier than what I've got in here...then all the richness of the landscape -- both natural and manufactured -- can only serve to make me feel poorer. There's a lot of beauty out there. But none of it will satisfy. Have you ever noticed that all [...]

By |January 23rd, 2015|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|6 Comments

How To Fall In Love With Your Life

We had visitors twice this weekend. Which is unusual for anytime, but almost crazy for this weather. After weeks of melt and freeze, and melt and freeze, you wouldn’t catch me coming up my own road if I didn’t have to, to make it to my own house. We heard the truck coming in a quarter mile away and the kids ran up the slippery hill to see who it was.   It’s not as though we’re particularly easy to find. I just changed my schedule so that three days a week I don’t leave the property. I time out [...]

By |January 20th, 2015|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|6 Comments

Two Days After Christmas in a Coffee Shop in Indiana

My family met this year in the middle of the country. One family coming from each coast, and one from the middle of nowhere, so why not Indiana? The holiday itself has been a wild smash up. I filled myself up way too full, to the brim and to bursting, with food and fellowship, games and laughter, chaos and wildness and joy. And then I left. Burst out, introvert, gasping for breath. Must find silence. My two-year-old was so mad that I left (my husband texts me) that she went into our room and slammed the door and put herself [...]

By |December 27th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories), Messy Faith|4 Comments

Another Newsy Letter From the Yurt (Second Fall)

Dear Yurt Friends, We're eighteen months in. Can you believe it? It was eighteen months ago that I stayed up all night and joined LinkedIn at 3 o'clock in the morning out of nervousness because the next day I was moving…off the grid. Our first year was such an adventure. It was right about at the one year mark that I most felt like giving up. I'm a conqueror, you know? I wasn't made the patient type. Or the staying-put type. But I managed to stick it all the same. We're into deep fall now. BAM. One day the hill is burst in [...]

By |November 12th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|Comments Off on Another Newsy Letter From the Yurt (Second Fall)

A Newsy Letter From the Yurt in the Woods (Second Summer)

I'm sore today. We worked through a ten foot pile of slash yesterday. This is a pile of branches and brush left over from our wild dash to stock up firewood last fall. Anything more than an inch in diameter gets drug out and cut into lengths for firewood. These small pieces are even better than cord wood for the cooking fires. The thin branches are broken up mostly by hand and tied into bundles of kindling. The twigs are raked up and scattered on the paths. It's a whole lot of work. Most folks around here burn their slash, but Nick [...]

By |July 16th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|12 Comments

And We Have a Cherry Tree

In our first year on our land, we had a hard freeze in May. All the blossoms fell from our one fruit tree, which was sorry looking anyway. Damaged at the trunk by elk, and one whole side of it was dead and dried up. I wasn't even sure at the time what kind of tree it was. We did keep thinking we would research it, but who has time? With life to do? And, truly, the distractions. But we did prune our unknown fruit tree. And gave it an extra deep soaking in the early fall when we first hooked up our [...]

By |July 4th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|1 Comment

Hello, My Name is Esther, and I’m the Kind of Person Who Lives in a Yurt

Last April, I moved to a yurt in the woods. It was a radical, life-changing sort of move. It was the kind of move where you don't ever quite know what you're doing or why you're doing it, but you do it anyway. All my articulate words -- and my friends can tell you, I have plenty of articulate words -- are always a little less than what is truly going on. This summer I moved back into town. It was a necessary move, and also a temporary one. I thought, as I was coming here, it can't be that big of [...]

By |June 23rd, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|22 Comments

Letter to a Rebel Girl (Letter to My Daughter)

Dear Stella, I don't know if you're going to remember this later. I don't know if you remember it even now. But you and I were at the park the other day, when this younger kid showed up on his big wheel and started chasing you. You weren't the slightest bit threatened. You were on your brand new big girl bike, that you just got for your 5th birthday, which you love. You still have training wheels, but that doesn't mean you can't kick up some serious dust. And we're both insanely proud of you for it. You're proud of [...]

By |May 19th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|21 Comments

On Following Your Dreams, You Guys {For Reals}

When my husband left me here in the yurt to go off and be in the Bahamas for a month, I tweeted, “I am going to appreciate this. Afterwards.” That's today. Today is afterwards. And I have come here to tell you how I appreciate it. I do. I do. I so do. I can’t even tell you. There’s no boot camp could have done for me what these weeks have done: all this heavy real-life work of hauling my kids up and down the hill, and meals three times a day on the wood stove, and the water from [...]

By |April 4th, 2014|Little Yurt in the Big Woods (Stories)|10 Comments