Hello, my dears. I’ve been meaning for days to pop my head in here and say hello. Now, here I am.


I’m behind on everything right now. That’s not meant to be an excuse, as I don’t think there’s anything in particular that you’re expecting from me. I hope not, anyway, because if you were, it would be late. Everything else is.


It’s like this for me every single  year. The early spring hits me upside the head as if I hadn’t been begging for it for the last three months. We still have snow on half our property, but the ridge top is clear, and I hadn’t even drawn out my spring garden yet until this morning. Well. It doesn’t matter too much. It’s all happening anyway, whether I’m ready or not.


This morning the kids ran out to play just for a minute while I was fixing up their lunch, and didn’t come back for almost two hours. I sent the lunch out in a basket. I thought of Noah sending out the dove, and the dove didn’t come back. There’s clean woods to play in. They found land.


It’s a good thing, too, because if the children don’t ever land, I don’t ever land. Now I really am making excuses, but it’s a bit hard to get your head wrapped around the change in seasons when you’ve got one kid hanging on your neck and two more yelling in your ear. Now I can be like Polly Pepper’s grandmother and shoo them out of the house with a broom.


It’s all not quite so bad for Nick. He just goes up to the house to work, and that’s his creativity and his vocation and his escape, all wrapped into one. I know another family considering the shift to small house/one room living, with kids of all ages, and wondering how they’ll all live in a room without killing each other. I said, well, the one up side is that irritated dads are more motivated to do their projects. That isn’t always a loss.


The truck never comes home empty this time of year. Whenever Nick goes into town he brings back a load of whatever he scavenged that day, plus often a load of rock or sand for the driveway. I haven’t left the mountain in weeks, which is just chance and also that our driveway was really scary with ice and mud for a while, before Nick got the rock laid on it.


We’re both getting our bodies in some kind of gear. For spring. I cleaned out the goat barn as a warm up, and have been making turmeric milk daily to manage my sore shoulders. Nick is always working with his hands, even in winter, not tapping away at keyboards with a pillow under his back like I do. But still, shoveling rock is a thing only matched by shoveling rock. He has sore muscles, too.


We’re also tremendously relieved, though, to be moving again. Anything to be moving again. When there is quite this much to do, you need to be able to focus on little forward steps, or the distance just is too daunting. It’s too easy to give up. It’s a relief now, to be moving again, and away from the pull of sloth and insecurity.




Right now I’m feeling it’s completely glorious that there are so many people of like mind in the world. It’s interesting for me, having observed these American generations as eras of feast and famine, and watched the social trends turn back and forth, from extravagance to preparedness, and back again. We are in a great, strong tide toward self-sufficiency right now. I sat a table with other moms just the other day, discussing how to teach traditional skills to our kids. We’re all doing the same things pretty much at the same time. We’re like a groundswell.


And, I see more than I ever used to a kind of compatibility between love for the natural world and Christian faith. It used to seem dangerous to many, like pagan rites, or goddess worship, or just irresponsible anti-conservative values. But now we’re uncovering the Psalms, re-reading the creation stories, claiming stewardship of land as a vocation worthy of the salt and the light. This feels to me like a groundswell, too. Spring is in the air, and waking up is in the water.


I like it because we all sharpen each other. And I like it because peers close that distance that seems so daunting. In a pack there’s always someone else not too far ahead of you or not too far behind. That gets me right off my pillow and into making my muscles sore. Also, planning my spring garden. Also, making a food storage plan. Also getting ready to learn skills that are completely new to me, even on top of everything else I do. Peerage is powerful stuff.


Nick, on the other hand, is still working alone. I never know if that’s because he doesn’t like having peers or just because he doesn’t have any. But he can do crazy things all by himself, or just with me for help. I’m not a very skilled carpenter, but he likes having me around. We work together pretty well.


Soon we’ll be crossing projects off our lists in great Nick and Esther style. When the two of us are on, we’re really on. And we’re about to be on.


We’ve felt it enough times now, to know that the rocket shoes trick is alignment as much as it is effort. To be aligned, with the seasons and your peerage and your calling, is to be carried a bit, not by your own will but by the will of the Spirit. Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. (Psalm 144:4) We work most quickly and most efficiently when we don’t fight it and don’t take credit for it, but just ride…both the groundswell of public interest, and the swell of spring.


I wish you all rocket shoes, and the ease and peace of being breath in Almighty lungs.


Love from the yurt,




PS. If you don’t regularly check our YouTube channel, this week you’ll want to. I may have been a bit lax over there this month as we’ve been finding our shovel hands, but the momentum is about to flow again. Season Two of #MountainDreamHome will be up on Wednesday evening. YAY! And on Friday we’ll have a giveaway to celebrate 20,000 subscribers. Don’t miss the things you like!