Beneath it all

We’re rather excited (and more than a bit relieved) that THIS has happened:

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The creation of a cement icosikaitetragon, this 46.5′ diameter 24-sided landing pad for a wooden yurt.

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Soon it will barely be visible, disappearing bit by bit as the wooden yurt sprouts out of it over the course of our building workshops that start in just three weeks!  But even when it is gone from sight we’ll know it is there.  Deeply.  Its existence is cemented in, layer upon layer.

From when we first stood on this land and Josh pointed into the woods saying he could see the yurt sitting just about there…

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And when Bill Coperthwaite suggested we think about a cement slab instead of the more traditional wooden post yurt base (thank goodness, considering how wet and rocky this land turned out to be)…

And then when Bill came here, and he and Josh used a tape measure and buckets to visualize a yurt base…

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And when we walked around and around the general area over the two years leading up to this, laying out imagined slab outlines, marking a potential center, and getting out my divining rods to dowse the final midpoint…

And when Bill Tourles leveled out and tamped down the gravel base with his excavator…

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And when I realized that I WOULD need to use those math classes in “real life” to help figure out the angles for a 24-sided shape…

And thinking of our friend Andy who offered to help us with the cement, when we knew so little of what it would mean to say yes – the many phone calls, work in his shop, using his tools, road trips, site visits (many, many), figuring, explaining, planning, etc., etc.  Right up until the last smoothing of the cement, and beyond.

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It was a long process, Josh using Andy’s guidance to dig trenches into the very-hard packed gravel so the cement would be deeper, stronger where needed.  And using  whatever that tool was we borrowed from Andy to check over and over and over again to make certain it was the correct depths and heights.  Then setting up the forms (with those 24-sided angles) and rebar to make it extra strong.

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And when cement pouring time came, first thing in the morning on a beautiful sunny Saturday in July.  I looked around to see Josh with Andy (who is also Caden and Aria’s friend’s father) who helped us through this whole cement process, and also the director of their school, a teacher from their school,  a friend who heard it was going on and stopped by to see if he could help, a friend of a friend who I met for the first time this day.  All doing an intricate cement spreading dance around the rebar to get it all in place in the finite time that cement allows.

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There are times when I wish we’d started on this journey before we had children because, you know, there’d be a lot more time and focus and perhaps fewer comments like “Mom, if you forget to feed me I’ll just go out into the garden and find something to eat.”  But this day, this day I felt like our children were being given a lesson that could only come from this process we’re in the midst of, watching what these friends and mentors gave of themselves for nothing in return but some muffins.

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And then making our marks, including mysterious child-oglyphs like a cooking pot over a fire and a four-year-old’s inadvertent actual word spelling while writing out random letters (ironically, the house will look a bit hat-like, won’t it?)…

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And then when it was there, looking like it always had been there, the children already running circles around it…

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And Caden finding a new side business with his cement remnants sculpture shop. I picked up a “dragon” for a steal of a quarter.

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And then we were mulching it and watering it to slow the curing process.

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Have I mentioned we don’t have running water?  So this watering entailed a team effort of one person on the slab with a hose and the other at the hand pump pumping and getting sprayed by the pressure of the water trying to go into the hose.  Thankfully it was hot…

There we have it, the base of it all, ready and waiting.

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Now Josh is finishing planing  the wood, and should be done in relatively short order thanks to the help of our fathers and brother-in-law along the way.  Thank goodness.  He generally liked milling the wood, but is not so happy with planing.  As he says, he’s “bored of boards” and the monotonous and loud planing process.  But still appreciating the beautiful outcome.

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We work on gathering the last of the materials for the building, things like the steel tension cables, Roxul insulation, screws, scaffolding…

We gather plates, mugs, bowls, utensils and recipes for the communal yurt workshop feeding that will take place for breakfast / snack / lunch / snack / dinner every day for two solid week stretches at a time.

We continue making trails into campsites (!) to have places to sleep for those dozens of yurt workshoppers who will be here so very soon, from near and far.

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It is actually happening.  Even if I have to keep pinching myself to believe it.

8 thoughts on “Beneath it all

  1. I am so happy for you and feel grateful to live vicariously through you. I found your blog one day when you posted on Mothering and I think you were inviting me personally to join you on the journey to be inspired and to cheer you on. So here I am wishing you a thousand well wishes. Rock on Mama!

  2. A barn raising of a cement pouring day! Lookin good over there. Caden and Aria will remember that giant dancing platform, always. Hope to see you guys soon here there or somewhere.

  3. I am so happy for you and your family. Dreams coming true!!!! I would love for our family to build a yurt as well. Long story short, but procrastination kept us from visiting Bill. I have been holding on to all his plans for about 10 years now. Are you excepting visitors? We would stop by and see your progress. Take care and best wishes.

    Stacey and family
    Waldoboro, Maine

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