The wooden yurt puzzle

Shortly after Josh finished sanding the third level of the wooden yurt, we climbed the recently created permanent ladder to follow through on a boy’s wish to spend the night up there, plastic in some windows and all.  A first night.

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That slightly glazed wake up might have something to do with the middle of the night wind battering the plastic over the window openings.  Still, it seemed worth it, this glimpse into what it will be like to inhabit this space.

Josh has since added ladder railings to that third level, that now only awaits some wood finish and four more windows.
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It seems to be a giant wooden puzzle at this point.  So many pieces ready to just find the time/way to click into place.

Puzzling over what to use for windowsills under the large first floor windows led Josh to search for some strong, rot resistant black locust.  But it’s an elusive wood around here, quickly taken when available.  Then Josh remembered a man who had some already milled, blown down in a micro burst several years ago.  A man we would not know if we’d not considered having him help with a metal roof at one point.  Black locust sills…

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There are the friends who not only helped us log arch giant logs out of our woods to be milled, but also help demystify the wiring world.  It’s strange to imagine electricity in there.  But it will be nice to turn a light on here and there on those dark winter nights.

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There is a wood cook stove, bought new here in Maine by our children’s great-great-grandfather over 100 years ago, given by their grandfather, delivered from New Hampshire by their father.  A splendid, familiar warm focal point that we’ve gathered around for years, feeling so blessed to imagine gathering around it here.

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She’s still waiting for her permanent setup and resting spot in this space.  Partly we wait to see what sort of floor slabs we might find at Freshwater Stone’s annual yard sale in June.  And if we find something usable, then build the rest of the floor around it and out from there.

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There’s also the beginnings of a plan for the wall behind the stove, as Josh trades milling help for a mason friend’s skills.  Little did we ever imagine what a resource that mill would be, so far beyond the original purchase to mill the wood for this yurt.  Trading milled wood for this masonry work, for lobsters, lamb, seedlings, maple syrup…

There’s also a bathroom in progress, Josh pulling out his dusty timber framing skills from a workshop taken years ago at Fox Maple School of Traditional Building.  A classmate has been putting those skills to full home use in a very inspiring way.  Timber framing seemed the best solution to create a separate space within the large openness that is our first level…

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And it will have a shutting pocket door!  After so many years with this indoor fabric yurt “bathroom” space (I’m fairly certain that blue sign on the curtain said something along the lines of “keep out!”)…

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Imagine, a door…  This new bathroom space will still be quite simple, as water will still be brought in using our hand pump and we will still use a compost toilet.  But there will actually be a door!  And it will shut!  Not to mention a bathtub that one can actually fit in.  Bliss…

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Josh has also milled some oak, part of which will serve as the compost toilet bench, and part of which will be our dining room table.  The irony of these two uses of wood from the same tree didn’t strike me until I just wrote that…

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So many puzzle pieces.  So much more to share, to remember along this way.  Until next time…

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9 thoughts on “The wooden yurt puzzle

  1. Melanie, I love the theme of a puzzle . . . and of pieces falling in place. What a book you have in the making. Your writing makes me want more.

    Much love to all, JoAnna

    In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

  2. Wow – what an accomplishment and how exciting it must be to begin to actually “see” where things will fit. The bathroom door comment made me laugh – when we remodeled our bathroom, we reused the old door, but installed it as a sliding door to save space, so there is no lock or latch on it; it just sits flush with the wall. Visitors are always a bit unnerved by this lack of security, but it is just the norm for my husband and I.
    Your children must be learning so much from this process!

    • Ha! It is kind of funny how a locking shutting door has become such an ingrained expectation for a bathroom. Except with children… visiting children never seem to think twice about a non-locking curtain door or compost toilet!

  3. Oh it looks lovely !! I’m just drinking in those photos, with the glow from that wood. Beautiful work. I quite like the look of the bathroom in the existing yurt – but can see how a door might be nice. When I first met Rob his geodesic dome had a green velvet curtain for a bathroom “door” and I must say a real door was a nice improvement!
    That cook stove is gorgeous….what a treat. Just one question – how will you fill the new bathtub ? xoxoxoox

    • Ohhhhh, a green velvet curtain bathroom door in a geodesic dome. What an image! We’ll still fill the tub using the hand pump, heating water on a rocket stove and/or the cook stove. The draining of it will be a bit different though than our current pick up the tub and carry it out!

      • Thanks – I missed the part about the hand pump…just saw it now when I read through it again. I got distracted by all the awesome photos!

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