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The Yurt

You know that moment when your mouth opens and the words start pouring out and simultaneously your brain is screaming “Shut it! Hurry!” but it’s too late because the material is just so good that you have – in that very moment – made the unconscious decision to say the startling thing and let it just parade around out there in front of you and see what happens.

It’s something you could do with your siblings and not think twice.

They are quite entertained.

It’s dicey at best with someone who barely knows you.

You’re taking the risk that they will paste on a smile and fade slowly backwards into your past as quickly as possible before you say something else…

Your listener will either do that or frown a bit and ask the logical next question:

“Um, why?”

Because they are being polite. Don’t fall for it. It’s code for, “I forgive you for opening that up. Here is your chance to put it back in the box and squish the lid on.”

Oh, Jolie. I can’t take you anywhere.

“But I do know what a yurt is, because my dad lives in one,” said the voice in my head out loud.


“Um, why?”

“Oh, well…he built it himself and he’s really good at building stuff, as a matter of fact, it’s what he does, makes aviaries and cages and things for his business from home. Do you have a pet?”

The diversion didn’t work.


“At our house, actually, the one we moved to when I was a teenager. My parents still live there after all these years and really, he always was going to build a house. When I was a kid, we had a pile of giant wooden triangles in the yard because we had five acres in New Mexico and he was going to build us a dome house on them.”

She didn’t take the bait.

“But your mom…”

“Doesn’t live in a yurt, of course, she lives in the house. She gets the inside of the house and he gets the outside and they are both happy with the arrangement. The yurt has plumbing and everything. He’s quite a talented builder. He just visions something in his head and his hands can build it. Mom is no way going to live in a yurt.”

I thought for a moment.

“I guess she didn’t want to live in New Mexico, either.”

At this point, the TMI crazy train has wrecked three times and my brain is staggering around trying to stop the leakage and find a way – any way – to segue to a screeching halt that doesn’t make me look like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”.

“The house is all paid off now,” I finished, shuffling sideways, intensely interested in something on the far wall, “Maybe he’ll hang some new curtains in his window.”

I knew questions were being shouted out from the studio audience in her head.

“Who does that? Was he pining away for a camping adventure, and this was as far as he went? Is he planning to patent his yurt design and just trying out multiple ideas to perfect it? Is he a mad scientist who experiments with chain link fencing, guitars, and bantams? Did he bury treasure out there and needs to guard it? Maybe her parents are secretly working for Elvis.”

I suppose it does save on vacuuming time.

She couldn’t know that, since our house didn’t have enough bedrooms in it, Dad had built me a room in the backyard after I graduated high school. It was painted and pink and girly and the only time in my life that I’ve ever had a room to myself.

I lived in the original yurt but it looked more like a single-wide.

Without plumbing.

I thought it was heaven.

There’s a show on TV called “Tiny House Nation”, and it just proves what we all know: there’s a fine line between a crazy person and a trend-setter.

Dad was just cool ahead of the yurt curve.


Published inLiving LargerMi Casa Su CasaThe Day Job


  1. Anonymous

    We have winterized yurts up here so you can snowshoe out of them ;). That is a pretty fancy one

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