We’ve all experienced how the weather can influence our perception, our mood and our daily life. I’ve found this even more true now that we live in a yurt, in a closer connection to the world outside than ever before. The last time I wrote about our daily life in a yurt (go read here, I discovered I somehow only published half the post last time, the rest is up now too) was the end of March. We’d had snow and ice, rain and wind but the wood stove kept us warm (hot, even) through those months. As I’m writing now it’s like we live in a different world: everything is green and growing, we have door and windows open to keep cool, and the crickets are chirping in the warm evening sun.
It took a while for Spring to really start here though. We had some warm weeks at the end of April, but after that it seemed as if winter returned, with cold winds from the northeast for some weeks. There was this transition period where we weren’t sure if we should light the stove in the morning. Sometimes we did, only to be sweltering a few hours later. I think we finally moved the wood out of the yurt towards the end of May. Since then we’ve had mostly great weather, what we’d call summer in Holland: above 20 degrees and a lot of sun. The dog is having a great time too, she’s always outside chilling somewhere in the shade, chewing a stick or sticking her nose into anything we’re doing.
It’s on those sunny days that we really feel the benefit of living in a yurt. Being so closely connected to the outside makes it really feel like we are camping all the time. But only with the benefits: being outside a lot, walking barefoot, chilling in a hammock, having breakfast in the morning sun. We have all this but also the comfort of our own bed, a kitchen and a place to work. We’ve been slowly working on making the yurt more like a home. Stef built a cabinet for the old ceramic sink we found in the basement so we could replace the ironing board we were using as counter top. It’s still not finished, we’d like to replace the big fridge with a smaller one inside a kitchen cabinet so we have more cooking space.
When we asked about what we should expect from living in a yurt, the answer was ‘bugs’. As the yurt is not as closed off as a house, it’s much easier for all kinds of insects to get inside. It started with some ant trails in early spring, but we eventually got rid of them and I haven’t seen them since. Not in big numbers anyway. But I’ve found all sorts of bugs all around the yurt. Not that it’s crawling with them, but definitely more than I’m used to. We don’t mind that much though – they usually find a way out themselves. The same with flying insects, they’re mostly just passing through.
I had been itching all winter to start my veg garden, and in April our neighbour came to help us turn over a plot of grass behind the yurt. I’ve been spending a lot of time growing seeds and shaping and preparing the garden. I think gardening is what brings me the most joy besides sewing. Due to the cold we still had a bit of a slow start but since a few weeks it’s growing like crazy. I now understand why the neighbours don’t bother until half May. I’m not used to everything growing so fast, in Holland it really made a difference to start indoors.
Having a garden has changed my perception too. A few months ago I was still feeling a bit restless, thinking we’d be here only temporary, maybe start looking for a land of our own as early as this summer. But as soon as my seeds were in the ground, this feeling subsided. We had our own place and a veg garden, and as it turned out that’s all I need to feel at home. Stef already felt this way as soon as we moved into the yurt, and Stef’s parents don’t mind if we stay longer. We also have official approval from the local municipality, so who knows! I’m looking forward to this summer, we have our wedding at the end of August, a small holiday and some friends coming over. It’s incredible how fast things become normal over time, but it is through our friends eyes that we can really see what we have and how lucky we are.