raising my yurt – with a video


Well, hello there! I see you’re still with me. I love that. Let me get you a chair because today, we have…a movie! (Did you bring snacks?)

If you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook you know my yurt went up last fall. I’ve been promising a video forever, but I’ve been letting my lack of recording and editing skills stop me from posting what I managed to capture of the process — until now. As with everything else about this journey, creating video is a learning curve I need to master. And, as with everything else about this journey, sometimes cobbling video together out of “found materials” is good enough to keep things moving forward.

We’ll go with good enough.

a brief backstory of my yurt purchase

Several years ago, I bought my yurt at a home show. I’d been talking with Blue Ridge Yurts — a woman-owned/woman-run company — off and on for more than a year, and I liked not only their products but their people. After an overnight stay in one of their yurts, Kathy graciously gave me a tour of their facility and answered the bazillion questions I inevitably have about all of my endeavors. Back then, I’d still been on the fence about living in a yurt — alternative living takes so many creative forms! — but I decided to go ahead and take the plunge when I saw them at the show.

I would take the yurt to a storage facility, where it would be housed for “just a few months” before I engaged one of their folks to help me set it up on the land I’d bought.

“Just a few months” turned into years.

But then the way opened…

my yurt is rooted in my community

Several rounds of texts and emails later, Shannon — BRY’s expert fabric welder and yurt installer — named a day, and he and his wife Adele came out to Joyous Gard to lend their expertise and experience to my yurt raising.

Once again, events didn’t unfurl as I’d imagined. It wasn’t the festive occasion I’d hoped, with my family and friends from my previous homes coming to camp in tents or campers and my brother and his wife grilling for us as we worked and sang the yurt into place. We didn’t gather by a campfire in the evening, toasting my new life and telling stories. With COVID, the risk of such a gathering outweighed even sending invitations.

So I put out a call to a few of my insanely busy neighbors, asking if any of them had a little time to lend hands to the project and letting them know I understood their farm chores might prevent them from coming.

Every last person I reached out to showed up.

But what did happen was just as beautiful: Neighbors who have become friends rooted my yurt into their community with the labor of their hands. Driven by kindness, generosity, and — yes — curiosity, they inserted themselves into the process as time allowed, ebbing and flowing around their weekend chores. They hammered and drilled and hoisted. They brought food and laughter and joy. They reminded me how welcomed I am here.

I am beyond grateful to and for them.

and now…the video!

I’ve cobbled together snippets of time-lapse video with stills I captured throughout the process to give you an idea of how the yurt was assembled on the deck. They’re surprisingly sturdy, well-engineered structures, even though they’re considered impermanent. In fact, they’re built from fewer than a dozen components.

And they’re kinda magical. Enjoy!

In this short, 7-ish-minute video, I give you a rough idea of the steps involved in raising my yurt.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Lowell Rinker says:

    So cool….and truly fascinating. Thanks for putting this together for us to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      Thank you for reading it.


  2. janeannmarie says:

    Love it!!! Jane


    1. Denise says:

      Thank you!


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