Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 25


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12/24/2013 2:00:00 PM
Back Talk From The Back House
The yurt's present owner has added some nice landscaping touches.
The yurt's present owner has added some nice landscaping touches.
By Nancy Wilson

Yurt visit
The day after Thanksgiving was a cold, brilliantly blue day, just right for a drive inland, to Maine's Western Mountain region, with all the scenic views along the way. It was just right for a long-delayed visit to the yurt.

I had not been up to see it for many years. The last I knew, it was sinking into the ground. The land on which it rested was quite wet, with water running down its mountain from a spring not far above it. My son had been up, and reported it was only worth tearing down. I had no desire to see it like that, since I was unable to do anything about it.

Of course, I had not lived in it, either, for more than 20 years, so it was utterly neglected.

Then, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, my son paid it another visit and came home with an altogether different, much more cheerful report. It was undergoing a sea change.

"Is it still round?" I asked him. He said it was, and I decided I had to go see for myself.

My chauffeur agreed to a day off, to drive up. She had never seen the yurt, either, so off we went. After a delicious lunch at Longfellow's, in Kingfield, we went out the rest of the way to the yurt, up its logging road. There was a trailer at the bottom of the hill, that had not been there before.

A little farther up the road, the yurt was actually still there in its original space, but the changes were amazing. Its new owner (there was no one around that day) had shored it up with a new foundation, and leveled it so it stood the way it was supposed to.

He had landscaped around it, which I would never even have thought of, with new trees, even an apple tree; a little stone-lined pond, obviously intended to let the water run down the hill away from under the yurt itself. (It was too cold for koi, so I couldn't find out whether there were any in the pond.)

There was a huge stone outdoor fireplace just beyond the yurt; a stone-lined circular driveway in front of it; and brand new steps up to the door. The previous time when I had been up, I couldn't even get in, because the steps had sunk so far down into the ground.

The door was padlocked, so I couldn't get in (yes, I would have if I could have), but I did some major peeking through the windows. The inside was as yet unfinished, with a roll of insulation waiting for installment, and across on the opposite side, a huge sofa.

I'm still wondering how that got in there. It didn't seem to me the door was wide enough to get it through, but of course I wasn't there, so I can't say. The sofa certainly looked comfortable, though.

I must admit, this was an emotional visit. I had spent 12 happy years living there, and still miss the kind of space a yurt provides. It is very different from this square space I now inhabit, and it is much more natural. I have often wished I could raise the yurt, put it on a truck, and bring it down here for my living quarters, but of course that is impossible at my age.

I am, however, very glad to know that it did not become a mere demolition project; that someone cares for it in a way that I never could, and that it lives on. Maybe some day I'll have a chance to visit again, to see what's being done on the inside.

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