Y.U.R.T.: You Understand Rare Treats

I had fun coming up with these YURT reverse acronyms: Young Urban-Rural Tourist.  Yes, Unless Really Tired (this was a close second to the final title).  Yucky Underwear Rides Tightly.  You’re an Uber Radical Teacher.  I chose “You Understand Rare Treats” because of how much I have come to appreciate what many people take for granted.

A photo of me on the trail to the yurt from about a month ago.

A photo of me on the trail to the yurt from about a month ago courtesy of my cousin Kirsten.

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  1. Dirtduchess says:

    What a story. I felt as if I were sitting outside your yurt drinking tea listening to you. Can not wait to hear iof your adventure on moving.

  2. Denise Ross says:

    Gosh that’s quite an adaption to prepare for. I would say the simplicity of living where you are right now, living in your yurt, though hard would be amazing.
    I think you’ll do well in the city bwcause you have great mindset and value system. You might even teach your new neighbours a thing or tow.
    All the best with your move and be kind to yourself
    Hugs from the land down under (Australia )
    Denise x

  3. Susabelle says:

    The hardest part will be maintaining that simple lifestyle that you’ve developed and loved. I couldn’t care less about a dishwasher, but a washer, dryer, and clothesline are awesome things. 🙂 And you have your partner to help keep things simple – you are both on the same page. I don’t have that, my husband is a sit-in-front-of-the-tv-and-eat-junk-food guy, while I’m in the garden, working on crafts, climbing mountains, and going to work at a stressful job every day. It is a balancing act, and I think your young years spent in a simple life will really be the learning experience you needed it to be!

  4. Adrienne says:

    You Understand Rural Treasures

  5. Barb P says:

    It has been interesting, educational, and fun following Your Uplifting and Rewarding Triumphs, not to mention trials and tribulations. I look forward to your future posts!

  6. Maureen Griffin says:

    Alex, I read this post with a catch in my throat. The yurt has been and is a special home for you and Evan and Ava. It is an experience you will have with you forever and you should feel very proud of the amazing home you have made in the AK woods.

    All my life I have enjoyed all the amenities you mentioned in your post but I haven’t experienced a house plant living for more than a year.

    Love , Mom

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      I know for a fact that a couple of your plants have been around for awhile! You made me tear up again, in a good way of course. Love you.

  7. Barbara says:

    Alex, one adventure comes to a close and, yet, the excitement of what is to come is very evident in your words. New routines, more comfort/convenience items, more time to appreciate the now, making new friends, adding your footprint to your new community and just plain investigation of new environs. Oh my, how I wish I were young again and could walk with you on this new path. Enjoy every minute, even the more testy ones. I’ve had a life time of good and not so good adventures and I hoard their memories like gold. Blessings to you and yours.

  8. Karen says:

    Maybe some day you can have both: the “good stuff, like dishwashers” and a rural, peaceful life. I live in the woods in WV and it’s wonderful!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      That is the hope, Karen! Looking forward to that time, but also enjoying the intermediate steps along the way. I am excited to live in a city (as much of a city as Anchorage is anyhow…), because I don’t expect we will do much city living in future moves. I forgot to mention that we will be within walking distance of so many things: parks, trails, a big museum, bakeries, a small grocery, farmer’s markets, a community garden and Evan’s work!

  9. Trish says:

    Aw! We went from rural ranch living to town to tiny tourist town to the mountains. Every place has really had it’s own trials and tribulations and it’s own blessings and special people. Enjoy every step of the way and hopefully someday you have the opportunity to move back to the woods… There’s no place quite as serene in my mind ;-).

  10. Hi Alex,

    Awww…. I’m gonna miss the Yurt! 🙂

    I can relate just a tiny bit as we lived in our travel trailer for 2 years while we were building our house. It was so much fun for the first year… and then it just got worse and worse! By the time we moved out, we never wanted to step foot in that travel trailer again. Seriously. We cleaned that thing up and had it sold within a month!

    So I’m curious about what will happen to the Yurt. Is it staying in your friend’s yard? Or is it something that can be “put away” and sold?

    I’m excited for you. It’s a new adventure and you’ll love it. And I really, really do hope you’ll make paper and send me a snail mail note!

    I also think you’ll make a great Rural Farmgirl in the city. Anchorage is kind of a one of a kind city anyway.

    Big hugs and great excitement for you!

    – Dori –

    P.S. Ava’s farmgirl friend is sure gonna miss you.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      I will miss the yurt, too! We will be selling the yurt soon, but we don’t know if we’ll be taking it down now or in the spring (I vote the spring! However, I think hubby wants to get it moved along sooner…I think it will snow in the next week or two, so we’ll see). If we sell it now and the buyers want it ASAP we’ll take it down, otherwise it will stay up over the winter and our friends can use it if they want to. We also thought about leasing it to some college students or something similar, but the right match hasn’t arisen.

      We will love this new adventure! I know we will; but it’s hard to leave a place when it has just started to feel like a good fit, you know?

      On to Anchorage–“a city built by people who don’t like cities.”

      And yes, you are right, Ava’s farmgirl friend is NOT happy with our move…she has been protesting it all summer. We have many protesters, which is actually a great feeling–makes it harder to move on though. I have promised some slumber parties in the future!

  11. Lynn Lind says:

    Strangely enough, this desert girl has been to Alaska (albeit via a famous/infamous Inland Cruise ship), and I’ve visited and walked the streets of Juneau, but not Anchorage… Hate to tell you this, but you’re still gonna be in the boonies… Way North!!!
    Look forward to hearing more of you adventures…

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Haha, yes Lynn, you are right. We will still be in the boonies compared to many places! It’s the biggest city for many, many miles around though 🙂

  12. Mary Jo foster says:

    My older daughter lives in anchorage She is nurse at hospital there. Name Peggy Watson

  13. pj says:

    what are you doing with the yurt? will you sell it? is there a market for such things? i am very curious 🙂 also , i have been house-sitting for the last year but do not have a contract at this time. i am technically homeless even though i am able to stay a few nights at a time at friends homes until another situation is found. i have chosen this way of living to deal with the fact that my income does not provide for the paying of rent. i am 63 years old and the lack of permanence is very difficult for me sometimes.i have moved 16 times in the last 20 years. i am very fortunate to have a large portion of gypsy in my personality which makes it tolerable. 🙂 i also find a lot to be thankful for in the simple blessings of life and especially when considering the sad situations of so many others in the world. Here in the USA we have so much more than anywhere else. i hope you enjoy many wonderful blessings in your new home…

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thank you, PJ! We will be selling the yurt. We have potential buyers right now, but we probably won’t know if they really want it until after the holidays. It would be nice to keep it, but transporting it from place to place right now when we don’t know where we’ll end up isn’t very feasible. Moving frequently is hard! I’m impressed that you continue to do it. I like that–you have a bit of gypsy in you!

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Termination Dust

I noticed it almost two weeks ago–the day of my last post, actually!  Fall.  It was here.  There were perfectly yellow birch leaves littering the walkway to the yurt.  I felt like wearing a vest.  It was sunny and crisp, and the hint of a breeze made the aspen quake.  There was that unmistakable smell of autumn on the barely distinguishable wind.  A fluff of fireweed seed lingered just out of reach.

Fireweed takes on some new fall hues.

Fireweed takes on some new fall hues.

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  1. Barb P says:

    I love your posts – and all the Farmgirl posts! They truly are a pleasant and much-anticipated interlude when checking my emails!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Hi Alex,
    I’m new to your blog and I LOVE your writing. I was captivated. Fall is beginning to peak through where I live. Even though it’s in Arizona, Flagstaff is in the mountains at 7,000 feet. Our mountain in town is at 11,000 feet, so it should have dust on it soon. Our growing season is 103 days long and should end in about 2 weeks, but it looks like (according to weather.com) we may get a few extra days before hitting freezing temps at night. Many trees in town are turning yellow, the sun is at a different angle and there’s a crispness to the air in the mornings. I will miss summer when we’re buried in snow, but I do love the change of season! 🙂

  3. Bambi Miller says:

    I love the term “termination dust” ! I live in Ellensburg, Washington. Located in the high desert central portion of the state. Moving here from the wet, warm side of western Washington, I quickly discovered the early frosts and what we can successfully farm outside and what needs to be grown inside a greenhouse! I always dreamed of a big pumpkin patch for fun fall activities. But have learned that is just not possible here. We have had temperatures below 30 degrees on many, many Labor Day weekends. We have beautiful sage covered hills that surround our valley, and we have learned that when the first dusting of snow comes, winter is right around the corner, and that in the early spring, we wait for planting of crops when the snow on the “ridge” is gone. I enjoy reading your blog! thank you for sharing your experiences of life up in the “wilds” of Alaska. Bambi

  4. Susabelle says:

    I live 40 miles northeast of Denver, in a small city (Longmont). I have seen a dusting of snow on the highest peaks a couple of times, but it has been HOT here, hot and awful, not normal at all. No frost yet, but we are starting to see nights in the low fifties and even upper forties, even though the days hit 90. Today it will hit 90 again. Tomorrow in the 70’s, then back to 90+ on the weekend. We are still getting fall, though. The cottonwoods and aspen area already turning. The water is getting cold (our water comes from the mountains). I notice the water getting cold when I take showers – I have to turn on more hot water than I did just a few weeks ago. I am ready for fall, ready for the harvest season to be over. I’m tired. Fall/winter is my rest time!

  5. Hi Alex,

    I’ve never heard the term Termination Dust used before and I like that! 🙂 It’s hard to believe how quickly summer goes for me – but being in Alaska would really be fast. I also say at least you have the long days of sunlight so that things actually have time to grow! But those long sunlight days can be very deceiving too huh? I know the times I’ve been there in the summer, I come back home utterly exhausted because we never went to bed! 🙂

    I’m going to be in Denver, Colorado Springs and Estes Park in October. I was hoping for some Fall colors, but I have a feeling it will all be past by then. But regardless, seeing the mountains will be wonderful.



  6. Barbara says:

    Hi Alex. Totally enjoy your expressive writing and the pics are lovely. Only subtle signs of Autumn on the way here in Indiana. The Gold Finches and hummingbirds are in a feeding frenzy. The finches because molt will be upon them soon and the hummers are getting their little ones prepared and plumped up for the long migration south. The trees have begun to shed their dried leaves and my perennial garden flowers are now down to sedum, dill, forget-me-nots and a few straggler cone flowers. All the others have gone to ground to rest up over the winter. I am surrounded by corn and soybean fields which are drying but not yet ready to harvest. The nesting red tails have given some freedom to their single chick this summer and he/she is hunting on its own now. I’m ready for the fiery colors and earthy fragrances of Fall. Happy Autumn and blessings to you and your family.

  7. Nancy says:

    Your pumpkins are beautiful. I have decided to give up any future attempts at growing them. My plants are huge, as are my perfect yellow flowers, yet not a single pumpkin! I must have had about 10+ plants and even went so far as to pollinate the flowers myself but still no luck. What is your secret?

  8. Lynn Lind says:

    So different here — 30 miles north of Mexico on the High Desert of Southwest New Mexico! After years of faithful work, the pump on my evaporative cooler went out. I’m replacing it today because… 1) there are more 90 – 100 degree days left in our weather and 2) If I replace it now, I won’t have to do it next year! This will be my second successful (hopefully — fingers crossed — it is a pretty easy job!) repair job since my husband passed six years ago!!! I did start my lawn mower myself … without having to pay $60 to get it going again! So I’m basking in DIY Glory! Wonder what’s next?

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Way to go, Lynn! That’s true Farmgirl spirit. It’s been freezing here, literally. Hope the heat doesn’t get too overwhelming!

  9. Lynn Lind says:

    P.S. — Regarding the “dust,” we live in dust all the time! And very rarely snows here. When it does, it usually melts by noon, or at least the next day, sometimes longer during a cold spell (by longer, I mean, a couple of days…). Are you “moving to the Big City”? or was that a reference to your travel to Denver for a wedding? I enjoy reading your tales of life in Alaska, but I think I’d like to read about your tales of life anywhere…. Thanks, lynn

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      We are moving the the “Big City” of Anchorage, I think you somehow got directed to my last post? I have a new one up about leaving the yurt.

  10. Linda says:

    It has been hot here in Denver. Glad your visit here was fun.
    I love the pictures. The scenery is beautiful.
    I have noticed the light is different in the afternoon. Fall is here even if the weather doesn’t say so.

  11. Susan says:

    Looks like feathers strewn on the path…beautiful photo .

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