Each time we returned to our first place in Seattle, we scoured the house for anything that might give us the semblance of comfort and convenience in the second. Our dining room table became a staging ground for packing our car for the next trip and it always seemed to be overflowing with miscellany like cleaners, dog toys, toiletries, kitchen supplies, phone chargers, lamps, games and so much more. We marveled at the incredible number of small things it took to start a second place from scratch and slowly make it comfortable.
We quickly learned that inflatable mattresses were not the best long term sleeping solution. This is particularly true in a house that does not have insulation under the floor. In winter, the cold floor cooled the air in the mattress from the bottom up. A few extra layers of sheets and blankets under us seemed to do the trick.
At first, we could only stay at the Yurt for as long as we could stand not showering. The hot water smelled strongly of sulfur. Fixing that problem was paramount and not as easy as advertised. On his first visit, Sachi’s Dad showed me how to install a new hot water heater.
A big part of those early days was cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. To try to address the smell, we had a steam cleaner come and clean the carpets. He told us that he had been there weeks before. Were we sure? We were. The day after he left, we used our new second vacuum cleaner and nearly filled the container. It was like the carpet was growing its own dust. It defied logic and I still consider it one of the Yurt’s great mysteries.
Like all the houses on our little dirt road, the Yurt does not enjoy trash or recycling pickup. Instead, refuse must be delivered to the transfer station on the island, or, in our case, delivered to our first place in Seattle, where we were already paying for trash and recycling. Making this work in the cleanest way possible was and still is, a challenge. We learned to freeze things that rot quickly and transport smelly containers in the rooftop box.