It was then that some of my aunts knew FOR SURE that I was nuts. At least the hoity toity ones. Because we lived in a Tipi. While I gutted the house because the roof leaked then the ceiling caved in. This was pre-Pop-pops when Changapeluda, G., Happy and Zoe the best German Shepherd in all of Nipomo (and even Germany ) spent our days and nights in the backyard, living in an 18ft diameter Tipi. My friend from Missouri who taught Living History (she would Winter in a Tipi she built all by herself), came out to Cali, Tipi in tow (it cost $311)and gave me the low down(priceless). She taught us about the door facing East because the Indians always rose to face the rising sun. Such grooviness. The rope wrapped around the poles that formed the structure 4 times (for the four directions of the wind) we wrapped marbles into the bottom of the "skin" and tied a small rope to tie off and stake down the outside....the logic being if you made a hole and ran the rope throught the skin(which was really just tarp), it would weaken it and cause it to tear.
My kids and I absolutely, positively Loved learning all about Tipis. Then getting to live and sleep in it's round magic circular closeness....We were snug as a bug in a rug. Nana was staying with her sister, Big Josie. We barbequed All the time. For months we lived like this. Thank Tortilla Mary that the kitchen & bathroom in the back part of the house didn't leak. It took me 3 months to get the smaller living room space (now the dining room) and One bedroom, drywalled, textured, painted, carpeted and ready to live in. Which Nana and my two kids did. Zoe Pearl and I stayed in the Tipi until I got further along. During this time my aunts would come to visit and disapprove. They seemed to time their appearances when things were at their most disarrayed....especially my two children. And kids are Really funny that way. They can sense when someone is looking down their nose at them, so my kids acted accordingly. Like Wild little Animals. During one of those pain in the ass visits, Happy had a spider on a stick and scared one of my aunts straight into her car to drive away all upset. She called from her car phone (remember those?), Outraged, asking me how we could live like that. Like what?
We were fine. I think we were more than fine. I'd do it again if I had to. Even if I Didn't have to, I'd do it again. It was such a cool experience.
And I'd like to have as many of those As Possible, please.