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         There will be no Yard Yeti Radio Show today as both Pepper and I are trapped inside the studio with a Quarantine sign on the door at the top of the stairs. We are sick. Sick sick sick. Sick in body and sick of being sick, in spirit.

         Pepper has been to the local Vet and is lying on the bottom of his bird cage with a bendie straw sticking out of his beak as he slurps from his water bowl. The humidifier is pumping a light mist into his cage, and he is bundled in a fleece blanket. I tried to teach him to cough into his sleeve, but since he doesn’t wear sleeves, instead he hacks his germy germs into the air. His fever is down since yesterday, but being the diva he is, he likes to press one wing against his forehead and sigh, over and over and over again. Achoo! What I know he wants, is a dose of whiskey, from the bottle on the counter, but cocktails are not the cure for sick little birdies.

         I, however, am eying the bottle and pretty close to mixing myself a stiff one, when I sneeze in perfect harmony and reach for the Kleenex box next to the microphone. Whatever we have has gone viral. The doctor said there was nothing to do except wait it out. And we have been here, waiting, for three weeks now, and the cabin fever is about to drive me mad. There must be a cure. There must be some kind of medicine or potion or pill to ease the pain.

         A scratch at the window snags my attention and I wander over and lean on the sill. A tree branch. No more. A leafless, lifeless, winter weary tree branch scraping the glass. I need air. Suddenly I feel as though I have forgotten how to breathe. I bang on the window, as the humidity has swelled the sash, and with one final heft, feel the air from outside wash over my face. Something is missing. I can taste something, maybe? Feel something, perhaps? Sense a change in the air? What? What is it?

         I hear footsteps on the pavement below and spy the librarian from down the street, on her walk home. What is it about her? I have seen her before, usually with her head down and her feet shuffling, dragging her bag of books behind her. But not today. Today she seems lighter. Softer. There is something about her hair. I swear I detect the scent of crocus. A sure sign of spring. But the trees are bare. The air is cool. I must be feverish or hallucinating, but I think she is humming. And with that I feel tears come to my eyes, as I see it, the empty space, the place that needs filling in.

         I am lonely.

         I want to be someone’s neighbor.

         I want to be someone’s friend.

         I want to be on the air, behind the microphone, but this one sided conversation I am having with my listeners is out of balance. I want the symmetry and balance of a back and forth conversation. I know that I am talking, but I so need to know that someone is listening. I miss the Yeti Women. I know I don’t have what it takes to become one just yet, but I am trying. I truly am. And I see it now, in Cora Crocus, as she floats down Main Street, and all I am sure of, is that whatever she has, I don’t and I don’t know how to get it.

         I reach out the window and wave at the back of her head as she disappears around the corner by the Flickering Flame. How I wish she had climbed the stairs. She would have seen the sign and heard the coughs, and I know, I just know that she would have brought soup or broth or a good book to read. I know that because that is what I would do for her. I would, I really would. That is, I really should have done that when I passed her shop with the windows papered over. Or the next week, when the door was slightly ajar. Or the week after that when I, when I didn’t.

         And now I have missed my chance one more time. Pepper is shivering, so I close the window, and as I turn to walk back to my chair, I see the edge of an envelope peeking out from under the door. Probably an ad. An ad for what ails you. If only I knew what that was. I crack open the door and see that the envelope is tucked inside a slim leather book. The Book Of Fannie.

The envelope is addressed to me.

It reads:

To: Not Yet A Yeti & Company
From: Cora Crocus, your neighbor

And inside...well, here, you can read it with me...

...All you need...

...To become a Yard Yeti...







A tabula rasa.

An empty slate.

A clean sheet of paper made from a mix of crushed pulp and water. The pulp from a tree. A tree cut down and stripped of its branches. Branches attached to a trunk. A trunk that grew from a stem. A stem that emerged from a seed. A seed that was planted on purpose or carried through the air across the miles. Nourished in the soil. Fed through groundwater from a nearby creek, a branch of a tributary that flows into a river meandering until it picks up speed and rushes to the sea. The sea, warmed by the heat of the sun, rises as a mist. The mist congregates into drifting clouds. Clouds gather and cool, releasing the ocean’s gift in a shower of rain. Rain that kisses the leaves on the uplifted branches of the tree.

A clean sheet of paper, you see, is not as empty as you think.

A clean sheet of paper is full of life.

Your Yard Yeti Membership Card is simply a clean sheet of paper.

Waiting for you to sign your name.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

right now

click your heels together

snap your fingers

clap your hands

just say "I believe"

... "in me"...

...and it's true.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

all debts are paid

every road walked upon

every try in trial and error tried.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

minute by minute

day by day

the very person you feel at home with.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

right now while you’re folding laundry

right now while you’re doctoring or schooling

right now while you’re taking care of everyone else’s business

right now while you’re minding your own..

right now while you’re ready

in this place

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

An internal compass sets true North

or South or East or West

left or right

up or down. A backpack full of shiny new pencils and colored markers.

The storyteller in residence is you.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

smile or laugh

cry out loud just for crying sake or

laugh out loud just for laughing sake.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

no analysis

no struggling inner voices

no push-pull by outside sources

quiet in the stillness

a settling down of self.

You can be your Yard Yeti self...

talented or gifted or plain

wear blue today and green tomorrow

high heels or bare feet

it’s not about any of that.

You can be the Yard Yeti you want to be...

...Except you won’t know what that is until the moment comes...

... and you won’t know the moment is here until you say it over and over and over and over...

...until you sincerely believe... can do what you want to do... can go where you want to go... can stop when you want to stop... can be a Yard Yeti...

...and never answer the question why ever again...

...because it no longer matters why...

You will use good judgment because this is you we’re talking about...

and you know better

and you know worse

and here you are choosing

to be you.

Just the way you are right now and just the way you might be in a minute and just the way you could be on Tuesday Wednesday or Thursday.

This is the incredible sweetness

and the miraculous weightlessness

of the answer to the question...

how do I go from ordinary to...


There is one choice and Eunice Everlasting, is right behind you, tapping on your shoulder with her pinkie finger, one eyebrow raised and her mouth shaped in the “o” of wonder...

...whispering in your ear...

Say it with me.

I’m a Yeti.

A Yard Yeti.

A Yard Yeti Woman.

You bet your yellow boots you are.

Gladys Gerbera will teach you the secret handshake.

Wanda Wisteria will guide you through the weeds.

Ida Impatiens will help you make up for lost time.

Fifi-Forget-Me-Not will make you unforgettable.

Elspeth Edelweiss will stamp your passport.

Nellie Nasternium will poof your pompadour.

And Cora Crocus will be your neighborly neighbor...

What is missing in this picture?

Breathe In, Breathe Out


We miss you.


The Yard Yeti Women

Chapter 20 | Chapter 22


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29