43 & Other News

A few not-terrifically deep thoughts on turning 43. And! Purple flowers, snow ice and mustard blooms. This week's news from our hill on the Lost Coast

When I was a kid, I thought I’d die by the time I was 40. Or 40, thereabouts.

I remember telling my Grandpa Knobby about it, with a somewhat tragic air, “Grandpa, I have this feeeeeeeeeling that I’m going to die at 40 – don’t be sad now, I’ll be fine with going, but it’s a strong feeeeeeeeling.”

Grandpa threw back his head and laughed uproariously, “oh, it’s that FORTIES thing! Yeah, I had it too – I was sure I was going to die at 40!” “Really, Grandpa?” I asked, incredulously, because I couldn’t wrap my little head around my strong, fierce, big, handsome Grandpa ever thinking he would die. At 40, to boot (he was around 80 when we were having the conversation).

I was glad he told me he had thought he’d die at 40 too, because it all kind of seemed silly after that. I mean, maybe I would die at 40? Maybe I wouldn’t, but wasn’t it funny that my Grandpa had thought the very same thing about himself?! Right?

Tragic youth.

Anyway, I had another birthday. I’ve gone past 40. I’ve gone past 41, sailed by 42 and I’ve landed on 43. I never thought I’d particularly like being 43, but I find I’m quite happy here. It’s an easy number to be. Here are some reasons why:

  1. I have a cat lying on my arm as I type this. She’s my buddy and she’s awesome. I think everything in the world is a little more right with cats on arms.
  2. I look better at 43 than I did at 40. This is a fact. My skin is a little older and more wrinkly, weathered, but I do look better. My hair looks pretty great most of the time, I take care of my teeth and my body is strong. I’m doing all right.
  3. I care more about perfecting my creative vision than I do about money. This is an actually amazing place to be in. It’s not that I’m rich (I’m not!), it’s not that I don’t like money (I do!), but I honestly don’t care about chasing a dollar as much as I do about figuring out the bigger things that matter to me. Since I’m the girl who always worked 2, 3 jobs at a time, this is nothing short of miraculous.
  4. I smile for pictures. I’ve always been a rather smiley person – my deaf name is the sign for “smile” with an “m”. I just happen to smile a lot. I haven’t liked photos of myself smiling though – I have thought my face looks fat when I smile, my eyes too crinkly, wrinkly, wrong, whatever. So traditionally, even though I’m smiley in real life, I get somber for photos. I’ve been the person in black with the gloomy expression for most of my life. No more! I want my kids remembering my SMILE,  and I want them to look at photos of me when I’m gone and smile, too. So I’m going all-out with The Beam now.


Meriah Nichols-1-26. Shit is getting figured out. Slowly but surely, I’m starting to getting a clue. Not a big clue, but smatterings of small ones.

Meriah Nichols-10I wasn’t the only one who had a birthday!

All of us – except for Mack – are a year older.

Meriah Nichols-25That’s snow ice in Eureka. My niece Yu Han took us there

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Meriah Nichols-23She also tried to teach me how to use Snap Chat. I might be too much of an old dog for that one, though. I don’t know. Are you on there? It seems like fun but it also seems kind of hard.

Meriah Nichols-21(that’s what my mom says about Facebook, HAHAHAHAHA)

Meriah Nichols-26The ride to town was gorgeous, as usual.

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Meriah Nichols-12I have cow envy.

Meriah Nichols-9And zebra envy.

Horse envy, too.

Meriah Nichols-11No more animals for us, though!

Meriah Nichols-7Meanwhile, building is going strong.

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Meriah Nichols-3It’s looking AMAZING. I don’t know how they are getting everything to be so curved, matching the Yurt.

And with redwood! All redwood!

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Meriah Nichols-1Yeah

Meriah Nichols-5Have you ever noticed that a lot of flowers are purple?

Meriah Nichols-6These mustard flowers are still among my favorite though.

Meriah Nichols-8Over & out. I hope you are having a good one.


Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.


#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
Stream of consciousness from the Little Yurt on the Big Hill on the Lost Coast https://t.co/b3DNpvK4a3 https://t.co/qiIfLd57ET - 1 hour ago
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I'm opinionated, friendly & chatty... I hope you are, too