Turtles and Other Things We Find in Our Yard


We live in a ridiculously small town. It’s the town in which I graduated high school and when I consented to marry my husband it was under the condition that after we both finished college we would move back to my home. My parents and siblings live here and I couldn’t envision beginning and raising a family anywhere else.

Lucky for me, my husband didn’t feel tethered to any one area of the country and so, after we both received our diplomas, we bid good bye to our college town and headed two hours east to the place we’ve called home for the last six years. Five years ago we bought a house and an acre of land and I rarely miss that big city I was so immersed in for all those years.

The best part of living in the country? The space. We have a sizable yard for to run around in and our high energy children pretty much demand that. Even better, on occasion we find something really cool out there. Deer are a regular sighting much to my husband’s chagrin, who spends hours outside planting flowers only to have their tops bitten off by a furry passerby.

Rabbits, squirrels (you’re going to want to click that), foxes and, unfortunately, snakes are also spotted frequently. On one particularly exciting day, a neighbor’s horses got loose and spent a couple of hours nibbling at the grass in front of our house before he came home and collected them.

This morning’s find, however, was Anders favorite. Today when we stepped out to take the dog on a morning walk we found sitting right outside our front stoop what my 3-year-old, who saw it first, declared to be a pretty rock. I grabbed her before she managed to pick it up. This was no pretty rock. It was actually a turtle tucked away in his shell.

We spent part of our weekend at a natural science museum where they saw (and loved) turtles behind glass. Finding one in our own front yard was magic to them. We sat down on the stoop and waited quietly for him to come out of his shell. I completely forgot (or maybe didn’t care) that I was late for work and we watched as he poked his head and legs out and then walked slowly across the yard, whispering to one another stories about where he lives and who he’s on his way to see.

Then it was off to school and the office with that quiet little moment together as the fuel to get through the day.


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