Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 223 Father's Day and Snapping Turtles

Dear friends,

Smitty is not only Hercules, he’s Dad. Dad to our 3 babies, who had a heck of a year this year, as did he. Tonite they went out for Father’s Day (while I was earnin’ the wage at Albany Med) to Steve’s favorite pizza joint, Spinners in Albany. He loves that Chunky Chicago Style! To round out and make his night perfect, all three kids agreed to play a few rounds of Euchre (his favorite card game), and the icing on the cake: Disney’s “Finding Nemo”. My husband is easily pleased. He’s always been a cheap date.

The year “Finding Nemo” came out, we saw it on Father’s Day with all three kids. Then there’s the Tale of the Turtle, which will live on in the annuls of Smith history for years to come. Driving down Whitehall Rd. on the way home from the movie, a large snapping turtle was crossing the street. Steve pulls over, maniac that he is, and rescues said turtle. Now, I thought perhaps simply getting it out of harm's way would be enough. But a lady standing by told us it would just walk out in the road again as it had been doing. So into a box goes this gigantic reptile. (If you have followed this blog you know my feeling on that particular animal classification). We bring the thing into our porch, still in a box, determined to bring it to Five Rivers the next morning, as stand by lady said it had to be returned to the correct habitat. Next day, Stephen is of course at work, and this turtle who hasn’t moved in 24 hours, decides to climb out of the box, snapping away, as I am driving to Five Rivers with 2 hysterical children in the back seat. I flipped the box over, holding it down over the turtle all the way to my destination, praying loudly and fervently that it wouldn’t get out. Finally, we make it. The ranger pulls the turtle out of my car, as it snaps and grabs my dashboard. She let me know the turtle was pregnant, and needed to go to a sandy bottom pond, which Five Rivers is not. There I drew the line. There I spoke up from my shyness (ha!) and let her know it was New York State’s turtle, and I was done turtle sitting. She told me stories of how these snappers bite the feet off of geese and pull them under to eat them… With that, I put my non-reptilian offspring into the car and drove home. Sans turtle. Steve told me later his dad had rescued a few snappers, and so it was kind of sentimental for him to do that on Father’s day. I am glad to have been part of honoring my wonderful father-in-law’s memory, but my turtle dues are now paid in full.

Words can’t express how grateful I am that my children have their dad with them this day. Stephen is not perfect, but no one who knows him would ever question his abiding, delighting love for his children. He’s a miniature snapshot of the Great One, who loves being with His kids even more than whipping up galaxies and creating black holes.

Happy Father’s Day, all of my bloggie friends. Enjoy your kids. Life is extraordinarily fragile. This particular Sunday almost wasn’t because of another Sunday in November…So tell them you love them every day.

Your friend on the snapper-free pilgrim road,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved your turtle story! Jess and I have rescued many
turtles, albiet not snapping turtles, that have wandered out of the pond behind our house. They're just cute (yes I used the word cute to describe a turtle, Loriann) little turtles. They try to cross the road and invariably will end up all curled up in their shells in the middle of the road- spooked and too scared to move so Jess and I will stop and pick them up and return them to the pond. Some never come out of their shells, but some like the one we found a couple of weeks ago come out and start flailing around. I would LOVE to see a snapping turtle by the way! Connie