06 September 2006

It's About Time

It's about time I posted something on my blog. At least, that's what my husband thinks.

It's about time we got moved into our new little house. And finished painting it. And put up the baseboards and trim. And found a place to eat dinner besides the coffee table. But that doesn't mean we'll do it.

It's about time I figured out how to get from our new home to work in the most expedient manner. (Amazing how a route with a lovely view of the local Cabela's can cut almost 20 minutes off my morning drive.)

It's about time we got mail other than that for the previous homeowner. But then again, she lived here for over 40 years, and I guess the mailman is kind of in a rut.

It's about time that I unpacked all those wedding gifts that have been making sad puppy dog eyes at me from the wall for three months now. Unfortunately for the both of us, our kitchen cabinets remain unpainted because the refrigerator is in the way and, therefore, unstocked.

It's about time I reclaimed the house from all of my husband's tools. A freshly rinsed paintbrush in the sink or an electric drill in the bathroom or a step ladder next to the bed are never pleasant surprises.

It's about time we got rid of our pet turtle, Donatello, who wasn't actually much of a pet in the first place. Which brings me to another story...

Two years ago, my husband went on a canoeing trip with his twin brother and a few of his college buddies and came back with a Nalgene full of baby turtles. Although I'm not one for little slimy things, he begged to keep it and make it "ours." So I went with him to Super Wal-Mart to pick out a suitable aquarium. Two weeks later, I accompanied him on a trip to Petsmart to purchase a plastic rock for "our" turtle's climbing pleasure. Then some faux reeds to give a natural feel to his glass abode. Next, it was a timer for his aquarium light (supposedly to simulate the rising and setting of the sun. Whatever). Then an automatic feeder once my husband got a job in the real world and often forgot to feed the little critter. Various other accessories were considered but quickly dismissed as we had better things to do with our time (like plan a wedding).

Eight months later we married and came home to our little green friend, who, when I reflect upon it, was never really a source of joy or companionship in our lives. We never took him for walks or gave him baths or made appointments to see the turtle doc. I hate to admit it, but there were times when I forgot he was there.

So when my husband and I were planning our move, I proposed an outrageous idea: to get rid of our beloved Donatello. At first, I was met with some resistance, but eventually my husband realized just how ridiculous it was that we still had the critter. We decided to ask our sister-in-law if she'd like to have the turtle for her new classroom, but, alas, she did not and neither did any of her teacher friends. Thus was birthed a new plan.

As we cleared the final items from our apartment last Saturday night, my husband looked at me with saddened eyes full of the knowledge of what we had to do. We loaded the vacuum cleaner and the remaining boxes into the trunk and returned to the apartment to claim our one last item. My husband placed Donatello into a small box, out of which he immediately began to climb. I hurried to hold the flaps up as we scurried into the car and made our way to execute our plan - on the banks of the Trinity River.

It was dark when we pulled into the gravel lot that was peppered with a few other cars. We looked at each other, then at Donatello as my husband reached into the box and plucked the squirming shell from its belly. The lights from downtown Fort Worth glimmered on the horizon as we made our way through the crisp and dying grass, beneath several forlorn trees, and down the steep bank towards the dark and mysterious waters. My husband bent down and set Donatello in the grass just inches away from the river. As the little guy scuttled into the grass and made his way towards his new home, I wondered for a moment if we had made the right decision. How would I feel if I were abandoned by my owners in an enourmously frightening new place? Would I stay in one place or would I venture out into my newfound freedom? Would I be so terrified that I would die alone within a few days or would I quickly make friends and find a joy I'd never known in captivity? Those thoughts quickly faded as I neared the car.

But the next day as torrential rains flooded the Metroplex with some much-needed water, those ponderings returned. I wondered if leaving a turtle like that was consdiered inhumane. If Clay and I were heartless and cruel because we didn't want to keep the little guy around (never mind that we both agreed he didn't quite go with the decor). If somehow karma was going to come around and bite me in the butt because, frankly, I didn't give a darn what happened to this one small turtle except to care whether or not he was cluttering up my new house. Those worries were quickly crowded out by the dilemma of how many coats of red paint our kitchen wall needed and where exactly to place the TV.

It's about time I started worrying about the important things in life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sure the turtle made lots of new friends...or ended up eating some sort of toxic waste and grew up to be the size of a human while at the same time being trained as a ninja by an overgrown rat...yeah, thats how it went down. little do you know, that turtle is saving your life from evil japanese villians everyday.