Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Me, 2 Boys, 4 Cats, 1 Turtle, 1 Frog, No Dogs Yet

Geoffrey was a wee bit miffed that I didn’t mention his turtle in the title of my new blog, so this entry is dedicated to King Arthur, who joined our family just before Christmas. Geoff knew he wanted a turtle, so we went to Petsmart to have a look, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the one he wanted was $109, and an appropriately-sized terrarium was another $119. I mentioned this to my friend Lynn, who suggested I look on Craigslist.

I had never been on Craigslist before, but I thought I’d give it a try. I looked in the Boston listings for “box turtle” … maybe even plain old “turtle” since I don’t think we had it narrowed down by species at that point. Sure enough, up pops ONE listing: a box turtle and container, with food and water dish, for $25 in Hamilton, MA. So I contacted the person who placed the ad, and after two or three emails back-and-forth we worked out that I would come to her house, since it was a rather cold December day and I didn’t want to expose the turtle to any more outside air than was necessary … but I made sure to mention that I’d have 3 teenage boys with me. (Might this be some murderous whackjob, trying to lure his next victim with the irresistible promise of a turtle and terrarium for $25? – remember, I was under a bit of stress at the time.) I still don’t quite get why it didn’t occur to her that we might have been some murderous whackjob gang, picking our prey based on their “for sale” ads on Craigslist. But it all worked out in the end, happily.

We gathered up a towel and small container so Geoff could hold the turtle in his lap, and piled into the car with Geoff’s friend John, and headed up to our rendezvous point. The seller, Sarah, was an architect whose grown kids were no longer interested in Lula the box turtle, and was thrilled that Lula would be going to a home with kids who would pay her the attention she deserved. And she wasn’t the least little bit offended when we changed Lula's name to King Arthur, rather arbitrarily changing his gender in the process. Sarah was making seasoned olives as Christmas gifts that day, and her kitchen smelled fantastic. She even sent the recipe along, so act surprised if you get lemony olives for Christmas next year.

Then we piled back into the car for the ride home, and it wasn’t until we got to our driveway that we realized that Geoff went the entire ride home with his seatbelt unbuckled.

So we are, officially: me, two boys, four cats, a turtle, a frog, and no dogs yet. And I haven’t actually considered what I’ll do if we ever find that loyal, smart, friendly dog who doesn’t smell when he’s wet and doesn’t ever poop. Will I have to change the name of the blog then?


  1. I am so glad you have started this blog! May you have many adventures towards normal!

  2. I just checked out your blog. Very cool journal and I was horrified at your flooding pictures. My imagination just couldn't picture it. I think of you often. If you need clean water, we have plenty in Stow! :) Jennifer