On a barrier island off New Jersey my husband waited as I brushed my hair. The plan was visiting a Rain Garden and two other gardens before the day became too hot. With screen door open, I overheard him say "seagull" several times then shout, "Hurry, come out here fast!" Dropping everything, I dashed out to see him pointing at a smallish turtle who had crossed the road and was moving fast over white pebbles and flagstones.

I yelled upstairs, "Grandpa found a turtle!" While grabbing the determined diamondback, both sons, three grandsons and my daughter instantly appeared. Photos, video, selfies were taken. The turtle was curious, not shy, but not everyone wanted to touch her especially after realizing the turtle was urinating. My sons blamed me for stressing the federally protected terrapin as I wrote date and location with a bright pink Sharpie on its underside. I said to the more critical son, "Turtle pee started on your pants first." Much laughter ensued, except from my husband, silently watching the turtle's fifteen minutes of fame.

After a flurry of questions, my husband proclaimed, "It's a reptile". The terrapin was released facing the same direction that had been interrupted, heading for shade and sand. I swear she looked right, left, right before resuming her journey to nest. This simple event helped my husband feel important, which these days, is priceless beyond measure.

BrevityQuest 2015 231

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