Leanne, one of my close friends, came down for the weekend and we did various fun and relaxing things. A big part of this was going on a driving tour of three covered bridges about an hour from me, which was fun. If we’d thought about it, we’d have made it a picnic outing as well, but we enjoyed it regardless.

As we headed back to my place on one of the small rural roads, we almost hit a small turtle. I think we both held our breath until we knew we hadn’t hit him. After a shocked and relieved half second, I said “stop the car! I have to get him out of the road so someone else doesn’t smoosh him!” Leanne probably thought I was a little crazy, but being a good friend she turned the car around and pulled over so I could go on my rescue mission. Turns out there was another one close to the side of the road where we stopped, so I rescued that one first.

I picked him up, and his little legs made swimming motions as I carried him to a place of relative safety. I wish I knew where they were trying to get to so I could make sure to put them where they wouldn’t be attempting the dangerous road crossing again. I jogged up the road to the second turtle to move him out of the road. A truck came by slowly (probably not sure what the crazy girl was doing running down the road) and since the driver was looking at me, I frantically pointed to the turtle in the road. He carefully swerved to avoid the turtle, and I dashed over to pick up the turtle and carry him to safety as well. He’d been freaked out by the cars, obviously, and his head and legs were hiding in his turtle shell. Unfortunately this would not have protected him from cars or trucks. I carried him to the field on the side of the road. The man in the truck had his window down, and he’d pulled over on the side to shout “you’re just like me! I do that kind of thing all the time too. Be careful, though, people are assholes!” And away he went with a wave.

There were other smooshed turtles on the road, but at least we didn’t cause any, and we saved two.

I told my favorite barista at my favorite coffeeshop about this, and he said in that quiet way that he has: “I admire turtles and tortoises. I’d like to live my life more like that.”

He wasn’t talking about braving dangerous road crossings, of course; he was talking about carrying his home on his back. I think we can all relate to that, to some degree.

billboard in la on global warming