Monday, September 28, 2009
I assigned Saturday as baby food making day. Charlie's stock had dwindled down to nothing, leaving just a few servings of peas (his least favorite) and a sweet potato or two. I made a list of everything that I wanted to cook, puree, and freeze- zucchini, squash, apples, peaches, pears, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, bananas, corn, yadda yadda yadda. Just a few minutes before heading down to the commissary (its literally just around the corner and takes no longer than 5 minutes to drive to), I asked Eleanore if she wanted to come with me. Her and I haven't been spending nearly enough one on one time together (that pesky little brother is always in the way, isn't he?), and of course she jumped and screamed at the chance to get into the car and leave the house with me. She was a huge help while we were out, picking the fruits carefully off of the tables and putting them gently into the plastic bags that I held out, and didn't throw a screaming tantrum not even once (thank you Jesus!).
The speed limit on base is 30 mph, making it difficult to miss seeing anything out of the ordinary. Well, for me at least. Christopher would drive right past Willy Nelson if he were standing in there in an orange vest waving him by (sorry, inside joke meant for the husband, I just couldn't resist). Eleanore was happily playing with her enchanted forest magnet book in the back seat, when I noticed a big dark spot off in the grass to the right. The shape looked sort of like a ... turtle? I thought about pulling over on the side of the road, but I had groceries in the back, and- no, I should just go home.
I pulled into the driveway, put the car into park (I always use the emergency break), left Elie strapped into her booster, jumped out and unloaded the bags, grabbed the camera (actually, Christopher brought it out for me), hopped back into the car, and went off on a turtle hunt! I've never seen a wild turtle before, so this was very exciting for me. I felt like a kid again. Eleanore was bouncing around in her space as soon as I told her where we were going and what we were looking for.
I couldn't remember exactly where I had seen him, so I slowed down just a little in the general area, and then HEY, there he was (they don't move very fast do they, hehe)!! I pulled the car over to the side of the road, turned on the emergency flashers (not that you could see them, it was way too bright out), and then Elie and I ran hand in hand across the empty street and up onto the grassy area just a few feet away from a rain creek.
It took a few seconds for me to get past the initial shock of "we found a turtle!!". Eleanore wanted to pet him, but I held her back, giving the turtle, Herb, we named him, his space.
"Where did his neck go?", Eleanore asked me as she bent over to make eye contact with Herb.
"Well that's a good question (and way too cute) Eleanore. Where did his neck go? I think that hes afraid of us. Hes not used to be around such beautiful little girls", I told her.
While the turtle was loads of fun, he didn't want to play patty cake or sing songs with us, so... ooh, whats this, A FLOWER!
Our turtle hunt had switched gears.
While standing on the side of the road in the hot sun, 3 different cars pulled over to see that we were alright, one of those people being a police officer. Nobody seemed to care about the turtle that we had discovered though (they were completely un phased by my childlike enthusiasm, and obviously missing out), so once they got a thumbs up (literally, they were all dudes, and they all gave me a thumbs up sign) they continued down the road to housing.
Before leaving, Eleanore decided that Herb needed the flower that she had picked. "Bye bye turtle!" she yelled as we ran back to the car, and then back home we went, having made a great new friend on an afternoon roadside adventure.