Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Obese Turtle

When my son was 6 or 7 years old, he had the delightful experience of turtle-sitting. The 2 little boys had gone to visit their Daddy for several weeks, and they asked Roger to keep the turtle while they were gone. You have seen this tiny cute turtle. Maybe you even had one as a child. They crawl out of the ditches in the Spring. This one was just about the size of a quarter.

I had a 4th of July "feast" in the back yard for my children, my neighbor & her son, and anyone else who might happen along. The boys kept feeding the turtle the rolls. After repeatedly telling them to stop, I told them that little turtles like that explode when they eat too much. They did not believe me.

After lunch, the boys took a nap. My daughters, Amanda & Michelle, agreed to baby-sit (a task that also involved turtle-sitting) while the boys tood a nap. While they were sleeping, my friend and I headed for the country in search of a large turtle. We found a very nice speciman that would just barely fit into the baby turtle's bowl. The well fed baby turtle was hidden safely out of site. When the boys got up, they ran in the kitchen to wake Turtle from is nap. Roger's bright and happy smile vanished, and his face turned to cold fear. The boys were certain that Turtle had overdosed on bread and was about to explode all over the kitchen.

The 4th of July might not be the first day of summer, but it signals the onset of Summer for me. As an adult, most of my 4th of July celebrations have been right in my own back yard. I still cook a big meal for anyone who might happen along. After lunch we feel like the obese turtle. I don't quite understand how we can associate "comfort" with something that makes us feel so miserable. I ate too much fried chicken today, and once again I feel like the obese turtle.

This year I spent the day with my daughter, Michelle, and grandson, Christian. We had a jolly happy time. We had a picnic, went swimming, and enjoyed the fireworks of Freedom Fest. I did most of the cooking for today's celebration last night. The simple menu included fried chicken, mashed taters, bean salad, and baked beans. I am not quite sure why I still call them baked beans because I cook them in a crockpot these days. It is ironic that we can associate "comfort" with something that makes us feel so miserable. I ate too much chicken today. It was delightful, yet I feel like the obese turtle tonight. A comforted obese turtle.

God blessed Americans with good food, loving families, and innocent children.

Your only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
-- Robin Williams


  1. I smiled while reading your blog because I totally relate to your story. I think everyone of my now older children have brought home a turtle and tried to feed it everything in the refrigerator.I also eat way too much when we have bbq's and can only imagine how my kids poor turtle pets must have felt.Thanks for bringing back fond memories for me of my kids as small children.

  2. Just the thought of the boys faces makes me laugh I do not have children or have turtles so I'm sorry I can not say much here but it seems funny just thinking about it. - Ronald Zoll

  3. It seems like when their is a holiday I don't eat as much as I do on a regular dinner or bbq. I do think that we can all relate to the turtle but or own was. Its crazy how we associate "comfort" with something that makes us feel miserable. Its not just with food. Most of us do this everyday and pay no attention at all to it.

  4. I can't realte to that I never played with turtles when I was little. I have a 2 year boy that I can just imagine that my days are just around the corner with him to bring a turtle home to try to feed it everything under the sun.

  5. What other ways do we comfort ourselves with something that is not really a comfort at all?

    Before I was a Recovereing Smoker, I used smoking as an emotional crutch. I needed it to feel good emotionally, and it was making me feel badly physically.

    Happy Daze!

  6. I thought this was a very cute. I had a turtle when I was little, however it didn't live long because I had it placed in a glass container in the window. I can also relate to the food thing I love food and yet it makes me so miserable. I think my crutch for me is my soda's. They are so good but they make my back hurt later.

  7. i had a turtle just like the one in the story. he was very expensive, but that is besides the point. I had him for about 3 months and then one day i went in there and looked at the terrarium. He looked like a raisin. He was all dried up and crusty. I never figured out what happened to him because there was plenty of water in the tank, but there was also a heat lamp.To say the less that was the last turtle i had. I dont know if they will explode like the mom told her children, but they will dry up.

  8. i really love this story not only b/c u talk about turtles and your kids but all the over eatting and filling like an obese turtle i really can relate but not on the kids part b/c i don't have any.

  9. I can relate I eat out alot.I feel miserable all the time.This story shows how you can say something without actually saying it.

  10. I can totally relate to the obese turtle. The bad thing is, that I tend to over eat on just more than holidays. It's fun to hang out with family, eat to much, and visit. I know, I certainly don't take time to visit often enough.

  11. This story was so cute. My family does a big bbq with home made ice cream every year. I am a pre k teacher we have fish in our room and I myself tell the children we can not feed the fish all the time he will end up getting a full belly and floating on his back.


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