If ever asked, “What is the one reason you fell for him?” My answer would simply be, “Because he stops his truck, gets out, and help turtles cross the road- avoiding the slaughter of oncoming traffic as well.” I had never in my life met anyone else that does that, nor have I since. He had me at saving turtles.
I come from a long line of animal lovers and rescuers. My sister, the crazy one, took it upon herself to find owners for every stray cat that came to her doorstep in Florida’s “Right to Roam” county. Seriously- they have more chickens wandering around in the city than Old McDonald does on his farm.
As soon as word got out that she had "the goods" (i.e. cat food), every single stray tramp south of Brevard County was doing a jig on her doorstep. The line for handouts would wrap around a city block with these feral cats sporting empty bellies and extended paws.
Then she'd find homes for them. Oh yes, she became a cat-pusher. My mother could not escape her wrath. She was talked into a cat. Another was shipped to my other sister in Washington. Yep. Shipped. Drugged and sent on a plane across the country. Her best friend took another one in. She soon was known as the local cat dealer. People avoided eye contact on the street because they knew somehow they’d pass her and end up with a cat in their purse or back pocket. But that’s just my family. They simply cannot turn their back to an animal.
This was never more apparent than this past weekend as we decided to power-wash the 3 inch thick, green mildew off of the front porch. Okay, I'm being dramatic. It was only 2 inches. Even if I aimed that nozzle directly onto the rail itself, I could barely get the mildew to smudge. Finally, after an hour of that silliness, we decided to use a coat of bleach mixed with the water. This (ah-ha!) worked like a champ!
However, bleach doesn't come without a price. As the diluted bleach streamed down the cement steps and into cracks along the sidewalk, it immediately looked as if an under-ground bait shop had exploded. Earthworms descended out from the cracks at lightning speed, doing their best to escape the bleach now seeping into the soil.
Realizing what was happening, my children were quick to grab a pail of water and dunk every last worm they could find into it. There they bathed and massaged. They were then promptly relocated and distributed under shaded rocks on the other (safer) side of the house. Everyone had a hand in this process and we could all at last breathe a sigh of relief knowing the worms would go on to see better days.
Of course I realize saving (and bathing) worms may seem like a tedious task, hardly worth the effort, but I know to the worms it meant everything. When I looked down, I swear I could see smiles on their little worm faces looking back at me. And in turn, I smiled with pride at my kiddos that day, knowing that they too had animal-loving hearts that ran deep in their genes.