Blog Your Blessings: A New Addition to my Family

Things happen after a glass of wine at the end of a long and rewardingly tiring day. Things you just don't regret next day when the light of dawn nudges you awake.

One of those things happened the other night, when I grew our family by one.

His name is Lennie.

He lives on Topsail Island.

He's never said a word to me, but I love him all the same--so much that I have made him a part of my family. Like I said.

The picture is now happily complete: we have a turtle in our clan. A Kemp's ridley sea turtle, to be exact.

Lennie is a permanent resident of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail because he is blind. He is blind because a fisherman who found the turtle in his net beat this endangered little guy about the head, destroying sight for Lennie.

Why would anybody do that?

The turtle hospital needs resources to continue its work, so Della and I made a donation toward Lennie's needs to keep him going a while longer. He's family now, so we'll be back.

I told my students I adopted the turtle--and that I did so, with Adella's blessing, in the name of my students. They wanted to know when he was coming to school and if it was anything like adopting a dog because when you adopt a dog they come home with you.

They wanted to know more about Lennie and, back to the question, why would anybody beat a turtle in the head?

Why, indeed? I asked.

The answers from the clear-eyed and innocent: They're stupid. They're mean. They're mad they had a turtle and not a fish in their net. They're tired. Stupid, mean, mad, tired.

Is it right to beat on someone just because he's in your way or things aren't going your way?

Saith the children: Hell no!

Nobody deserve meanness for having the wrong answer or for being the wrong answer.

The last question of the day, which was the first one, if turtles are anything like dogs: When do we get to see him?

In spirit, Lennie swam to Watebury today, and it was cool. These kids would give him back his eyes if they could.


  1. This is such a sad story. At least Lenny has a new lease on life. He is a lucky turtle that he ended up at the center and kind people like you are able to help support him. Blessings all around.

  2. It is the love and care that sustains life. Good write.

  3. This is a wonderful story of the children and Lennie. I think children sometimes see things very clearly -- more clearly than we often give them credit for.

  4. Sandy,
    I can hardly bear the thought of the cruelty inflicted on animals. Lennie is lucky, because he got your help and because he hopefully awakened empathy and a love for animals in the children. Of course, you had a little to do with that.

    I received your book today (Writing in Faith to a Beautiful World). Can't wait to savor each word.

  5. Lennie is meant to be in your family. Of the millions and millions of turtles, Lennie's blind life is one with a real purpose, and that age of his life has just started.

    Wonderful, wonderful story.

    Thanks! -Greg

  6. What a wonderful if sad story about Lennie! And he was indeed meant to be a part of your family! Thank you and the kids in your class! Have a great tomorrow, Sandy!


  7. What an intense and sad story, Sandy. I think it's time to put an end to all sort of cruelties inflicted on animals in the world.
    It's interesting what you say about the clock tower in Waterbury.

  8. Lennie is beautiful! What a lovely action on your part, and what a lovely addition to your family.;)

  9. Oh! I am in love!! I heart Lennie for sure. And I would love to beat that fisherman about the head!! Poor sweet Lennie! So glad he was rescued!! And that you and your class has adopted him.

  10. He has such a sweet face.

    Things are making me cry today. That guy in Florida whose going to burn the Qur'an on Saturday. Beating baby turtles. I don't understand how people make these sorts of choices.

  11. This is a sad thing Sandy!

    These heartless mean people hurting helpless and innocent creatures!

    I feel so sad learning of Lennie's plight! It was right of you adopting it and finding a safe sanctuary in you!

    I tip my hats off to you dear for doing a wonderful act! God bless!!!

  12. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Not so good dear...
    Really pathetic...
    Why can't they actually think like those naive kids...!!
    Your act has actually made me feel better on reading this...
    Sometimes, even the smallest think might make an impact..this was a learning today...
    Keep blogging!!

  13. great involvement in nature for your kids and a lesson learned about life!

  14. I long for the day that Champions are not needed to come to rescue of the downtrodden. Until that day, 'Hurray!' for the fine folks at Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, and the many more people and organizations like them that exist in this world.

  15. That was a very heart breaking story. Animals are so helpless, maybe one day, man will know the value of animals. And I think most do, that is why a senseless act stands out so. There is no logic, thank you for your kindness to Lennie and for sharing this heart breaking-heart warming story.

  16. How wonderful of you to help Lennie out monetarily and what a great lesson to share with your students.

  17. What a heartwarming story! The kids learned a lot from you today. . . Tell him hello from WA state for me next time you visit.

  18. Yes, its a wonderful albeit a sad' story.. The cruelty faced is stark reality and its going on..
    But a wonderful learning curve, at the end..

  19. Oh, by the way, I dont know if this is the right place to ask, but.. the prompt for the poem this sunday in OSI was one suggested by me.. so, where do I submit my poetry?

  20. Oh so sad. Both eyes are gone??
    How old is the turtle?
    He doesn't seem to be very old.
    Poor guy.

  21. ridiculous.

    these stories never sit well with me,
    except when they end with hope, such as you are telling here. for every one and everything we must be the good, the right, the light.

  22. Poor thing...The picture really can move anyone...Really nice of you to adopt the turtle and spreading such a meaning message

  23. YOU are the teacher every child should be lucky enough to have at least once in their lives. Thank you for always giving.. always finding life's lessons and always teaching them so well.

  24. How cruel! Whoever that person is must be beaten the same way.


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