creepy in a good way

My former stationery is a three-fold card with a periwinkle bow wrapped around it.  It looks like a birth announcement of sorts.  I wanted something different, the way most of us do when it comes to stationery.  The opening of the first fold reveals a small frog.  Then once the card blossoms fully, it reveals my oncewife name.  It’s time for new stationery… something with a turtle and Klein.   

I have a small obsession with turtles.  At one time it was monkeys, but now it has turned to turtles.  With a turtle, not unlike writers, sometimes you have to stick your neck out.  Mostly, you hide beneath a hard shell, but beneath it all, you’re soft as flan. Then there’s the old-age slow and steady wins the race bit.  I’m all about turtles. 

I’m a big believer in things being more than coincidence.  I crunch on hunch for breakfast, and one morning I began to read a book (The Joy Diet) about demystifying intuition.  It’s not some new age, palm, crystals, and incense, oh joy!, book.  It is, however, an exercise book.  Mad Libs for adults.  One of the exercises said to think of something unusual, something you never see, and soon you’ll find that thing all over the place.  You’ll be more in tuned… it will be top of mind.  When I got to work that morning, I checked my snailmail box.  Sure enough, one of the stamps on the first piece of mail on the pile was of an ornate box turtle (I keep the stamp in my desk to this day).  Then I cruised over to Mae’s web site and noticed she wrote about finding a baby turtle.  It was crazy.  (She then gave me a wind-up turtle for my desk)

In Italy, Smelly and I were at dinner, sitting outside on the cobblestone streets of Rome near the Spanish Steps.  It was a tiresome and emotionally taxing day for both of us.  Between slurps of my spaghetti, I told Smelly I believe there’s an order to things in the world.  There’s a universe out there that puts things in front of us.  It’s how we respond, how we pay attention, which defines our lives.  I tell her to have faith.  I whisper to her my story about turtles.  I tell her to pick something of her own: butterflies, she decides.  She’s feeling better now.  She begins to lean over and sink her fork into a twirl of pasta ribbons.  When I look up from my plate, a street vendor is standing beside our table.  He didn’t have single roses to offer; he was selling stone carved animal ornaments.  Immediately, he puts a handful of stone turtles on my empty bread plate.  Smelly and I don’t move.  We just stare at one another.  I bought a turtle.  You can’t NOT buy a turtle after that.  (And, no, the dude was not there when I told Smelly the turtle story—you cynic)  Smelly sees, and photographs, a butterfly the next day.  It’s a sign.  Everything will be okay. 

My grandmother is at Calvary Hospital.  My father had just gotten a new car, and the car had a timer, to track time from a’s to b’s.  My father, being who he is, timed his journey to the hospital from work. 19 minutes, 58 seconds.  Grandma says the female cantor just visited her.  She’s telling my father this because she wants to set up the cantor with my father’s bachelor hermetic brother Steven.  On her deathbed, she’s still trying to play matchmaker for everyone.  “Sam, run home and get Stephanie’s Bat Mitzvah photos to show the doctor.” She barks.  Grandma kibitzes with the cantor, asking where she lives, and the cantor replies, “Oh about 19 minutes and 58 seconds away.” This was the first story she told my father when he arrived to greet her.  Why didn’t she say, “about 20 minutes”?  Is that coincidence or a sign?  I believe it’s a sign that there are random thoughts in the universe that bounce around. 

When my father felt especially down, he’d visit my grandmother Beatrice’s grave.  He cried to her headstone, “Make the pain stop. Please help me find my way.”  Then he drove to visit a woman named Carol who lived in New Rochelle.  Her directions led to his cursing. There might have been a detour. Then, he spotted it.  Beatrice Lane. When he arrives at Carol’s house, she assures him, after her 15 years in that town, there is no Beatrice Lane.  It was a small sign before a hint of a road. 

On their wedding day, my father drives to pick up my grandfather for the ceremony.   The license plate on the car in front of him is my grandmother’s initials.  It’s a sign.  She’s giving a blessing.

Today, on my way to work in a taxicab driven by a female driver (I was asked just last night if I’ve had a female driver lately) I drove past Zanzibar and noticed for the first time the turtle logo.  I love when more than chance is at play.  It’s creepy in a good way.

Lately, I’ve had a lot of creepy in a good way. 
I believe in all of this stuff… maybe because it makes me feel better.  I don’t care.  I believe in it the way I believe in water and air.  It’s wonderful when you meet people who share a connection (I hate that word… connection.  It’s as bad as spark.  But you know what I mean…I’m calling it LINK SHARE… even though that means something entirely different).  Scary, creepy even, but wonderful just the same.  It gives you hope.



  1. When I was 14 and in a Sunday School class with a group of random people, some obscure reference was made to Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap". A young man toward the front, a couple of years younger than me, made some smarmy remarks about the plot of the play and that was it. Don't know why I remember it — but ten years, a marriage, and 2 babies later, that same young man and I were cast as husband and wife in Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap". I left my husband of four years 3 weeks later.

  2. I too have animal symbols that change from time to time from kangaroo to cat. For along time I was all about the turtle. It started with Janis Joplin's "Turtle Blues". After the turtle I chose the starfish (regeneration). And recently I declared this the year of the butterfly (transformation), mariposa in Spanish. I'd agree, there is a strong tie through the universe that helps us see our chosen path more clearly, if we choose to recognize it.

  3. Well, I'd think it speaks to the good in most people. That is most people love to share in one way or another. It's a kindred spirit thing on a minute level. It's always a good feeling when someone else "gets" a little piece of you. People thinking like you think makes you seem less crazy to yourself. And as my grandfather tells me. "I think the whole world is crazy except for you and me, and I have my doubts about you."

  4. when my beloved dog of 14 almost 15 yrs died i was devastated. our remaining dog was also pretty upset. my husband and i began talking about getting a companion for the remaining dog. he mentioned that when he was a boy, cocker spaniels were sturdy field dogs that had good temperments etc etc. Suddenly in an apt complex in which we'd lived for seven years we saw cocker spaniels everywhere. we'd go to petsmart–there were cocker spaniels in the aisles. we'd be on the beltway and the car next to ours would have a cocker spaniel. i'd swear i'd not seen one for years and suddenly they were everywhere. we moved to AZ. at every friggin rest stop we saw cocker spaniels. So, after our first week here in phoenix we went to an adoption fair. We decided that we'd only adopt a dog that picked us the way my Puddin dog had picked me many years ago. we went past every table including the cocker spaniel one. No dog picked us. Then as we crossed the field there was a mass of dogs sniffing each other. Of course the dog that somehow managed to climb onto my lap and then lie belly up amid the scrum was a cocker spaniel. he's now lying at my feet rolling around on his back. Now that he's in our lives, we see cocker spaniels NOWHERE.

    i'm going to try the random thoughts idea. i'm thinking here in phoenix—penguin.

  5. Faaaaahk, Nadine….I just saw an Emperor Penguin waddle past my house in a top hat and cape. It's feckin' 18 degrees here….

  6. When my grandfather died my mom told me that whenever you think of somebody who has passed, they'll let you know you're thinking of them by leaving a penny for you to find. The story didn't hit me until a few weeks later I was thinking of him and I walked to my mailbox. i opened the door and got the mail, and I dropped an envelope, which almost never happens, I picked it up and there lay a penny. Which I can be almost certain of, wasn't there. I picked it up, and said Hi Grandpa, I love you too.

  7. On the day that bar exam results were to be announced, I was cut off by a white car.

    Instead of honking my horn, I just tapped the brakes.

    License plate before me: LAWYER

    And yeah, I passed!

  8. Another reason I love Mae: she sent me this today. She so has my number. I'm all about protecting myself lately. Gunshy shunsmy… sigh. sniffle. I'm going to go listen to more Sarah Hudson now.

    Turtle: nurturer, protector, mother energy

    Many Natives refer to North America as Turtle Island, because their
    legends say that when the earth was covered with water, Turtle dove to
    the bottom of the oceans bringing up earth on its back so that the
    people could have a safe and dry home. Turtle is at home anywhere
    because it carries its home on its back. It does not become attached
    to places, for it is free to search for new opportunities wherever
    they may be found. When they sense danger, or are in uncomfortable and
    insecure settings, they withdraw into their shell, and are protected.
    If you have Turtle medicine, you value both the power of the earth,
    the waters of the earth, and the magic of the heavens, for Turtle
    symbolizes both the grounding quality of earth energy, and the magic
    of the mystical. Using Turtle energy can help you achieve real balance
    in your life and your spirit so that you don't get "stuck in the mud".
    Turtle's medicine includes a connection with the center, navigation
    skills, patience, self-boundaries, associated with the feminine, power
    to heal female diseases, respecting the boundaries of others,
    developing new ideas, psychically protecting oneself, self-reliance,
    tenacity, non-violent defense.

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