Be like a turtle

It’s April and the turtles are out again. In Burnett Woods, they are out on their log, basking in the sun, soaking up spring. The Spring Grove Cemetery turtles gather in large groups on rocks; some are so chill they don’t even have their legs out to make a quick exit. Legs in, eyes closed, heads directed to the sun, I think I can learn from them.

We’re not in that horrible place of a year ago; hope is there but all of us have weathered loss and fear. Maybe that’s why some days I feel like what the Brits call tetchy. I looked it up to see if my memory is correct and yep, “peevish” and “cantankerous” are right. What the heck is my problem? My kids are back in school; loved ones are vaccinated.

The turtles at Spring Grove. Some are so comfortable, their legs are in.

It reminds me how I felt when Calvin was done with chemo; exhausted. When you’re in the battle, it’s almost easier, as strange as that sounds.

I do have a lot of gratitude but I also have those down days that feel a little extra hard right now. I continue to take lots of walks; the trees are showing off right now. I look to my favorite authors and podcasts for relief. And guess what? I’m not the only one struggling with the balance of gratitude and sadness. It’s just who we are.

In Kate Bowler’s podcast, Everything Happens, I’ve found a lot of comfort and laughs. In an episode with writer Kelly Corrigan (love her), Kelly shares how she’s caught between moments of insight and seeing the big picture and “just like that I slip into the mundane irritants and I feel a sense of shame.” She seeks clarity/an answer with a mediation teacher and he says, “It’s like this.” I plan to check out her latest book Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Things I’m Learning to Say.

This tree reminds me of myself. A little battered but the blooms are pushing through.

I devoured Anne Lamott’s new book, Dusk, Night, Dawn. That Anne. For more than 20 years she’s been helping me and she doesn’t even know it. She addresses her fears, times of extreme tetchiness. Now that she’s in her 60s, she says she cycles through the hard patches faster.

Writer Glennon Doyle reminds us that bad days are going to happen and they make the good ones sweeter.

That’s what art does, right? It helps you.

The other night, my friend Samir said she loves being 40 because she just doesn’t care what people think and knows herself. I kind of looked at her in awe and thought, I’m 51 and for God’s sake, I’m still figuring it out. But I’ve always been a late bloomer.

Today, I’m going to try to be a turtle, legs in, face to the sun. Other days, I’m going to have my legs out, ready to jump in the pond. And that’s ok.

A story about Freddy by Margot

Hey friends, my niece, Margot Mace, and I have a lot in common. We love reading, writing and cats!

She hasn’t met our new cat – Freddy –  but she did write this cool story about him.

(Scroll down to the bottom for book suggestions that some you sent me, thanks!)

Thanks, Margot! When social distancing is over, you and Freddy will have a playdate.

Freddy, a brave and loved cat

Hi! I’m Freddy. And this is how I became a brave and loved cat.


I’m Freddy. When I arrived at the Mace/Rush house, I was sporting this sweater.

It was a day in December when I heard….“He’s got worms, so you won’t be able to adopt him, at least not yet.” A person said to a family with twin boys. This family was practically the only family that wanted me  I could tell that the mother kept eyeing me. And I was eyeing her. I really don’t know exactly where I was at the time, but I was sure it was a shelter. The people at the shelter called me Adam. But more than ever I want someone to take me home, like that family that had just been here and was probably coming back. Why I am called a rescue cat is because I was saved from a hurricane in Florida.

I’m missing teeth

I was in quarantine for two months because I had worms. Not to mention, they had to remove lots of my teeth and I have lots of scars. I looked a bit rough, but I was and I am a cute cat. By the way, the same family came two more times. But then the day I was waiting for came! They had taken me to their home that was now mine too. This was in late February. Once they had taken me home they decided to name me Freddy. Which in my opinion I think it suits me better than the name Adam. Speaking of names I quickly catched on to learning their names. The mom was named Julia and the dad was named Eddie. The twins were named Max and Calvin.


Sometimes I get a little wild.

One day I made a terrible mistake. I was getting vicious (because cats can be savage sometimes) and I bit Calvin! I felt really bad and I’m glad he forgave me. So, then I decided why not be a bit wild, but this time not hurt anyone. I went to my litter box and after I was done doing my business I just started running around fast! I’ve got to admit, it was fun. Also, I got to meet some of their neighbors. And a very sweet lady named Martha Lee. This is Eddie’s Mother. I liked meeting all those people because what’s better than being the center of attention?!

My sweater

I wished these scars I have would go away! I had been wearing this sweater to make sure I didn’t hurt the scar on my neck by scratching it or anything. At one point Julia had taken it off of me, but I couldn’t help myself. I had to scratch my neck! Sure enough Julia had to put the sweater back on me. I mean I guess that was the right thing to do so I wouldn’t injure myself.

As you can see I love my new life. I can’t wait for what awaits for me in this luxurious house to live in. It is way better than a shelter full of cats. So this is how I became and brave and loved cat. Because I am Freddy.

By Margot Mace


Margot and her cat Buzz.


Margot and her cat Galileo.

And now for the books

Thanks to all of you who sent me what you’re reading. I’m almost finished with Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. Max has discovered Calvin’s collection of Big Nate stories. Calvin was last reading The MidWinter Witch. (I love this one too.)

Suzanne Fountaine suggests Pachinko and is rereading the Elegance of the Hedgehog. (I give both a thumbs-up!)

Myra Pucci is reading The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek. She and Lisa Daumeyer are also reading The Dutch House. (Thumbs-up from me.)

Annette Christianson has read two young adult books The Poet X and On the Come Up. She’s also read the classic, Angela’s Ashes and some romance novels.

Abby Klare suggested In Five Years.

A request for my next post

Please send me any random acts of kindness that you’ve seen or received. Text, message, email me. Thank you!