Awhile back, I told you that Mom and Dad used to have a turtle and tortoise farm (they bred reptiles for the pet trade). I promised I would tell you more and I’m going to do just that.
Prior to meeting Mom in 2005, Dad was a reptile enthusiast. He had been breeding turtles and tortoises for 35 years and had a pet store with a friend down in south Florida. Mom came home from college on spring break and Grandpa took her to Dad’s reptile store. Mom had no idea at this time that she was talking to her future husband. Mom and Dad quickly became friends, although Dad wasn’t interested in being “just friends”.
In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma took South Florida for a ride. It was during that storm that Mom realized she loved Dad.
Fast forward to January 2007, Mom and Dad are head over heels for one another and they have just opened their own reptile business. They started to breed so many wonderful species of animals. It would take me forever to list them all, or to even go through all of the old pictures to show you every kind, so here are a few:
I could go on forever with the pictures. There were also newts, salamanders, snakes, frogs, toads, lizards, chameleons, and more.
The business itself was wonderful but the laws around ownership and exportation of certain turtle species were changing rapidly and became “blurry”. Keeping up with the most current laws is very difficult in the reptile industry and an “oops” can get you time in federal prison. Not wanting to risk doing something illegal, the business was closed in 2013.
It was and still is very sad. Reptiles made up so much of Dad’s life. Mom became a reptile lover throughout the years and it’s hard for her because Dad doesn’t like talking about or looking at them anymore but she does. After all, it’s what brought them together. She tells him all the time that he got to make a living off his passion, even if only for a short time. Most people never get that opportunity.
So, there you have it. A look into the past.