New Year’s Roadkill

If you’re wondering where the title of this blog came from, I’ll tell you. It came from my husband. I’m not proud of this… the fact that it was his idea and not mine. But in my defense, he did get the idea from an announcement I’d designed and sent out in advance of our move. Here’s a pic…


The airplane, the red-lettering… it made him think of that classic Hitchcock film North by Northwest. You know the poster, right? Synapses fired. A connection made. And BOOM! Southeast by Northwest was born.

It’s now been a full three months since we landed in Florida. Hard to believe we’ve negotiated our first quarter of a year, but day by day and week by week, my list of all the little ways in which this state is so different from California continues to grow, and I’m thinking about a new post category called SE x NW that will document some of my weirder observations. Like today’s installment, roadkill.

While the most frequent victims in the Bay Area were undoubtedly squirrels, seconded perhaps by skunks, here in South Florida it’s all iguanas and toads. Here’s a flat toad to demonstrate my point.


We’ve seen lots of squashed toads and mangled iguanas. It’s not pretty. And despite the fact that there actually are squirrels here––very cute gray squirrels that squawk and chirp in a way unlike the red squirrels in Oakland––I had yet to see one flattened in the road. That is, until today.

On our way to New Year’s Brunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Delray (I’ll have to pen a post about Dada soon), we spotted a fifty-percent flat but one-hundred-percent dead squirrel. Poor little critter, cut down in what I imagined was the prime of his life. His tiny mouth, frozen in a cry of anguish. I thought about snapping a photo to include here, but it seemed a grimmer scene than flat toad, so I walked on with the intent of providing only a mental picture.

And seeing as it was New Year’s Day and a time for new beginnings and a new moon to boot, I couldn’t stop thinking about that little squirrel, and how surely he’d not expected to have the life squelched out of him so suddenly, and how, isn’t that so often the case––an unexpected tragedy, an illness caught too late, some stupid senseless accident––and everything changes in an instant.

It reminded me to greet every day possible with a feeling of gratitude. So here I come 2017… incredibly grateful for the journey.


  1. Great post SE by NW! Smiles abound and looking forward to your many insights on transplanting to The Sunshine State!


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