We found an open summer day at home and both boys invited their best friends over. Son #2’s friend showed up wielding his commercial grade pick axe. I wasn’t phased. It’s what he brings when he comes over. The two of them are aspiring geologists in search of emeralds and convinced they are waiting to be overturned in my mulch beds. They shook me down for gloves, trowels, buckets and safety goggles and set off to work. The older boys watched them very amused and then went to the driveway to shoot hoops.

Everyone was happy and busy. Time for me to dust off some project I’ve shelved or sit for a moment and read a book. At that very moment the younger kids decided on a project of their own and need all manner of supplies. They know I have them but they can’t find them. “Mom, where’s the lemonade stand?” “It’s in the basement.” Can you help us set it up?” Suddenly their project is now my project.

I started to get the pitcher out of the cabinet when I noticed they were already set up and had a customer. It was my friend from two doors down so I went out to say hello.

“I was all excited to get a glass of lemonade,” she tells me, “but they’re not selling any.”

“They aren’t?” I take a closer look.

“No, they’re selling “emralds”.”


I wish I had run back to the house for my camera because the image was priceless. Two boys sitting behind a puppet theater with a softball sized rock on the counter. It had just a bit of green on it from lichen or moss for them to declare it an emerald. They decided it would be more lucrative for them than lemonade. Unfortunately for them my neighbor and everyone else that day happened to be thirsty.