My parents gave me the kind of childhood that Emerson would have loved: equal parts books and nature. I can see why I often feel so close to Emerson/the transcendentalists philosophically: days spent running wild and creative and free on the bank of our backyard puts a sort of spirit into a person. I used to play almost daily with the Cardinale brothers. We built forts (“bases”), created working booby traps, climbed trees, had whole little worlds in our wide outdoors. We biked in the fresh air, we hollered and whooped, we ate my mom’s chocolate covered popcorn trail mix sitting on a low tree limbs, we played with chickens, we chased and caught bees, and we hunted lizards. We played and created and wondered, and when it was time to go inside for the night, I hunkered down with my books and polished off several in a week, wrote in my journals, wrote stories, wrote poems, sang songs, drew fashions/clothes, and sometimes, played “banker” or “nurse.” These were the best days of my childhood, and the essence of who I feel I am at age 32. Part tomboy, part girly-girl, but really, just me.

This afternoon, Eric discovered all the joys lizards bring.

Boppa caught a lizard for Eric, and Eric wanted to take it for a ride in his green alligator wagon. Eric had the orange top down from the get-go (he knew that the lizard could get out otherwise), but he had opened it up to have it say hello to Bill.

And then, that lizard escaped! See it on the back of the wagon?

Can Mommy catch it?

Yes! I think I surprised even Bill with this skill set… He’s never seen me catch a lizard before (funny how lizard catching doesn’t always come up in early married years). He happened to be taking pictures of all of this. Nice to know I can still surprise him!

The lizard had a blue neck and a soft belly…lizards are beautiful creatures, definitely. I love their speed, their feet, and tails.

There you go, Mr. Lizard. Stay in the wagon this time!

Eric takes Mr. Lizard for more of a ride… Eventually we let him go in the garden.

It was cute that Eric wanted to take it for a wagon ride. Sweet boy.