Sunday, September 30, 2007

When Life Gives You Lemons

Disclaimer: I was planning on blogging about my daughter's lemonade stand anyway, but I certainly did not plan on telling the following story!

No doubt you've all heard the phrase "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Well today my daughter and I learned that very lesson...literally!

First, let me give you some background information. There are 1.2 billion people in the world who do not have access to clean water. About 5 million people die every year of water-related illnesses; one child dies every 15 seconds. The Christian women's group I attend is raising $10,600 to build two wells in Africa. That's a lot of money for the small group of 55 women, and they are raising the money in 11 weeks time!

I told my 4 1/2-year-old, Amber, what we were doing. She borrowed and idea from a friend of hers and decided she wanted to have a lemonade stand and donate the money to the well project. Last night we made three pitchers of lemonade: regular, strawberry and mint lemonade. Then she helped me make a sign and put stickers on plastic cups. I emailed all of our nearby friends to tell them that after church we were going to sell lemonade. I even made an announcement in our little church this morning.

As soon as church ended, Amber and I raced home to set up the lemonade stand. (Eric and Autumn drove a separate car to church so they could stay afterward to chat with people.) We got home and set up two kiddie tables and chairs. Then we placed three full pitchers of lemonade and a bucket of ice on one of the tables. I had taped the sign to a garment rack and rolled it onto the sidewalk next to the table. (Yes, there is a reason I'm including all of these details...bear with me.)

The sign kept falling over, so I had the brilliant idea to back the car up to the sign so the garment rack could lean against the car. I sent Amber to the front of the house so I could back up the car. I slowly backed it up until I felt it touch the sign. Then I got out of the car and heard Amber wailing. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with her until I looked at the sidewalk. There, all over the concrete and running down into the street, was three batches of cold lemonade! And the pitchers--well, let's just say that plastic does shatter and I'll be putting in a Pampered Chef order for three new pitchers! "What happened?" you may be asking. From what I can tell, the sign bumped my big chair that bumped the little table with the pitchers of lemonade.

Have you ever felt like you were in another world? Like, "this didn't just happen?" Well Amber was crying and I was crying and then Eric drove up. He got out of the car, looked at the mess, looked at us and basically told us to "get a grip." Our first customer had just arrived, also, and Eric told us that we'd better get in that kitchen and make some more lemonade. (Thank God--seriously--for level-headed husbands and daddys.) The three of us set to work on making two new pitchers of lemonade and our first customers--Jackie and Blossom--waited patiently until we were set up again and ready for business.

I told Jackie the story, and she said that when things like that happen in our lives, we have a choice to give up or get up and move on. She said she was glad we chose to "make more lemonade!" Amber's lemonade stand was a hit, by the way. We made $42.25! She's going to bring it to church on Wednesday.

Amber may not get a lot of life lessons out of today, but when she's older I'll remind her of the day she not only helped provide clean water to people in Africa, but she also "took the high road" and didn't wallow in her disappointment. Life handed her lemons and she made lemonade...literally!


Kari Rodems said...

What a great story... such is life... spilled milk, spilled lemondae, We are so blessed we can make more :) Reminds me of that Chris Rice "Lemonade" song that ends... "I'm a sucker for happy endings,thanks for the lemonade." Love your stories xo

ATSmith said...

What a neat thing you guys did with Amber : ) Sorry about the lemonade spilling ... seems like it was a family bonding moment though -- those are always precious : )

heidibelle said...

Wow, what an experience. It is so hard when you work so hard for something and then end up dissapointed. And even harder to watch your kids go through it. I'm glad it was a good experience in the end.

try2bAsunbeam said...

Well told story! A pleasure to read!