My daughter-in-law was late getting here today to pick the boys up - she had to make up time she'd taken off for a dental appointment - so Dylan and I went out to take Chloe dog for a potty walk around the block around 4 or so. He needed the diversion of some outside time --- the poor dog was about ready to explode from being inside all day! As we made our way down the front steps I happened to look next door to my neighbors' house and spotted their two little granddaughters sitting behind a small table at the end of the front walkway, attempting to sell lemonade. As Dylan and Chloe and I came past their house on our way home I asked Giana and Nessa how much they were selling it for and they told me "25 cents!" What a bargain on a beautiful day, eh? I told them Dylan and I would drop Chloe dog off and we'd be back for a cup. But who could give those darling girls nothing but a quarter? I robbed Dear Hubby's "Retirement Fund" jar of a dollar and Dylan thought he was pretty hot stuff, handing that over in payment! The lemonade was delicious...what a nice treat! And I've been noticing thru the rest of the afternoon as different neighbors have been walking by or pulling in to their driveways, they've been coming over and buying a cup, too. Of course, Giana and Nessa who are here visiting from their dairy farm out in the country on the coast were beyond thrilled...at home they wouldn't have had anyone but cows for customers!
Did my kids have a lemonade stand? I'm sure they must've. For a city neighborhood, ours had a relatively small town feel to it, what with all the kids who lived here when we moved in. They pretty much had the run of the yards and spent endless hours playing Capture the Flag, Hide-n-Go-Seek, whiffle ball, and who knows how many other games, traditional ones as well as imaginary ones they dreamed up. Now, 26 years later, our neighborhood is in that transitional stage where all of the kids have grown up and moved away. Our grandkids are the ones providing the noise and laughter we hear. More young families are beginning to move in but it'd been pretty quiet around here for several years. My son was the youngest of "The Gang" and he'll be 30 in September. Some of the rest of them are on the cusp of middle age. To me, all of them will always be my kids. I was one of few stay-at-home moms - I did work sporadically but was here most of their young years - and all of the neighborhood kids congregated here. I had days I was ready to tear my hair out, but in all actuality I loved it. Loved it!!
Almost every summer, I had a lemonade stand. Or a kool-aid stand. Whatever happened to be on hand when the mood struck. My childhood best friend Angie and my younger brother and I would set it up in front of our house. It usually lasted one afternoon because we'd soon become bored from lack of traffic but we always had one reliable customer every time. A lovely older woman named Janet who worked at the court house down the street and would walk past our house on her way home. She'd give us the nickel or dime we charged, stand there and drink the whole cup down, and tell us how wonderful it tasted! And, 45 years later as I stopped at Giana and Nessa's lemonade stand, Janet came to my mind. Such a small random act of kindness on her part, but it made a lasting lifetime impression on me. So...thank you, Janet, and anyone else out there who's ever taken the time to thrill some little child's innocent heart by stopping for a moment on a hot afternoon and having a lovely, ice cold cup of lemonade. Or kool-aid. Whatever the case may be.