Friday, August 24, 2012

Sifting Through Life: Lemonade Stands

September 21, 2012 is the official last day of summer but in our house that date will come much sooner with the beginning of school just around the corner.  Many students around the country have already returned with excitement, fear, new friends and memories of the past 12 weeks engrained in their hearts.

The family vacations that lasted a bit too long or not long enough.  The visits with cousins, aunts and uncles or grandparents where laughter, memories and fun were kept alive late into the night.  The activities of endless days at the beach, visiting new parks, seeing old friends down by the corner will be  the content of summer essays the students will be asked to write about.

A summer memory for me will be the lemonade stands that I have seen pop up around our community of Cape St. Claire.

A lemonade stand immediately brings back memories of myself, along with my sisters and cousins.  Each summer we found ourselves sharing a few weeks together at our grandparents home.  We called this "at the lake".

The Lake was huge.  Nestled in the mountains of California, accessed by a very windy road up the Kern River, you entered the valley to a large body of water surrounded by mountains, rocks and a dam at one end.

The summers were brutally hot.  The atmosphere felt like we were walking nearer to the sun than any other place on earth.  We were often sunburned and bored.

I can recall the walks to get ice cream from the little store down the street that was only open for summers but they sold fishing bait, tackle, candy bars, sodas and ice cream.  We would walk to this little shack, taking our time kicking the rocks on the gravel road and dreaming up things to do.

We were going to ride our bikes around the lake, float down the river, camp by the lake.  We wanted adventure.  We wanted to be doing something.  We were bored.  LOL This is a common word used during the summer in most homes.

We always managed, in our discussions, to come back to the idea of having a lemonade stand.  The hard part was convincing the parents that it would be fun.  We told them it would teach us how to work and earn our own money (yes, we used this line..LOL)  I am not sure if this is what finally convinced them, or, it could have been our constant nagging…I will never know!

I am pretty sure that the fun of having a lemonade stand is not the actual selling.  Selling lemonade can be quite boring as you sit and wait, waiting for the next big 25 cent sale.  No, I believe the thrill of a lemonade stand was convincing the adults that it was needed, preparing the drinks, making the signs, finding a table and dragging it all to the corner outside your home, in the heat.

Every kid that was involved had a job.  Someone was the cashier, a few held the signs and some poured.  We all had to earn a portion of that 25 cents or it wasn't fair.

My favorite was holding the sign.  It gave you a chance to be silly.

After a few hours we would drag it all back to the garage, return the empty jugs to the kitchen and count just how many quarters we received.

The very next day, we would start all over again, with a trip to our local candy store, with our money we had earned from the day before, to buy a candy bar or ice cream, return home and drag the stand to the corner.

Not a whole lot has changed.  The stands that I saw in the Cape had signs, a table, pitchers of lemonade and cups with a 25 cent price tag.

It's nice to see that in a world that is changing constantly and getting more and more expensive each day that you can still buy a glass of lemonade from a stand for 25 cents.


  1. Such sweet memories!! I used to love having lemonade stands (of course my lemonade was made from a powder...bc that's how my mom rolled). This lemonade looks fresh & summery and all the photos are GORGE.

    1. Thank you! My Mom always used powder too, that is why I think we waited until we went to Grandma' always tasted better fresh and squeezing the lemons was a fun part of the experience. Thanks for your comments.


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