Friday, August 3, 2012

Lesson 175: When Life Gives You Lemons

.....make lemonade!

Here is the resident Sourpuss, dressed in characteristic lemon yellow, at his new endeavor.

Be careful.  Those baby blues could sell you Florida swamp land if you let them.

Here's a recent photo of Sam with his blue wallet.  He's carried it around for the entire summer.  My boy has just added some hard earned money to it.  Eighteen dollars the kid raked in on a Saturday afternoon.  All from selling lemonade.  No kidding.

This winery, 6 Mile Cellars, opened on Memorial Day weekend.  I love the clever logo.  It stands for 6 Mile Creek which runs near the Lamp Post.

It is located in this historic Harborcreek barn which is located directly across the street from the Lamp Post.  That is Sam on the hill.

This old horse corral is now the parking lot.  That is the grape vineyard you can see in the distance behind it.

My neighbors had to remove the end section of corral to allow for parking.  Upon its removal, I snagged a fence board, wanting a piece of my history.  Eloise, like the owners, grew up on this land and is of the sentimental sort.  I figured I'd make something out of the weathered board someday.  Look what part of it became:

The address marker for The Lamp Post!

I babysat Bart, the kid savvy businessman who operates Harborcreek's First Winery.  You'd think that the fermented grape a mere 50 yards from my doorstep would come as a welcome relief since I'm raising Sam.  Unfortunately for my neighbor, I don't drink that much wine.  I love the taste and like to collect the bottles for art projects, but too much gives Eloise a wicked headache.  I've sampled all of his wines and sip them on occasion with company.  I highly recommend Winsome Red, but overall, I must heed the advice of My Dear Old Dad:  Stick to beer.

The winery is open on weekends, therefore last Saturday afternoon was the perfect time for Sam to try his hand at his own liquid concoction.  I told him that it was HIS project, so he had to do the work, and that he did.  Sam painted his own sign, drug the card table down the driveway, and collected up all the materials needed to open up his business.  It was priceless watching him wave down cars as they drove by, "Come to my Lemonade Stand!" yelled my boy at every passerby.

All in all, Sam had eighteen customers, each purchasing a cupful of 25 cent lemonade, tipping Sam the extra 75 cents.  Sam's a talker, and he struck up a conversation with nearly everyone who came.  Mr. Charming even tried to swindle my neighbor Holly, adjusting her price a little higher than the advertised one.  After she left with her van load of lemonade, I talked to Sam about the importance of sticking to the advertised price.  Sam replied, "Hey!  She knows me.  She'd probably give me more money!"  Good grief.

Sam sat at that stand for FOUR HOURS.  There were lulls in the traffic and I asked him if he would like to run inside to get some wrestlers to play with and that I would watch his stand for him.  He looked at me like I had three heads and said, "MOM!  I'm workin'!"

When the connoisseurs were through with their wine tasting, many people wandered over to our yard to sample the lemonade.  Some didn't though and they passed Sam's stand right by, pulling into the winery instead.  "That winery is stealing all of my customers!"  shouted Sam.

Sam continued throughout the afternoon to think aloud.  My favorites of the day were:  We need a sign with an arrow like HIS (Bart, if you are reading this, you have become the enemy--perhaps you can work up some sort of deal with my boy).

In a quiet moment as I was taking a sip of my own lemonade, Sam said:  "Mom, alcohol is not good for you, right?"  I could see the wheels turning toward some attack ads, so I quickly changed the subject.  

He passed out in the car on the way to the lake afterwards.  The kid was exhausted and that is a rare thing to see as Sam is always full of energy.

I'm not really sure where he gets this love for money.  He's not a shopper.  Sam despises going to the "Dress Mall" because it smells like perfume and they sell bras there.  My boy won't spend a dime of his own money on anything, and rarely asks for toys anyway.  I can't figure it out.  I asked him point blank today what he likes so much about money and he said, "I like how it smells."  It was one of those things I wished I wouldn't have asked.  

If you've noticed, I don't monetize my blog.  This means that my blog stays free and clear of advertisements.  I earn no money for this blogging hobby of mine.  I have the option of using Ad Sense.  This is an advertising program where I would earn money for every click you people make on the advertisements that run down the side.  Personally, I find them distracting and want to keep The Lamp Post an easy read, free of distractions.  I do this for a couple of reasons. The first and foremost being that I only have one sibling and she is known for being quite a shopper.  If ads were flashing along the sides, Kenyan would never read a word I wrote (and in most posts, that's probably a good thing--she's fun to tease).

Another reason is my need not to tie my words to money.  I feel that money--even just the change I'd earn from you clicking on ads for sneakers, kids toys, and lamp posts--may sway what I write.  Maybe if I drop this word here, someone may click on this........  I want my fingers to be lead by my heart, not by my pocketbook.  

Don't yell at me.  My parents are fully to blame for all of this.  I came home from college in my sophomore year to tell them I had met with a professor and he was trying to persuade me to scrap teaching and enter the writing field.  I thought they would be flattered and proud of me when I told them that my professor said I had talent and needed more intense instruction to become better.  This man told me I had a gift, and he didn't want to see me waste it.  I remember there being a moment's pause after I delivered the news.  Then my father spoke out and said, "Get a real job like being a teacher.  Then you can fart around with writing all you want."  I've mentioned before that I was not coddled as a child.

I am a story teller, a raconteur of sorts.  Yes, I had to look up that word, too.  It was in the book The Noticer that I recently read.  I'll save you the trouble of another click to google: 


A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way.
Synonyms:narrator - storyteller

I think that sounds a little like Eloise, dontcha think?   I suppose if my parents would have sprung for that extra year of college to hone my writing skills, I would have learned that dontcha really isn't a word as well.  

Recording stories in the written form runs in my blood.  I'm of German decent, remember?  I think somewhere back I am related to The Brothers Grimm.  They took the stories that been told around camp fires, in family gatherings, and over a few beers, and recorded them.  Brilliant.  

My hesitance of blending my writing with earnings is probably the biggest reason The Key is not in print yet.  I'd really love to just clean it up and publish it as a free e-book so you all can enjoy the story without a dime spent.  However, I understand not everyone has Kindles yet, so that cuts a lot of you out of the fun.  Some copies need to exist on paper, and that is where it all gets complicated.  Eloise does not like complicated.  Be assured that I am working on it, trying to find a solution to my moral dilemma.  I promise to give up updates as the project moves along.

I must disagree with my professor twenty years later.  My talent was not "wasted" in education.  It's a crying shame that someone in higher education even said those words to me.  Mommy and Daddy did know best.  I got a real job, and it's a hard one.  I earn my paycheck, believe me.  Teaching is harder than I expected, but far more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.  Clearly it is what I am meant to do.  Now with this new thing called blogging, I can fart around with writing all I want. 

Thanks Dad for the double dose of good advice:  get a real job, and stick to beer.  That is exactly what I did.  Proud of me now?

The photo story below is NOT set to a Tim McGraw song.  I wanted to give you a little change of pace and I switched to Nelly.  That's me on the cover shot, shooting my shadow along the Lake Erie shoreline.  Besides Sam's Lemonade Stand, you'll see some treasures we collected from one of our frequent beach walks.  Natalie's finds always make me laugh.

It's Friday, so I have to go heed my Daddy's advice.  I'm going to fart around with my next blog and pack a cooler.  Headed to a party tonight--photos to come.

Hey! Must be the Money!


Heather said...

Hysterical! I may quit my writing job & set up a lemonade stand across from a winery if I can rake in those kind of bucks by picking off customers.

And, I literally laughed out loud at the phrasing "farting around" -- must've been a big phrase in our parents' time because my dad used to say that all the time (and still does).

You can self-publish and people can order their own books if they want to read it in hardcopy. I haven't ever looked into it myself, but I did write a story about it (ironic, I know) years ago.

The only caution with self-publishing is that "real" publishers, they turn their noses up at self-published books/authors. THOUGH...that attitude may have/be changing, too, as more and more well-written books/authors are published.

Yesterday someone called & told me to stop sending the magazine I write because they consider it junk mail. It was an old guy, and I thought...does it occur to you that writers put their heart and soul into what they do? Do you even care? That junk mail is my job and, believe it or not, I put a lot of effort into it.

That's the danger in writing, though, being told you suck. Eh...I've got a thick skin because I've been doing this long enough to know I don't suck, still irritates me that people can be so thoughtless when they speak.

WAit....where were we? Lemonade...right..we were talking about lemonade. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Just a little hint about drinking wine Elaine! I enjoy sweet red wine. The trick to not getting a headache is to drink a glass of water in between each glass of wine you drink. That's the trick! Try it sometime!!!
Sue C.

Anonymous said...

OMGGOM! (Oh my goodness gracious o'mighty!) do you donate yours to charity? I have lemonade stands too!