Homemade…or not…

worth every penny

Drew has been talking about having a lemonade stand for weeks and with work, sports schedules and bad weather we just could not make it happen.  Until today!  We decided late in the morning that it was the perfect day for it.  He remembered the lemonade stand we visited earlier in the summer and decided that we would sell a lot more if we had snacks too.  Although I love to cook, I am not much of a baker and though my dinners are made from scratch, I don’t get very creative when it comes to desserts, so we ran to the supermarket to get some of their “homemade” cookies and some pound cakes.  We came home, cut and bagged it all and made some “Country Time Lemonade” (also not from scratch but we did cut up some lemons to make it look pretty.)

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day.  None of the typical humidity that we usually have on an August day in New Jersey.  The temperature was in the high 70’s and the skies were beautiful.  “Perfect”, in Drew’s own words. He invited my niece and nephew over to help.  Only Gabi could come at first, but Mikey planned on helping out later in the afternoon.  We set up on the sidewalk in front of our house.  They set up baskets of treats on the table and a huge thermos of lemonade on a chair.  Drew insisted that I make a few gallons of lemonade.  I tried to convince him that would be too much, but it was not worth the argument so we went it.  I talked to them about how much it cost to buy our supplies, (less than $10 for all of it – including the cups,) and what profit meant.  I told them that they had to repay me for supplies, (which I never intended to collect, but just wanted them to understand.)

It was a slow start and Drew and Gabi were really discouraged.  They had a lemonade stand together last year and made some money so they were trying to remember what they did differently.  I thought for sure that they would give up, but then came their first sale.  One cookie and a cup of lemonade bought by a neighbor.  A few minutes later, their second sale!  Then they had another looooooooong wait.   Drew decided to make some new signs and the two of them paraded up and down the street directing cars to their stand.  That brought in a few sales but they still had not even made five dollars, (everything was 50 cents.)  I could not help laughing when Drew started yelling out to passing cars, “Fresh squeezed lemonade.   Lemons picked fresh this morning.”  Through my laughter I gave them a lesson on false advertising although a few customers found it quite amusing and it did generate a few more sales.

Through it all, I sat on the front steps just watching and replenishing their supplies.  I was proven wrong because they went through that entire thermos and I had to make more! After two hours, I started compiling a list in my head of all the things that I should have been doing instead of sitting around while they had their sale.  Then, I realized how much joy they were getting out of it and decided that sometimes that other “stuff” has to wait because as I have written before, it really is the little things in life that are really most important!

Business really started picking up and by the time Mikey showed up, they had already made nearly $30!  Mikey’s enthusiasm brought in more and more customers and after four hours of sitting outside they brought in a total of $50.  I never thought that they would have kept it going for so long, but they did.  I just sat back and watched and savored the look of joy on their faces and in their voices.  I heard them use their manners, thanking all of their customers.  They used their math skills to make change and figure out how much each of them would get.  It was actually a great diversion from all of “that stuff” that I should have been doing.

They kids were amazed as they saw some people pull up in the cars and just hand them a dollar or two without taking any treats.  One customer gave them ten dollars for just one cup of lemonade and a cookie.  When she said, “keep the change,” they could not believe it.  As they stared at her wide eyed, she told them that she had lemonade stands all the time when she was a kid and their stand brought back some great memories.  Even a teenager stopped by and tossed them some change and told them they were doing a great job.

I am convinced that the kids made a lot more than just $50 today.  They made their own memories and had a fun time doing it.  I am sure Drew will try to convince me to do another one before the summer ends.  Perhaps we will…


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