Today I found a Craigslist deal, two nightstands for $20, so I jumped in the car to go pick them up. As I was winding through a neighborhood and getting close to my Craigslist destination, I saw it. There was the classic lemonade stand perched on the sidewalk — a card table stocked with Solo cups and decked out with its neon green posterboard price list. Manning the table was this cute little boy. I would have had a hard time resisting as it was, but as I rounded the corner, I was going slow since I was taking a curve and anticipating where I would need to turn to follow my GPS. I think that the cute little boy thought I was slowing down to buy some of his lemonade; he caught my eye, and I could almost see him jump with excitement. Then, I was a goner; I promised myself that I would stop on my way back and get some of his lemonade.
And, sure enough, on the way back, I was determined to stop. Really, I was determined. My GPS wanted me to exit the neighborhood via a different route from the one I used to enter it, so I had to guess at how to get back to the kid. After looping around a dead end cul-de-sac and pausing at another turn, I found him. He was just sitting with a remarkable amount of patience in his lawn chair on the sidewalk .
I swerved over to the curb, noticing that lemonade now costs $1. When I sold it as a kid, I think the going price was 50 cents on a broiling hot day, 25 cents all other times. But, I guess even lemonade stand have to keep up with inflation. My soft heart was going to cost me more than I thought. The kid was so cute though as he jumped into action. He grabbed a cup, drug the glass jar of lemonade to the corner of the table, and started to fill the cup. His mom who was lingering nearby came over to make sure I wasn’t a kidsnatcher and reminded him to fill the cup, which he did. It does appear that though the prices have gone up, $1 does indeed buy you a very, very full Solo cup of lemonade.
I handed my quarters to him and gingerly slid into the car, balancing the lemonade so I didn’t wind up sloshing it all over me and the car. Then, I carefully maneuvered the car back around the corner and pulled over the first chance that I got where I wasn’t right in front of someone’s driveway. Even though I was a tad parched after wrestling the Craigslist furniture into the car, I still had to obey my mom’s lessons. She taught me to run a lemonade stand, and she also taught me never to drink the lemonade from someone else’s lemonade stand. After all, these establishments are often run by kids under the age of 10 who love to dig in the dirt, ride bikes and generally make a big ol’ mess of themselves by being outside from sunrise to dusk. Their handwashing practices are uncertain. And even though where I had just come from seemed like a fairly safe bet, the health department doesn’t make a habit of checking on card tables that are perched on the edge of the sidewalk. So, I opened the door of the care and quickly dumped out the lemonade. I know, crazy use of a dollar, right? But, it was enough to see the look on the little kid’s face when I gave him those four quarters; it was enough to smile at his mom as she reminded him to thank me for my business; it was enough to reward the brand of patience that gets someone to sit on a hot, boring sidewalk in pursuit of a dream.