Thursday, February 11, 2010
Still Making Lemonade ...
Luther Beefeater ... favorite cousin of Lamar Beefeater ... Luther was a poor boy as far as life's common necessities were concerned ... from the time Luther began to walk as an infant until his graduation from high school, he received a new pair of shoes but once a year in the fall around the time the vibrant autumn leaves began to bow their tired heads and spiral helplessly toward the chilly ground ... Luther seemed to always be able to make those shoes last all the way through and beyond the approaching winter until school let out for summer vacation ... hand-me-down clothes and a rummage sale coat were blessings indeed ... often other kids made fun of Luther's clash of colors and ill-fitting style of dress, but the lad didn't mind, at least he would stay warm ... Luther's daddy had been killed fighting a war that Luther never had understood ... consequently, his mother had to work two jobs just to provide the family with the bare essentials of human existence, which were meager indeed, just enough to get by ... Luther wasn't used to having much, he didn't need much really ... the family had plenty of love, and that meant everything.
Folks always told Luther "when life gives you lemons ... then make lemonade" ... everyone likes lemonade, right? ... so he would go behind the market each day to scavenge discarded lemons which had been deemed unfit for sale and tossed in the garbage, then he would make several visits a day to the cafe around the corner, and those tiny packets of sugar would seem to mysteriously appear in his pockets afterward ... then Luther made lemonade ... he turned over a big wooden crate out near the street, and hung a sign made from an old bed sheet ... "TheOldLemonadeStand" ... Luther was in business ... all he lacked were some customers.
At first, Luther had a few passersby stop by for a glassful of his delicious concoction ... they would all say how good it tasted, how it had just the right amount of sugar, and how it was always ice-cold ... Luther posted signs all over town advertising his venture and invited everyone he ran into to come to his little stand ... he thought business could only get better ... a few stragglers patronized his tiny enterprise regularly, but after a while those visits became less frequent, then not at all ... except for a few regulars ... Luther was dismayed ... he had charged but a mere 5 cents for a tall glassful of the delightful beverage--and refills were on the house ... maybe he would try giving it away free-of-charge ... so free it was ... still, hardly anyone stopped by.
Luther was at a loss, what had he done wrong? ... yes, there were plenty of those fancy fast-food joints along the same street that his stand sat on, but none of them sold good, ice-cold, homemade lemonade ... especially at a mere 5 cents for a tall glassful--refills on the house ... and now free ... were people shunning him because he hadn't always been a young man of good refinement? ... yes, he had been loud and outspoken on many an occasion ... was it because of his tattered clothes and worn shoes? ... were they embarrassed to be seen drinking his lemonade? ... did he smell bad? ... after all, he had been tossed out of more than one establishment because of his unseemly behavior, loud mouth and ragged attire ... but all that was in the past ... Luther was trying to be a better person.
A few loyal customers continued to drink the lemonade, and they seemed to really enjoy it ... but Luther began to wonder if it was worth the trouble to keep the stand in operation, gathering lemons from the trash everyday and visiting the cafe in order to find that sugar in his pockets ... that lemonade stand took some work too ... all that effort for just a handful of thirsty folks? ... maybe he should just take down the sheet, drag the crate out back and call it quits ... be real easy to do ... no, Luther couldn't get rid of that stand ... besides, as long as he had a handful of patrons who still enjoyed stopping by once in a while for a glassful of ice-cold, homemade lemonade, then it's worth the effort ... so Luther will keep on squeezing those lemons 'till there's no more thirsty friends ... it's on the house too!
Comments encouraged and welcome --sja