Tuesday, March 22, 2011

turning lemons into lemonade

my girl and her bestie cooked up a lemonade stand a few weeks ago. from what i could gather, it was to make some mad cash to blow at claire's.

they picked a weekend and decided it would be this past saturday at the bestie's house. we live on a busy corner, which translates into the occasional riffraff sighting, and J's house is on a nice, quiet street. somehow my boys were included; the youngest was given the role of mascot.

in the meantime, i was looking at my favorite style blog, ruche, and saw that they had contributed to a really awesome organization called shelterbox. if you have a minute, click on the link that shows you exactly what's in the box: it's enough supplies to hopefully sustain a family for up to 6 months. it's pretty insane goodness to someone who, say, has just lost everything in a tsunami in japan.

it's funny how ideas begin. a lightbulb went off among us: let's use the proceeds from the lemonade stand and give it toward the purchase of a shelterbox!

signs were made, lemonade and limeade and something new called lime-onade were mixed and chilled, chairs were set out, tables were set up, streamers were hung from the trees. the mascot shouted from the porch, "COME BUY OUR LEMONADE--IT'S FOR JAPAN!" in his most adorablest voice possible.

the older kids took turns standing down at the end of the street, holding up a sign and waving at cars to turn and come buy some refreshments, maybe make a donation. it's interesting: some people who drove by didn't really want to look at the sign. i think they were afraid we were panhandlers. others pulled over, noticed what it was for, and drove down the street to purchase some liquid sunshine. the kids even offered curbside service for those who didn't want to get out of their cars.

the mascot ended up melting down a bit and had to go home to take a nap. by then things had slowed down anyway.

it was so exciting that we all decided to do it again this coming sunday, march 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. same address: 303 east jean street. we're hoping to get news coverage. we are dreaming big. now, maybe we can raise enough to buy shelterboxes for not just one but several families. wouldn't that be amazing?

so if you are local, please stop by and see us. if you don't like lemons, or limes, or lemon/lime combos, you can always just drop some change in the money shoebox.

if you don't live nearby, or don't want to buy a plane ticket to come visit us this weekend (which, by the way, you are welcome to do! we have airbeds and spare room), you can donate to paypal using my email address and we will add it to the total. of course we would love it if you donate directly to shelterbox, but it would be especially meaningful if you send it to us to add to the kids' total because it makes what they are giving seem greater.

if you don't have my email address you can comment here and leave your info and i'll send it to you. (don't use the email address associated with this blog, please.)

UPDATE: the kids have their own fundraising site now through shelterbox. go HERE to donate to team lemonade if you can't make it on sunday.

here's to happy lemonade standing and money raising!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


fat tuesday. i don’t usually pay attention to these things. well, in college i did. but for entirely different reasons, of course. the discounted margaritas! the free chips and salsa!

i wish i could write to tell you i’m in a place where i have thought about this day, thought about what it means for the upcoming season of lent. what i should give up, do without, to more fully recognize (recognize at all?) the sacrifice this time represents for christians.

instead, when i think of giving something up, i get grouchy. indignant. indifferent. after all, we have (mostly) given up a lot of things over the last 5 months while my husband has been out of work: wine, chocolate, dessert, shopping for new clothes, going out to eat, frequent haircuts.

yes, five months. it dawned on me last night while i was trying to get to sleep. the number five. it can seem so small. like, i have 5 girl scout cookies, and i’m going to eat them all. well, in that context 5 is such a tiny number.

but in our lives right now, five is a huge number. it’s how i looked at 5 when my oldest daughter turned 5 and was old enough to go to kindergarten. then i wondered, where had all the time gone? how could she be old enough, big enough to go to school? how could she make it all day without me?

so yes, this is like that. five. it looms over me, hangs there, taunts me. please, let it not be five more. let it not even be one more.