by Lynn Cymble from North Vancouver, BC
Mar 28, 15
When I was a little girl my mom, and dad and I moved to a new neighbourhood. We lived out of boxes the first few days. The furniture was only vaguely in place. The cupboards in the kitchen weren’t stocked and we ate take-out for three nights in a row. Which was both unheard of and super fun. I liked the mess. To me, it felt like an adventure; we weren’t our usual orderly selves. We were imposters. Actors.
And maybe that’s why I did what I did. I was normally a shy child. So much so, that teachers had, on more than one occasion, expressed concerns about my social anxiety.
“She’ll grow out of it.” My mom would say.
Well, easy for her. Mom was the mixer in the family. Mom would bake her famous chocolate chip cake and invite total strangers into our home to try it.
My father and I weren’t like that. We were reserved.
So when I ran into the backyard breathlessly yelling “Mom, Dad, you gotta come out and see all the people!” I got their attention.
While they had been working on setting up the house, I had set up a sidewalk lemonade stand. I used a table that was still sitting out in the garage and put a nice blue bed sheet on it. A small box as my seat. On a piece of cardboard I wrote the drinks and the prices:
Whisky: 25 cents
Brandy: 50 cents
Business was booming. I not only had customers thrusting one and two dollar bills at me. They were telling me to keep the change.
My lemonade stand was a hit, even though I didn’t have any lemonade to sell.
When my Dad appeared my customers began slapping him on the back. He was instantly popular.
The afternoon led into the evening. My mom and dad got to meet pretty much everybody on the street. At dinner time, everyone brought something over and we had a potluck with our new neighbours. By nightfall, we were all friends.
I lost my dad a ways back, but every time Fathers’ Day rolls around, I like to get out a single-malt and fill up a plastic cup to the rim and toast him. It might not have been the most financially sound venture, but my lemonade stand paid in dividends.