From The Lemonade Stand



We all know about those infamous curveballs you get from life and the saying that goes with them: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Well, step up to my lemonade stand, free of charge.

Last weekend was the end of my two week cycle for visiting Darrell in Alberta.  We were supposed to be heading back to Saskatchewan early Saturday morning, but things didn’t progress as we planned.  In the midst of an unseasonably cold snap (-45ish), we lost our cooling system in the car. [In keeping with the lemonade philosophy, it was necessary for the car to break on the same day we were going to travel instead of a couple days before.]

We turned around to go back, and headed straight to Canadian Tire to pick up and install the necessary parts.  We hoped that we could get home with no more than a hiccup in the schedule, but our day wasn’t destined to go that way.  It would take 3 to 4 days to get the parts in from Edmonton.  When we found two automotive supply stores right in town, but they were both closed until Monday, it became evident that I would not be coming home for another week.

[The growth opportunity(s) were starting to come into focus now]

There were a couple of problems: First, I had already been away from the kids for two weeks and really didn’t want to stretch it to three – it’s just too long, and I miss them!  Second, food is an issue.  Well, not all food, just fresh food.  My pantry is usually chock full and I generally have a well-stocked dairy supply in our secondary fridge in the basement.  But fruits and veggies don’t last as long, and both our girls like their raw foods.  Because we live in a rural area and neither of our daughters can legally drive alone yet, a quick jaunt to the market is out of the question.

[Even though my van sits there with a fully operational cooling system!]

This is where irreplaceable neighbours come in!  We’ve had the great fortune of being blessed with wonderful neighbours in every place we’ve ever lived.  Our current neighbours are no exception to this!  They are awesome!  If it wasn’t for them in this season we are in, we may not have been able to pull it off.  Mrs. K. (I know you are reading), “Thank you from the depths of our hearts.  We love you and Mr. K. not only for your help, but also for not making us feel small in any way when we reached out to you guys!” [I know it’s not owed – but a cheesecake is on its way!] “Thank you again for being so great about it.”

[This part wasn’t ‘lemons’ – it was some sugar.  There will be more on that part later.]

Next problem:  Our dogs!


I bring them with me when I visit Darrell, and they’re on ‘special’ food.  It’s special food because it took us an especially long time to get them converted from a dog food full of fillers to this natural, grain-free type.  We worked very hard: listening to a lot of whining and barking; and watching a lot of begging as they deprived themselves day after day, eating only the few bits of kibble necessary to sustain life.

[Those of you who are not dog people won’t understand this craziness.]

Anyway, I had only brought enough food for two weeks.  I buy locally whenever I can, so I couldn’t get their food from any of the big chains here.  It feels like all my hard work with them has gone down the tubes this week. [That one’s not a huge lemon, but it is still a lemon.]

And now, back to the car.  When we ordered the parts on Monday, the weather was wonderfully mild; but when they came in the following day, the temperature started to drop back to the sub-sub below again.  My man was out in minus 30, tearing apart the dashboard of our car. *sigh*

It was OK, accepting that I was going to be here for another week, instead of at home planning my Christmas baking and menu and getting the house organized for our company.  I thought, this won’t be so bad.  I’ll catch up on some research and writing and get my files organized for 2014.  But then my brand new computer, only two months old… yep, fried!  So much for that idea.

Then I got the text from Darrell, “Remember how at work, I suggested that we give the guys the option to work on a Saturday to make up the time between Christmas and New Year’s?  Well, that’s this Saturday.”  This means we can’t leave until Saturday night.  When we arrive, he’ll only have a brief resting period between the 7-hour drive there and back so that he can return to work on Monday.

This is on top of quitting smoking (for almost 3 months now), and needing to restock from home my supply of herbs, oils and vitamins for my daily breakfast power drink.

You can’t make lemonade without the addition of some sugar.  It’s the contrasting of the sour and the sweet that really bring this drink to life.  I already shared some of the sugar that came our way through our wonderful neighbours.  But there’s more – if I will open my eyes to see it.  I’ll share more of the sugar in my next post, but for now, it’s Saturday and I’ve got to get packed up and my menu plan organized so I can grocery shop when we pass through Medicine Hat on the way to home.

But for now, I’ll …




  1. Not my dog, I have a beagle to smart for her own good, but in searching for this song to encourage and soothe you, I found this video. I an leaving the link in hopes that it won’t embed it on the page. If it does, sue me.

    1. That was thoughtful of you, thank you! I don’t know if you know this or not, but the SPCA is one of the charities that our family supports. I thought Rumor might have been a rescue dog. Thanks again BD!

      1. We acquired Maggie Jo (combo name after my wife and SIL who was originally going to take her in) through the Shamrock Foundation. They are a non-profit that tries to discourage pet overpopulation. She was born with a litter that the farmer was going to shoot. They took them in and held them for adoption. Before they allow adoption, the pets are spayed or neutered and you are qualified as to being a responsible owner.

    1. Thanks Sweetie!! I’d be lying if I said this last week wasn’t just a teensy weensy bit challenging, but … I made it!! Darrell was funny. When he came home for lunch today, and with the snow storm for the last four days and then the freezing rain on it’s way tonight he said, “It seems God is going to upsell our Lemonade Stand. Can we all say … F R A N C H I S E!”

  2. I understand. There are times when it seems to be mostly lemons and no sugar, not squeezer, and I left the pitcher at the last pot luck at church. I am sorry for all you are going through, I will pray that the sugar comes and that the lemons go south in the winter and leave you alone for a while.

    1. Thanks RHW I appreciate that you understand. Although, I think sometimes lemons are a necessary part of life (as sour as they may taste). Your comment got me to thinking: “…that the lemons go south in the winter and leave you alone for a while.” Perhaps the way to get our lemons to leave us alone is to squeeze the life out of them, this could be metaphorical of embracing trials.

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