“What’re ya doing, Grandpa?” four-year-old Jennifer asked, skipping happily into her grandparents’ kitchen.
“Making my special lemonade for our company,” John replied, turning from the counter to greet his tiny granddaughter. “They’ll be here soon. Wanna help, sweetheart?”
“Yes!” Jennifer said excitedly. She pulled a kitchen chair over to the counter and climbed up, ready for another fun experience on her sleepover.
It was a warm summer afternoon. John and her grandmother, Allison, had invited Jennifer’s parents along with her older brother, Mark, and her Aunt Nellie’s family of five for a big family dinner. John was planning his famous lemonade as a surprise before-dinner treat.
“See,” John explained, “I’ve cut all these lemons in half. Now, I’ll hold each of them on the squeezer. When that’s done, can you put them in the recycling bucket for me? It will be a really big help!”
“Sure,” Jennifer said enthusiastically, happy to help her grandpa. She loved this man almost as much as her Daddy.
It took a while, but the three-dozen lemons were finally all squeezed.
John poured the juice into a big two-gallon mixing pot Allison normally used to make chili. Then he added the rest of his special ingredients to make ‘real’ lemonade. He refused to tell anyone, not even Allison, about the ‘rare and secret’ ingredients that produced the delightful and mysterious flavor. The ingredients? Just water, the juice of a few squeezed limes, some sliced lemons and oranges, and a few ounces of pineapple juice for sweetener.
Jennifer’s help this day marked the very first time John had ever let anyone in the kitchen while making his popular lemonade.
He began stirring the mixture with a big wooden spoon. Just then the phone rang. John put down the spoon and went to answer the phone in the hall near the kitchen.
Later, John insisted he was gone no more than 30 seconds.
In his absence, Jennifer decided to help her grandpa. She slid over her chair, climbed up and grabbed the wooden spoon, using two hands to stir John’s famous brew. A big smile lit up her face. Now, she was really helping her grandpa!
When John returned to the kitchen, he saw Jennifer leaning over the big white porcelain pot, one hand planted firmly on the counter, the other thrust up to her elbow in the lemonade, her arm swirling around.
“What in the world are you doing?” John exclaimed in alarm. “You’re not supposed to stir the lemonade like that!”
“I’m not stirring it, Grandpa!” Jennifer answered, her urgency revealing her considerable distress. “The spoon won’t work! I can’t get it with that!”
“Can’t get what?” John asked, confused.
“My gum!” she replied.
“Making Lemonade” is copyright 2013 by James Osborne All Rights Reserved