20 June 2013

on lemonade stands

It was hot and muggy on that run. I recently switched to being a workout-after-work-person, and my body, it is not happy with me.

It wants to run at 5am, not 5pm—and it certainly wants to run when it's 52 out, not when it's 82 out 12 hours later—the sun roasting and broiling and boiling and other hot cooking terms through the day, heating up the ground until I swear I can feel the heat through my Mizuno running shoes.

What I keep saying is, "I just need to get my body used to this; I'm sure it won't take long."

But what I'm thinking is: Oh my stars, how am I ever going to make it through JULY?!?! We're not even to official summer yet. We're nowhere near the humidity that August will bring, and I'm already plodding along on a what-I-think-is-muggy Tuesday afternoon?

I never would make it as a Southerner, as an aside.

It was hot and muggy, and two little girls had set up a lemonade stand at the end of their driveway.

As I got closer, I saw it was actually a Lemonade and Mints stand: they were selling Starlight Mints for 25-cents each, which seems like a rip-off since I can get a whole bag of my own for 99-cents at Aldi and let's face it, those little girls might've found those mints in the back of their mother's pantry {or heaven forbid, in bowls at restaurants around town—not that I'm in the habit of assuming little girls are mint thieves}.

Every summer, I vow to buy lemonade from every little kid that I pass, but how was I to know that I would pass a stand on this out-of-the-way cul-de-sac on my run? {The girls obviously weren't thinking of their business plan very carefully; they were not in a high traffic area. Gosh, I have so many suggestions for those kids.}

Of course I didn't have money with me, and I slowed down a bit {something I was thankful to do; did I mention the humidity and my sweating yet?}, planning to tell the girls that I'd be back after my run for some lemonade.

How refreshing it would be, and it'd be well worth the—$2?!? These girls were charging $2 for lemonade?

Inflation is rough all around, it seems.

But still, what's $2 to me? I was just about to open my mouth, when I saw that the girls hadn't even looked up yet: They had an iPad set up on the table, behind the lemonade pitcher, and they were watching, I assume, a movie or TV show.

They both stared, mouths open a little bit to breathe more easily on the hot day, at the screen in front of them, oblivious of me, oblivious of their stand, oblivious of their outrageous prices.

{Perhaps they were saving up to buy another iPad so they wouldn't have to share while they were at "work."}

I picked up my pace as my head filled with the kinds of things that should be said by a crotchety old woman who hasn't been happy since Shirley Temple grew up and stopped making musicals.

Kids these days. Don't even see what's going on around them. Here it is, a beautiful day out, and they might as well be inside with their TV. Why, when I was little, we were happy to have a lemonade stand. Happy to have a chance to talk to the neighbors and give them a little refreshment. Life was better back then, and kids these days, they think they have it so good.

I couldn't believe how quickly I'd aged, just because of an iPad on a hot day. I shook my head {sweat flying out} and looked for the best in the situation {Anne of Green Gables shining through}: Maybe the girls had been out all day enjoying the weather and not staring at a screen. Maybe they had just that moment picked up the iPad. Maybe they were watching an educational video, or Anne of Green Gables. Maybe they were waiting for the dad to come home from a business trip, and he was running late, so they were using the iPad to distract themselves.

Maybe their just typical kids of their generation, staring down at their screen {like so many of us do these days—a chronic position we're in that will, I think, lead to chronic cricks in the neck as we grow older}.

I did not, I must report, go back for lemonade but it was not because of their iPad. By the time I finished my run, the only drink that sounded good was a cassis a l'eau—water with a splash of creme de cassis in it.

I felt so French as I poured myself a glass, and I felt so old-school as I brought the paper—the real, tangible, flip-the-pages paper—out to the balcony to read.

{But you know what was next to me? My smartphone. Of course it was. I believe this is a pithy place to say: Judge not, lest ye be judged.}


  1. No way, you can't be admitting to aging. That means I would have to admit to aging as well.

    Is dusk too late to run for you? I prefer either early morning or dusk.

    1. It is a bit cooler at dusk, yes, but I really am old: I have to go to bed early in order to get up at 4:40!

      My new job starts at 7:00 (and is done at 3:45, which is fantastic), and I love having the longer evenings -- but I love those longer evenings for cooking dinner and having friends over and such. I know myself well enough to know that if I don't work out right after work -- I won't work out at all that evening!

      Instead, if I let myself sit down -- even if just for a minute -- that will turn into me watching the Simpsons on the couch with a glass of wine. And who wants to go running then?



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