"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," we have heard that from knee high to a grasshopper, as the cliche’ says. Makes one wonder, about the sour fruit that in just California alone, produced 1.5 billion pounds in itself in 2017. The tiny fruit, that is often picked six to ten times a year, just how did it make its journey through time and history? It is the picture of summer, with itself a trademark of all versions of its nectar being brought forth to porches and landscapes across this nation. Lemons are historically first dated back to the Egyptians. in 500 AD, with other references being recorded of its passage through Spain, in 1000 CE, and the first orchard in California being dated in San Gabriel mission by Los Angeles in 1804.The tiny citrus, has been reported to bring forth Vitamin C, antioxidants, lower Ischemic strokes in women, boost immune systems, and was sought after historically by sailors to fight scurvy.

Lemonade has been a historical beverage with the cloudy type having its original lineage to the Romans.Historical accounts to Jewish traders marketing a version of it qatarmizat, and in 1676 Paris with those even carrying its sweet refreshing taste on their backs with Compagniece Limonadiers having a known monopoly of the beverage. The sour-sweet nectar became in such demand, it has become an icon in American history. Pink lemonade has folk versions of either at first a traveling circus, a young boy, in 1879 accidently dropping cinnamon candies in it. The more dramatized version that is accounted in 1857 of a circus worker accidentally dropping a ladies pink tights in it, thus strawberry lemonade made its debut.

Norman Rockwell’s 1950 picture of the classic lemonade stand, has been a classic example of capitalist principles for years. Children for decades have set up cardboard boxes, upside down laundry baskets or a card table to begin their lessons in life,in the free enterprise workings. The first to begin of such was in 1873 in New York,a boy of age ten and a store owner doing much the same, till the shops crowd caused the authorities to interrupt the marketplace gathering. It appears that Illinois is just one of eleven states that is allowed to have these backyard summer traditions, without a license or permit. The appearingly innocent sidewalk stand, has caught the eye of some bureaucrats, with a noted 2015 account of a kitchen inspection required in the State of Texas. In the hundred year history of this Americana childhood memory, it has not been immune to the perils of changing political times or pandemics. Country time lemonade set up a legal aid fund to assist those who wanted to pursue this venture in 2018, with New York being in process to make this exemption. With Covid restrictions making this national trademark of summer cumbersome or even prohibited, a bailout was even offered by Country Time due to the lack of availability, offering a stimulus check.

What has remained to be consistent throughout time, is the heart of the nation's soul that feels for those who are the most vulnerable and needing that sweetness that comes with the most sour tastes in life. Such as those who are battling childhood terminal diseases. Alexandra Scott, at the age of four set up her first lemonade stand with the vision to combat what was inside her battling neuroblastoma cancer. She in 2000, set up her first stand raising a monumental foundation of several thousand dollars, her next attempt raised 12k the following year and prior to her death at the age of 8, she had met her goal of raising one million dollars, she unfortunately passed two week after. Since that time, the charity vision has become one of the top leading fundraisers for childhood research in the nation, with millions of dollars going forth in that fight. Lemonade stands across this nation, with that same benevolent spirit, with the one cup at a time mentality, and is attributed to have helped countless children and families. It is reported in their site that childhood cancer is the leading cause of death with children in America with the statistics being staggering in ratios. For more information on how to be a part of their amazing innovative and evidence based philanthropist effort, go to alexslemonade.org People all across this nation are finding ways to host Lemonade Days to fight childhood cancer, from curbside pick up to social distancing at small events, the cause has continued, for more details contact them for details and support.

In this summer in particular, with the uncertainty and perplexing life questions, let us still remain true to ourselves, find the yesteryears aged timed truths to pass on to our greatest commodity, our future generations. Let them get sticky and have sugar all over those quarters and dimes, maybe only sell to those in our close proximity circle. It is still a memory they will cherish and remember for certain, and if possible let them pay some of it forward to those like Alex’s lemonade, or those in our own neighborhoods that have less or are in need, for that is the America that has the heart that will live on for years to come, just as the ole’ favorite lemonade.

"Our happiness is certainly mixed in with the tragedies of life. You have to find the lemonade. You have to find the silver lining in the middle of everything that happens in life." - Chandra Wilson

Thoughts from the Countryside Bench