No, I’m not talking about the tart summer beverage. I’m talking about the other one- you know… when life hands you lemons.
My mom and I found ourselves back in the car this weekend, heading to Washington to see her brother who continues to slip away from us. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and we were tired, and stressed, and sad, and frankly both in need of some quiet time. And so, an hour before we set out, I went searching for a Barnes and Noble gift card I’d been saving for who knows what reason. I dashed into town, parked right at the door, and walked in and straight to the audio books section of the store. I’d never bought an audio book before, but it was Sunday morning, and my library wasn’t open. We were supposed to leave by noon, knowing that we were going to face heavy traffic, so I needed to make a quick choice. I settled on David McCullough”s Truman. Why? Because he was reading it and I like his voice, and it had won the Pulitzer. Perhaps I should have more impressive reasons, but I don’t.
I returned home, loaded the car with our overnight bags, and my mom and I headed out. We had to stop for gas almost immediately because I hadn’t noticed the gauge was on empty. So, when we stopped, I turned to her and said, “I bought a book on cd. Want to give it a try?” . She had never listened to a book on cd before, but she’s a good sport and immediately said, “Sure.” I quickly unwrapped the box and popped the first cd into the slot in the dashboard.
And here’s the lemonade part. For the next two hours she and I listened quietly, smiling at each other occasionally, making quick remarks from time to time, and enjoying McCullough’s reading of his book about Harry S Truman. We knew our next twenty four hours would be intense. We knew we’d have lots of time to talk and listen to each other and my cousins. But for those two hours we just let our minds drift back in time, to the story of Harry Truman’s early years. We haven’t finished- we’re just at the part where he has finally convinced Bessie to marry him. And we were too drained on the trip home last night to continue listening. But there will likely be many of these drives in our near future, and for two hours on Sunday afternoon we made lemonade.
Thank you to the team at Two Writing Teachers for encouraging us to write every Tuesday. I can’t imagine being much more tired than I am tonight, but somehow I have more energy after writing my slice than I did before I sat down. Join the fun here.