Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Have you ever noticed . . .

. . . how much vine, tendril, and pod is required to produce a handful of peas? Not to mention all of the ingredients: soil and nutrients, dried peas (seeds), temperate pea-appropriate temperatures, days turning into weeks, the cycle of sun and night, water?

This year the birds chomped and chewed up most of the pods in the top eighteen inch region of the four foot vines. I suppose I could have put up a net or a scarecrow or silver and gold whirligigs that would reflect the light. But I didn't because some writing (yes, writing) and some vegetables are for the birds.

(And I happen to like birds. Mostly.)

And it only cost me 25 cents . . .

I would say that you can't buy anything for 25 cents, except that I am certain there is a gumball dispenser somewhere that still settles for a single quarter. And probably, if you go to the grocery store, you can buy one little piece of candy from the bins and manage to pay for it and the sales tax with twenty-five cents.

Yesterday, I bought a moment of happiness for a quarter.

I was driving through a subdivision because the main road was under construction and wouldn't allow for a left-hand turn. As I curved around the church, I saw all the signs of a lemonade stand: six kids of various sizes in T-shirts and shorts, bikes on their sides in the grass, a square card table, an upside down stack of cups, and one pitcher of lemonade next to a bottle of Sprite.

I knew that my wallet was heavy with coins, so I pulled onto the shoulder of the street just past the kids, turned off the car, and started pulling out quarters.

When I walked over to the stand, they were ecstatic.

"Would you like lemonade or Sprite?"

"You can have both! We can mix them."

I asked for a lemonade and they poured it into a heavy green St. Patrick's paper cup. Before they handed it to me they announced the price of 25 cents.

"How many of you are there?" I asked. "Six?"

They nodded, and I told them that I would like to pay each of them twenty-five cents. When I handed the small pile of coins to the girl, the squeals erupted. "Whoah!"

I heard the change clank into the bottom of their money-keeping paper cup.


Their comments grew louder as I walked to the car. "Thanks so much for coming." "Thanks for stopping." More squeals.

All that and a delicious cup of lemonade in a sturdy cup for twenty-five cents. Times six. A bargain by most anyone's standards.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do lost things . . .

. . . want to be found?