When Life Gives You Lemons

I recently sprained my ankle while dancing.  I’m swollen, black and blue, the whole nine yards.  I’ve been told I’m out of commission for at least twelve weeks.  While hobbling around the garden, trying not to get dirt under my toes in flip flops (the only shoes I can wear right now), I realize how fortunate I am to ordinarily have the use of all my fingers and toes, arms, legs and other body parts.  Everything takes so much longer to do these days, but there’s something really good about being forced to slow down and focus on the simple task of walking.

Along my gimpy travels, I’ve noticed a few things:

Two of our lemon trees are in full bloom already, while the other two are still heavy with lemons, ready for picking.

The tomatoes are starting to turn colors and some are even ready to eat (I’ve had to eat a few right there in the garden so I wouldn’t have to fumble trying to get them home).  The level of excitement upon seeing almost ripe tomatoes is enough to make one forget their troubles.

The lime geranium cutting has new leaves.  It survived thanks to weekly applications of kelp emulsion.

The squirrels like camellia flowers… uh-oh.

Unlike many plants that are too far gone, grass actually comes back to life when you water it.

These may not seem like epiphanies or realizations, but they are things I most likely wouldn’t have noticed had I been moving through space at my usual speed.

In honor of the old adage, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, here is a quick and easy recipe for good old fashioned lemonade.  A fellow Gardenerd and friend at Ocean View Farms gave me the recipe several years ago.  I have yet to find a better one:

Carrie Manaugh’s lemonade:

3/4 Cup lemon juice
1 Cup sugar
1/2 gallon water

Feel free to play with the quantities, as everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to sweet vs. tart.  One of the best variations on this recipe is to add crushed mint leaves to your glass for a really good virgin mojito.  If you have a favorite way to prepare lemonade, or any other summer thirst quencher for that matter, share it with us here.

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