Momma Told Me: When Life Hands You Lemons, Don't Make Lemonade- Make Pie!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

When Life Hands You Lemons, Don't Make Lemonade- Make Pie!

This just might be my new favorite picture. Ever.

Momma Told Me: When life hands you lemons, be sure to count them. You just might have more apples than lemons!

Momma's advice really is golden because, much more than turning the bad into good, life is full of ups and downs, and it's important to know how to balance them. Let's face it, sometimes, no matter how many lemons you have, you just don't want to make lemonade. When things get a little too much to bear, instead of diving into it further to find the bright side, why not focus on the good right alongside it? Momma's biggest solution for negative thinking was always apple pie. No, no, not a literal apple pie; though I could have used a slice now and then.

You see, sometimes the not so nice things are squeezed all over the good, and it's hard to pick out the apples under all that lemon juice. It's times like that you need to stop fighting it and appreciate the pie in front of you. Life isn't perfect, if it was, I'd hardly be the individual I am today. We do learn from our mistakes, but more importantly, hopefully, we appreciate our triumphs all the more because of them. So, the next time it feels like it won't stop raining on you, grab an extra large fork and take inventory of your life as a whole. Chances are things aren't as bad as they seem!
This week is my uncle's grandmother's 90th birthday. I specify her relation for you, my readers, but to me and my family she is simply 'Grandma Bea.' She has been a grandma in my life as far back as I can remember, and I suspect she always will be. This is also a good reminder that motherly figures are not born by blood or titles, but the roles they take within our lives that impact us so very deeply. What does any of this have to do with apples, lemons, and pie?

Yesterday we drove out past Los Angeles to attend a surprise party for Bea. The event was a smashing success; many drinks were drank by all (much to the venue's delight) and several embarrassing  drunken dance moves were captured on film for the next generation. It was a great day, but it was also a reminder that my mother's mother, my blood grandma, wasn't there. Just short of a 2 years from her passing, this was a particularly poignant event, as one of the largest family gatherings since she left us. My youngest cousin cradled her newborn daughter, my other cousin is nearing the end of her schooling. Time continues to move on, but I do not think she is missed any less.
After the early morning, long drive, and ample reflection, I decided it was important for us to get out and unwind. Sabrina's (11) parents were attending a military ball, and we had to honor of entertaining her for the night. At Sabrina's request I agreed to make this journey one to a very large and popular children's arcade local to us. It was late when we arrived (9PM), but still a Saturday.

The place was trashed and the staff was lacking. As adults in a kid's arcade, with a tween, we go to places like this to actually play the games. We don't place tokens in slots to mindlessly bang on things or spin wheels. Unfortunately literally every game we approached seemed to be failing or dysfunctional in some way. We spent the better part of an hour and half chasing down a poor attendant on the game floor, waiting for him to refill tickets and clear jams. There were a myriad of other kerfuffles I was not pleased about to; two young children literally bumming tokens off paying guests while their parents watched, food being smashed into the floors as employees chatted as if it was acceptable, and the icing on the cake- paying 1800 tickets ($18) for a chintzy fiber optic lamp that did not even come with batteries and, upon arriving home, proved not to work.

I could go in depth about all of the things that went wrong with our visit, but the truth is; it was still worth it. With 20 minutes to closing, we still had a large portion of unused tokens (after all half the games were down all together and the rest were mindless simulators). Determined to make pie out of lemons and apples, I drug our group to a teeny tiny photo center where we could get black and grey 'sketches' printed for a token a piece. I haven't laughed so hard in so long, as I did forcing those last tokens away. And we have some adorable keepsakes too! Do you often overlook your apples when it's lemon season?

What Daughter Says: Making pie takes longer than lemonade, but ultimately satisfies the soul so much more!


  1. Interesting post. I think I tend to overlook my "apples" sometimes.

    And 90 years old, wow! Happy birthday to her.

  2. I love your positive outlook and the fun pictures you decided to take were so cute.

  3. I totally agree with you on this post! A couple years back on Thanksgiving it was a year in which everything seemed to be going wrong and I was rather unhappy. Instead of dwelling on all of that I forced myself to make a list of all the great things in my life, all the things I had to be thankful for. It was amazing how that little task gave me the mind-switch I needed to start making changes and smiling again.

  4. Since blogging I have been taken the opportunity to do crazy things like you mention to the exasperation and joy of my husband. As Hunter's a mind switch.

  5. I couldn't agree more! We had a similar situation on vacation once - the kids were made because we wouldn't eat dinner at a McDonalds - we went to a sit down restaurant only to find that there was no power - it was a small town and there weren't many other options. We did end up at McDonalds, the boys were still whining, then they saw a sign, "pan for gold and gems" frankly we took them just because we were sick of hearing the turned out to be the highlight of the trip. We all had a great time, we found lots of "gems" which you could have made into jewelry/keychains, and even help make. It was also relatively reasonable, and we easily spent 3 hours there. It has been over 15 years, and my kids still talk about it. Attitude is everything!