Saturday, September 12, 2015

Savoring summer

This was the first year that our school district started school before Labor Day. It is still hot hot hot here -- 100 degree temps (unheard of for a coastal city!), weird humidity I, a California native, cannot recall ever experiencing here, and nights that only get down to 78 degrees. It is, in a word, unbearable.

All summer long, Hank wanted to have a lemonade stand. He and BT built a playhouse out of scrap wood at the beginning of summer. As they were building it, Hank wondered if it could be used as a lemonade stand as well. BT came up with a clever way of tipping the playhouse on its side and securing the door to the (now) ceiling. They added a stand up sign, and painted most of it with chalkboard paint to make it customizable for different activities.

We were busy this summer, and couldn't schedule a day for the lemonade stand. Finally, Labor Day weekend, I said we were doing the lemonade stand no matter what. BT finished up some elements of the stand (clearing it of brown widows, adding a temporary paper cover for the sign portion that had never been painted). I made cookies,

helped Hank make the lemonade (he wanted to do it from scratch, but I convinced him he would make more profit using Country Time),

and set about cutifying everything.

Another element we added to our venture was to ask for supplies for our local animal shelter. We didn't get any donations, but thought it was a nice message that we weren't just trying to grub money from our neighbors.

Location, location, location. We are three houses in from one of the main arterials in our neighborhood. We could have moved up to the corner, but it was so hot that day that we convinced Hank to stay under the shade trees in our yard. We tried to help him set expectations -- being off the main drag, and with people staying indoors to beat the heat, he may only make a few dollars...

This lesson about commerce was completely lost. Two generous customers (one we didn't even know!) each gave him $20 -- for a Dixie cup of powdered lemonade. Hank had additional customers as well, and made a grand total of $55. Of course, he now wants to have a lemonade stand every weekend. He graciously gave $5 to his helper, who didn't seem to do much except eat the free lollipops and throw the wrappers everywhere.

It was a great experience, and we said maybe if it ever cools off again we could host a hot cocoa stand.

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