When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Sherry Farrell

This has always been one of my favorite phrases, especially now. I love that talking to you spurs me to look things like this up and find out where they originated, or who might have said them first.

I never would have guessed this one, but apparently it was used by a speaker at a funeral of a great actor born with disabilities. Elbert Hubbard, in the early 1900s, made the comparison that this actor took his shortcomings, or the "lemons," and he "picked the lemons that fate had sent him and started a lemonade stand."

Later in 1948, Dale Carnegie wrote in his book, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living," that if you have a lemon, "make lemonade." It's amazing how things unfold and come to be! I think I am going to read this book next. I worry all the time, about my family, my wonderful assistant clerks, and all of you!

It really was Stephen Lee who got me thinking about this term a few weeks back. You know, Concerts on the Common will always be one of my (and my family's) favorite things in the world.

Last week, Stephen stopped by to do a few things in our office and used this phrase as he told me about the wonderful new approach the volunteers of Concerts on the Common had to come up with for this season.

Steve said, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

They came up with online concerts and they have been a great success. They have added homey interviews to start the concerts, too. They talk about the connection to our communities each performer has. Go to Youtube/Stf4EAFocwE for more information and to to concertsonthecommon.org for an upcoming schedule.

Guess who the "surprise" interviewing guests for the band High South from Nashville is, on July 29? I'm not going to tell you! Remember, you can always make donations. Please keep our arts alive.

Well, talk about the possibility of lemons for our family this past weekend. For over a year, the first family wedding in our family among the seven cousins was planned to take place July 11 of this year, long before we would have ever thought about a pandemic.

The big decision for all brides and grooms over the past several months is, do you move forward or try to reschedule for another year? Katie and Billy knew more than anything they wanted to start their new life together. The tough part was that news reports were giving mixed information on when things might open up or not, or how safe it might be to have a small number of guests, et cetera.

Katie and Billy decided to make lemonade along with their families. The church said yes rehearsal, then no rehearsal, back and forth, no to the wedding in the church, then yes to a very small group. Then tropical storm Faye came up the coast of New Jersey. I have never seen winds and sideways rain like this before, the kind that turns your umbrella inside out.

They kept forging ahead and against all odds the skies cleared, the sun popped out and they were not only able to get married surrounded by our small family and friends inside their family church, but they even had a reception too. Not the one they planned, but a lovely one in a beautiful white tent. The caterers took lots of lemons and provided a lovely meal and it turned into a family celebration we will never forget. Lemons to lemonade.

When I was talking to my friend Ralph Langone on the drive home Sunday, Ralph asked me about the great tropical storm he had read hit the New Jersey coast. Those perfectly imperfect times are often the ones we cherish most.

Ralph lost his beautiful wife Maureen just a few weeks back to this horrible virus. May we all be as blessed as Maureen and Ralph were for 52 years together. Ralph misses her every day. He told me that 52 years means that they shared 18,980 days together.

He also shared with me that Maureen was always kind and pleasant. She brightened Ralph's life every day they shared.

My wish is that Katie and Billy share this kind of endless, unselfish love for each other and that maybe reminds us to look at our own husband, wife and partner and think about those wedding vows we shared.

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.

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