The Lemonade Caper

Imagine…..Retirement- Nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it


 There are many obvious reasons to retire. Most people who decide to retire do not expect to dine at the Ritz Carlton anymore. They know their lifestyles will change and they are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

Armed with this knowledge, Tony and I set off with dreams of a lifetime of bliss and a careful plan to live on our now-limited income.

We enjoy lemonade. We pay upwards of a dollar a glass in a lot of different restaurants in Mexico, where we now currently reside. It occurred to me, one fine sunny afternoon, that this was a ridiculous price to pay for something that could be made so cheaply at home.

Never having made lemonade in my life, I needed to figure out the process. The first thing I will need, I decided, is a fruit- juicer and remembering my mother’s, a small glass thing that she twisted the lemons and oranges over, I began to search for one. I found electric ones to the tune of thirty dollars, but being the ‘green person’ that I am, I decided to forego the idea of using unnecessary electricity and find the simple hand-operated one that my mother used. Absolutely no one in town sold one.

Our friend Dwayne suggested that we walk out to Las Gobos, a famous flea market in Ensenada. He assured me it was only a little way out of town and the walk would be good for us. He said it couldn’t be more than a mile. I agreed to go. I am positive we walked one-hundred and fifty miles to get there, an opinion that is hotly disputed by many people that we know.

To add insult to injury, with my ankles and feet killing me, we walked at least another seventy-five miles around the flea market before we finally found my juicer. It even had a little plastic container screwed to the bottom of it to catch the juice. To my sheer joy, the kind lady only wanted one dollar for it. What a deal! This number fit into our retirement budget. I insisted on taking a bus home.

The next day, the doctor Tony took me to only charged us forty dollars to examine my swollen feet and ankles, but he did give me two ace bandages for free and instruct me to stay off my feet until the swelling went down.

Some time later, other friends of ours treated us to a day in the wine country. At one of the local vineyards, lemon trees, ripe with fruit, grew all over the property. The proprietor handed me an empty bag and told me to take home as many lemons as I wanted, for free. Just another plus to our retirement budget, I declared. Yippee! I picked fifteen lemons, sure that I would have to freeze most of the juice because I had enough lemons to make gallons of the stuff.
I set up my lemonade making station in my galley, very proud of myself for saving money and making the necessary sacrifices I had previously agreed to.

The first lemon…after much twisting and turning…produced about a teaspoon full of juice. Not one to give up, I kept twisting and turning, pouring more force and pressure into every lemon. Fifteen lemons later, my wrists swollen from the unbelievable pressure needed to squeeze a lemon, I had a whole cup of lemon juice.

My Betty Crocker cookbook stated that I needed one-third cup of lemon juice and one cup of water to make one serving. I did the math on this equation and found that there are three one-thirds in a cup of juice and I now had enough juice to make three servings.

The doctor that Tony took me to the next day only charged us forty dollars to examine my swollen wrists, but he did give me two free ace bandages and instruct me not to use my hands until the swelling went down.

Tony did his own math and found that our three glasses of juice only cost us eighty-one dollars, plus the bus fare.
I do not have a choice but to agree with Tony that he will be happy to buy me a glass of lemonade whenever I want one. As soon as my wrists are not swollen anymore, I will be able to lift that glass to my mouth.


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