In spring we get lemon drops. Lemons fall from our tree, covering the ground with a carpet of yellow topped with white blossoms. The scent is yummy!
The other day my husband shook the tree to help speed up the dropping process, and we got a tall kitchen garbage can full of fruit.
The good news is, dropping blossoms means less fruit next year.
The bad: you can hardly tell by the look of the tree that so many lemons went away. We’ll be picking up lemon drops for a good while yet. This year the fruit is uber-plenteous but undersized. Not worth squeezing or even slicing for a jar of lemon-infused ice water. Almost key-lime size.
Another bad: the abundant blossoms cause a super-size need for kleenex and Claritin. This winter we have been blessed with awesome rains. Which in turn causes an awesome blooming desert with great potential for not-so-awesome allergies.
That’s the 101. A learning curve for those who look at our citrus trees in bloom and oh and ah about the scent in the air. They are gorgeous in bloom, and most years I put plenty of squeezed potential in the freezer. My family loves lemonade, and who doesn’t love a lemon meringue pie?
Lemon Meringue Pie
Other than this year, the year of lemon lemons (like a car that’s a lemon?), we usually have beautiful, unblemished fruit in spring. Just right for meringue pie stacked high with white, fluffy egg-white goodness.
While I can’t claim any fame in the kitchen, I do have a few favorite recipes I’ve collected over the years. This pie went on the list because it’s not, well, too lemony. You know, when every bite makes you blink and wish the recipe hadn’t called for quite so much zest. I love lemon. I just love it sweet and “saucy.” Saucy as in giving a promise of vibrancy, but holding back just a little.
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When Life Drops Lemons
Unfortunately, as you can tell by the 101 on lemons, sometimes a tree drops too much fruit that is too small to make lemonade.
My son wrote this one year after a stroke tore through their young family like a tornado.
I have been thinking back to the day I was to leave the hospital after my stroke. The physician’s assistant was in to give me my discharge papers. I don’t remember much about her visit, but I clearly remember when she left the room. She stopped, she turned around, and she forcefully said, “You’re very lucky. Not very many people walk off of this floor.”
Can you imagine hearing that when you’re barely 29 years old, have a young wife and two little boys, of which the youngest is less than 2 months old? Can you imagine the thought of spending the rest of your life as a cripple? And the evening before some friends came and sang to me. Can you imagine?! I thought I was young and spry and the one to be going and singing to others and here I am lying in a hospital bed wearing a despicable hospital gown and my friends are singing to me!
O! how small and helpless I felt and have felt when I think about that instance! No longer invincible. I am actually quite mortal. I had to fight back the tears. And to think that many people don’t walk off of that floor. Of course, most of the people on the stroke floor are quite a bit older than I was, but still…
At times life brings us to a crossroads.
Am I going to follow where Jesus wants to take me, or am I going to leave the encounter a cripple? Jesus came to heal the sick, the hurting, the maimed. He can’t help those that think they’re doing fine. As I am brought face to face with the needs in my life, am I able to do whatever it takes to make it right? To let God have full control? Am I going to let the Lord heal me so I can walk out of there? Or am I going to nurse my hurt and have to be wheeled out on a wheelchair? Will I have to use a “crutch” the rest of my life?
As I write, I think there must be a Bible verse that applies, so I open my Bible app and type ‘leap hart.’ It comes up with Isaiah 35:6. Read the whole chapter, it is inspiring! The passage speaks of the blessings Jesus has in store for us, and the highway that is for us to walk on.
My son could be overwhelmed with lemons right now. Instead, he turned to Jesus, and let Jesus turn the lemons into lemonade. Their lives are so blessed. Again living the normal American Dream of work, play, worship. Medical bills.
But so blessed.
Because it could have been so different.
They have chosen to walk without crutches. To leap like a hart to the waterbrook.
They are thankful in spite of lemon drops.