“Friends are a warm yellow sunshine in life.”
Oh how a shining yellow sun in the sky reminds me of my dearest friends! Evelyn and Anne, I remember our days together like they were yesterday.
We were lucky. All three of us attended Lock Haven Catholic Elementary and our neighborhoods were lined up right next to each other along the street; one, two, three just like that. We always met at my house because my neighborhood was in the middle. When summertime came and we had a break from our studies, we made lists of all the things we would do together and a recurring item was our lemonade stand.
We gathered around the kitchen table and Mother would help us make up a pitcher of lemonade, and we put some real lemons in because Mother said they would make it look more fresh. Then we would draw up a sign with colored markers and we always used the name “Evvy and Ellie and Annie’s Lovely Lemonade,” even though no one really called Anne by “Annie” but it sounded better with mine and Evvy’s nicknames. Mother would help us unfold a card table at the bottom of our driveway and we would each carry out a lawn chair from the garage and sit at our stand. Evvy always taped the sign to the front of our table while I set up some paper cups next to the lemonade pitcher. One time Anne wanted to hang our sign up but she was having trouble with the tape and ended up taping it upside down. The three of us laughed so hard that we started getting hot because the summer sun was already so bright on our faces.
Anne even had little beads of sweat gathering on her forehead, and she said, “Hey let’s each just have a cup of lemonade for free, it’s okay because we made it.”
She reached for the cups but Evvy playfully swatted her hand away, saying, “No Anne! If we drink the lemonade then there won’t be enough for our customers!”
“Plus we won’t make any money!” I added.
Thinking back now, our days at our lemonade stand say a lot about each of the three of us. Anne was always the ambitious one, the one who came up with the best ideas but sometimes didn’t think things through; Evvy was reserved and kind-hearted, the thoughtful one who wanted things to be fair for everybody; and I, the planner, I did well with my studies and was always trying to figure out how to learn more.
We would bring out coloring books and crayons so we had something to do to pass the time, and we’d talk about the cutest boys in our classes and giggle nervous giggles, like they could hear us. But oftentimes the minutes that went by while we waited for customers felt hours under the summer sun, and we’d retreat to our own activities. I read books, I would carry them outside by the pile. Anne began collecting small pebbles that she found where the driveway met the sidewalk and she’d arrange them into shapes on the table. Evvy just sat patiently, looking up at the clouds or glancing down the street to see if anyone was coming.
Me and Evvy and Anne, we were something special. When we got older we would meet for lunch at a café that had outdoor seating, and if the weather was nice we would sit outside and each of us would order a lemonade to drink. The warmth of the sun was pale in comparison to the warmth of being with my two most wonderful friends. I would tell them all the details about my new job, and Anne would absentmindedly pick her straw wrapper into tiny pieces and arrange them into shapes, and Evvy would smile often and glance up at the clouds. No matter where we were in our lives, we were three best friends and that was unwavering.