Have you ever been to the ghetto? Let’s look and see what one is like. You see children running around in ragged, second hand clothes. There are houses that don’t look fit to live in with broken windows and missing siding. Look inside. There is worn out furniture, chipping paint, torn linoleum. Open the cupboard. You find barely enough food to survive a week. Is there power or water? May be if the family managed to beat the disconnection this month. This is where I lived growing up. However, I remember is playing games, laughter, and love, not poverty. My parents are the reason for this. They always turned all the lemons that were tossed their way into lemonade. They planted the seed that grew into my belief, that you can make even the worst situations into the best, most cherished memories.
I remember one time we had to move because the city condemned the house we were renting. My parents had found another house four blocks away; however, we had another problem, we didn’t have a car and it was the dead middle of winter. We lived in Flint, Michigan and winter in Michigan is an experience. There is always a foot of snow on the ground, the thermometer rarely rises above twenty degrees and usually reads single digits not counting the wind chill. We were in quite a situation!
As it, turns out the weather and my parents ingenuity were on our side. We didn’t own a car, but we did own a four-person toboggan sled. There was plenty of snow and ice on the side streets; therefore, we set out that toboggan and loaded it up. We moved everything we owned on that sled, even our furniture. I can see us now, and what a funny sight we made! The four of us all bundled up in bulky snow clothes, our rosy pink cheeks and noses barely sticking out between hats and scarves, working together to pull that sled, stopping occasionally to throw a few snowballs or slip slide on the ice.
When we got to the new house, we would unpack what we brought on that load. After we did that, we would drink hot cocoa to warm up. I can still taste it, hot and chocolaty with frothy marshmallows melting on my tongue, the sweet smell floating up to my nostrils, making me feel warm all over. After warming up, we would start all over again. I can honestly say this move was the most fun move ever!
As we grew older my parents’ financial position improved some; however, I will never forget the valuable lesson of making lemons into lemonade that they taught us when we were younger. Just because you have struggles in life, it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy through them. You just have to put your heart into it! I know this is true because some of my most cherished memories came out of some of the worst situations.
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