It’s late in June, and the Florida sun beats down on a quaint neighbor- hood. Some choose to take a dip in their cold pools; others stay inside the safety of their air-conditioned homes. On a Saturday as hot as this one, most people choose to laze about in the summer heat. Most people put down their work for the day.
Sammy was not like most people.
Fresh, sun-ripened lemons rested in his small, eight-year-old hands. A bucket of ice and water stood on the counter. His grandfather watched as Sammy made his way across the kitchen, stumbling with the weight of a pitcher of freshly made lemonade in his arms.
“What are you going to do with that, Sammy?”
“I’m setting up my own lemonade stand, Grandpa!”
There was a twinkle in Grandpa’s oceanic eyes, and he slowly rose to join his grandson on the porch.
“Can this old man be of any assistance?”
Sammy, unsure of what to make of his grandfather’s wrinkly limbs, said, “I’m in business now, Grandpa,” Sammy replied. “Here,” Sammy handed him a tin can, “Use my money catcher!”
Grandpa smiled good-naturedly at the boy. He tapped the can with his fingers. “Hmmm… I’ve not seen one of these in a long time,” he wist- fully reflected.
“Grandpa… you know what a money catcher is?” Sammy asked, study- ing the deep blue eyes peering back at his own.
“Well… I may. It may not have been as shiny as this one, but over the years, it caught quite a bit of money.”
“How much?” Sammy was looking away as he fussed about with his lemonade can.
“Well over a million dollars, I reckon.”
Sammy dropped the lemonade can. He stopped and slowly lifted his head. “Really?” His eyes blinked a few times. “How? How did you do it? Can I make that much with this lemonade stand?” Sammy asked hun- grily. “Will you teach me?”
“Maybe…” Grandpa stroked his salt-and-pepper beard. “But you have to promise me something very, very special, if you do.”
“Sure! Whatever you say, Grandpa.”
“If I tell you the story and share with you my tricks you have to promise not to keep them to yourself… you have to share them too.”
Sammy didn’t like the sound of that.
“But then, another person may sell more lemonade than me,” he whined.
“True, but you may earn something much more valuable than money by sharing it.”
That one went right over Sammy’s head. But, like most kids Sammy’s age who can shift gears quicker than a blink of an eye–he went from suspicion to excitement in an instant.
“I don’t like the sound of this deal, Grandpa… but I do want to make a million dollars…hmm….okay!”
Sammy put down his pitcher and lemonade can, crawled up and sat on his grandfather’s lap, ready formore than a story. He knew that this story could make him enough money for a new skateboard, a game sys- tem. Wow…maybe even a car (when he’s old enough to drive). And, if he paid close attention, maybe even a million dollars.
He had no idea what he would do with that kind of money at eight years old. But it didn’t matter. It sounded wonderful.