When Life Gives You Nasty Hose Water

I was at a church picnic last summer where everybody chipped in to put it on. The conversation was comforting, burgers were juicy, the salads were savory, and the lemonade tasted like hose water—like really old hose water, actually. The kind of hose water that has been sitting inside an old rubber tube all day long, in the blazing sun. 

The woman who had made the lemonade was a dear friend, so we all sipped politely and tried to not to think about the drink's nastiness. We would have continued this way all evening if it weren't for Sister Harvey, who was far too old to bother with tact. She turned to the lemonade maker, placed a kind hand on her shoulder, and suggested, "Sweet thing,” (she calls everybody “sweet thing,” because she’s also too old to remember new-fangled names) “You've got to let that hose run for a while before you make your lemonade! Just let it run on out!" All of us had a good laugh. We poured out the nasty lemonade and started over again.

It occurred to me that life is sometimes like that hose water—sometimes it just takes some patience before it gets good enough to swallow.

Moving to a new country can be that way, especially when you don't have your network of friends and family near. It’s not until then that we realize how much we count on them to remind us of why we're lovable or interesting or funny or responsible or whatever it is that makes us feel good. With time, though, those kinds of relationships form again in new ways with new people. And life is sweet again.