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Jill Eisnaugle

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Books by Jill Eisnaugle
Lemonade from Lemons – Turning Negative Situations into Positive Outcomes
By Jill Eisnaugle
Last edited: Saturday, December 03, 2005
Posted: Saturday, May 01, 2004

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Jill Eisnaugle

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An article about the power of friendship, the joys of giving and the rewards that can be reaped as a result as experienced from the author's actual accounts and personal triumphs.




 “When life hands you lemons – you make lemonade.” This ageless proverb has long served as a beacon of hope and comfort to grieving souls worn by life’s most complex and heart-wrenching difficulties. Yet, at times, we have all found ourselves laughing over the simplicity of this deeply meaningful phrase.
   When one stops to consider the deeper meaning behind the proverb, however, it is easy to identify many instances in which we all have taken life much too seriously and how believing in the principle behind this phrase has been so worthy of our understanding. In any given week, we may experience car trouble, cellular phone troubles, bad weather woes or traffic snarls. Each instance will leave us with the tendency to question why these things constantly happen to us. But, in reality, we should stop to realize that everything happens for a reason and that reason may not ever be known.

   Several years ago, I was having a bad day.
The weather was rainy and admittedly, I
was not in the best of moods. I wanted to
throw myself into a sound-proof room and
scream over the unfair conditions of the day
until my voice no longer allowed me to do
so. Angry with both the world and the
conditions that had arisen on that late March
morning, I walked in the rain to the leasing
office of the apartment community where I
lived. As I was approaching the office, I
noticed a 76-year old resident of the
complex, a woman who was a retired worker
for the Army Corp of Engineers, standing
near the trunk of her vehicle, loading
groceries into a cart.

She was terribly overburdened by complications of debilitating arthritis and could hardly walk from her vehicle to her apartment with her groceries. I had seen this woman before but had never stopped to converse with her, nor had I thought to lend my hand to her. Many of the complex residents would not help this woman as she seemed to have a poor attitude towards life and to them, acted as if she was angry over her situation. At times, I too, found myself questioning her attitude towards life but on that particular day, I chose to help her and I will never again see life in the same fashion as I once did, as the result of my actions.

    I walked over to the woman’s car, introduced myself and offered to carry her groceries for her. She accepted my offering of help and upon my entering her apartment, I was overwhelmed by the condition of it. The sinks were rust-colored and dirty. The gray carpet was covered by the mounds of brown cat fur that the woman’s cat had shed. I could not believe how anyone could live in such a condition.

  However, instead of judging this woman for her living conditions, I sat on her sofa and offered her my assistance.  I talked with her about her family and learned that her only son had abandoned her when he was twenty-four years old and that she had not heard from him since. We discussed her cat, her love of flowers and other simplistic things for about an hour. It was then that I realized this woman was neither strange nor mean, but someone who was lonely, in pain and in need of love.

     In light of our discussion, I offered to clean her apartment. I knew it would be a task that would likely take several days to complete, but it was something to which I never gave another thought.

    So, on a Monday afternoon, I loaded my vacuum cleaner, a bucket and some cleaning supplies into a wagon and headed to the woman’s apartment for the most complicated cleaning detail of my life. After every room I cleaned, I asked the woman if she wanted me to continue and with every room, I saw her smile become larger and larger. After sixteen hours of non-stop cleaning, over two days, the task was complete and the apartment looked as fresh as the day that my newfound friend had moved to it.


    I am not certain where my life would be now had it not been for that March rain shower. That day in the rain and the events that followed proved to me that everything in life happens for a reason and that within each individual is a sense of goodness. Sometimes that sense is masked due to pain, anger or some other entity, but it is there within each and every one of us.  I took from that rainy day a friendship that lasted to the woman’s death in 1998 and an appreciation for persons in pain that will last me a lifetime.

   So when life hands you a lemon, you can either toss it aside and wait for an apple or you can take life as it has come to you and make a glass of lemonade to share with others through the positive light and influences that you emit. The gift of giving always finds a way to give itself back to you – a thousand times over and only you have the ability to decide which path is best.

© 2004 – Jill Eisnaugle – All rights reserved.


Jill Eisnaugle is the author of “Coastal Whispers” – a book of inspirational poetry written to soothe the heart and soul. She resides

in Texas City, Texas with her family and pets.



Web Site Inspirational Poetry: the Perfect Gift for Mother's Day - Buy Coastal Whispers

Reader Reviews for "Lemonade from Lemons – Turning Negative Situations into Positive Outcomes"

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Reviewed by Debra Conklin 8/13/2009
I hope that everyone who reads this article (myself included) will also be a "good neighbor" and do for someone what you did for that lady on that day. God Bless!
Reviewed by Reginald Johnson 5/12/2009
An excellent portrayal of a life worth living.

Regards ...

Reginald V. Johnson
Reviewed by Holly Christine 5/4/2009
Thank you for sharing your selfless act. It's rare that you find someone willing to give their time to a stranger.

Best wishes
Reviewed by Diana Wiles 3/26/2008
What a wonderful, courageous and compassionate act! Many people may feel like helping..but many are too scared of the reception they may receive. Two peoples lives transformed on this rainy day in March...The lesson also is 'things aren't always what they appear'..This is such an uplifting piece... Love and Blessings, Diana.
Reviewed by Tankiso Letseli 1/2/2008
What a story!!! Such stories should be repeated in this world of individualism and self-centredness. You are correct, there is meaning and reason for anything that happens on or to us. We just need to figure out the meaning to that event or experience. Once more, thanks for sharing yourself and energies in touching the life of a lonely, abandoned lady. God bless.
Reviewed by Stephanie Storey-Morant 4/24/2007
Thanks for sharing this piece. There are too many days wasted when we don't take a moment to step out of our comfort zone to get to know our neighbors and possibly assist in some way. Where have all the good samaritans gone? You can learn a lot by just opening your heart. Keep writing and encouraging!
Reviewed by Hiren Shah 8/29/2005
This article can inspire others too to help those in need. In helping those in need they may get out of their own melancholy.
Reviewed by Deirdre Barringer (Reader) 10/10/2004
I'm glad you took the time to help this lady-sometimes we forget that some others are worse off than us. I know that most times people who seem to have bad attitudes are really masking pain. It was good of you not to judge her and clean her apartment for her. How quick some people are to judge without knowing the whole situation. Great story.
Reviewed by Stephanie Sawyer 7/20/2004
Exceptionally written. Jill, this is a highly effective piece and I hope you are finding lots of ways to share it in various circles. I understand the scenario exactly, and I also understand from experience the life alteration that can occur when addressing a need such as this one.
May the Lord shower you with grace for your compassion. Continue to give us heart-warming stories such as this one!
(Note: You might glance at my work "It's Gravy" on the many good deeds given to me when I was in deep need!)
Stephanie S. Sawyer
Reviewed by Julie Donner Andersen 5/2/2004
Your compassion in unmatched, Jill. This article was indeed inspiration, as only you can do. Brava!


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