Making lemonade

We’ve all heard the adage, “When life passes out lemons, make lemonade.” This stems from an earlier metaphoric expression (in my latest phrase book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, to be sure, on page 327 in the paperback) lemon for an inferior product. Here is the excerpt:

Lemon (auto)

A lemon is an automobile which is found to be defective after it is purchased, and may apply to either new or pre-titled autos. The word ‘lemon’ in this fashion goes back farther than its usage as relating to cars. It was coined early in the twentieth century in describing any defective item. Then, Julian Koenig, a highly acclaimed ad executive, used it in his 1950s Volkswagen ‘Think Small’ advertising campaign.

In the 1970s economist George Akerloff, a later Nobel Prize winner for this work, used the term in his 1970 paper, “The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism.”

The attention Akerloff gave to the problem was instrumental in first ‘lemon law’ being proposed in California in 1980.

But a lemon as described in the proverb also means any unforeseen unfortunate circumstance. This past week, my lemon started after a visit to one of my doctors, who is, by the way, a fan of my writing. Dr. S. assured me of my great physical shape and how well I was doing on my meds. Unfortunately, that afternoon I went into my back yard to resume work on the patio area I am constructing there and did a lot of strenuous work in the heat of the day. Not a wise plan for someone subject to bouts of exertion-induced asthmatic bronchitis. Needless to say I began feeling the effects immediately, and they only worsened into the weekend. By Saturday evening I relented to visit the ER. My oxygen level was very low, my blood pressure greatly elevated  and I was wheezing, rattling and gasping for every precious breath. I was given two breathing treatments and put on an IV with antibiotics and given steroids and pain killers. I am still on regular meds but able to be at my computer some. It’s difficult to keep me down.

This morning I lingered at the TV longer than the norm and was glad I did. CBS This Morning had two guests on who peaked my interest. Rock legend John Fogerty, who formed CCR in 1960, said that one of his inspirations was Howling Wolf, a now all but forgotten best selling performer of his day who was a personal friend and inspiration of my friend, Phil Ward, (pseudonym Israel Stuart) as a child, with whom I very recently co-wrote The Prince of Kings, an exceptionally moving and revealing true story. Howling Wolf has a prominent part in the book.

The other guest was NY Times best-selling Colleen Hoover. A few short years ago she was a housewife in Texas trying to raise 3 kids in a mobile home. She just wanted to be a writer. She got the idea of writing ebooks and publishing them on Kindle, never imagining what the result would be. Her first romance novel was called Slammed. Now her venture is owned by Simon and Schuster and she makes big bucks.

Like Colleen, I used my downtime to become inspired to do this blog entry. If writing is your dream, St. Clair Publications can put you “in the driver’s seat.” Yes, that one’s in my book, too. But you can get this and all of them at or this ground-breaking work can be yours on Amazon Kindle “for a song.”



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