Finding bright moments through love and lemons

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Linda Winters smiles besides her beautiful lemon tree. The lemons she has given from that tree have made her new friends during COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Linda Winters

Linda Winters, 80, is a retired teacher who lives in the Studio Village Townhouses, and has a prolific lemon tree in her front yard. The tree, which she inherited from the home’s previous owners, provides more than enough for Winters, so she has made a habit of giving extra lemons to her neighbors.

One of her regular “customers” is a gentleman who took on the name “EB” as a short version of Ibrahim. He confided that his wife uses the lemons to make cookies, and gave Winters a huge box of cookies in appreciation for the lemons.

But just like her lemon tree, Winters knew this box of cookies was more than she could handle. So, Winters divided up the cookies, and gave half of them to her next-door neighbor, who had given her gifts of food in the past. On Friday, Winters was greeted with food from Trader Joe’s, as well as some flowers, much to Winters’ delight.

Winters also received lemon bars from another neighbor who had picked some lemons off of the tree earlier in the day. She responded with a thank you note, and asked for their phone number so that they can contact one another in the future. These encounters have been a bright spot for Winters, and shows the power of selflessness and the importance of looking out for each other, especially your elders, during this tough time.

“When this crisis is over, I will be richer for the experience and closer to my neighbors, who are now my friends,” Winters said.