I had a cozy little house out in the country. All my relatives came over for a Sunday afternoon get together. It was a warm July day. The place had a busy feel about it. All the windows were open, and the screen door groaned on its hinges as everybody kept going in and out. There was something going on in every room. I came across my aunts sitting around the table in the kitchen. I walked in on the middle of their conversation and got into a small argument about the way one of them had used the saying “apples and oranges” incorrectly. She seemed to think that it meant to make something look bad by comparing it to something similar but better. “Well, they’re both fruits,” she replied, when I tried to explain the mistake. It was one of those kinds of arguments that keep doubling back on themselves and everyone’s points become more convoluted and nothing gets resolved but it ends with everyone laughing.
So I walked off shaking my head and went out onto the side porch of the house. I could see that my neighbors had dug up a shaded patch of ground in their back yard in order to lay a foundation for a swimming pool. All the kids, the ones from my family and the neighbors’ kids as well, all sat around the edge of this pit, fascinated, as though they were going to be able to swim later that same afternoon. They kicked their dangling legs against the loose dirt, their flip-flops hanging by a toe. A green leaf drifted down into the pit, prematurely fallen from the branches above. The shadow of a cloud rippled through the grass in the small field between the two houses.
My cousin came along side me and nodded towards the kids across the yard. “They all became friends as soon as they heard about that pool. That’s all it takes with kids.” I smiled at that and went back inside to the clicking sound of someone stacking washed dishes in the rack beside the sink and all the commotion around the TV in the living room. It was a nice lazy day, no troubles, life flowing as easy as the breeze.