Yesterday afternoon, we headed over to our pool club to enjoy a Friday evening among friends. It was the first Friday evening outing at the pool since September 2019. We re-up our pool membership every February and in 2020, we did this before COVID broke out. Afterward, the pool gave members the option of transferring memberships to the following year and we chose that option. We didn’t go to the pool at all in 2020. It was good to be back.
Our pool is about a 10 minute drive from the house. It is on the grounds of a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus. The grounds are sprawling. There are two large pools, with lifeguards in attendance. There is a bar and snack shop. There is a large, shaded picnic area with tables and a forest of barbecues spread out among them. There is a tennis court and playground. The kids can swim, or run around with their friends. The adults can stand around talking about their kids. It always makes for a fun evening.
Under normal circumstances, we head to our pool several times a week in the evenings when things are a little cooler. We also go on the weekends. But Friday evenings are my favorite. We get there before it gets too crowded. The kids swim. We migrate to a picnic table and begin milling around with friends. Some of the friends we saw yesterday we hadn’t seen in a while thanks to COVID.
I like the small pleasures in life. Among these are sitting on a shaded bench on a warm summer afternoon, sipping a beer, surrounded by the family and chatting with friends. I enjoy watching the kids find their friends and run around the grounds, making up games. I enjoy waiting for the inevitable request for ice cream or ring pops from the snack bar. I enjoy the smells of the different meats being grilled on the surrounding barbecues. All of this seemed more vivid yesterday than on previous occasions.
With all of the stress and turmoil (to say nothing of sickness and death) the pandemic has left in its wake, it was nice to return to a few hours of normalcy. Conversations touched on the pandemic in the past tense, but mostly, people talked about plans they had for the future: trips for summer vacations, camps for kids, sports, returning to the office, or continuing to work remotely. It seemed like we were all looking forward. We ended up spending about 3-1/2 hours there and it made for a wonderful evening. I’m already looking forward to next Friday.