Gary and Nora had been married for over thirty years. They had met at a low point in each of their lives. It was at the end of college, in a depressed economy--the previous four years of uproarious "fun" having slowly ground down as they saw their friends leaving, one by one, until hardly anyone was left. The two became acquainted at the last, fortunately. Otherwise they probably never would have "settled down" together in that loose and hazy setting.
That last year they both worked at the same pizza place on campus. She had first been attracted to him because he smiled at her. She thought this meant he liked her. He did, but he smiled at almost everybody. She had thought he was older than he was--maybe because he was so tall, or because he had long hair, which nobody their age did, or because he wore strange clothes kind of like an old hobo. Upon learning his true age, she still thought it would be impossible for them to be together because of their difference in height. This did not stop her from flirting with him; and within a year they were married.
Nora kicked aside the pile of flip-flops in her way and went in the orange back door. It was cool inside. Back in Illinois she had gotten away without running the air conditioner much, but not here. She was glad for the huge old oak trees which shaded the house. Also there were lots of birds around, including her favorites from home--bluejays and cardinals. Maybe it was worth living in a "Brady Bunch" house in exchange for such luxuries.
Joe and Millie were just coming in the front door.
"Hi Mom!" Joe bellowed happily. "What's for lunch?"
"I was just about to figure that out." Nora prided herself on her ability to scrounge up a pretty good meal with no forethought whatsoever, but right now she didn't feel like it. "How about peanut butter on tortillas?"
"How about burgers?"
"We don't have any."
"Let's go out!"
"Well you can ask your dad." She secretly hoped Gary would take the boys out for a while so she could have some time to herself.