Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Sounds of Summer

It was one of those first warm Saturdays when spring slowly works its way into summer. The world heads outdoors, and the sounds ensue.

The landscape behind our house — covered in a morning mist — provided the perfect vista for enjoying birds that had seemingly been quiet for months.

These sounds of summer are the very ones that central Ohioans anticipate during the endless months of winter.

And I knew that, within the hour, other familiar sounds would begin to seep into the day — sounds that would continue until the last waning moments of sunshine and finally diminish a short time after the birds had finished their evening meal.

By then, I would have migrated from the screened-in porch where I started with a morning cup of coffee to the patio and a glass of wine to turn down the day.

The sounds were predictable but never in any particular pattern. Laughter in the distance, then an occasional shout.

As the sounds grew closer, they would become more familiar.

"Fore!" was a common one. 

"It’s over here!" would be another. 

And, finally, as the din drew nearer, the occasional profanity or the echo of "Nice shot!" would distinguish themselves.

Not today, though. 

Today, those particular sounds of summer would not be forthcoming — nor would they be ever again.

Nine years ago, my wife and I became empty-nesters, and the ideal dream of owning a condo overlooking a golf course became a reality.

With real estate at its prime, we paid a premium price to secure a lot with a marvelous view of the course.

Sure, there were the occasional golf balls that ended up scattered in the backyard, expletives from the tee box that would embarrass a sailor, and random "up close and personal" exposure to the golfer who couldn’t quite make it to the turn before having to relieve himself.

It was a golf course; we got that part of it. 

We accepted the "downsides," as they were far outweighed by what we considered one of the best views in the area.

All four seasons presented us with a wonderful tableau of sights and sounds: flora, fauna and human.

When the news began to spread about the impending bankruptcy of the golf course and the potential sale and parceling of its land, my wife and I couldn’t have imagined the city of Dublin allowing such a prominent piece of real estate to slip away.

But one should never underestimate the power of potential property taxes.

And so, today, the golf course lies still. Access to the parking lot is blocked, the clubhouse is closed and the golf carts are idle.

And yet, the occasional golfer stops by on foot trying to get in one last round.

And, later in the day, I’m surprised to see the number of people walking their dogs and families strolling on greens that, in an earlier time, would have been hazardous.

The perfect park with fabulous trees, streams and ponds. The perfect central park for a community that will allow 152 acres of pristine land to be developed for 185 homes.

I used to look forward to the sounds of summer.

But now, I simply wait for the sound of bulldozers.