After twenty years of remote country living, it was a shock to be thrust into a hubbub of friendly, nodding, waving, dog loving, nature enthusiasts. This summer we waved to more people than the royal family.
Who would have thought that a forty-foot box with a dozen windows and a covered verandah could provide such bliss? We took the plunge and bought a ‘summer place’. A park model with all the conveniences of home, even a built-in desk so there was no excuse for me to miss a deadline.
On the first day, it was a chuckle to see my husband attempting to cut the grass on our site. Every couple of minutes someone from ‘the neighbourhood’ stopped by with a handshake and a welcome. So many people. It was like living in a fish bowl but we grew to love it.
The highlight of every day was a toot around the park in our very own golf cart cheerily greeting other tooters along the way, while waving and shouting hello to all the front porch sitters. We felt like kids exploring a new playground. And nobody kicked sand. Well, there might’ve been one or two. But there always are. Not sand kickers, really. More like playground monitors.
Being part of this community was a huge novelty for us. We met more folks this summer than we have in …well, since we can remember. Sure, people who pass by our home might wave to us, but booting along at 90 kliks, how would we know.
This particular paradise happens to have a golf course – and no, for the millionth time, we don’t golf. But we were always fast to quip, We have the golf cart, though. It’s like the villagers who said, We don’t have traffic lights but we have the colours picked out.
It’s opened a whole new world for us. Rain or shine we spent our hours on the covered verandah encouraging passersby to stop for a chat, pull up a chair, have a coffee, or flip a cap. It depended on the time of day.
After four is Happy Hour. You don’t even have to look at the clock to tell the time. People scurry up the road or zip past the flowered and groomed sites in their carts with a cold one in hand or a jumbo glass of wine and some snacks. A weekly ritual for some – daily for others. But as they say, what goes on in the park, stays in the park.
Yes, they told us, drop by for a visit anytime. If it’s after four o’clock on a Friday, join us for a drink. To which someone said, You wait until Friday and another muttered, You wait until four?
Dogs – did I mention dogs? There’s a steady parade of dog walkers with their baggies hustling past our place. Every size and description. The dogs – not the walkers. We love animals but even if you don’t, these dogs wouldn’t bother you. I’m not sure how they manage it but there’s no barking. Unbelievable. You might hear the odd scuffle – probably a visiting mutt who is being put in its place by a seasoned – or seasonal – pooch.
Yes, we’ve decided that summering on a golf course – the beach and shops minutes away – is our idea of summer bliss. Who knows, maybe next year we’ll toss a couple of golf bags on the back of the cart, take some lessons, and join our new friends on the green. Then again, sitting on the porch swing and shouting hello to passersby seems like fun, too.