Maples at the Sonatas is usually a nice, quiet place. Visitors and newcomers often comment on it. The rest of us have come to take the tranquility for granted. But we shouldn’t. Being able to hear yourself think is a wonderful thing and all too rare.
We are a peaceful enclave, 24 acres carved from The Sonatas, a larger, separate subdivision of mostly two-story, single-family homes. But once I drive down Schumann St. into our community, I am no longer aware of those other homes. We are also far enough removed from Route 47, our nearest major highway, that we may occasionally hear sirens in the distance but never any traffic.
Here we are more rural than suburban. I can still feel the cornfields and prairie that not too long ago defined the space where our homes now stand. If you leave a window open at night, you may even hear the howling of coyotes.
Last fall, a neighbor had a surprise visitor when a fox stopped by her yard. The fox spent 20 minutes eating birdseed that had fallen from a feeder and posing for pictures before ambling off.
When the sound of honking does break our normal silence, rest assured it will be the honking of geese flying over, not the honking of cars. While there is, of course, some traffic on our streets, there still isn’t very much. We recognize each other’s vehicles and even those of the families and frequent visitors of our neighbors. Likewise, we tend to take note when a stranger drives by.
I’ve seen ducks safely waddling down my street. In fact, I too love walking down the middle of my street without a thought of being run over. Or if I’m driving and see someone I want to talk to, I can stop, lower the window, and chat without disturbing anyone.
Our only traffic jam, as far as I can remember, occurred one evening when Gary, our former construction manager, came to check on the progress of a home being built. One of his staff here had been taken to the hospital that morning. Several of us recognized Gary’s car, walked over, and stopped him to ask about Steve. A neighbor driving toward us did the same, causing a one-car back up when a third car came along. The driver of the blocked car wanted the news on Steve too, so she got out of her car and walked over to join us. Our traffic jam ended without a hint of road rage.
Yes, most of the time, it is blissfully quiet and peaceful here. But then, one day, you’ll see a couple of men using what looks like surveying equipment on an empty lot. They are “shooting grades,” a term I’ve added to my vocabulary since moving here. Grade shooting is the first sign of new construction. Soon our ducks and geese will temporarily be replaced by Bobcats and Deere.
To be continued…
During the next few months, I will have an up-close view of the construction of a new quad on the empty field across from my driveway. Rest assured, the interest/education factor of construction outweighs any inconvenience. I’m looking forward to sharing my view of the building process with you.