When I was younger I used to swim for a neighborhood team in the summer. Every morning my sister and I would hop on our bikes and ride through the subdivision behind our house to get to Ottawa Hills Cabana Club. For years we swam for the club team, hung out by the pool for days on end, and my sister even worked as a lifeguard there.
Ottawa Hills spiraled downhill faster than any of us could have expected. Around 2006 it completely shut down and everyone scattered to various other country clubs and summer swim teams.
I’ve returned to Ottawa Hills only three times since then, and each time it’s harder to recognize. I made my most recent trip today, and while there, I had an epiphany. I was witnessing the passing of time.
What was left was just a shell of what it used to be. It was no longer the place I spent my summers at, but something terrifyingly sad. The memories I have maintained of this place no longer fit with what I was seeing. The pool was just an unusually shaped grassy patch surrounded by falling fences and graffiti. The record board laid in tatters on the ground.
Time had taken its toll on a place that had once been the location of memories. I don’t doubt many of its old members remember much about this place, leaving it to rot and die as a forgotten place that’s now only home to fleeting thoughts and hoodlums.