Holliday Park…It’s Believable & Very Beautiful

Unbelievable – that’s what people say when you tell them your Holliday Park story. When doing a bit of traveling, because of our great Travel Club or when traveling on our own, if we engaged in conversations about our lifestyle here at Holliday Park, the reaction is one of disbelief. Once when a friend invited us to join them at their time-share, this is how it went.

Picture this. It was the common scene: man sitting on a bench outside a group of stores holding bags of “can’t live without” treasures, looking bored. Another gentleman approaches and asks if he can share the seat.

Their dialogue begins. “Nice weather.”

Yes, it’s always nice weather in San Diego. That’s why we moved here. Where are you from?”

Michigan. Weather like this we get maybe 6 or 7 days a year, if we’re lucky.”

So what keeps you in Michigan?”

Well, being born in Detroit and raised in Garden City…it was rural back then. I guess it’s all I’ve ever known. I like this retirement though. My wife and I are experiencing California for the first time thanks to a good and generous friend with a time-share here.”

You think you’d ever consider living here in California?”

Oh no, it’s too expensive…way too expensive for us.”

So what does it cost you to live in Michigan?”

Well I pay a $308 a month carrying charge in the Cooperative where I live just outside of metro Detroit.”

What the heck is a cooperative? Is it some kind of commune…like a hippy place with shared washing machines and vacuum cleaners?”

No, no, no; a cooperative is a corporation where every member has one share, one vote in the everyday working of the system. First you buy out the vacating member. Might cost you anywhere from $23,000 for a 1 bedroom ranch to $44,000 for a 2 story, 3 bedroom if you need more room. Then you have a monthly carrying charge. For my two story, two bedroom, it’s $308.00 a month. That covers the maintenance on the inside stuff, like your stove, refrigerator, furnace, garbage disposal, water heater. Also included in that are the property taxes, insurance on the structure., grass mowing and edging plus 2 things you probably never think about here – snow removal and the heating bill. Since I retired I’ve not had to repair leaks, unclog a drain, fix a faucet, or replace a garbage disposal – it’s all taken care of. That’s why I’m here, without a worry, spending my extra cash in your lovely town.”

There’s something you’re leaving out, something you’re not telling me, the man said, What’s the catch?”

 “I know it sounds like I’m leaving something out, but honest, I’m not. In the last 6 years we have had new roofs put on, new siding, new furnaces, additional attic insulation put in and there were no assessments like in a condo. We have a Board of Directors and they set aside funds until there is enough to cover the expense of the project. Pay as you go, they call it. Our next project will probably be window replacement. It’s been awhile, plus they have made great improvements in windows. The carrying charges haven’t varied more than a few dollars since I’ve moved in and that’s due the varying price of the natural gas that the coop purchases for our heat.”

We’ve got a beautiful heated swimming pool – of course we can only use it from Memorial Day to Labor Day but that’s OK. Living there allows many members to escape Michigan winters and have a place in Florida or Arizona. Snowbirds, we call ‘em.”

Oh, here comes my wife now. Hon, this guy thinks I’m pulling his leg. How much is our monthly carrying charge at Holliday Park?”

It’s 308.00 a month; why do you ask?”

The man looked at both of us and shook his head, muttering something about “old hippies – they must have smoked too much funny stuff. Unbelievable! Thanks, but I’m not buying it!!”

**  If you’d like to see the “real bricks and mortar”  amazing cooperative”…come to Greeter’s at the Clubhouse on Saturday’s from 11-1:00 p.m. (except for holidays).




The 4th Walk-About Yard Sale held on

SEPTEMBER 15th from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Holliday Park Town Houses Cooperative

34850 Fountain Blvd in Westland, Michigan was a


We would like to thank everyone who visited us

for bringing your incredible energy and positivity

to our community.


heartfelt and MOST SINCERE THANK YOU for

not only creating beautiful and festive displays of

your unique treasures for our guests to peruse

and purchase…..

but for your

wonderfully contagious, gracious and happy

hosting of all the attendees

who joined us for this activity!


are what makes our community a place in which to


~thanks so much from the Walk About Yard Sale Committee~

 Check some of the pictures from the sale: 


When you live in a cooperative, there are always a plethora of opportunities to socialize with interesting people. Members with varied interests, hobbies and work experiences such as professors, lawyers and newspaper staff writers, teachers, bankers, artists, musicians, advertising execs and computer guru’s; all of whom bring their unique qualities to this community.

The close proximity to each other is certainly a catalyst for interaction, but there are many ways to meet far more members than just those with whom you share your immediate space. The lay out of the sidewalks which encircle this community are not only the perfect “one mile walk” or more, for those who like outdoor exercise; they are also a great connector to the clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, and to the area shops and restaurants which are in close proximity and easy walking distance.

Often, members gather on their patios for morning coffee and good conversation, when weather permits, and everyone, including passers-by, are always welcome. Others love to garden, and spend time planting seeds and nurturing their green spaces with every kind of flora…intended to garner “oh’s “and “ah’s “from onlookers, and create sanctuary-like outdoor spaces.

While tending such a front garden with great regularity one hot, dry, summer day, a passer-by commented to me that although she had frequently seen me engaged in weed pulling or prevention, lawn watering and the like, she had never really seen an upright person. We both laughed at that the imagery of someone constantly bent over, and then engaged in a funny and comfortable discourse on the fragility of hydrangea in too much shade, and the tricks of Mother Nature, when perfection with some planting is “almost” achieved.

A few days went by, and we spoke again, having met while walking down to get the newspaper just around the bend on Fountain Blvd. Many members deliberately walk to the paper dispenser to encourage a walk, rather than have it delivered and remain in a state-of-idle-couch-potato-ship. On that occasion, she and I began discussing our careers, and the changes the computer had exacted, both positive and negative.

She is an advertising executive who loves to design ad’s and play with fonts of every kind. I designed windows for businesses, or did when budgets allowed personal hands-on at bricks and mortar stores, but I’d taken my talents to online web sites where opportunities were now limitless.

While walking, we shared more likes and commonality. Both avid gardeners, we swapped information, plantings, Preen (to keep weeds invisible), and secret gardening tips, learned from as many failures as successes. When one of us had more than enough rose buds, the other would find some hung in a bag from her front door knob, wrapped in whetted toweling to help it survive until the recipient had found it.

Time flew by, and colder weather came. We decided to go to the monthly Member-Board dialogues together to stay informed and learn about volunteering opportunities where we might be able to lend a hand. This became a habit, and on those walks to the clubhouse, we both shared advice for assisting our aging parents, where to get a great discount on designer shoes, how often “free cookies” are offered at the nearby Max & Erma’s, and why you shouldn’t eat too many of their fried pickles (oh so good).

Over the next two years we started a Friday Movie Night activity. It was so much fun to time the smell of freshly popped corn with the start of great movies that were special, motivating and uplifting like the “Bucket List” and many more. She baked amazing treats, and we both brought special items for decoration to give the Movie Room ambiance that changed with the season.

Often, her sister pitched in, along with Board Members and other friends we both knew. After several years, we passed this task on to others, but still shared so many other interests. We volunteered to start a Yard Sale for the community, and continue to assist whenever the event is held. She delivers information sheets to the Lot Representatives and we both help deliver the Board Newsletter, when we’re needed.

This friendship of ours has grown to the point where her daughter (who looks just like her) is “family” to me too. We’ve laughed, worked, walked, gardened, cooked, voted, argued over whose most recent Kindle book was the best read, and drunk enough coffee for five women.

Many members of this community including us, of course, now have, with very little effort, the kinds of relationships that add to the quality of our lives. Often, in a community, people do not get to know each other, and of course, that is always an option. A cooperative, however, is a place of “special connection” because we all volunteer. You may remain a very private person, if you wish to do so. I choose not too. Instead, I planted the seeds of friendship and have kept the weeds away (by not discussing politics, religion, or which scented dryer sheet smells the most like fresh air).




Spotlight on TWO Unique Destinations

In the recent past, dear readers, posts have been created that attempt to enlighten you with regard to those places and spaces that exist unobtrusively, and yet, when encountered make a “lasting impression”. Whether the offering of these places is great food, unusual and moving ambiance, cultural stimulation, inspiration on some level, or even personal reflection; if you glean any one of those things, or more, all the better.

It has been mentioned before that our cooperative, Holliday Park, is centrally located near major freeways that lead to every kind of metropolitan and suburban event and experience. This is the main reason for my destination enlightenment, and in that spirit, here are two more destinations to add to your own growing list.

Russell Street Deli has more than fantastic comfort foods, it has a presence about it that is undeniable. It’s been a favorite destination of Eastern Market attendees and food aficionados from all of the surrounding counties, and beyond, since 1989.

The exterior is bathed in a cheery grass green paint. Even the quaint canopy which shades the large front windows is this wonderful “wake-up” color, and it draws you inside. Early risers are welcomed at 7 a.m. on weekday mornings, (8 on Saturdays) and this bustling, busy, happy place offers and eclectic mix of six different kinds of 3 egg-omelets, smoked sausage, double smoked bacon, pancakes and french toast.

Luncheon specialties are served along with vegan, meatless or classic soups, salads, a variety of 12 scrumptious meat sandwiches, including honey roasted turkey, pastrami, corned beef, chicken and apple-wood smoked ham or you can “build your own style sandwich”, if you wish.

The pride and joy of the Russell Street Deli is their incredibly fresh, healthy and tasty house-made flavorful soups which give this local eatery its stellar reputation. Recently, Molly Abraham, writer for the Detroit News, gave a glowing review to Russell Street Deli stating that the kitchen has a revolving repertoire of nearly 100 unique and flavorful soups. Loyal customers rave about the sweet potato bisque, Rhode Island or New England clam chowder, and Molly’s favorite, Caldo Verde, a classic Portuguese soup with potato and chicken.

Truly, the remarkable flavor comes from talented and capable cooking along with their earnest effort to use and incorporate the very best ingredients which come directly from the farmer to their kitchen through the vendors at their neighbor, the Eastern Market.

The portions of food are generous and a cup of soup is really “bowl size”. The prices are very fair. The line of hungry patrons often stretches down the block, but it moves very quickly. They close at 3:00 to begin baking breads and preparing for the next days menu.

** What makes Russell Street Deli that special destination that puts it at the top of my list? Certainly the enormous selection of well prepared foods is a major criteria for my praise. More than that, there is a palpable “warmth” at the deli. It’s the experience of entering a place where laughter and positive energy flow, as you slide into your seat and make yourself decide what mouth-watering meal you will indulge in, with all the gusto it deserves. You’ll see eastern market shoppers who’ve worked up an appetite and discovered this fabulous eatery by accident, like we did. People from all over the city and “burbs” come in and are more than happy to advise you on how to build-your-own supreme sandwich, or pick an unforgettably tasty soup that is only available at this taste-mecca.

The staff is friendly, menu-knowledgeable, engaging, and gracious. They work hard to please, and acknowledge everyone with an infectious kindness that leaves a smile on your face, long after you’ve left this vintage eatery at 2465 Russell Street in the Eastern Market neighborhood, and you find yourself making a promise to return, and soon.

The TIPPING POINT THEATER is our second unique destination. It makes an impression of a different kind because it addresses another societal need… moments of pure entertainment through the cultural stimulation of attending a “live play”.

Attending live professional theater is exhilarating. The audience gets to experience an artful collaboration between authors, producers, directors and actors; view the artistic content from the production team (set designers, costuming, musicians, lighting and sound effects people); and feel the reacting mood of an intent, fully engaged and enthralled human audience.

For Holliday Park’s numerous culture seekers and everyone with that intent or an inquisitive nature,THE TIPPING POINT THEATER, 361 E. Cady Street, in nearby downtown Northville, less than 20 minutes from the co-op, is the perfect destination. Each season, this non-profit and newly incorporated professional equity theater group strives to produce at least five extremely relate-able plays for adults and a childrens’ performance too. Beginning in September, the 6th Season offers these plays: Death Trap, Ordinary Days, Looking, Mrs. Mannerly, I Hate Hamlet and Sandbox 2012.

Dramas, comedies, musicals and mysteries are performed during the season and each one is presented under the direction of James R. Kuhl, Producing Artistic Director and his staff.

** What makes The Tipping Point a special destination? There is a very pronounced inference in this very well-loved theater’s name. Every offering from The Tipping Point, has within it, a strategic moment or moments when the character’s life changes forever....whether they become more understanding, take an action that cannot be undone, make a commitment, find inner-strength, solve a challenging problem or give in to pride or passion. No audience member leaves a performance without witnessing “ a pivotal moment” and the repercussions it creates.

Also, by being seated “in the round” as an audience in this small and intimate theater, each member of the audience feels very much part of the story. You surround the actors. There is no stage curtain and very little scenery. The performers enter and exit the stage by walking into the audience(your space), which brings a feeling of “oneness” and this makes these moments personal and special.

Before or after the performance, many of the attendees, myself included, dine at the local excellent eateries that are close to the theater such as Rocky’s, or Poole’s Tavern. The need to talk about what you’ve just experienced and satisfy your hunger, is all part of this “theater-going experience.

For anyone who wants a night of magic, and to be totally absorbed by actors and actions beyond your own everyday life…which is what theater is all about...experiencing this destination, The Tipping Point, should be a “must-do”, and sharing this special activity with others brings you closer to the people you enjoy and appreciate.

Living at Holliday Park or in the area, the theater and the deli are easily accessible once you find out about them. Well readers, now you know. Engage, enjoy and watch for more “Unique Destinations” to come.



Friending – Social Interaction

When you’ve lived in a place that has met and exceeded your expectations for an excellent home, as I have, it’s only natural that you develop a sense of entitlement about it. You’ve made the bright and welcoming interior space a haven, and the exterior gardening space has your special touches too. The neighbors have become friends over time, due to the common interests you share by volunteering for the diverse and interesting  cooperative tasks. There are many opportunities to truly interact socially, through committee work, by joining clubs, traveling together and the normal events that occur in day-to-day living.

Over the years for my family, the neighbor next door and her family became close personal friends. We looked out for each other, had picnics, celebrated birthdays, attended monthly meetings of the membership and the Board of Directors, swapped recipes, cut fresh roses to share, gave advice when asked, and avoided only two subjects, politics and more politics. My husband,children and I thought of this wonderful person and her three grown children and grandchildren as extended family.

One essential element that brought us very close was her incredible talent as a chef. She created most, if not all of her cuisine, from “scratch” and shared it with us, her own family, the Maintenance Staff, mail carrier, and everyone and anyone who might be hungry.

Over many savory treats such as zucchini fritters, hummus and avocado toast and every kind of entree and dessert, we shared our history, laughed, vented, entertained and embraced our various commonalities and even our differences. It was such a perfect fit, this family to family relationship. In all those 15 years, there was never a dull moment from weddings to anniversaries, promotions, new cars, holidays, graduations and the list goes on.

Life was perfection. Well, it was good and we took it for granted, not by intention but by comfortable habit. Then, in the natural order of things, we lost her to a sudden illness. All too quickly everything changed for her family and for ours. A feeling of uneasiness fell into the space where harmony had thrived for a very long time.

Within six weeks, a stranger came to claim the empty unit. Along with this tiny lady, came noises, and unfamiliar faces, and voices which were new to us and unsettling. At this same time, my family member was diagnosed with a serious illness and it seemed as if our perfect lives were now forever upside down and backwards.

Coming home from the hospital to arrange a nurturing space for my now convalescing mom, my heart was heavy and I could barely speak. Nevertheless, the stranger from next door came right up to me and introduced herself. I was in tears and she touched my hand and said, “what is wrong?” Out came words I could not stop….”my mom has cancer”, and I don’t know how to help her”.

The stranger/new neighbor said to me, “my dear, I am a two time cancer survivor, and I can help!”

She meant it. When mom came home the next day, she rushed over with flowers, and was gentle in telling my mom not to fear the big “C”. Over those next weeks and months of radiation which mom endured, this new neighbor helped us find ways to stay positive, get educated in new foods and healthy ways to boost her declining immune system and she kept us all laughing with stories of her own battle. Cancer is not funny, but she showed us that positive behavior and humor, plus a desire to survive, organic and non-processed foods and prayers, can achieve success. Her four sons and their families, became the “new familiar faces” in our lives. This person, ironically, had been a chef, and her need to “feed everyone” never ceased to amaze us all.

On Christmas Eve, every year, this little dynamo had her whole family over for a huge dinner and gift giving, followed by attendance at midnight mass. By five in the morning, she was up and packaging all kinds of special dishes such as roast turkey, chestnut dressing, mashed potatoes with chives, breadcrumb coated and baked asparagus spears, chocolate-dipped pears and strawberry tarts. These delicious creations were placed delicately in big brown handled bags, and carted to her waiting car. Off she went to make sure that those who might be hungry, had a very good holiday meal. The rest of the year, she would volunteer at our local hospice, drive with a partner on her co-op Night Patrol assignments, and help families who had lost a police officer, because she too, had lost a son in the line of duty.

Mom got well, and our family grew in numbers again, by weddings, births and the embracing of this new neighbor, her grown children and their little ones.

When I recant these events to friends and new members who’ve asked about life at Holliday Park, the ironic and fortuitous coincidence of the similarities between our first fantastic neighbor, and the incredibly kind and generous second person who came to us years later, it does seem as if fate has been very kind.

Still, many of my other friends and neighbors at the co-op are close with their neighbors too. Many members have regular Lot Party events, play cards at each other’s homes and gather for dominoes parties, yard sales and pot luck dinners on random occasions.  Some travel together all over the country and the world, and others have found places near each other in “Snow Bird Land”, and continue their great friendships in warm weather destinations for at least 4 months a year.

What brings people together here? Is there something special in the air, or the water? Is the fact that in a cooperative, members work together for the benefit of all, the reason for the great regard with which many members treat each other? All I know with absolute certainty is that if you seek true friendship, it is available at HP.




Thursday Night Euchre

When the chime sounds at 7 p.m. sharp, you need to be in your seat and ready to play! Thursday night is Euchre night at Holliday Park. Oh what fun.

The faces change from week to week. Stuff happens…not feeling well, grandkids visiting, working late, or gone to the cottage. From time to time, most players return and new people occasionally join. New residents find us eager to welcome them. Char and the ladies do a good job of sharing information about absences. Friendships, connections, and bonds develop with those you know from euchre.

Each week, outside activities and appointments are planned around the card game that nobody wants to miss. The conversation, camaraderie, challenge, and competition are the attraction for many, but you’d be surprised at how many of the men play to satisfy their sweet tooth! In the best spirit of cooperative living, the participants provide a snack to share. As legend has it,  a rule established many years ago held that the winners from one week were designated to bring the snack next week. No surprise that so many residents enjoy baking and mixing, or are willing to shop for goodies. Our fare varies by the week, but there are cookies, cakes, pastries, candy, pretzels, hot chocolate and more. Generous winners share pizza, salads, chicken, subs and sandwiches. Sometimes the food is as much fun as the cards, a little surprise each time!

In addition to the weekly events, Char and the ladies are known as those that know how to throw a party! Just for the fun of it, the group held a recent Monday Special Night. Pizza and salad were graciously provided by the club, a round of cards was played, and then came karaoke. Some great singers, one clumsy dancer, and fun hosting by Al Grimm, made for a memorable occasion. The evening was similar to our regular night of cards, but just a bit jazzed up and so much fun.

We do have rules, but they are not as strict as many other euchre tournaments. Come every week, once in a while, or just once to give it a try. Newcomers are welcomed with stories about Holliday Park living, what to expect, and other social activities.

At Holliday Park, the Thursday Night Euchre Club is like a secret club that everybody knows about and enjoys!


About ten years ago, it occurred to me that my living environment no longer met my needs. Being in real estate as a profession, I always found myself to be consumed with Home-o-logy, the act of finding a home, in every sense of the word, for my clients, friends and extended family. Having my own large family, home meant having a big space, with good bones such as large open rooms, storage, a well functioning kitchen with a pantry, and enough bedrooms for the kids to both inhabit and express themselves, which they did with great energy and effort.

For me, at that time, the kids had gone off to college and beyond, and the desire to down-size was becoming more urgent. I both wanted and needed to relieve myself of not only property taxes, which kept rising, and kept life real; but also the very large space that needed constant care. Being a perfectionist, the care-factor was always nagging at me, along with repairs and maintenance of the exterior landscaping. One stormy night in October, when a huge tree in our back yard blew over, I knew it was time for a change.

A knowledge of the housing market gave me an advantage over others who were looking for a wise investment along with their list of “must haves”. The housing bubble was about to burst, and I had to consider selling my home while I could get top dollar and then investing cautiously in housing that would not only hold its value, but remain a stable commodity in the future. I was determined to keep my living space roomy, affordable, comfortable and also manageable, to allow time for other pursuits. I wanted to be able to travel frequently, without worrying about my home. Trusted friends told me about the many amenities and excellent location offered by Holliday Park Townehouses Cooperative.

I put my house on the market and went to the cooperative to fill in an application and apply for membership. After seeing the larger, 3 bedroom Fenwick style which my friends had picked and that they were very happy with; I decided to get a one bedroom ranch style, which was the perfect size and had an open floor plan, *number one on my “want list”. Within six weeks I had sold my house, and had received a letter from the Membership Committee at Holliday Park, approving my request to become a member. It wasn’t long before an Allerton Unit (one bedroom) became available. I had only about 60 days left before I had to vacate my home, so having an opportunity to make an offer on a unit was a blessing.

The experience was incredible for me. From the moment I stepped through that front door, the unit enveloped me. It was spacious, welcoming, sunny and bright. The main living area, 19X4X12, would easily accommodate my big curved sectional sofa that seats 6 people, as well as the library bookcase/ TV wall unit/computer desk that is the hub of my work and social life. An enormous window looked out upon the main street, with a view of the beautiful Nature Reserve that borders the co-op on three sides. The parking was lot near by, and a sidewalk led from it directly past my back door.

The kitchen had *number two on my “want list”. The gallery style is very efficient with more than enough counter-top work space, beautiful oak cabinetry and #2 …a huge pantry with long, deep shelving. As a baker, soup maker, and amateur gourmet chief, I found the perfect location for my food-prep equipment and all the spices, cook books, gadgets and staples I would ever need to have on hand. Across from the pantry was another closet for whatever you might need to store. The entryway too, had a deep coat closet, and the hallway contained yet another storage/linen closet with ample shelving, *number 3 on my list.

The dining alcove was deep and wide enough to fit my big oval table * number 4 on my list,  and over-stuffed armless parsons chairs. A beautiful chandelier hung from the ceiling at the exact center of the space. I instantly knew that I too would want a chandelier and perhaps a mirror to reflect all that wonderful natural light that permeated the space.

As I stood in the kitchen looking at the living room and out that large window, I saw activity. The view was like looking at an Edward Hopper painting of people engaged in the activities of life, sometimes vigorous, sometimes serene. I fell in love with that view, and the deeply warm feeling that came over me. I knew that in this place I was at home. There would never be any opportunity to feel cut off from the world in such a warm and engaging community of viable, fully-engaged members.

The bedroom too was well lit and spacious. It provided the perfect setting for my huge bed and over-the-top pillow collection, numbering, well, too many pillows to mention, and the accompanying armoire and end tables. A large window was positioned perfectly to allow those all-important breezes, while leaving adequate wall space underneath for my french provincial headboard. I felt as if this Allerton was made specifically with my lifestyle in mind.

A fully tiled and paneled basement, all in white tones, further enhanced the cheeriness of this unit. It had a half wall that compartmentalized what for me would be an exercise area, away from the living/could-accomodate-a-guest area. I could visualize myself working out on my tread-mill, then flopping in a big comfy chair to watch a movie or read. In that half wall area, and also under the stairs, cabinetry was built in for yet MORE storage. A separate laundry room was tucked in the back corner and contained the water heater, furnace both of which took up very little space. Smart planning and great architectural talent was obvious in this unit, and also in the Fenwick, I had seen.

It did not take a lot of thought to know that this end unit, this Allerton, was right for me. Two other times in my life, I had that feeling of being “home, and on both of those occasions, I had been very content.

Fast forward to today, 10 years later, and I have traveled all over the world, mainly with the Holliday Park Travel Club. I’ve seen the Kremlin and Red Square in Russia, I’ve had chicha, pasteles and yerba mate tea in South America, and the list goes on and on. The built-in mail slot in my front door, keeps me from having to worry about correspondence and bills while I’m away. Neighbors, Community Watch and the volunteer Night Patrol, look after everything, so there are no away-worries. The on site maintenance is notified, when I’m away, and any problem that might occur would be attended to “for me”. Our carrying charges have never been raised, in fact they were reduced once, and every member has received a new furnace, roof, and vinyl siding. The cooperative is Mortgage Free, and well run thanks to a frugal Board of Directors and active membership of volunteers.

Before I saw Holliday Park, I’d heard that the Treasurer of the Board of Directors, had kept the cooperative in a healthy financial state for over 30 years. He is still active as a Board Member Emeritus, and as a go-to-guide for us all. That fact, and the bursting housing market bubble, led me to what is truly my home. I got involved from day one, with volunteering and socially interacting with the other members. For me, a true Home-o-logist, these decisions have ensured my happiness and contentment, allowed me to travel economically, and provided the way to live frugally and well for a decade. The value of my unit has grown. I’ve thrown away no rent and the carrying charges are as low as they were when I moved in. I am HOME.




London's Grand Theater "Hair"

I joined the Groupon phenomena just over a year ago. Groupon is a website that offers daily exceptional bargains on dining, services and getaways locally and beyond. After purchasing several restaurant offerings and a couple of massages, I was sent a Groupon offering for a fantastic rate for a stay at the Hotel Metro in London, Ontario, the London on this side of the Pond. I had passed on other hotel packages because they were for families, but this one was not. It was an excellent rate on a hotel room for one or two nights.

After checking with a friend and hearing that she thought it would make a great get-away, I purchased it. Living in close proximity to Canada, has always been special to me. Trips to Windsor for dinner and weekend get-aways to Toronto have never lost their excitement. Back when my family was young, it was so much fun to take them across the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor and have a picnic lunch at the waterfront park. Then we would sit and gaze at the Detroit skyline and check out the ships going down the river to determine their country of origin.

Recently, going to Canada has been day-trips, offered by Holliday Park’s Travel Club, to the Caesar’s Casino for the shows, lunch and maybe a little gambling, but this trip was something new and unique.

First, we decided to take the VIA Canada train from Windsor to London. Then, my friend “googled” and found that a revival of the musical “Hair was playing at the beautiful old Grand Theatre. She ordered tickets to see it on the first night of our stay and, mutually, we decided to leave the second day and night to spontaneous surprises and discovery.

The train turned out to be a great choice. It was the perfect way to start the relaxing process; no dealing with traffic or directions, and it was clean, comfortable and upgraded to offer wireless internet and many other amenities. We spent the hour and a half journey in expectant conversation or just enjoying the beautiful scenery.

When we arrived in London, we were amazed by its size. It’s a very large city. We were happy to find that our hotel was located in the heart of the entertainment area of downtown London. The Hotel Metro is a boutique hotel that offers luxury but with the cozy feeling that having only twenty seven rooms can give its guests. The decor was sleek and modern. The color scheme was a warm charcoal and cream mixture with chrome accents. The oh-so-comfortable bed was dressed with high-end coverings that begged to be touched, and the enormous shower offered a “rain-head” fixture that was refreshing and invigorating. The hotel was nestled across the street from the incredible Covent Garden Market.

Covent Market is an indoor market located on King’s Street. It was originally built in 1845 and it offers an eclectic mix of almost everything you could possible want. More than 50 vendors offer fruits and vegetables, fresh coffees, old world breads, chocolates, flowers, meats, seafood, ethic foods, all kinds of cheeses and even a deli, along with little restaurants which were tucked away in various locations. We walked across the street to Covent Market and enjoyed breakfast there both mornings of our stay. The locals say that this market offers ” the flavors of the world”.

After our arrival, we freshened up and picked out where we were going to have dinner. We decided to make it a light meal and then walked the short three blocks to the Grand Theatre. The production ofHair was excellent. The cast members were incredibly talented with amazing voices. We were absolutely transported back to that era. At the end, the audience joined in singing “Let the Sunshine In” and the cast came down and passed out flowers. “Flower Power” was alive again and I loved it!

On our second day, we walked around and found a four story department store filled with the most beautiful fashions that haven’t made it to the U.S. yet, along with unique items for the home such as tea cozies and linen tea towels which reminded us that we had definitely left the United States. Shopper-tunists were everywhere hunting for those one-of-a-kind items offered for great prices. The urban energy, sites, sounds and engaging scents were everywhere.

Then it was on to a restaurant/bar, where we had a drink and indulged in a little people watching. We did more exploring to take in the beauty of the Italianate and Romanesque architecture of London. After freshening up for dinner, we dined at the Church Key Pub, a place we noticed on our way to the theatre the night before. What a treat that pub was! We sat very comfortably at the bar. The food was excellent and so was the bartender. He was a very gracious host and told us that he had lived in Troy, Michigan, for years and was still a Lions season ticket holder. I am seriously thinking about taking a day trip just to go back to that wonderful pub for dinner.

The following morning we checked out and said good bye to the woman at the hotel desk. We expressed how much we had enjoyed our stay, and how truly friendly everyone was to us. Then on the train ride back to Windsor, we realized that it all seemed too short, which is always a sign of a good time.

I’m so grateful to be living in Holliday Park. It’s so centrally located close to expressways, the airport, and numerous interesting destinations. In a very short time, I can be… downtown for a Tiger game, or the Grand Prix… in Ann Arbor for the Art Fair, or U of M for football games…or I can be in the London that is on this side of the pond for great times and good food. Eh!



When you choose a home for yourself and your family, you bring your most profound wisdom to the choice you make. This is a “life-altering” decision on so many levels. Memories will be made at this destination which will define and affect your life and the lives of those you share your space with, for many decades to come.

Some years ago, my husband and I chose to live at Holliday Park Townehouses Cooperative. We were just starting out as a married couple, There were college loans to pay, investments needed to be made for the future, and even retirement funds had to be put in place for, well, for some day. We had heard from family members that this cooperative was beautiful, well maintained, and very reasonably priced. A two-bedroom unit would easily fit our very tight budget. The most incredible aspect of purchasing a membership in this co-op was simply the fact that our money would not be thrown away in rent, and the monthly carrying charges were (as they are today) incredibly reasonable.

We submitted our application and were approved for a two-story, two-bedroom Coventry unit. Our plan was to turn the second bedroom into a den, with plenty of room for stay-over family and friends, a desk, bookcases, and a comfy curl-up sofa. A Master’s Degree was planned for or Law School, and this space would make the perfect sanctuary for studying. That said, after a few blissful months of moving in, decorating, volunteering, bonding with great neighbors and making a “home”, we learned that our family was about to expand. The den furniture was sold to accommodate a nursery, and great expectations filled our lives.

Our son was born the following spring. We were ecstatic. Our Lot 20 neighbors embraced us, mentored us about schools, activities, great hospitals, doctors, and became extended family. Everyone in the surrounding Lots on Spring Valley Drive gathered at the large green space behind our unit, near the Nature Preserve. We, along with our neighbors, spent countless hours nurturing our little ones and socializing in this thriving and happy community. In a heart-beat, our baby was a growing toddler. Our bank account was growing too, thanks to this frugal lifestyle. My husband turned the full basement into a great study space/work-out room. We were content.

All the young families were so excited when the co-op began to offer swimming lessons for children at the Olympic size, heated swimming pool. The instructor was phenomenal with the children. My son was a little leery at first. His chocolate brown eyes grew large, transfixed and mesmerized as he made contact with the warm, undulating aqua liquid. Buoyancy, for him, was magical. The towering diving board jutted out into the mysterious “deep end”, and every participant was told that by summers end, they would all “take the plunge” at least once, from that towering height into the depths of the intimidating and mysterious wet-unknown.

Each lesson, for three and four year old’s, was filled with surprise and wonder. Learning to float, getting their little faces wet, holding their breath, all big steps, but necessary ones, if they were to earn the right to maneuver the shiny silver ladder that the BIG KIDS frequented in order to reach the flat, aqua-water-colored, springy board which leaned way out over the churning wavy water. After class, all the children would practice their newly acquired skills. The smallest swimmers would do whatever the older ones did, or they would at least try.

Two fascinating and highly functional pieces of equipment which all the swimmers proudly wore, were eye goggles and nose plugs. They provided the soft, rubbery, necessary protection for the eyes and nose, that signified elite-swimmer status.

The youngest swimmers were delighted to go underwater and be able to see, and have the water stay out of their noses. For my son, and the others, life got better and better as movement in water, and confidence grew.

The day came, and the parents were placed, bare footed and nervous, to one side of the pool deck near the shallow end. The little ones lined up, single file, near the deep end, at the foot of the shiny metal 3-step ladder. For me, my son looked as if he weighed 5 pounds and represented a little, shaky, stick figure, not a boy at all. He looked vulnerable, and my imagination filled with horrific thoughts of disaster. The instructor whispered to the younger children as they drew nearer to this monumental moment in their lives. In that moment, they all turned and looked high up at the old retro-neon red and blue colored swim clock on the wall, for one long thoughtful minute. They then climbed the ladder, one-at-a-time, walked to the end of the diving board, adjusted their eye and nose-wear and jumped in, feet first.

As a group, the parents gasped when each little body disappeared into that deep water. No one took another breath until that little goggled face surfaced again. My son, the smallest of all, walked right to the end, looked at that clock and jumped in.

My heart was in my throat for a very long time after that event. As as I tucked my exhausted swimmer into bed that night, with his goggles and nose plugs proudly hung on the bed post, I quietly read his favorite Shel Silverstein poem. Then I asked, without any voice inflection, “what did the coach tell you just before you took your dive son?”

A slow smile washed over his face, and he said, “ brave swimmers look UP  for the glowing reflection of the sunlight on the neon swimming clock from the depths of the pool when they dive, and follow that light back to the surface. No one ever seeks the bottom. They find instead, that beautiful bright blue-white light and follow it upward to the place where they began. You will never forget that sight and it will remind you of your bravery, always!”

It’s been quite awhile since those simple days.  My son is a grown man, a busy executive, and  his son is a toddler, learning to swim at their neighborhood pool. I called to tell him that I’d just visited Holliday Park to see our old neighbors who moved to a larger Galloway to spread out and have more children.

The first question from him was, “mom, is the clock still there…the one on the brick wall near the entrance to the pool?” Yes, was my smiling reply, and I had looked to make sure, knowing that someday he would ask that question. The bravery he exhibited on that day and for many summers to come, in that wonderful setting, with those excellent people; was a monumental moment in his journey to becoming the person he is today. He remembers it often, and he said to me tonight, that from underwater, the clock did glow.

I believe that it still does. Swimming lessons continue to take place, every summer when an enthusiastic and skilled instructor can be found. The diving board is no more, but the magic, and the glow of the big clock remain for anyone one to look to, for more than the correct time. The undulating warm water is to this day, still being embraced by many members and their happy families and friends.

There is a special place in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are magical and glowing, the air is softer, and the activities undertaken evoke happy lasting memories. We had purchased a membership in a frugal and well structured cooperative, and it gave back priceless life lessons and memories for all of us, the kind you revisit with joy in your heart.




Behind the fun of Holliday Park’s carefree social events, travel opportunities and the leisure enjoyed at the pool, picnicking, playing tennis or golfing, by members, their families and other occupants; there are some very serious endeavors which are part of the framework at the heart of the cooperative operation. One of these important events is the Annual Election, required by the By-Laws.

Holliday Park is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. Every year, in April, incumbents and members in good standing, submit resumes and “throw their hats into the ring” to obtain a position on the Board of Directors. On their resumes, all candidates name the pertinent experiences or abilities that may substantiate their qualifications to be elected. For example, many members bring life experience, whether its work related, or volunteering and civic involvement. Members that are currently in the work place bring their budget and financial expertise, labor negotiations and community relations involvement, customer service, record keeping, requisitioning, staff management and liaison to staff and faculty qualifications, as well as their knowledge of infrastructure, maintenance and computer expertise. Those who are not working bring their mentoring and negotiating acumen, investment and health care knowledge, and many have been active in a number of non-profit and charitable organization work, as well as volunteerism with the local, State and National Election process, as precinct workers. Each member of the cooperative has unique and special qualities which are of inestimable value to the corporation’s well being.

Holliday Park is a non-profit corporation which manages a large sum of money; this fact, in itself, is an awesome responsibility. Consequently, trustworthiness and acumen are serious requirements for any one who takes a seat on the Board. Those who are elected by a majority of member-votes, commit themselves to follow the current by-laws, along with the policies and procedures that have been established throughout our 45 year history.

The history of this cooperative reflects that elected Board members have, year after year, helped to advance the corporation by following a detailed and astute budget, while maintaining a strong physical infrastructure through needed inspections and maintenance. The staff is provided with a good working environment, while the members enjoy peace, safety and tranquility. Holliday Park is set up with plentiful mandated and voluntary reserves to meet regularly scheduled maintenance, as well as emergencies that may arise. Frugality is the guardian of every financial decision. Earnest dedication has paid off for all members, in that this corporation is mortgage-free!

Approximately a month before the Annual Election, a small group of detail oriented members is summoned to prepare to conduct the election. Those chosen may or may not have past experience. To qualify for this important task, members must be able to withstand the long hours needed to accomplish the election required ballot counting work. In addition, certain character traits are required that enable all participants to honor the pledge of confidentiality involved in performing the task.

Holliday Park by-laws stipulate that all voting is done by mail ballot, walk-in ballot, or proxy. Board Members normally serve two–year terms, after which they must be re-elected in order to stay on the Board for another term. In the even years, such as 2012, four of the seven Board Members need to run for re-election. Other members, who have served on the Board previously and those who have not, also may be in the running. In odd years, only three positions are opened up. Each of the 694 members gets a hand delivered election packet containing all candidate resumes, and the official ballot along with specific directions in order to cast a proper and official vote. Most of the members return their ballots by mail, although they know that it is possible to vote in person at the clubhouse, or if they wish to do so, by giving their proxy to another member to vote for them at a designated time during the Annual Meeting.

The Election Work Group does a fair amount of preparation to conduct an efficient election. They meet to agree on procedures and hourly schedules for a smooth program. Ten to fifteen people open and tabulate the mail-in ballots, take a recess to share a small meal, then attend the beginning of the Annual Meeting, before withdrawing to the election room while other members cast their walk-in or proxy votes. Immediately after the election, the Work Group counts all ballots, tabulating them and totaling them for each candidate. Two challengers, who have pledged confidentiality, observe the process and offer questions, if necessary, to prevent any irregularities. Each election group member has a small, but different and exacting role in the process of the election.

Members vote with confidence, knowing that this process is time-honored and legal, with the by-laws and established procedures for corporations, strictly followed. Election results are posted as promptly as possible, on the Marque for all to see, as well as being announced at the Annual Meeting, before it is adjourned.

Most members are grateful to the capable persons who volunteer their time and energy, as elected Board Members, to keep Holliday Park a wonderful place to live. Board Members who have served for years, in the past, were asked to put together a list of qualifications for this work, in order to inform all members, new and not-so-new, of what is required.

Here is the list that has been compiled:

1. Humble-heartedness– knowing that there is much to learn, and having a willingness to be taught.

2. Listening with intention– able to hear and comprehend meeting dialogue well enough to repeat it accurately when questions are asked and/ or action needs to be taken.

3. Thinking and acting as a TEAM. No one person is superior to any other or speaks for anyone other than themselves.

4. Bringing no personal agenda of wants or needs and thinking of the membership as a whole entity, and what is best for all members and the corporation, not self interest.

5. Practicing patience and exhibiting respect and politeness in actions towards other Board Members, and agreeing to disagree at times, but always with respect and decorum.

6. Engaging in frugality, accountability and prudence when deciding how the corporate funds are distributed; with the knowledge that every penny belongs to the 694 members not just to the deciding seven member Board.

7. Making the effort to learn the Policies, Procedures and By-Laws of Holliday Park in order to make enlightened decisions within the astute framework provided by these how-to-conduct-co-op business guidelines.

8. Staying focused on the issues that affect the well being of the membership and the corporation, with attention given to future necessary projects and endeavors as well.

9. Willingness to attend scheduled Board Meetings, work-shops, and input/Dialogue gatherings, which address cooperative business.

10. Making every effort to positively support all marketing efforts made by Saturday Greeters, the Web site, blog, Facebook page and other group efforts to “spread-the-word” about co-op life and why members “Love Livin’ Here”.

Being part of a cooperative affords every member on-going opportunities for friendship, social interaction, and volunteerism. What you get for your share in this community is a very affordable life-style with equal parts of responsibility, camaraderie, privacy, numerous amenities, travel, peacefulness and safe environs. PLEASE VOTE, Volunteer and Stay Informed about the issues and challenges the cooperative faces in these economically challenging times.

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