When I was going through the process of getting a divorce, I searched the WEB for a place to live. I needed to decide if I wanted an apartment or some other alternate style of living. Apartment living just didn’t seem to appeal to me. I didn’t like the common entrances. I ran across a Co-op. In following through, I discovered Holliday Park Townehouses. Having been married for 28 years, with the children now on their own, I decided that I surely did not need a home anymore. We got married early in life and had two loving children. Many happy years were followed by a transition period during which things were not working out anymore. We went through a rather amiable divorce proceeding, with each of us splitting our assets and with each of us keeping our own 401K plan.

 Since moving into Holliday Park 3 years ago, I discovered that the cooperative was populated with a nice mix of singles, couples and traditional families with “growing up” kids, and like myself, there were also other one-parent families in here. I fell into the single divorced person category. I have access to my children whenever they choose to come for a visit, so I purchased a Coventry Unit – a 2 bedroom, bath and a half unit. The children enjoy visiting during the summer months because of the beautiful pool at Holliday Park.

 I now enjoy my sports, my television, and my privacy. My ex-wife has also found happiness in her privacy in doing what she prefers to do. We go out for dinner about every other month to talk about the children and their lives, and we reminisce sometimes about the years we were married. I know our divorce was different because we both agreed that we wanted separation.

 Holliday Park provided for me a nice, alternate life style of no maintenance, no grass cutting, nothing to worry about but to pay my monthly carrying charge which is currently $265 a month, plus my electric, water and telephone. The carrying charges take care of my gas heat and taxes.

 I go to the baseball games with my friends; listen to the hockey games and football games on TV, and go golfing. I make an effort to go on my daily walks around the Co-op. Holliday Park is a very safe place. Lately, my ex-wife is trying to decide if she can give up the house with all the memorabilia and move into Holliday Park. I personally believe it would be the best thing for her but she would have to make up her mind herself.

 Married life is not for everybody. In our case, we saw it as a time and a place in our lives to raise our children, but we both had our own interests other than the family. She is a very independent person, and I suppose, I also wanted to enjoy the things I wanted to do. My ex-wife has not gone on the Waiting List yet for a Coventry Unit, but I believe she will. She is getting tired of doing the maintenance and lawn cutting. Time will tell.

I encourage anyone who is getting a divorce to look into Holliday Park as an alternate housing life style. Age will creep up on all of us, and it is nice to know that our housing worries here are at a minimum.

Although I haven’t participated in too many of the Holliday Park activities yet, I will most likely do so after I retire. Right now, I feel that I have a full life. The only thing I currently do is volunteer on the very worthwhile Night Patrol Program. There are a lot of volunteers who help.

So being single, married, divorced, widowed, retired or in your senior years, Holliday Park does have a lot to offer for those desiring an alternate housing lifestyle.

Celebrating our Volunteers!

At this time of the year here at our cooperative, members take time out from their busy lives to CELEBRATE those within the community who have made the choice year after year to step-up and VOLUNTEER. This community was founded on the simple principle that becoming a member is not just the purchase of a share in a corporation in order to obtain a place to live. Being a member in a cooperative includes an obligation to be involved in this place and its activities for the greater good of all.

At Holliday Park members are motivated to be active in this self-governing community, in its service activities and social organizations. This philosophy of “being involved”keeps the cost of living here very low, and insures that the units and grounds are well maintained, while an elected seven member Board of Directors (volunteers) manage the finances with insight and frugality.

Committee work, whether it’s assisting with the processing of applications from prospective members, driving with the Night Patrol to keep a vigilant watch over the property, walking for the Grounds Committee to make sure that the beauty of the park-like outdoor areas are being maintained, welcoming new members, assisting in the selection of big ticket items such as refrigerators, stoves and vinyl siding, or chairing an event at which members gather to enjoy all the amenities that are available from the huge swimming pool to the manicured green picnic areas and tennis courts, is the essential element in cutting overhead, and making progress at the cooperative.

Whether time and skills are given in a high-profile way like serving on the Board or Chairing a committee; or more quietly, by:

  1. answering the calls of perspective members at almost any hour
  2. spending time every Saturday greeting applicants and giving them the gift of information about co-op life
  3. copying, collating and stapling the many pages of the Status Quo official news letter, then walking door to door to deliver it
  4. dragging copious amounts of fruit, muffins and coffee beans into the clubhouse early on Monday mornings so that others might enjoy a weekly gathering to build friendships and share thoughts and interests
  5. planning economical trips for large groups to local sights of interest and history, or to far away exotic locales
  6. getting the word out about Holliday Park by volunteering to collect admission fees and dispensing paid participant certificates and information sheets to members who sign up for planned events that involve the Westland Community…like the Yard Sale
  7. Being a Lot Representative to keep records for everyone who parks in the open parking spaces and assigned covered parking , to ensure that no untagged vehicles park illegally on the property


Doing this work without pay saves the community many thousands of dollars. In fact Holliday Park is mortgage free now, thanks to frugality, wisdom, planning and extraordinary VOLUNTEERISM on the PART of the MEMBERS.

All of these acts of generosity of time, skills and caring, add up to a good life here. Therefore, a dinner is given in honor of these good people. Invitations are sent out by the Board of Directors, and those who Volunteer gather together to dine, to share experiences, to simply be together and enjoy the success of their endeavors, knowing that their sacrifices are appreciated.

In an effort, here on the blog, to celebrate each and everyone of our HP VOLUNTEERS , we offer this definition of these extraordinary people:

is for the Very special people that you are
O is for the Overwhelming support & compassion you offer to your community
L is for the Little things you do that make such a difference in someone’s life
U is for the Unspoken words that sometimes mean just as much
N is for the Need you fill when others aren’t able
T is for the Time you give of yourselves on top of your own busy schedules
E is for the Emotional support you continually give to family, friends, neighbors and this community
E is also for the Endless energy you all seem to possess
R is for the Responsibility you have taken on & never once complained
is for the Smiles you bring to everyone you reach out to, by just being you…


Valuable is the hard work you do
utstanding is how you always come through
Loyal, sincere and full of good cheer
ntiring in your efforts throughout the year
otable are the contributions you make
rustworthy in every project you take
ager to reach your every goal
ffective in the way you fulfill your role
eady with a smile like a shining star
pecial and appreciated —- that’s what you are


It is true that co-op housing is a great alternative to the uncertainty of rental spaces or paying an expensive mortgage. As a member of our cooperative, each of us has a democratic voice in controlling the cost and operation of the Co-op Community and a duty to assist in keeping costs down by doing some of the work ourselves. There are many perks to volunteering and among them are the fiscal reality that you have more bankable disposable income when you choose a well run cooperative as your home. Through volunteering you assure that this excellent life style will continue to thrive, and you get to truly know your neighbors as you work together to maintain the well being of your community.

To every HOLLIDAY PARK VOLUNTEER a grateful and sincere THANK YOU! You are wise because you intuitively know that”to be truly happy we each must seek and find a way to serve!”

Friends of mine, and me too, are always challenging ourselves to seek new experiences and enrich our lives. Two people in particular were constantly encouraging me to come and check out the Dyer Center on Marquette Street, between Newburgh Road and Wayne Road. It’s less that three miles from my home in Holliday Park Townhouses Cooperative.

One sunny morning, I logged off the computer, grabbed my car keys and headed down the road to the Dyer Center. I was greeted by neighbors and others who were friendly, out going and engaging. The place was buzzing with conversation, laughter and movement. It had a kind of strong energy that encouraged me to want to know more about what I could participate in….that would be “new”?

Fliers, pamphlets, and announcements for coming events were everywhere, but ONE IN PARTICULAR, was very intriguing. It had a small poem….and the words DREW ME IN:


Maybe in, maybe out,

maybe warm and maybe not.

Maybe wet or maybe dry,

give this mystery trip a try.

The sounds, the sights, what will there be?

Where will we go, what will we see?

Fun and adventure is what it’s about

You’ll love this trip, so try it out!


I love an adventure, and so I swallowed hard and signed up for the coming Mystery Trip. Above my own signature were the names of more than 40 other adventurers’ from the surrounding communities and many of my HP neighbors as well.

The Dyer Center offers a variety of Mystery trips, some are short day trips, others are three-day excursions. They also offer extended trips to many known destinations in the United States and in Europe for very reasonable prices.

After I signed up, I was given a packet of information, which was helpful but it in NO WAY HINTED at where we would be going. The anticipation was a large part of this exhilarating experience. The information was simply stated. The departure time was given, and the clothing items were described as …comfortable clothes, a sweater or trench coat, and good walking shoes.

When we gathered at the center on the “big day” we talked excitedly about how to concentrate on which highways we took,and some people had big foldable maps in their pockets to plot and chart all of our stops along the way, in an effort to “unravel the mystery” and pre-identify our final destination.

We played silly games along the way, begged the bus driver for clues when the terrain changed, sang songs and got to know each other. The further down the road we went, the more the excitement began to build. Once in awhile the bus driver would make strange turns, and back track just a bit, to confuse us and stimulate our imaginations about where we actually were going.

We arrived in Jackson, Michigan, at the Armory Arts Village which was once the old 19th century bricks and mortar Prison. Back-in-the-day this was the location of a cold gray series of buildings where hope and the human spirit struggled to survive. Now those buildings have been reinvented into amazing spaces for artists to live, work, create and teach with passion and dedication.

Four floors of small cells were removed to create loft spaces with soaring ceilings, bare brick walls, cathedral ceilings and copious amounts of light. An old tower has become an apartment with a view to die for and the large gathering areas have become a galleria for the display of many art forms which is open to the public. Even huge old shipping crates have been reinvented as studio apartments and their charm is undeniable.

Classes are held in other spaces and in Phase 2 of the renovation , small cafes, a court yard and other art galleries have been built. We found beautiful metal-smithing work, pottery and glass creations, paintings and sculpture.

The most poignant part of this incredible trip was the knowledge that this house of incarcerated people was now a place of exquisite art, music, dance, and creative writing. It is a triumph of the human experience to make something stark into an incredible, boundless, stimulating learning environment.

That Mystery Trip was unique and it holds a special place in my memory because Armory Arts Village is a place for self-expression, creativity, and art education. It leaves you with the feeling that you have embraced a place in the world that is both magical and alive with hope.

Over the last few years I’ve taken other great Mystery Trips such as one to Mackinaw Island, across the Straits of Mackinaw to the beautiful Grand Hotel which has been open for 124 years. The carriage rides and incredibly beautiful sunrises and sunsets, are charming and a great change from life’s hectic moments. You can eat your dinner on the world’s largest front porch if you wish to, and ride horses or play golf, walk in the woods, bike or take a horse-drawn carriage trip around the island.

In taking Mystery Trips I continue to be rewarded by personal growth, deepening friendships, and a great feeling of “being truly engaged” in this world, which is something priceless that is easily overlooked in life, when it slips away while we text, tweet, and Google.

Living at Holliday Park is a blessing and it’s location is so close to the airport, shopping, fine dining, good schools and the fantastic Dyer Center, where for an annual $12 fee and a little bit more, you can treat yourself to a Mystery Trip!!


When you make the wise decision to purchase a membership in Holliday Park Cooperative, you get much more than a beautiful park-like environment in a great location. You receive a blessing of another kind along with a mortgage-free lifestyle.

The other members who live in the cooperative, all 694 families and singles, have unique qualities, diverse interests, every conceivable level of education and volunteer potential; and they bring to the community their own perspectives, life-experiences, talents, and personalities. After many years or even just a few, of living here its difficult not to take note of one who quietly stands out….for her anonymous but priceless contributions to the lives of all of us.

This person leads by example, thinks before speaking, listens with focused ears that really hear you, and her kindness touches your heart in a way that gives life to your own dreams and expectations. This exemplary member has given the very best of herself to whatever task she has been called upon to assist with, perform or teach.

This small in stature HP active participant, understands better than non-co-op dwellers and others, that in order to live well in these specific environs, it is necessary to volunteer your time, and in doing so, you keep costs low, and everyone lives well for less. In fact, she had not lived here long, when she was called upon to become a Night Patrol Member for three turns during the year. Of course, she allowed herself to be a “go-to person” for those nights when a member needs a substitute due to illness , scheduling conflicts, or the “stuff” or mayhem that happens to people.

She saw a need and stepped up to be the Board of Directors Recording Secretary, which is far more complex than just recording “who said what”. She realized that all motions and decision making that was done by the Board was critical to the well being of the corporation, and that it was necessary to record these events with due diligence and great accuracy. Therefore, monthly, year after year, she quietly recorded and transcribed the history of her cooperative, for future members to turn to for guidance and clarity. Those who have followed her, seek to perform with the kind of excellence that she achieved.

Being a “word-smith” she was asked to become Editor of the Board Newsletter, and while undertaking that enormous task, she encouraged, by action and example, a work ethic that inspired others to join her. Any Board Member or Committee Chairperson who could not get their words down on paper…had only to ask, and she would gently guide/ instruct them in simple…easy steps until the paragraphs were created and the information lay on the page for all to read. The numbers of us, who learned that “less is more” with words, and that truth is in the telling of the facts with focus and honesty, would fill the fingers of many hands, if counted.

When you do well people find out!! This busy woman had barely retired from her profession when she was called upon to be a Board Member. She was appointed and then elected and brought her knowledge and a capacity for calm, thoughtful contemplation, to the many challenges that a cooperative of this size faces. She was put in charge of running the crucial elections which are held each May, to elect incumbents or re-elect the sitting Board. She trained many volunteers in the fine art of ballot distribution, mail-in vote gathering, vote counting, and a million other detailed functions of this most important work. Here too, she brought “the light” of her own detail oriented, structured, and fair-minded thinking for others to witness. Her light inspired them to continue this work with great dignity, enthusiasm, and a sense of pride that comes with work well done.

The Holliday Park blog was a dream, when people thought the computer was for geeks. Out of a need to tell people about the cooperative, this woman supported the wish to enter cyberspace for good intent, wrote blogs when she was not sure what that noun/verb “BLOG” really was, and again her wise words and love for community…inspired us to “just do it” and keep it going. Today, thousands have found Holliday Park, and they apply online, read about us and come in, and return to read the blogs and learn what this lifestyle/corporation is all about.

Finally, dear reader, you need to know that this woman finds the time to interact with her children and grandchildren in the pursuit of a loving life, answers well over 40 e-mails nightly from a huge family of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc., designs and hand writes thank you notes, encouragement and get-well cards for numbers too great to describe, and often delivers them on foot in rain and snow when needed; and makes the time to sit on the roof of a good friends home and count the stars.

When you tell her, that she brings the light to your life, and this act of generosity encourages you to dig deep and bring forward your own light, she grows quiet, and insists that you give her too much credit. To know her, and have her touch your life, is a gift….her presence liberates everyone she embraces.

For e.k.  ….the one who shines the light!



My son was born October 7, 1992, and it changed my life forever – for the good!! As my world changed and life settled down, I became more aware of the benefits and the blessings of living in Holliday Park. I have lived here for 33 years, the first 14 years were come and go as I pleased. As he grew, and became very active, I was fortunate to live near a small “playground” with a slide, swings, and a gazebo. However, he did fall off the slide and broke his foot. We survived, and he has thrived.

As a working mom I took my son everywhere I went, literally. Day care was very close to where I worked. Then came Christian school which  was also conveniently located on my way to work. When that school closed I had to make a hard choice. He began Plymouth Christian Academy and it was tough time-wise because of the distance to where the school was located. It all worked out when shortly thereafter I was able to take advantage of early retirement!!

The reason I could take advantage of early retirement was because I have lived in Holliday Park all these years. No mortgage or high property taxes, maintenance, repair, or upkeep to drain my finances. We are blessed! Holliday Park is like no other Cooperative. This non-profit corporation has been frugal, careful and watchful of the way money is spent here. Not everyone has agreed, but certainly 100 percent of the residents do agree with their monthly low “carrying charges”. How very fortunate we all are.

Now my son has graduated from high school, having spent his last four years at Churchill of Livonia. Another blessing, we are in the Livonia School District. I will not go into my opinion of the Public School System, but I will say that he had the time of his life, and praise God he got through it. College is coming up soon. I find myself in a good place to help him financially, pay-as-you-go, no debt or college loans, all because of the benefits of living in Holliday Park! I wonder if my son realizes how fortunate we are to live here? Some of his friends live in large, beautiful homes, however, he doesn’t see the responsibility and cost that is attached. Someday very soon he will know how blessed we are to have lived in this well run cooperative community.

As life goes on I believe that this cooperative continues to gets better and better. I am much older, definitely don’t want to deal with maintenance and repair, and I am more thankful than ever to be living here. When the country and the world seem to be in a meltdown financially, there is this little oasis , where finances are a priority and carefully considered for the very long term of your life. It’s a good feeling to think that if I lost the college fund and the retirement, I believe I’d still have a roof over my head. Amen!

It’s a little funny, I have considered helping my son acquire his own place. I know we both need our own space, and it doesn’t get much better than right here. Even with all the rules and regulations, which my son has grown up with, it only makes this mortgage-free cooperative a more pleasant place to live.

I’d probably get him a one-bedroom unit which would be a perfect choice to meet his needs. He’d have room for all of his favorite things, a great place to study and a galley kitchen, just the right size for making his favorite protein shakes or reheating pizza.

The membership cost of about $22,000 with monthly carrying charges of $223 ( heat included) fits his paycheck perfectly. He will be building equity too, not throwing his hard earned dollars away on rental fees.

I’m very grateful to have found Holliday Park Townhouses Cooperative, all those years ago. This community was and will continue to be the “right fit” or my son and myself, and I couldn’t be more satisfied!

What is the definition of the would “volunteer”? At dictionary.com the word volunteer is defined as “a person who performs a service willingly and for no pay.” At Holliday Park cooperative, the”key” to achieving a thriving and vital community, is that selfless simple noun, volunteer. We often define our volunteers as…….members of the co-operative (long time or recent) who bring their time and talents to any job which needs to be done because they fully understand the direct and positive economic impact of the service they provide.

What characteristics does a member need to possess in order to become a volunteer? Every member brings their own unique qualities to the groups which they choose to assist, such as being a good listener, having patience, a sense of humor, and a desire to assist the co-op in continuing to be solvent with a strong infrastructure. Members have their own unique life skills to share such as financial planning, computer programming experience, construction and communication skills, and being able to work as part of team. Others have ideas about organization, social interaction, and community service. Just showing up to lend a hand where it is needed is one of the integral characteristics that anyone can possess, and it is the life’s blood of a happy cooperative community due to the thousands of dollars that are saved…keeping carrying charges very low.

Reading the MEMBER HANDBOOK and becoming familiar with the Policies and Procedures of the cooperative community, is an excellent preparatory step for a good life in the community as well as for becoming a volunteer for any one of the THREE Basic Volunteer Groups: Board Member . Committee Work, and Social Club Participation.

Board Members are elected by the voting membership of the cooperative. These seven members work in tandem with the Property Manager, to ensure that the condition of each unit is held to high standards of excellence. Recently, new aluminum siding, new roofing and new furnace programs have been completed on all 694 units. Right now, eco-friendly insulation is being added to attics,which will reduce utility costs and increase temperature consistency.

The Board must assist with the crafting of each annual budget, making and enforcing policies and procedures and much more. The President chooses the chairperson for each committee. Several Board Members also are chair-persons for committees. Board Members take on an enormous challenge and commit numerous hours for FREE to help keep the cooperative moving forward in the 21st. Century.

Cooperative members who volunteer for one of the COMMITTEES, work to support the Board of Directors with the daily work of the cooperative. Each committee has a Board Liaison to ensure that policies and procedures are followed, communication flows well between these two groups, and that teamwork creates a consistently well run non-profit corporation.

The MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE processes the applications of people who wish to become members of the cooperative. Specific guidelines are followed and approved applicants are added to a Waiting List. This committee also keeps census information for each member emergency contact numbers, occupant information; and handle any changes members wish to make regarding transfers to another unit. They also assist Waiting List applicants with questions and requests.

TRAFFIC & SAFETY keeps records of vehicles and tag numbers for each parking lot. A lot representative is available to answer questions and keep unidentified cars from all parking lots in the cooperative.

Night Patrol has the most volunteers and they are scheduled on specific nights, three times a year, to patrol the community during the evening and late evening hours to identify and report to the police department any unusual activity. Every night of the year, a two-person team is patrolling to promote a safe environment.

The Pet Committee works with members to create a healthy environment for all pets. Keeping accurate registration information for every pet assures that they are being well cared for and that Pet Policies are being adhered to for everyone’s happiness.

The Status Quo Committee compiles the Board of Directors articles which address their current activities, decisions, changes in policies, announcements, future projects and much more. Co-operator-Volunteers compile and print the articles, a calendar of scheduled events, and other news which the members need to know. This method of communication works well for everyone but it’s a huge task.

Lastly, Community Watch has an excellent chairperson who encourages the entire membership to watch out for their neighbors, and be aware of their surroundings to note unusual activities in which someone may need assistance.

For volunteers who wish to enhance and enrich the lives of all the Holliday Park members through social interaction, there are SOCIAL CLUBS established for this purpose, and they always need more “hands”. Anyone can join in, and new groups are often the by-product of great ideas shared by neighbors with common interests. Travel Club, Golf Club, Card Clubs, Saturday Night Movies…all of these groups are organized and run by committed residents of the co-op.

This kind of commitment to the Holliday Park Townhouses Cooperative, and the savings of many thousands of dollars over the years, has helped to keep the community the BEST ECONOMICAL LIFE STYLE in our area. The co-op is mortgage free and fully occupied due to each member’s selfless contribution which is what VOLUNTEERS do, they give of their time for the GOOD OF THE COMMUNITY.

We moved into Holliday Park 30 years ago, almost five years to the day after my parents.  They had decided on moving to Holliday Park about two years before my Dad retired.  After checking out a few options, Mom and Dad knew they couldn’t find a better place.  The low cost, the amenities, and the travel offerings all said “this is it” for them.

After I married, knowing all this made it a “no-brainer” for my husband and me to choose Holliday Park as the place where we wanted to live while saving for a house.  We knew we wanted a big family and a house with a yard was going to be a must, but in the meantime we would have a wonderful place to live.

After only two years, we reached our “home buying” goal and with mixed emotions and a few tears we said “good bye” to Holliday Park and “hello” to our new home.  It had three bedrooms and a large yard and was only a few miles away.  Within a year, our first child was born, and he was followed by two girls and another boy.

All the kids loved going to visit grandma and grandpa at Holliday Park.  As they grew older, they (two at a time) enjoyed the two weeks they spent with their grandparents and loved playing in “grandma’s pool”.  That’s where they took swimming lessons and became “my water babies”.

My parents bought bikes and took them on rides in the neighboring nature center.  Many adventures were enjoyed there.

My husband and I weren’t excluded from Holliday Park adventures.  We joined my parents on many of the trips that were offered through the co-op and were thrilled to see locations around the world at the most reasonable prices possible. My parents had never dreamed of seeing Europe, or the Caribbean (nor had we), but they did and we were along to share their experience.  These memories will be with me always.

After my Dad’s passing, Mom stayed on in their unit.  She knew there was no better place to live.  Monthly carrying charges had not increased over the years. She was in a safe community, had no maintenance worries, and could enjoy meeting her friends for cards in the clubhouse, and the heated pool continues to offer her much enjoyment several times a week.

As our children grew, we began to realize that it wouldn’t be long before we would have a large empty nest on our hands.  Our home had served its purpose.  It had provided the room for raising our family and entertaining their friends, but the two of us did not want to spend the time or the expense to keep it.  We wanted to return to Holliday Park.

After seeing our last child off to college, we filled out an application for a three bedroom unit, and listed our home.  My mind was flooded with memories of how enjoyable it was to live there as young marrieds and how much my parents enjoyed their life at Holliday Park. That was just over a year ago, and three months ago we accepted a unit that became available.  We made it our own with some painting, having the hardwood floors refinished, and moved in.

Our son stays with us when he is out of school and our two grandchildren, as little as they are, are now enjoying the pool when they visit.  I will sign them up for the swimming lessons in a couple of years.

Our friends come over for dinner and talk about how my husband has it made because he doesn’t have any home maintenance or yard work any longer. They tease him, but I know several of them have applied for membership.  Two of them are joining us on a Holliday Park trip to the Smokey Mountains, and my husband is going on the Mackinaw Bridge Walk trip.  I’m hoping there will be a warm get-away offered for next winter.

We are ready for retirement and expect to take that step in two years.  In the meantime, we are enjoying the leisure we already have.  Life has gone full circle and we have been able to go home again.

It happened this year on April 12…the first warm day, sun shining, mid-afternoon. All the elements were there and suddenly it happened …the first good weather gathering of the Lot 8 residents!  It was one of those, first of the season, lovely blue sky afternoons and we just couldn’t help it.  Spontaneously, a group of neighbors gathered on the sunny side of the mutual backyard.  Before anyone knew it, an outdoor garden soiree had commenced!  A group was gathered, beverages appeared, laughter erupted, and the Lot 8 good weather season had begun in earnest

Our soirees provide hours of conversations, sharing, and meals on a “come as you are” basis.  While savoring a warm afternoon over cold beverages, neighbors often share crackers and cheese, appetizers, crudités, or maybe some special bakery treat.  Dinners often evolve from what we have in our refrigerators and can share.  Who can’t resist a menu of ½ hot dog, ½ hamburger, a tablespoon of potato salad, wedge of pickle, few olives, cut up melon and strawberries for dessert?  Someone brings out a few paper plates, someone else finds some floral printed napkins, and before you know it…a meal happens!

Participation is fluid from day to day, and often includes passers-by, neighbors from other lots, family, and friends that stop in to check on our fun.  Once in a while, one or two neighbors get started but others are busy.  Numbers of participants don’t matter, the laughter and fun flow effortlessly, anyway.


Topics of conversation range from the latest work project at HP, to who was seen at Westland Mall, what new stores are opening, which tasty offerings were recently added to the menu at a favorite restaurant in town …  and even to wondering “out loud” about  how long until the pool opens and  water aerobics begins again.

On any given day the neighbors share recipes, show the latest wedding or vacation pictures, analyze our night patrol schedules, play a few hands of euchre, and offer opinions on wide ranging subjects.  Two ladies are shopping queens and bedazzle us with their latest finds and bargains.  One gentleman loves to entertain us with singing a bawdy tune.  We keep a respectful eye on how one neighbor or another is feeling and when they might need a helping hand.  It’s just our backyard, but it feels a bit like going to that place “where everybody knows your name”.

One particular day, a great idea burst forth.  While conversing about the fall curbside leaf pickup trial and our advancing ages, the Lot 8 soiree participants were offering up suggestions on the best way to get the leaves from our yards to the curbside.  After some good suggestions, and some speculation as to which neighbors were physically up to the task, someone thought of the Boy Scouts.  The Troops are often looking for fund-raising ideas so one of the neighbors made some contacts and arranged for the “job” to be undertaken by a local group.

The owner of that great idea followed up by printing a short flier with pertinent information and then she collected small monetary contributions from the neighbors.  Our afternoon of socializing resulted in a win/win situation for all…the Boy Scouts raised camping funds and we enjoyed clean yards without the hard work.

The comfort and sense of belonging to a community is something priceless that is no longer common in most neighborhoods.  People don’t make an effort to know each other, and certainly don’t take the time to sit and talk.

Holliday Park members have managed to hang on to a bit of that old-fashioned neighborly charm.  Among the 27 parking lots that make up the circle or miracle mile as it has affectionately come to be known, that populate Holliday Park Cooperative; there is “alive and well” a spirit of HUMANESS among the members.

It is a simple celebration of caring and sharing common spaces with good and kind people in ways that allow us to reveal:  our quirks, silliness, eccentricities, interests, life lessons, common issues, and wisdom.   Along with the burgers, hot dogs, potato salad and pickle wedges, there can be found the priceless simple pleasures of the human heart which are often enhanced and complimented by good companionship and a shared generosity of spirit.    Stop by Lot 8 and join our soiree, won’t you!?!


One Monday last fall, I went down to the clubhouse for the Monday morning Koffee Kutch. It’s always nice to start the week by checking in with friends over English muffins, fresh fruit and coffee for the amazingly low cost of only a dollar. It’s also a chance to meet new members as they are always encouraged to attend and get to know their neighbors.

On my way out, I decided to check to see if any new travel announcements were posted. The Holliday Park Travel Club coordinators are always planning adventures of every kind and description from day trips by bus to overseas excursions to exotic locations, for the benefit of members who are occasional and or avid travelers.

I was delighted to see a new flier which offered a six nights, seven day trip to Cape Cod that included a daily continental breakfast and four dinners. It immediately had me sold because I believe in “Travelology”…. “getting out of your comfort zone to experience new places, learn about new cultures and history, and expand your view of the world.” I have traveled with Holliday Park on cruises to the Caribbean as well as trips to Asia and Europe. I’ve traveled on my own out west, but never had the opportunity to experience the east coast and New England.

Thoughts of seeing this uniquely beautiful part of the United States began racing through my mind. I wanted to be able to look forward to some sort of future excursion that would be completely new, uncomplicated, inexpensive, and interesting…..AND there it was …a bus trip offered by an excellent tour company to beautiful CAPE COD.

I contacted the travel coordinator that evening, requested the necessary paperwork and began to enjoy looking forward to my Spring trip. I was not alone in this response. A total of three buses were needed to handle our Holliday Park group and other travelers from nearby communities.

Traveling with members of your community has so many benefits…seeing a familiar face as you explore new sites and vistas is comforting, and having others who may want to venture off to some destination that you have discovered, or share with you something they have found, is truly a plus.

We left on a Sunday morning and arrived in New York the first day. The tour coordinator kept us entertained that day and every travel day with anecdotes, jokes, and sing-a-longs, plus movies and a DVD of a fabulous Vegas show. Every two and a half hours we stopped to stretch our legs and use the facilities. Water and many snacks were provided to ensure that we were well taken care of; since these seasoned travel coordinators believe that a great trip lies in the “details” of good preparation.

All our lodging accommodations were very comfortable and offered exceptional continental breakfasts . The dinners that were included in the cost of trip were also absolutely delicious . My favorite was the whole lobster I had at the Cape Cod Irish Village in South Yarmouth, MA. Besides having a wonderful meal, the entertainment was delightful. Two men with very pleasant voices sang, strummed guitars and got the entire group to join in. Our tour coordinator and one of women in our group even joined them on stage. Before singing along with these talented entertainers, the woman sang Happy Birthday to herself like Marilyn Monroe once sang to JFK and it was a riot. I loved that she shared her beautiful voice and her great sense of humor with us.

During our time on the Cape (that’s what the natives call it), the weather cooperated and stayed clear and in the 70’s, so we all enjoyed seeing the sandy beaches, the quaint sea captain’s houses, learning what a “Cape Cod” house really is, and visiting the museums, and art galleries. Being a seafood lover, and having asked the friendly “locals” to recommend a place, I had a lobster roll, mussels, and enjoyed the “catch of the day” on several other occasions, and the taste of everything was awesome!!!

I’m home now with my bags half unpacked, my newly acquired treasures are piled precariously from the couch to the stairway, and I’m realizing that I got more than my money’s worth on this trip! My friend (room mate) and I grew closer with the experiences we shared; I made some new friends, and I am thoroughly enjoying the feeling of time well spent

When you become a member at Holliday Park Cooperative you can settle into your cozy, lovely, unit and wander out to parties, clubs, swimming, tennis and golf, or just walk, or bike the mile on which this place is built: OR you can participate in economical trips such as the upcoming two-day Mackinaw City Bridge Walk, Gamblemania (3 casinos in one day), or longer excursions for very fair prices due to the numbers of other members who share in the expense.

Truly, cooperative life can be lived to the fullest extent of your own imagination, expectation, effort, sociability and, your very own commitment to “Travelology”!*


*Travelology…a word I conjured up to describe my philosophy of the profound effects that traveling has on an individual’s well being.



Climate change is now our reality. The warming of the earth and the melting of the glaciers has been and is happening right now. If you saw or heard about Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, it was a GLOBAL wake-up call. Mr. Gore’s work has become a SILENT BUT URGENT MISSION STATEMENT to every citizen of the world. Action MUST BE TAKEN to reduce our carbon footprint ( CO2 emissions) in every conceivable way, yes each of us, in order to repair our planet. Every person has an obligation to be a good steward their environment in order to sustain life.

The enormous relevance of that documentary, released in 2006, and, supported by the corresponding scientific research it generated, proved that the earth’s accelerated warming can only be stopped and reversed by each person’s conscience choice to make changes.

WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROBLEM, and the compilation of our current and ongoing efforts can and will exact the SOLUTION. Around the globe, people heard and got the message and those who cast doubt have been silenced.

Here at Holliday Park Towne Houses Cooperative, many members had and continue to have a keen interest in the environment. A group of them volunteered their time to clean and preserve the 500 acre nature reserve that adjoins our property. Along with the Board of Directors, members got involved to plant and maintain more sustainable and disease resistant trees, which have flourished. Many members planted and maintain gardens and lovingly tend the soil, plant bushes and ornamental trees, grow herbs and vegetables, rake clippings and volunteer to clean up trash bins, and pick up any refuse they see.

The Board, along with the Property Manager look for every kind of energy star appliances when purchasing appliances, furnaces,and water heaters. Weather stripping, windows with argon gas and steel doors help to keep each unit energy efficient. RIGHT NOW….the cooperative is making a concerted effort to be GREATER THROUGH GREENER ENHANCEMENTS!! What are these enhancements?

Since Michigan has a temperate climate with well defined seasonal changes, we experience everything from extreme cold to hot and humid weather. For this reason, and to cut down on the energy the cooperative uses,“GREEN CELLULOSE INSULATION” will be increased and blown into the attic of each of our 694 units. Two sections of units, those in Lot 7, and 8, one facing EAST and one facing WEST, were used to test the effectiveness of added eco-friendly cellulose ( made from recycled paper products) late this winter.

Insulation is rated as “thermal resistance” to heat flow…known as the R-Value. The larger the R – Value, the greater the ability to prevent the transfer of heat. The coop will improve that value from an R-19 to an R-49 which is a marked increase in the efficiency of the cooperative’s usage of the earth’s valuable energy! MORE “GREEN CELLULOSE INSULATION” is being installed into each unit’s attic in an effort to increase the R-Value………and energy efficiency.

Members in those two buildings noticed an immediate improvement in the dispersed warmed heat of the forced air furnaces that each unit had installed two years ago. All of the units have full basements and five of the unit styles are two-story. Since hot air rises, this addition of insulation keeps this air circulating and it will not escape through the attic. Over time, this added insulation will pay for itself with savings of energy dollars, and more importantly, it will take LESS ENERGY to heat or cool each unit.

On a community level, William Wild, the current Mayor of Westland, Michigan, was and is today, strongly supportive of every environmental issue facing our citizens. He initiated MISSION GREEN in 2007 and has worked diligently to bring together business owners, residents, and the City Council to find ways to use less energy, and be a more sustainable community.

A community garden has been started, Earth Day is celebrated with tree planting, a farmers market is open once a week to make healthy, fresh produce close and available for all. Tree trimming and maintenance, building better eco-friendly parks, running a curbside and drop-off recycling program, implementing systems for keeping rain run-off separated from ground water, and prohibiting the idling of any city vehicles, are just a few of the ways the mayor and city council encourage better use of all resources, a reduction of pollutants and cleaner air for us and future generations.

Holliday Park is just one pro-active community on this planet!! However, the residents herein believe in continuing the process of being GREATER THROUGH GREENER ENHANCEMENTS, and to speak of this activity, to encourage others to do the same.

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