Little Piece of Paradise Outside Your Door

Little Piece of Paradise Outside Your Door

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The day light hours of summer are a gift for us even if the polar vortex has made the weather, even now in August, cooler than usual here in Michigan and the mid-west. Many Holliday Park members have chosen to add a patio “sun space” to their unit as a bonus extension of their comfy indoor surrounds.

Patios are the perfect destination for: sun-worshiping (slathered in SPF 70 of course), meditation, pop-up soirees, gardening, (container or other to show off your green thumb or harvest tomatoes, cucumbers etc.) or for contemplating the universe if that is your “thing”, grilling (gourmet style or simple fare), measuring the height of hand-planted, stunningly golden sunflowers and so much more.

Depending on your unit style, the placement of your patio can often be viewed from within and accessed and viewed via the door wall or back door and any rear facing windows. This layering of spaces effect adds interest and the kind of ambiance that only a close proximity to fresh air and nature can provide. The bordering nature center offers its own special effects: bird/frog/cricket songs, rustling tree leaves, rushing creek water gurgles and right now the fire flies put on a light show at sundown that is mini-mesmerizing.

Even if all you want to do with these serene and sun-splashed lazy days is zone-out in your favorite chaise, breathe natures non-factory-air and catch the Tiger game or listen to music on your iPhone, smart phone or other device; having the option to create your idea of “paradise” just outside your door is just another fantastic perk of “co-op life”!

 

Charlie & Juanita

Charlie & Juanita

When you make the call to either of the two telephone numbers prominently placed on a Membership Application or the official brochure for Holliday Park, to inquire about the cooperative lifestyle, unit choices, income requirements and to find out if your list of expectations for this unique and affordable housing alternative will be met; you’ll hear the enthusiastic, gracious and well informed voices of either of our very “dedicated duo”. Their genuine love for this community is obvious and contagious, and they have no agenda other than to tell you what this life offers and why it works so well for the 697 families who thrive here.

Why take these calls, often daily, for more than 6 years and also be part of the gregarious Saturday Greeter’s Group? Both members of this team have lived in and loved the community since the late 1990’s. They have large families, many friends, commitments and yes, a YOLO List just like you and me. However, they have both witnessed the economic need that is met by cooperative living for people with diverse housing requirements and the benefits which members receive when choosing this landlord and mortgage free home.

Our tiny lady member of this duo greets each inquiry with diligence and the kind of warmth that doesn’t try to hide her joy at the prospect of sharing a lifestyle that offers security, social interaction, travel, and much more. She not only assists by phone but has often met with prospective applicants at the clubhouse during the week, to take them step-by-step through the application process. She also serves on the Membership Committee, assists with the printing of the Status Quo Newsletter and often is in charge of the annual elections for the Board of Directors.

The gentleman half of this duo, who also takes these calls, understands that the term “housing cooperative” needs to be defined concisely in order to illustrate that savvy consumers can stretch each dollar in ways not possible when a mortgage is undertaken, or a rental lease has been signed and funds have literally been given away. This former real estate businessman knows finance and the imperfections of the housing market. He has prudently invested his dollars in a mortgage free corporation and his sound judgment and respect for each person’s privacy earn him the respect of everyone he meets. A fabulous sense of humor and great people skills give everyone who reaches out for information all the facts and a hint at the fun that is to be expected at HP.

Facebook wants us to share imagery. Here are two faces, two amazing partners who are for us a very priceless dedicated duo. Although they do not wish praise, thank you, nor any kind of notoriety, they have allowed us to tell and show you that your interest is valued by the cooperative and that your questions will be answered fully with the intent to represent all that is offered by the cooperative lifestyle.

 

Remember Our Soldiers

Remember Our Soldiers

Memorial Day 2014

As we celebrate Memorial Day on

Monday and honor the enormity of

the sacrifices made by the men

and women of our United States

Armed Services who have fought

and perished for the preservation

of liberty; we also praise and pay

tribute to those who stand in

harms way and serve daily in

conflicts around the globe.

Holliday Park’s members, many of

whom are veterans, are asking

that we all share a moment of

silence on Monday for these true

heroes and for their families who

also pay an enormous price for our

freedom!

 

 

Reasons to Love HP Life

Reasons to Love HP Life

Inspired by David Letterman’s decision to “consciously unhost” his late night talk show after three decades of frivolous fun; we guess at his “Top 10 Reasons WHY?…. HP decided to create it’s own Top 10 Reasons for livings the CO-OP Life:

1 More than one million people around the country and at Holliday Park in Westland, Michigan, are living in and loving their cooperative and its no maintenance “Unencumbered” affordable lifestyle.

2 You’ll find our co-op has a unique mix of wise, frugal, hands on and friendly members working in concert in a volunteer capacity to effectively keep costs low.

3 Doing a “Drive By” round the circle from Fountain Blvd down Spring Valley Drive, here, reveals the safety, beauty and tranquility which is available at this centrally located, well maintained and serene destination.

4 A quick numbers crunch of costs for the unit style you choose (one of seven) substantiates the economical bottom line you’re looking for in today’s unpredictable housing market.

5 Sociability is a huge factor. If you love parties, travel, swimming, picnicking, golf, tennis, gardening and so much more, you find it just outside your door.

6 Finding the “Consummate Cohorts” is a very viable possibility here. Members who mingle, travel and volunteer, easily build valuable relationships with genuine, interesting, trustworthy and caring peers who enrich their lives.

7 You won’t find yourself “Under-water with Indebtedness”! Holliday Park is mortgage-free, with a well maintained infrastructure, consistently low carrying charges, an on-site maintenance team and a frugal Board of Directors.

8 Your VOTE counts ..at annual elections held to select Board of Directors who do the decision making that keeps the cooperative fiscally and physically sound. Voting is your voice in making these decisions and you are encouraged to run for the Board and share your unique talents if you wish.

9 “Penny Pounding” for a priceless result by incorporating a “pay as you go” philosophy has been and is the foundation for the continued success of this cooperative. All policies and procedures currently in place were honed by the stellar leadership of many Board Members during over nearly 40 years of practical application.

10 People discover Holliday Park, move in and make it their sanctuary…with many amenities. They value being “landlord free” and “mortgage-free” and they soon “Love Livin’ Here!”     **See us on Facebook or Saturday Greeters here at Holliday Park!

 

springsun

Spring Love Livin’ Here

As hard as it is not to be perpetually in love with Spring, there are always the first mud-licious and puddle friendly days of April,followed closely by splashes of bright sun and bursting buds. It’s a time of renewal and at this cooperative that means, simply stated: a time to reflect on the desirable qualifications of a Board candidate and be prepared to carefully read submitted candidate resumes which will be attached to the ballot you receive, in preparation to vote wisely for the Board of Directors the first week in May.

All “thumbs” and “expert” gardeners are doing the spring prep work required to exact stunning (or iffy) flowers, flora and maybe veggies in those spaces of self-expression created by loving hands to the delight of all.

The harsh weather leaves us grateful for this season with it’s sensory soothing prefect pairing of lingering sunlight and gentle breezes. The co-op dresses up too and greets members and visitors with a fresh beauty that energizes both those who take on the responsibility of leading the corporation to continued fiscal/structural success; and those who are stewards of the earth herein, and committed to the continued “greening of the community” we all share.

*Please see our blog “Desirable Qualities for a Board Member” and vote!

Spring Holliday Park

Spring Holliday Park

Scrumptious Mason Jar Apple Pie

Scrumptious Mason Jar Apple Pie

It’s March, the month of wind & taxes in which no one relaxes, and still the temperatures are a bit daunting. For Michiganders the need to feel nurtured continues. At our co-op, members take a proactive approach to sustaining a positive “end of winter” state-of-mind….

If you venture round the bend at Holliday Park you just might see the steamed windows of a certain Coventry kitchen. This tell-tale sign signals that one of the residents within just might be baking something sumptuous. This particular baker is known to make amazing desserts with flaky crusts and sweet fruity fillings. She is one of those energetic, funny, creative people who volunteers, participates in all kinds of activities and has the innate “need to feed” everyone and make them feel appreciated.

Her Coventry eat-in kitchen has a great window (a steamy one at the moment) which lets in fabulous light and when opened…the scent of delicious-ness, bubbling apple-cinnamon filling today, escapes to the delight of any passers-by. Therefore, lucky family members, neighbors and friends will be hunger-free and feeling oh-so-cozy on this sunny, albeit windy, cold day.

** Perhaps what is the most special ingredient in my post is simply this…our Coventry Kitchen baker puts her talents to work for an even higher purpose every year (actually this is her 5th year). She creates her own version of single-serving Mason jar pies in apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry, lemon and pecan. She purchases at least 10 dozen little jars, mixes the dough, makes the fruit filling, fills the jars scrupulously, cuts little tops, bakes them on a cookie sheet and…..these little scrumptious offerings are sold at the “Garden City Relay for Life”, coming up in June, for $3 or $4 dollars. All the proceeds go to the Cancer Society.

This Baker has a full life, a loving husband, kids etc., and she along with her sister are Cancer Survivors. She does the footwork (in this case the baking) to be part of the solution to eradicating this devastating disease.

Thank you Coventry Baking lady for all of your selfless efforts for the co-op and the cause. We celebrate you and tell your story in the hope that others will be inspired as we are by what you so quietly do for us all.

See a recipe for Mason jar Pies at this link:

http://foodbabbles.com/2011/04/mason-jar-pies-a-little-bit-of-heaven/

 

HP Valentine Love!

HP Valentine Love!

 

 

( Quoting numerous members who were prolific with their insights and affections)

 

Love…low carrying charges, always low…low…low, year after year.

Love…looking forward to more “Travelology” Travel Club adventures to new vistas and destinations, both near and far.

Love…lautitious (yummy) recipe swapping with my neighbor PS who makes the fabulous soup…what’s in there Mr. P?

Love…luxuriating at the heated pool on long, sunny summer days.

Love…lending time and enthusiastic energy to create a garden sanctuary just outside my door.

Love…lollygagging at Westland mall: conversing, bargain hunting and people watching.

Love…laughing and munching at the many “ pop-up soirees” and lot parties. (Lot 8’s are famous!)

Love…looping around the oval with family and friends on foot, bike, skates or other.

Love…little perks like covered parking, a beautiful clubhouse and Volunteer Thank You dinners.

Love…last minute invitations to share “delish” stuffed peppers with your neighbor on the bend..who always prepares just a little too much ..to share.

Love…letting Maintenance handle drips, drains, shoveling etc., for a worry-free lifestyle.

Love…lugging treasures outside to be offered at the fun and festive Walk-About Yard Sale.

Love…lamenting my constantly out-of-control back-hand shots at our tennis courts.

Love…lingering over delicious, hot coffee at Monday Koffee Klutch, or on my patio..or yours.

Love…linking up with the Westland Bus at the Clubhouse for a journey to our local Farmer’s Market.

Love…limo-like neighbors who cheerfully drive you to or from the airport at 2 a.m., or whenever (reciprocity optional), because you have a need. Thanks H!

Love…launching lofty tee shots and earning low scores (rare) but achieved with fellow Golf Club partners. Left-hander’s like A. do this very well!

Love….logging-on to read fun/informative member written blogs on our web site and comments on Facebook.

Love…languidly grilling savory foods in the picnic area to sounds of the gurgling fountain.

Love…listening to a robin’s or turtle dove’s early morning song in the neighboring nature center.

Love…living well but frugally to have more discretionary income AND savings.

Love…lighting porch lights thoughtfully for all late-to-come-home neighbors, and Community Watch..always lighting the way at night.

Love…locking in the comforting sense of truly belonging to a lively and vibrant community.

At Holliday Park the LOVE comes from enjoying the priceless simple pleasures of the human heart in abundance, while gratefully sharing comfy common spaces with other caring members.

Yes, ( WE DO) Love Livin’ Here!

icebear

It is the time of the “ice moon” when numbed and frozen soil and biting cold, with wind chill numbers which are often prefaced by a minus sign!

Good News: at Holliday Park members are not shivering and quivering about high heating costs in this, the coldest winter in over 30 years. We’re (hides grin) snug and comfortable because our co-operative practices the art of “Frugality” by making prudent economical decisions which keep energy costs as low as possible for the membership.

For example: rather than following traditional sourcing and having constantly higher gas bills using the standard methods provided by Consumers Energy consumption, the Board purchases bulk natural gas after analyzing and comparing the co-operatives usage and the costs for bulk natural gas which a number of reputable suppliers offer. Prices are calculated and then locked in at a specific fixed rate annually. The savings have been extraordinary. These costs are included in the moderate monthly carrying charges which have been increased only 3 times in the 35-plus year history of this fiscally sound, mortgage free community.

**The extreme cold that Michiganders’ are experiencing will not drive costs higher for our members due to the savvy and calculated expenditure of stridently budgeted Energy Funding with this bulk gas- fixed cost-program.

For HP members February is often a great month to curl up and hibernate a bit like bears, staying warm and cozy, comforted by the knowledge that your co-op energy resource dollars are being stretched thanks to the very frugal corporate mind-set which is working just for you!

** Please note that a monthly carrying-charge is less than $300 (which includes heat and gas charges) at this middle-income cooperative. No government subsidy here—-but more affordable (and nicer!) than any place with a subsidy.

(as posted at our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/HollidayPark )

 

Committee Meeting

Committee Meeting

The Membership Committee (MC) is an important volunteer group at Holliday Park. It plays a vital role in our community. There are currently seven Committee members with one alternate. Members who serve on this Committee are specifically chosen for their ethical standards and their consideration of others. They value the importance of confidentiality. They also realize the importance of their duties and how their decisions impact people (both members and applicants). Those who function well on this committee are persons who exercise good judgment and follow co-op policies in their own lives.

The Committee is charged with several important tasks. Applications received from those who are interested in purchasing a unit at Holliday Park are directed to the MC. The Committee members carefully review the applications for completeness and eligibility. There is group discussion for consensus. If information is missing or is unclear, the MC is responsible to obtain that information in order to make an informed and accurate decision on whether to approve or deny the applicant.

Those who apply for co-membership status must also submit their application for the same approval process through the MC. It is the responsibility of the MC members to adhere to the criteria set forth in the Membership Policy and to corporate policy. When members have a change in status (phone number, add/delete an occupant, emergency contact change, etc.) they are to complete a census form to reflect these changes. Members who request a transfer to another unit must also be approved. These forms are carefully reviewed by the MC to be certain that the members are still within the guidelines of Holliday Park’s policies.

Another important task of the MC is conflict resolution. Members with questions and complaints regarding the actions of others contact the MC in writing. Handling these issues requires a lot of sensitivity, strict adherence to policy, and an ability to see all sides of the complaint. MC members research the issues, and brainstorm for ideas on ways to resolve the problem.

Again, confidentiality is extremely important. Only the Chairperson of the MC is aware of the complainant. Sometimes a letter to the offending member will suffice. Other times a meeting is required. The Committee is charged with finding resolutions that are satisfactory to all concerned. If this is not possible, revocation of membership is discussed and an advisory letter is sent to the MC Liaison and Board Members for their consideration. The MC members realize the seriousness of this action and work hard in attempts to resolve the issues.

The work of this special committee is handled with the utmost discretion and is largely unrecognized by the general membership. MC members do not seek recognition, but are satisfied to be of selfless service to the cooperative for the overall good of the corporation and peaceful coexistence of all the members.

J.K.

Membership Committee Chairperson,

cherished footprints in the winter snow

cherished footprints in the winter snow

On those pewter mornings that are “winter” here in Michigan, our physicality is tested as we persevere with the process of embracing life. All around us a “white quilt” covers the landscape. It is quite magical when the early darkness allows the twinkling star light to shine down upon bare branches, roof tops steaming with the heat from within and the tracks of footsteps left by people we cherish which are everywhere.

If you’d like to take a peak inside the mind-set of “winterized” Holliday Park residents (two of many I might add with a “cheeky grin”) then please scroll down to read…”Contented Member Views – In Defense of Winter” and “Winter – Holliday Park Style” to find out what we do, how we celebrate with whimsy and what it is about this lifestyle that makes even the meekest of souls feel snug, unburdened and ready to spread the word about this wondrous, woodsy setting that makes it so contagious!

 

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