- Maybe you’re an interested buyer?
- Maybe you’re a realtor?
- Maybe you’re a child of mine?
- Or a sibling?
- Or a friend?
- Or an unknown, random internet troll?
No matter who you are, this page is an homage not just to this lovely property but to HOME itself. What is home, how does one calculate its importance, when should one let go of a beloved place and move on? If ever?
- “Home is where one starts from.” –T.S. Eliot
I have been contemplating this written piece for awhile. The property was for sale in 2020 but like everything else in 2020, there’s no way to adequately or accurately describe the process or the year. Suffice it to say I was not interested in selling the home to begin with, rather just toying with the notion. I wanted to test the market and see what the process might look like.
Where do I begin? I know!! At the beginning…..
The move from Old Greenwich, CT to Spring Lake, MI occurred in 2000. Two beautiful, healthy children were running about, a vibrant boy aged 4 and dynamic girl aged 2. It’s appropriate that I begin with the kids because this home, this property was THEIR home, their upbringing, their childhood. Their hopes and aspirations, their anxieties and sadnesses were born and cultivated here.
A third child, a beautiful, exquisite, lively girl arrived in 2001.
Of course as I contemplate selling the house, these now grown kids have been queried….
- Did you like growing up here?
- What are your fondest memories?
- Tell me 2 or 3 stories about your childhood.
- What didn’t you like about the home or growing up in Spring Lake?
With no exception, their memories are positive and loving and vivid. And why not? This is an idyllic spot, nearly 2 acres, real privacy, adjacent to Spring Lake, minutes from Lake Michigan and most importantly, the best hide-and-seek, ghosts-in-the-graveyard and Old Man Jenkins home of all time! That last reference, Old Man Jenkins, is appropriate in its anonymity. (Anonymous anyway to those of you who do not follow Sponge Bob Square Pants) Nobody but the kids and their immediate friends know what the hell Old Man Jenkins is and/or was. I don’t either. And that’s the way it should be with homes and kids. For the lucky ones, a home should be a well worn respite for the kids, a unique gathering place reserved for their friends, their dreams, their imaginations.
Example: my childhood in Norwalk, CT is as vibrant and clear and memorable as I write this at age 62 as it was when I was running about that neighborhood, playing ball, breaking things and trying to hide our transgressions from the authorities. My Connecticut home is emblazoned in my memory. I learned every back road and short cut. I knew the names of the roads and who lived where. I knew timing from one location to another, via car, bike or on foot. It was my home. I still miss it.
And this Michigan home? Well that’s what this piece is about. I was a bit stunned to land here. It was 2000, fully a year before 911, which changed everything. In short bullet points, here is what this home meant and still means.
- Crisp air
- Dock jumping
- Ed and Betty (our beloved neighbors, now gone)
- The ball field
- The bike path
- Coops (candy store now a memory)
- The court
- The circle
- Exquisite seasons, one and all
- The tramp
- The fire pit
I don’t know if I will sell the place, I feel I should but I’m not sure when. I suppose I have no control over who will buy this gem. I do hope it’s a young family. I hope it’s a young family because this home, this location, this property is made of dreams. Deep down in my heart, having seen how my own children lived, thrived and smiled (mostly!) through these years at 18643, I can only hope and pray another young family gets the opportunity to do the same.