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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

City of Love & Hate

Holland, Michigan....This is a mid-sized city, founded by Dutch immigrants in the late 1840's built around Lake Macatawa  on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. It's a nice place, known mostly for it's annual May Tulip Time Festival that brings nearly half a million tourists into the area in a 2 week period.

Most people who visit really like the place and I agree, it is a great place to visit...

But that isn't why I am writing about Holland tonight. Though I was born 20 miles from Holland in Grand Rapids MI, I grew up in the northern suburbs of Columbus, Ohio and lived there until I was 22 years old. It was at that time, in 1984 that I moved to Holland for work in one of the areas 3 major Office Furniture Manufacturers: Herman Miller, Inc. I worked for them for nearly 25 years in the factory...starting as an Assembler and then moving into Production Management. I made a very good living working for HMI and have no complaints...they are an excellent company to work for.

This morning I left the Island at 6am and drove to my doctor's office in Holland, 2.5 hours away for an appointment. It was going back there this morning that has the old wheels of memory turning in me head tonight. Sometimes that is a really good thing...other times...well, you isn't.

I was thinking how much I really love the place....yet it also occurred to me that I really hated the place at times too. Hence that was one of my motivations for finally cutting the cord, selling my house in Holland and moving here to Coldwater Lake, Michigan full time.
Needless to say I have mixed feelings about the little gem of this City called Holland. But the trouble starts when I realize that the last couple of years that I lived there were without a doubt the worst, most horrific 2 years of my life.  For the longest time visiting Holland for me was akin to returning to a scene of a crime: The Murder Of My Soul.

Though I feel like a great deal of healing has taken place in the 5 years since I moved away from there full time, I still feel as if part of me died there that I will never be able to retrieve...It is like he is gone forever.

For several years I would just become overwhelmed by sadness whenever I visited...I still obviously loved the place yet it hurt me so much to be there. But today...I actually spoke to K about the notion of living there again. She would definitely rather live there too but I am here...Plus she needed to cut her own emotional cord to find her own way so she is here too...for NOW.

My situation is further complicated because I have made a commitment to take care of my parents and I am quite serious about that. But none of that is really all that relevant at this moment in time...

What is, however very relevant is that I actually came out of my Psychological Cave and discussed living there again w/K-Sue and it felt so damn good just to consider it. It felt REALLY GOOD as a matter of fact and I am happy that occurred because for some time I did not envision EVER being able to live again. Now...for whatever really does seem possible again.

I don't know what else to say except:



  1. My daughter goes to Hope and I visit often. It's a nice little town. I'm glad you're finding peace with it and yourself.

  2. Hope is a great school, I know quite a few Grad's as well as staff. With the (emotional) distance that time has provided I can literally feel the fondness I once had for the city re-kindle itself inside of me...a strange yet wonderful feeling.