Orton hears an ooh

Broadway lyrics trapped themselves in my head Sunday afternoon as we made our way to a family party in Ortonville, Michigan. This was no surprise to my veteran co-pilot Vince. The poor guy has heard me belt them all.

“Ortonville sounds very Seussical,” I said and then let loose with a couple of choice lines from “Notice me Horton.”

We slowed a little as we approached gravel roads that ran through lush acreage and gorgeous homes.

“Wow,” I said. “Orton hears an ooh.”

A long driveway led us to Vince’s cousin Diane and her husband Scott’s house, site of the festivities.

I loved everything about it all — the thoughtfully built and furnished home, the farm-to-fork garden, the fruit trees, the pickle ball/hockey court, and mostly, the people.

Scott, who recently retired from the Troy police department after a 28 year career, not only brews his own beer, he also grows the hops and harvests the honey he uses to make it. Diane, who also enjoyed a nearly three decade career with the Troy police department and is still working as a state investigator, sent us home with delicious jam she made from the bumper crop of strawberries she grew in in her garden.

The family of four (including daughter Ella and son Jake) has a 24-seat dining room table because they love to entertain. Almost every piece of furniture in their home has a story to tell.

Stadium seats from Comerica Park surround their fire pit and a cradle from “the Lodge”, Diane’s childhood home, sits in the den.

The whole place feels like an oasis, a deep cleansing breath in the midst of a brave and busy life.

Now, imagine a curtain and what lies behind; the kind of a place you might see in your mind… From the page to the stage, come along and enjoy

C’mon everyone. Sing it with me:

I will not give up hope.
I was hooked from the start
When I noticed your kind
And your powerful heart.
Diane and Scott’s 24-seat dining room table speaks volumes about their hospitality and generosity.
I love this view of their pickle ball/basketball court that is really a hockey rink.
Diane tells a good story. I don’t think she’s even aware that she’s using a ladle as a mic.
Scott’s got a contagious laugh.
Their fire pit bench is from Comerica Park.
Look closely and you can see the bees buzzing around the entrance to these hives. Scott was very excited to receive a beekeeper’s suit for Father’s Day this year.
Just a few tomatoes, all ripe for the picking.
They grow their own hops!
The hops are actually the flowers on the plant. Did you know that? I did not.
We learned so much on our quick little pit stop!



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