The Measure of Success

Remember measuring yourself as a kid on the doorframe to see if you grew? We all let our hands angle up a little extra to give the impression we grew even more than we really did. Lately I’ve noticed that all around Rochester our community is having measurable growth, and we don’t need a giant ruler to see it.

As you drive around our hilly streets these days, you can see quite a few large cranes dotting the horizon. It’s more reminiscent of what is common around the ever-growing boomtown of Ann Arbor. But indeed it is our hospital, Crittenton that continues to expand. And it is our school, Oakland University that is chartering into new ventures. Not all the cranes you can see are just because of expansion.

Our road system is in desperate need of repair, and we are all bracing ourselves for the reconstruction of Main Street. The Avon Bridge has already been demolished and Livernois will be next. Sometimes the growth brings a necessity to completely start over and rebuild. Though traffic headaches may be a constant frustration for the next several months, I think we can be very excited and proud of our growth.

In an economy that has been rough to say the least, Rochester has been resilient and steadfast. Our town may not be the hippest and trendiest place, but we are classic. Like Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis, our surroundings will always be desired and enjoyed. No matter the fad changes, what our community offers will always be continuously classic. Despite the economic struggles, outwardly we seem to be defying the odds. Old homes in town are being renovated, often much bigger than what their previous structure supported. The neighborhoods throughout Rochester Hills can’t keep real estate signs up because good homes are selling so fast. Even the line of car dealers heading into town are all remodeling in the wake of the industry’s exciting rebound.

Sometimes my husband jokes that we never get out of the “Rochester bubble.” It’s true. We rarely do. We both grew up here, he works close by, and all our kid’s activities are here. Our lives are pretty much encompassed inside a five-mile radius. Though I know it’s supposed to be a negative of how limited our view is sometimes, I find it hard to feel bad about. Our community has been growing, and not just with construction equipment. I see new pride our town, intentional hospitality in our stores, and a strong sense of acceptance towards all kinds of diversity.

Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township are aging gracefully. In a town that used to be home to places like Curly’s Market, Mitzelfeld’s, and the 5 and Dime store, we move forward making new memories with new stores, and we are getting better with age. Though change can be difficult and not everyone likes how things evolve, our community is a great place to call home. It always has been. I’m convinced it will continue to be forevermore as we grow up, fix up, and begin again together.

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at

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