Exactly two years ago, I wrote my first article for the Coastal Breeze’s Goodland Life Column. It was entitled, “Goodland: Great People.” It was inspired by a recent move. I had lived in Goodland for over two years, in a friend’s art studio. I preferred to call it a shed as it gave me sympathy tips as a waitress. Regardless, I was moving out of the studio/shed and into a small apartment. The generous outpouring of housewarming gifts as well as help with moving surprised me, as I had never seen anything like it.
Now, two years later, I have moved again. B.B. Wrinkles and I have made an addition to our family, cohabitating with a ruggedly handsome young man, new to the Goodland-living experience. We only moved three houses down from where I was, but it was still a big hassle, as moving always is. Once again, I was blown away by the support of my friends and neighbors, as was our new cohabitant, Josh.
It seems that this trend of generosity has taken over Goodland. Whenever someone is in need, the acts of kindness in our small town always go above and beyond the norm. So, I’m going to brag about it, because the “Do-Goodlanders,” as I like to call them, absolutely deserve it.
As my three-door-down move approached, I attempted to think logistically. What is the best and easiest way to move all my junk three doors down? Duh! A golf cart! As Goodland is merely pint-sized, many of us travel around on golf carts, which are street legal in our town. But, alas! I don’t have one. No need to have your own when you live among “Do-Goodlanders.” We borrowed a dear friend’s golf cart for the day and easily moved the entire contents of my over-stuffed closet, from one to the next, hangers attached and all. It was easy. It was fun. And it was a sight to see! Thanks, Judy!
My neighbor of two years, Duffy, who is now like a mother to me, offered up a brand new set of dish ware to add to our lovely new home. Noting my lack of uniform bowls and plates and the fact that I only had three plates to serve with last Easter, she graciously handed down a full set of large plates, bowls, dessert plates and coffee mugs. The fact that she had used these for her own family made them all the more special. Thanks, Duffy!
Only a week or so, living in our new home, Josh, B.B. and I came home to find a bag hanging on the front door. A set of two matching bath towels and hand towels was inside. No note or anything. It took me a few days to track down the mystery house – and heart – warmer. What a kind gesture. Thanks, Merrill!
Fellow Coastal Breeze columnist, friend and Do-Goodlander, Tara O’Neill, stopped by the other night to lend an artistic eye to our bare walls. All it took was a few glasses of wine and our walls were beautifully decorated, albeit a bit crooked when we woke up in the morning, but still beautiful. Thanks, Tara!
I could go on, so I will…
Our utility room was in dire need of help. An old shag, lime green carpet lay on the once-water damaged floor. As I attempted to remove this carpet, a neighbor stopped by to see how the move was going. Little did he know that he would be helping me move the rotten shag carpet, rip up the laminate flooring to expose a beautiful wood floor beneath, move the washer and dryer, clean out all the excess garbage inside and then reorganize everything. Thanks, Chainsaw!
On the day of our move, local landscaper, Chuckles, came by to give us a free move-in mow. What a guy! Thanks, Chuckles!
Current local hero, Jim, and his gal, Susie, offered Josh and I their above-ground 16-foot pool to have, not use – HAVE. This is just the kind of people they are. After all, Jim recently risked his life, controlling a fire that started in a neighbor’s shed. Containing the flames that could have easily reached other homes, Jim kept his cool as the fire blazed. The local fire department came out and took the lead from there. Thanks to Jim’s quick thinking, no one was hurt and further damage was deterred.
Speaking of sheds burning down, neighbors recently got together to help a friend build one. These types of activities are the norm to “Do-Goodlanders.” They stop by to drop off fresh baked goods, to tell you about any action in town, help you weed your lawn or just to say a quick hello. Whatever it may be, it seems that people in town are always willing to lend a hand.
“Do-Goodlanders” gather to help move houses and even to help move boats. It was a lively event the day Jim’s sailboat was pulled out of the water by crane. Everyone gathered to help as the huge boat went flying through the air.
These random acts of kindness in Goodland are extremely common, yet they are always pleasantly surprising. To me, “Do-Goodlanders” are kind of like dolphins. We see them all the time, yet the smile they elicit never fades away. I would easily argue that it is the people of Goodland that make it worthy of its simple, yet honest, name.
Natalie Strom has lived in Goodland for over two years and has worked in Goodland on and off for more than five years. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is also a former Buzzard Queen of Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland.