Friday, September 18, 2020

Change in a small town

The Goodland Boat Park is officially open from 7 a.m. to sunset. Photo by Natalie Strom

The Goodland Boat Park is officially open from 7 a.m. to sunset. Photo by Natalie Strom

As we grow we learn certain things to be true about ourselves. Recently, I have found that I have a big issue with change.  Just the other day I spent my whole morning rearranging my living room just to wind up putting everything back exactly as it was. Because it is my living room I can keep it the same forever. But Goodland is not just mine, and there are certainly changes going on in this small town that I cannot control.

The specific change I am referring to is the new Goodland Boat Ramp.  One of the reasons I have loved Goodland so much is its constant effort to keep the small fishing village feel that it has always had. The addition of the boat ramp has been a sensitive issue for others as well as me. For years the space, that is now the boat ramp, was a large empty lot used mainly by locals. Once my own personal “dog park”, the boat ramp now offers just about anything but a place for me to walk my dog. Am I overly sensitive about this? Yes. And I admit it. But I have spent two years of my life in Goodland walking that park with my dog and my friends until one day it was suddenly taken away. When the county locked the gates to the park on us, we were devastated. Unwilling to give into the change coming our way, we began to sneak under the fence to get in. Soon enough, however, once it became a work zone, it became too dangerous to continue our trespassing.

As the months went by and construction began, my dog slowly started gaining weight. At nine pounds overweight, the Goodland Boat Ramp finally opened. With all my animosity in tow, I

Longtime Goodland and Marco Residents, Simone and Dwayne Naftal participate in the opening of the Goodland Boat Park. Photo by Natalie Strom

Longtime Goodland and Marco Residents, Simone and Dwayne Naftal participate in the opening of the Goodland Boat Park. Photo by Natalie Strom

took a trip down to the new park. I was shocked at how beautiful it was! A walkway lines the park and there will be grills and rocking chairs throughout for anyone to use. The best part, for me, is that there will be a general store inside. No more running all the way to Marco for bread, milk, or beer! The boat ramp offers many other amenities as well. Leaving the park, I already began to feel acceptance setting in.

As it has taken me the better part of a year to adjust to the idea of a public boat ramp in Goodland, I do still have a few concerns. I worry for the safety of children and those on golf carts when the boat traffic begins to increase. I also worry that my dog isn’t getting enough cardio. Yet, when all is said and done, I do believe that the boat ramp will be a nice place for me to spend time and will increase revenue for our local businesses. I do, after all, work for one of the restaurants in town. I guess you could say that my changed opinion regarding the boat ramp has been defined by what it can do for me.

So, since this is all about me, what have I learned here? Not only am I afraid of change, but I am apparently selfish as well. Maybe this is why I’m still single? Whatever the case, at least I get to keep my living room exactly the way I like it.

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.

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