Friday, January 28, 2022

Goodland: great people

To know Goodland is to love Goodland.

To know Goodland is to love Goodland.

Two and a half years ago I moved to Goodland. When I got here I called my father and detailed the sleepy little village. “What, are you living on a commune now?”  he asked.  I, of course, explained to him that Goodland is not at all a commune but it most certainly is a community.

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago – where one city blurs into the next – Goodland was like something I had never seen before.  Even the four years I spent in the cornfields at the University of Iowa didn’t prepare me for the small town feeling here.  It was one of the reasons that I just had to stay.

My move to Goodland was far from traditional.  I arrived with only a suitcase full of clothes and intentions to stay for the week.  Somehow I never left.  In my search to find a place to live, I was warmly welcomed by some of the great people here, and almost immediately I was offered three different places to stay.  As I had only come down on vacation, I didn’t even have my car – one of my father’s main concerns.  Yet, I was able to find rides into town (Marco Island is considered “town”) whenever I needed.  Eventually I got my car back and I recently moved to my own place in Goodland.  The generosity of my neighbors continued – I was offered everything from microwaves to furniture to



silverware.  My home was put together with help from the residents of Goodland.

These displays of kindness are why I made Goodland my home.  The generosity does not stop there.  In fact, just the other day a neighbor patched a hole in my tire after I had run over a nail.  The people here are truly like no other.  If you are sick, they bring you food and medicine. If you are expecting a baby, you will have everything you need through gifts and hand-me-downs.  In fact, it isn’t uncommon to receive gifts from your neighbors here for no reason at all.  And of course, holidays, birthdays, and any other special events are a community affair.

As Goodland is so small it seems that everyone is your neighbor.  If you live here, you know Goodland is a community of friends who are always willing to lend a hand.  Not only am I proud to be a resident of Goodland, but I am also very honored to have been asked to write about our village.  Hopefully I have done a better job of explaining our “Drinking Village With a Fishing Problem” in this article than I did to my father when I first arrived.

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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