Sarah Stultz: Neighbors made it a joy to live on East Park

Published 9:00 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

Nose for News, By Sarah Stultz

It was a busy weekend in the Stultz household, as we moved across town into our recently purchased home. Whoever thought moving a couple miles away would have been so exhausting? Between packing, sorting through all of our stuff, loading and unloading the truck and now unpacking into the new place, it has been quite the task.

The last few days I have thought about the almost seven years we have spent on East Park Avenue, and all of the wonderful people who live in that neighborhood.

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I remember one instance when our neighbor, Bob Etheridge, had to use a ladder to climb up to our unlocked second-story bathroom window  to rescue our son, who had locked himself in the room. We couldn’t get the door open or off the hinges from the inside so we had to resort to the window.

Then there were all the instances our neighbors helped snowblow our sidewalks, helped with odd projects outside of the house and even hauled away our grass clippings and leaves every year we lived there.

Even the little things made a difference. Our neighbor, Wayne Hedalen, who owns the driveway that runs next to our house, would always help pull our garbage to the curb if we forgot and was always quick to help out with any projects we had that we needed assistance with.

There are memories during the road construction of last year — the jaunts down the street as we walked from our houses to our cars and how our neighborhood came together during that rough, yet necessary time.

In all the time we had lived there, there was always friendly conversation and sincere concern about our lives from everyone who lived around us.

There were Bob and Pat Goldman, who graciously opened up their home to my mother-in-law when she came out for our daughter, Sophie’s funeral last year, and who started a prayer chain when our son, Landon, had a severe seizure episode in July that landed him at St. Marys in Rochester.

I’ll never forget the love we felt from Bob and another neighbor, Al Roscoe, who were there in the emergency room waiting room after Sophie died. It was comforting to see some familiar faces after we came out of a horrific experience.

I still don’t know how they found out about the crash, as we weren’t in our neighborhood when it happened, but it was touching to know they were there waiting to offer hugs and words of support.

There were dinners and cookies and even a neighbor who volunteered to mow our grass during that time. Not to mention the pink balloons in our neighborhood the day of her funeral. I just can’t thank them all enough. 

On our street, we didn’t have very large yards or space between houses. While this definitely had its pros and cons, I learned that it helps create a strong and safe neighborhood, as people are more likely to interact and to be aware of what is happening around them.

I could go on and on about the nice things our neighbors have done for us over the years we lived there.

There have been many other experiences I have not shared but wanted to take the chance publicly to say thanks for the kindness.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.