Perfect Place


While walking through Lansing I’ve learned to appreciate a good area. I’ve created my Personal Neighborhood Assessment guidelines. Some of these “rules” are things like the cleanliness of the sidewalk and homes, the types of cars in the driveways, whether or not there are lawn ornaments (it would seem that fear of burglary or vandalism would prohibit their presence in troubled neighborhoods) and landscaping. I like to walk into neighborhoods and see folks watering plants, mowing their lawns or relaxing on the porch. On the other hand folks arguing on the front lawn, yelling at their kids or secretly talking by running cars tend to cause a bit of trepidation. So far on my journey I have not in any location found myself in a precarious situation. I haven’t had to call for help, or seek out assistance or fight off an attacker. I am not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying it hasn’t happened in the year and a half that I’ve been venturing throughout Lansing. I realize the possibility is there. I often keep track of my surroundings, checking whose walking nearby. I memorize which houses have security systems and I always carry my phone. Using pepper spray is not entirely out of the question either. Given all this, I really enjoy a walk that takes me into an area where I feel completely safe; the perfect neighborhood. I know that there really isn’t such a thing; bad things can happen anywhere. But there are places that the chance of those bad things happening is severely reduced. Today I walked one of those places. This was my fourth time walking in Groesbeck. I had started it last year around Easter when I hid plastic eggs throughout the neighborhood and posted picture clues to their location. It was fun!

I liked that this place was a place I felt comfortable doing that in. My second time was a drop off. My husband had a business meeting in the area so the twins and I went along to take our walk. It was a great summer day. We ran into friends and family alike while walking. The third time was a family walk. My brother in law lives in Groesbeck and his family and my family all went for an afternoon walk. We weren’t the only ones.

On this last walk I completed all the streets I had missed before in this neighborhood. I am a little sad that I will no longer “need” to walk this beautiful neighborhood. I can only hope that as I continue to move into areas I am not as familiar with I will find a new “Groesbeck”; a place where homes are well kept, the lawns are pristine and the lawn gardens are breathtaking.

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3 responses to “Perfect Place

  1. Too often people use poverty as an excuse for not maintaining their yard, their share of the neighborhood. I have walked in some very poor neighborhoods in north Lansing and come across some very well kept yards. I felt like knocking on the door and thanking them for doing their part. You don’t need a high paying job to make sure your kids pick up their toys or to pull some weeds or to keep your indoor furniture indoors.

  2. Nichole Collins

    Thankyou for this wonderful article…It was the perfect place to grow up. We moved to Lansing in 1973 and had a wonderful realtor show us that neighborhood. I was only 3. I feel very lucky to say I grew up in Groesbeck.

  3. Thanks Nicole. In high school almost all my friends lived in Groespeck so I’ve always felt like it was a bit of a second home. It’s still a really wonderful location.

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