Our dear neighbor Bill Hulen died at age 82 last week. Bill and his wife, Sharon, lived next door for 30 years. We moved to our small farm in 1987 and realized quickly that we hit the jackpot. Bill and Sharon were kind, generous, and understanding.
Bill helped us get into the sheep business. When we went on vacation he fed our flock. When we were lambing he came over several times a day to assist the ewes while Bob and I worked.
Bill and Sharon loved to garden and shared all their produce with us. Bill's gourds and tomatoes were tremendous.
The best thing Bill and Sharon did for our family was spend time with our three children. Our kids knew they could walk over there if they wanted to talk. "I'm going over to Bill and Sharon's," they would say, often after they got into trouble or were frustrated. I'm not sure what they talked about over there, but it always helped. Bill was a retired high school teacher and coach. He knew what he was doing.
Our oldest son, Nowlan, summed it up best: "Bill was the nicest neighbor anyone could ask for. It meant a lot that he was always there for our family, whether that was to lend a hand with the sheep or listen to my stories - as a child and as an adult."
Good neighbors are better than gold.
Bill (right) and Bob walking through our alfalfa field a few years ago.
Bill made us a birdhouse from a gourd.
Bill was a sheep whisperer.
Bill and Sharon (front) joined us for a picnic.