My family moved into the Pine Valley community nine years ago when I would be entering the fourth grade as the new kid at Pinewood. I remember hating the idea of starting over and moving to a new school, but I would meet my best friend for the next two years before she moved away and would make many new friends. My family would adjust and eventually we would become close to the neighbors around us. However, one instance that really showed what it meant to be a community occurred back in the seventh grade when I watched my neighbors rally around to support my family.
Back in the seventh grade, I remember one day getting off from school due to high winds and at first it seemed like a joke as Baltimore County is notoriously known for cancelling school at the sight of a snowflake. However, this situation was far more serious than a free day off from school as three giant oaks would come crashing down in our backyard. I remember being cooped up in the house all day and my mom telling my brother and me to try to find flashlights and candles if the power were to go out. My parents are the type to always be prepared for any situation and had us bring down anything valuable to the lower levels of our house should a tree fall. It wouldn’t be until later that afternoon when we heard the sound of creaking that sent us all running to the basement as we heard the first tree begin to fall. In the span of seconds, all we heard was a loud crash before the power instantly went out. Three giant oaks fell over like dominos in our backyard and miraculously only uprooted our patio and broke our back door and landed perfectly balanced on the corner of our neighbors’ house next door, the Hubers. If the tree had fallen over a few feet to the left or right then it would have totaled their car or smashed right through their house. Immediately, our neighbors from across the street, the Griffins, came to check on us and help decide on our next move which would be to call BGE. We would be taken in by our older neighbor from across the street, Ms. Christina who used to live in 222 Rickswood, and she let us sleep over for a couple days while maintenance crews tried to clear up the debris and reattach the power lines. In this span of two weeks, my family would receive support from our neighbors like we had never had before and would come to learn that being a part of a community is also being a part of family.
Being neighborly with someone, goes beyond giving a cup of sugar, but involves creating bonds with people that will last the rest of our lives. I know that these people will always want the best for me and support my future endeavors. I know I can count on the Griffins from across the street to borrow their Wi-Fi for when I needed a place to take my AP exams and they can always rely on us to pet -sit and on the rare occasion, a fire extinguisher to put out their Thanksgiving dinner. Ms. Christina could depend on my family to take out her garbage and recyclables and help clear the snow in her driveway. While she would always share with us her cherry cobbler and apples in return. The Herbicks are always willing to share their firewood throughout the winter and I’m always available for an impromptu babysitting session. Lastly, the Hubers for being ever so patient with us and tolerating our crazy dog who may or may not have bit Mr. Huber on more than one occasion. All of these families will leave an impact on my life and I certainly hope that my family have left an impact on theirs as well.
Sabrina Zieger, Dulaney High School Class of 2021, is a freshman at the Marywood University in Dunmore Pennsylvania and the 2021 winner of the PVVWCA Scholarship. Applications for the 2022 scholarship will be available next January at pvvwca.org.