Springfield, MO

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Why I love the hometown of the Simpsons

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I moved here in January 1996 with my husband, Hot Rod (yep, that's his name one of the reasons I married him) and our son, Max. Hot Rod and I went middle-age crazy and sold our plumbing and heating company in Park City, Utah. Now, Park City is a fine place just getting a bit popular with the jet-set crowd.

We wanted to move to the country. We wanted to find a place where folks were small-town friendly, and you could buy enough land to pretend you were a farmer. The Springfield area seemed nice. We had been out here before to visit some friends and liked the wide-open spaces and property tax rates.

So, we packed up and moved out. We left right after Christmas so that Max could start school after the holiday break. School was scheduled to start Jan. 3, and on that day we bundled up and headed down the driveway to meet the bus.

It was a brisk, snappy-cold morning, with a dusting of snow. Max and I waited for about 20 minutes. No bus. Hmm. We walked back up to the house and discovered that school had been canceled because of the weather!

Now, in Utah, school was canceled only if an earthquake coincided with 48 inches of snowfall. The next four days we got ready to head to school, only to find it was too cold, too snowy or too icy for the buses to navigate safely.

Max was delighted. And so was I! Each day we played in the snow, slid down the icy driveway and snuggled into our new home.

I decided then that any place that shut down under an inch of snow was an OK place to live!

Since then I have discovered a lot of things that I love about this area.

It's the home of the Simpsons. Sure there are a lot of Springfields in this country, but Homer and clan live here. I saw Homer once, shopping at Bass Pro.

People smile and wave. On the freeway, you can actually merge into traffic without pulling a gun. And on farm roads, expect the casual howdy salute index finger lifted from the steering wheel. You get a smile and "Hello" as you pass on the sidewalk. Folks are just nice around here.

The best is yet to come. I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Once upon a time there you could buy a piece of property, fix it up and resell it and make some money. Nowadays, even the shoddiest shack in Salt Lake sells for $100,000. The real estate opportunities are not what they used to be.

Now, in Springfield, you can still buy a house for less than it costs to buy a new car. You can make some money with hard work and sweat equity. I recently visited Denver and San Antonio. Wow what they have done with their previously dilapidated downtown areas! Springfield's center city is just touching on the potential it has as an incredible downtown. What opportunities! The best is yet to come!

Business is booming! Flip through the pages of the Springfield Business Journal lots of moving and shaking going on! Smiling faces tell of new businesses and expanded services. Proud announcements of promotions and new hires. This is what business should feel like exciting, overflowing with potential. Anything is possible!

Yes, Springfield is a terrific place to do business.

And when it snows, thank goodness, people here know enough to take the day off. All that and Homer, too. I love my new home!

(Ellen Rohr's mission is to help folks make a living doing what they love. Her new book is called "Where Did the Money Go? - a Beginner's Guide to Basic Business Scorekeeping." She can be contacted by e-mail at

or by phone at 753-3998.)

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