Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are you sure you want to move to the Ozarks?

Many of you who visit Ozarks Almanac are folks who are planning on (or at least dreaming about) a move to the country or a small town. You want to get out of the "rat race" and lead "a simple life." You think that moving to Southern Missouri would be your ticket to Mayberry.

That's what a lot of people have done. For a few, it works out fine. For others, it is a nightmare. They discover that small towns don't have shopping malls; not even a small city like Rolla has a shopping mall. They find out there's no theater (although Rolla does have the Ozark Actors Theatre in the summer). They find there are no concerts by big-name rock stars or symphonies. They start griping that rural or small-town Missouri is a cultural and commercial wasteland. They long for the city. Eventually they leave, and good riddance.

So, my advice to you: Do lots of research before you move from the "rat race." You may find out too late that it really is your comfort zone.


"Honey, let's get back to the land,"
a city slicker said to his wife,
although "back" was a poor word to use.
For he'd lived in town all his life.

"I want to quit the rat race, buy a farm,
raise chickens, hogs, and a cow.
It'll be easy. Anyone can farm,
You don't have to be smart to know how."

So he took his life savings and bought
Ozarks land because it was cheap,
and then started to prove the Lord's truth
in"As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

When neighbors offered suggestions,
he'd say in a tone downright snide,
"I don't need help from ignorant hillbillies."
Strike one for sowing pride.

And then he began to complain
"No theater, no concerts, I'm bored.
"No mall. This place needs to change."
Strike two: strife and discord.

Drought, hail and falling markets took their toll,
Financial losses he could not abate.
Of course he blamed the people of Missouri.
Strike three: bitterness and hate.

So he sold his livestock and property,
and got himself out of the sticks.
"I'm too intelligent to be a farmer,
agriculture is for stupid hicks."

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