Columbia is just exploding with newcomers! These past few months have blown by in a whirlwind of welcome basket deliveries. Since I’ve been so busy taking out goodies and remiss in blogging, I thought I would tell you about some of the newest residents I had the pleasure to meet.
In July alone, thirty newcomer families were greeted. People moved here from all over Missouri, surrounding states and across the US – Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Texas, Philadelphia, Illinois, Nebraska,, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kansas, Louisiana and Rhode Island. One man was Scottish; a family was from England.
Some came alone; others moved in with spouses, extended family and children (30+ kids). Many newcomers had furry friends – I petted 17 dogs, was ignored by six cats, saw a turtle, passed on meeting a tarantula, heard about horses, had a bird sit in on a welcome visit and met a bunny named Poe.
One woman was in the Olympics; another family had their move captured on film by HGTV’s House Hunters (the episode will air later this year). I met my first newcomer with green hair.
Family continues to be the number one reason why people look to move here. Some were returning to Columbia to be closer to mothers, sisters or close friends. Others moved here because of the excellent healthcare, got transferred or moved with jobs, or just decided they wanted a more thrilling city in which to live.
Of course, everyone needs to pay the bills, so work comes up a lot. There were many doctors, nurses and people in healthcare; public school teachers; administrators and graduate students at UMC and Columbia College. I also met a dance teacher, vocational rehab counselor, artist, computer programmers, prison guard, stay-at-home moms (and one dad), entrepreneurs, a few retirees and a house mom for 60 college women.
Three families had moving vans in the driveway during our visit. Over two-thirds of the newcomers had been here a month or less. Most everyone was still unpacking boxes or renovating rooms, but looked forward to exploring the downtown art scene, friendly farmer’s markets and tasty local restaurants. These newcomers are looking forward to being a part of the community. I’m so glad they now call Columbia home.