February 16, 2018 – Excelsior Springs, we’ve got something special. I promise. And I know this because I see it every day. But sometimes I wonder, do you see it, too?
My family and I moved here four years ago. Bought our first home. And people thought we were crazy. “Excelsior Springs?” we were asked.
“Yes,” we replied, over and over, firmly. We knew what we were doing. We had done plenty of searching. Plenty of shopping, not just for a home, but for a community. And Excelsior Springs just felt right.
The downtown was full of all the charm and nostalgia that small-town Missouri has claimed for its own. The red brick storefronts, the cheerful murals, the tiny pockets of green and the fountains, a diner called Ray’s Lunch that looked like it was straight out of the 1950s, next to a barber shop, of course, and a store that actually specializes in popcorn? Sign me up.
A little further out, and we had access to all the wild we wanted, with rolling hills and trees. There’s Watkins Mill, and the Fishing River curves its way through the heart of the town. And don’t even get me started about the wineries.
And then, get this – there was access to all the conveniences of a bigger city, too. Walmart is right here. So is Price Chopper and Aldi. I kept telling my friends back home, “We have three places to grocery shop,” in tones of wonderment. And then the community center came in.
The schools were small. Property prices affordable. The interstate provides easy access to the city.
Dig a little deeper, and you find these other amazing gems: a thriving art community, a poetry club, a beloved theater, and business owners devoted to community growth, and each other.
But there’s so much more, too.
I’ve never lived in a place where the people take care of their own the way Excelsior Springs does. If a person or a family is in need, someone else steps up. I see it time and time again. I see it in the donations made through Facebook for a private GoFundMe, and I see it through the support of such necessary and beloved organizations as the Good Samaritan Center.
I see it when I am looking at hamburger at one store, and someone whispers to me that ground beef is on sale at the other store and says I should ask for a price match.
I see it in our backyard, as I hear kids playing in the creek that runs behind my house, shouting and laughing and I think, “I’m lucky to live in a place where kids still roam in packs through their neighborhoods.”
I see it in the high school students who spend their time raising money for the homeless and donate to veterans’ families.
I see it in the gift basket my own husband received because he is a veteran, from a local Veterans’ Outreach Group.
I see it every day, as I go around town, talking to people for the newspaper.
Excelsior Springs is special. And it’s more than just the small-town charm and beautiful countryside. It’s the people. You are what makes Excelsior Springs so amazing.
You should be proud of it.
I know I am.