MANSFIELD -- When Phillip and Lorice Sherman decided to leave their home of 30 years and move across the country, people thought they were crazy.
But seven months into their move to Mansfield, the couple couldn’t be happier with their choice.
Phillip and Lorice Sherman had spent most of their lives in Arizona, but Lorice, who grew up in Lexington, had always longed to return to Ohio.
“It never left my heart. I’ve always just loved Ohio,” she said.
Phillip was skeptical at first, but after a few trips to see Lorice’s family in Richland County, he soon felt the same way.
“I just fell in love with it. Ohio is just a gorgeous place,” said Phillip. “It’s like America used to be 100 years ago. People are nice, you know your neighbors, prices are reasonable.”
After their youngest daughter graduated high school, the couple packed up a car and drove across the country with their beagle, Brutus, in tow.
Phillip also moved his company, Telecom Advisors, to Lexington. The company is an independent consulting firm that helps businesses identify the best approach to their telecommunications needs.
Since moving to Mansfield in June, the Shermans have quickly grown to love the area’s various outdoor activity offerings. They hike Mohican, ski at Snow Trails, attend the summer concert series at the Bellville Gazebo and fly fish along the Clear Fork.
Phillip’s unique hobbies include flying a plane (he has a pilot’s license and a plane at the Galion airport) and shoveling snow.
“I’m one of those crazy people that actually enjoys shoveling snow,” he said. “It’s just enjoyable exercise.”
Phillip admitted that he may feel differently after a few hard winters, but the Shermans agree that the change in climate suits them. They had had enough of Arizona’s intense heat, the scorpions and lack of vegetation.
“The four seasons, the rolling green hills, the pastures it's just one of the most beautiful things you could ever see,” said Lorice.
The couple is also enjoying Richland County’s restaurant scene. After moving to the area, they decided to have a weekly date night and try a new eatery each time.
“The nice thing about coming to an area like this is we get to explore,” said Phillip, whose local favorites include Paul Revere, Fast Eddie’s, Wokano and the V&M.
Lastly, the couple have become avid Ohio sports fans. They’ve taken full advantage of Mansfield’s close proximity to both Cleveland and Columbus, traveling to cheer on the Cleveland Indians, Cavaliers and Browns games as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ohio State Buckeyes.
“My wife turned me into a Buckeye quite quickly,” Phillip said.
Last month, they attended the village of Lexington’s Christmas tree lighting.
“I love the small town feel and the sense of community,” Lorice said. “It was like being in a Hallmark movie.”