Grateful for the season

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It's awfully hard to be grumpy about getting up early when you drive through Carroll County to get to work in the morning. I find this especially true during spring and fall, when all the colors are changing and the new season starts to set in.

We're smack dab in the middle of spring now, and it feels like some new color pops up every day. Purple flowers have begun growing along the road where I walk in the evenings, which makes exercise after a long day of work almost bearable.

For those of you who have lived here all your lives, the changing of the seasons probably isn't that big of a deal. You know what to expect: Flowers bloom, trees flower and grass grows. Summer comes around and everything is green, then orange and red leaves begin falling to signify yet another season.

If the nature in Northwest Arkansas is all you know, you probably aren't as aware of the much worse places you could live. I grew up in a town in southwest Arkansas, bordering Texas and Louisiana. My mom's family was from the Texas side of town, but it doesn't really matter which state you live in if you live in that area.

Everything there is flat and brown and lifeless. I can't remember ever driving on a truly hilly area when I lived there, much less seeing multiple flowering trees in one location. But it's not all bad. Like Northwest Arkansas, that part of the state has four seasons: less hot summer, hot summer, really hot summer and hot summer.

It absolutely doesn't compare to Northwest Arkansas. If my family and friends didn't live there, I might never go back. There's just something so special about living in Northwest Arkansas, where everything is colorful and hilly and full of character.

I may be biased, but I think Carroll County exemplifies this more than any other county in the state. It's not just because of the beautiful nature all around us, though that is pretty nice. My favorite thing about our county is how fresh the air is. You can walk outside in the morning, take a deep breath and feel completely rejuvenated.

It's not uncommon to see others taking advantage of the area, using the hiking trails or just taking the long way to get to a restaurant or a shop. In our county, we're surrounded by so much beauty and fresh air and other people who want to enjoy these things.

The fastest way for me to get to work in the morning is the scenic route. I'd venture to say that's true for every road in the county. Seeing all those beautiful trees and flowers is enough to bring me out of my pre-coffee, early-morning trance. Sometimes, I see something I never saw before on my morning commute and realize how lucky I am to live where I do.

It's become pretty hard to get to work feeling anything but blessed.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.