Winter weather memories
Growing up in southwest Arkansas, I knew better than to expect winter weather. We were lucky if we got a light snow shower, and that was only when the rest of the country was experiencing a particularly hard winter.
That was the case in 2001, the year we received so much ice and snow that school was canceled for three weeks. Mom and I lived in Fouke at the time ó a very small town on the outskirts of Texarkana. You had to drive 30 minutes to get to Texarkana, where my nana and papaw lived. We had never needed to stay with them because of bad weather before, but our power went out and the only grocery store in town closed.
We werenít prepared for that. We had to move. Mom packed up the car with all the necessities for a couple of days, expecting a short stay. I was pretty excited. Living 30 minutes away from my grandparents meant I didnít get to see them every day. Now, I got to see them for at least two days.
Well, it didnít take long for them to lose power, too. I remember taking a shower when we got there, feeling so happy to have electricity again, and immediately feeling disheartened when the lights shut off. Oh well. I was still with my family, and home is where the heart is. For days, we played card games and pretended it wasnít freezing cold.
A few days into our stay, Nana helped me make a snowman. We finished the snowman off with Nanaís leopard-print slip, a sun-hat and some lipstick. Thatís my favorite memory from the ice storm. Nana always knows how to make people laugh. That was true then, and itís true now.
We ended up staying there for a couple of weeks. It was uncomfortable at times. When we didnít have water, we used a communal bucket as a toilet. I love my family, but thatís a level of closeness Iíve never needed with anybody. Iím sure theyíd all agree with that.
Once the ice melted, we headed home to a working toilet and our own beds. At the time, that was all I wanted in the world, to go back to normal life. We lost Papaw three years later and never had another ice storm like that again. Sometimes, I wish I could go back. I miss my papaw. I miss being able to spend that much time with my family without worrying about all the things that stress me out.
This week, we got a snow day and I got to relive this memory. I spent the the day watching the snow fall from my desk, reminiscing on how it felt to be with everyone I loved in uncomfortably close quarters for weeks. Thatís the best I can wish for all of you this week.
I hope you spent the snow day with those you love, preferably with working plumbing and electricity. I hope you cherished the memories as you made them, but itís OK if you didnít.
Youíll cherish them someday.
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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.