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Samantha Jones

Reporter's Notebook

Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Get out of town!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Iím a firm believer in the power of a good vacation. Taking time off can help you clear your head, try yummy new food and see places youíve always dreamed of. Last week, I did just that. Leaving Gideon and the kitties behind, I took off on a road trip with one of my oldest friends, Kasey.

Our destination was Denver, the home of Kaseyís cousins and one of my best friends from college. We both hadnít seen our loved ones in a while and were ecstatic about that. Of course, we made sure to have fun on the drive there. We took our time, not worrying about how long our stops took. That meant we saw some pretty exciting things on the drive, from a giant dog statue at a dog park to the sunrise over Oklahoma.

We pulled into Denver right when it got dark, and I was happy I wasnít driving. Living in Carroll County hasnít exactly prepared me for driving in a big city, to put it lightly. You canít find many three-lane roads in our little area, much less six-lane highways. Fortunately, Kasey did great Ö she changed lanes like she had been doing it all her life. We did accidentally take a wrong turn down a one-way street, but nobodyís perfect and we were getting too hungry to comprehend road signs.

Finally, we grabbed some food to-go and headed back to our Airbnb. We stayed in a residential neighborhood near downtown, so most places were in walking distance. Our first day there, we walked all over the neighborhood marveling at the quaint little houses and fall foliage. Many of the homes reminded me of certain parts of downtown Eureka Springs, especially those classic homes that have been renovated in recent years. It felt like being home for the smallest second Ö then I saw all the cars and people and realized I was definitely out of town.

Considering how the past year has gone, getting out of town is definitely what I needed. Itís no secret that itís been a tough year for me. Iím not saying that for sympathy. Itís just the truth. Itís been a bad year. I lost a dear friend, and that made me lose myself. I needed to get away for a little while to get my head back on straight.

Now that Iím back, I feel so fortunate to have friends to travel with and friends to travel to. Seeing my friend Madii in her element filled me with happiness. She showed us the clothes sheís been creating at her job and we were all impressed. Kasey took a while saying goodbye to her cousin, wiping away a few happy tears as her cousin drove away. Kasey said she was happy because her cousin was so happy. Thatís how I feel about Madii, too. Even with a year as bad as 2018, nothing can lift my spirits more than seeing someone I love so in love with the life theyíre living.

I got back to Eureka Springs on a rainy Thursday afternoon, and it struck me how lucky I am for this life Iím living in our little community. Iíve got friends who are like family here and a job that lets me connect with others every day.

Sometimes, youíve got to get out of town to appreciate what you have.

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