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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

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

Opinion

Back in the saddle

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone a little differently, with many of us changing the way we work. Some of us began working from home, while others had their hours cut.

I am one of the lucky folks who continued to work full time during the pandemic, but I did much of that work from my kitchen table. To call it inconvenient would be an understatement. Gideon and I live in a small two-bedroom apartment, so there werenít a lot of spots to set up a work space. While I loved spending so much time with Gideon ó easily the most time weíve ever spent in the same space since we started dating seven years ago óI missed my coworkers and the comfortable set-up at my desk.

For a few reasons, including an impending move from that little apartment, I started working at the office again last week. I felt like I had gotten into the groove of things from my home office, if you can call it that. I thought it was fairly comfortable, but now Iím realizing how much I missed my regular routine. I missed getting up early (never thought Iíd say that!) and making a cup of black tea. Even more, I missed stopping by the post office before much of the world was awake and then listening to the news on the radio from Spring Street to Passion Play Road to Highway 62.

I love listening to the news on the radio. We have so many options, but I always gravitate to a local station. Local news matters deeply to me and not just because itís my job to keep up with it. Thereís no feeling quite like driving to work on a clear, crisp morning with the local news playing in the background. It makes me feel connected to my community, to all of you who read this column and all of you who donít.

This morning, I heard about the Carroll County Community Foundationís Proactive Board Grant, which will help the Eureka Springs Community Center complete its Youth Room project. Thatís the good kind of news we should all start our day with, and you wouldnít hear about it on an iHeartRadio station.

Luckily, Gideon and I are moving out toward Eureka Springs West, so Iíll have an even longer drive to look forward to soon. Iím one of those weirdos who loves to go for a drive. When I feel overwhelmed, a long drive can help set my head straight. Itís so calming to follow the curves of the road and listen to music. Itís like I can finally be alone with my thoughts. I canít tell you how many personal dilemmas Iíve solved with a cup of hot tea and a long drive ó just me and the road.

You donít know how much you miss something like that until youíre forced to make a big change. Weíre still seeing cases of the virus in our region, so Iím wearing a mask and practicing social distancing at the office. Thatís the least I can do to show others I care about them.

This week, Iím feeling fortunate to return to normal, with a few minor changes to ensure the safety of myself and those around me. Iím extremely resistant to change, but I have found myself embracing the new normal because itís one step toward truly getting back to normal ó and thatís something we can all get behind.