Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

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


Home sweet home

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

One year ago today, Gideon and I spent the morning working with an Arvest Bank agent to see if we qualified for a home loan. We did, so I reached out to one of our friends who happens to be the best realtor in town. By the afternoon, we were touring a spacious, split-level home near Beaver Lake.

Today, we live in it. Itís pretty wild how quickly time goes by. Itís even wilder that we found our home the first day of searching. Sometimes I canít believe it.

Gideon and I lived in a little two-bedroom apartment in Eureka Springs for six years. We shared so many memories in that apartment. Birthday parties, Christmas mornings, our first wedding ceremony and countless hours with the best kitty in the world, our orange tabby named BJ.

We moved in with a table, a futon and a mattress. We moved out with a couch, a bedroom suite, a desk, a bookshelf, so many chairs and more trinkets than I ever thought I could accumulate. I spent so many years upset that we didnít have all the things I wanted, and then cursed all the things we did have when it came time to box it all up. Howís that for irony?

Gideon and I moved hundreds of tiny boxes in the days leading up to our official move. It nearly broke us. The cats werenít very happy about it, either. They stayed inside my closet for most of the first day. Then BJ started exploring, and he never stopped. That cat loved to get all up in everybodyís business.

Iíll never forget how it felt to sign the papers officially making us homeowners, something Gideon and I didnít think was possible. I was so sure it would never happen that I couldnít accept it when it did.

ďOh, itíll all fall through.Ē

ďYeah it looks like itís going to work out, but you never know.Ē

ďWe should be prepared for the worst.Ē

I said all those things to Gideon and anyone in earshot that month leading up to signing the papers. Something had to go wrong. I was convinced something that good couldnít happen to me. But when I signed the paperwork that Monday evening, those bad feelings slid off my shoulders. It was all going to be OK. For the first time in a long time, I believed it.

As the year flew by, we purchased a new couch, chairs and a rug for the living room. My mom and nana gifted us a huge flat-screen television on Thanksgiving, our first Thanksgiving in our own home. We watched silly holiday movies over turkey and dressing. We painted pumpkins, decorated for Christmas and began buying supplies in bulk.

I clung tight to BJ, knowing in my heart that we didnít have much time left with him. Gideon wasnít so sure but I knew. Somehow I always know.

BJ loved our house and spent hours roaming around looking for hiding spots. He loved to perch on our big navy chair by the window, especially on sunny days. When we said goodbye to him on March 17, we knew we gave him the best final days a kitty cat could ask for ó days full of sniffing shoes, lounging in the sun and private wet food feedings in the upstairs bathroom.

Coming up on our first anniversary in the house, I see change all around me. We replaced our old washer with a new model that sings when a load is done. We tossed out our old futon and tried a whopping number of internet services. We faced life without our sweet boy BJ, the hardest change of them all.

Some would say itís bittersweet, but I donít feel any bitterness. We are supposed to change. We are supposed to lose our beloved pets. We are supposed to face new challenges ó thatís the only way we become better people.

Hereís to embracing change, becoming a better person and living a life you love.