Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

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


Having an arctic blast

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Last Thursday, my boss told me to expect an arctic blast this week. I grew up in Texas, so I didnít know what that was at first.

As I write on Monday morning from my home office, Iíve come to understand that an arctic blast brings freezing temperatures, slippery roads and the urge to stock up on milk and bread as soon as possible.

I usually start my day by browsing social media in case thereís any headlines we are missing. When people get big news, they almost always go to Facebook first. This morning, my feed was clogged with people telling other people to stay off the roads. Apparently several cars slid down Magnetic Road, and one car landed upside down.

Thatís one thing you can count on me to never do ó if itís even slightly icy outside, Iím not leaving the house. When we first moved to Eureka Springs, I was arrogant enough to think I could drive on ice. I still remember driving home at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night and cresting over the top of our parking lot. Then I started to slide, slowly gaining way too much momentum. Somehow I pulled it together and parked without hitting anything, but that was the only wake-up call I needed.

Since then, Iíve purchased a little car that would fare much worse on ice than my old mini-SUV. If it were possible, Iíve become even more careful on ice. So I am spending the first day of the arctic blast working from home while Gideon makes me tea and answers emails from his students. I wrapped a fleece blanket around my legs and feet, and deer keep stopping by the window to say hello. They donít understand when I scold them for not wearing a thicker coat.

According to the weather report, we should expect even more freezing temperatures as the week goes on. Weíll have some freezing rain on Wednesday and snow showers on Thursday and Saturday. Gideon said he might have more than one snow day this week, and Iím inclined to believe him. Usually I donít believe a weather report until I see it with my own eyes, but weíve had a lot of winter weather this year. It wouldnít surprise me if it snowed every day this week, even on Friday when the sun is supposed to peek out for a few minutes.

Thatís a stark difference when you think about the kind of winter weather weíve had over the past few years. Weíve had a lot of rain the past few winters, but the temperatures have been pretty mild and I donít recall a heavy snow since we moved to Eureka Springs in 2014. Itís like this winter is making up for all those mild winters.

In news that surprises no one, thereís no such thing as an arctic blast in Texas. The coldest it ever got was 20 degrees, and when that happened, Iíd close my eyes and pretend to be in an igloo. Growing up, I told anyone who would listen that I hated hot weather and Iíd love to live someplace where itís freezing year-round.

As the arctic blast sets in, Iím not so sure Iíd enjoy these temperatures every day. But from where Iím sitting ó in a comfortable chair cocooned in a blanket ó it isnít too bad. Days like this are a great reminder of how fortunate we are to have the basics. I am thankful for warm blankets, fireplaces and a hot meal at the end of the day.

If you ask me, Iím having a blast.