A cool start

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Brrrrr! The month of November started out a cold one. Within one week, we had a dusting of wet snow and a day of black ice out on the roads. I always know the bad weather is coming when I receive the text or email from our local schools announcing they are sending the kids’ personal computers or Snow Day packets home with them. Unfortunately for our children, they had school on both of those days. They would not go to bed on the night before the first round of weather came in. They woke up grumpy and slow. They did take the time before heading to school to go play in the light dust in the grass knowing it would be gone by noon.

This month has also brought a third teenager into the household. Our oldest son turned 13 and is like our own personal Google – he knows everything. Our youngest daughter is almost 15 and has started driving to and from school for athletic practices with an age-waiver permit. I am a nervous driver in bad weather. I am fearful of all the things that could potentially happen if I lose control on a slippery patch of ice. Usually, I just stay put at home. I did not let our new driver drive on the first day of snow this season. As I drove into town, I realized the roads were not bad at all and she could have driven just fine. Google, our oldest son, was very quick to point out my needless anxiety.

On the second day of bad weather, my younger sister and nieces were in town for the Northwest Arkansas Boutique Show. My sister went upstairs early in the morning and announced to all the kids that there was no school today. They were so mad when they realized she was just teasing them. They did, in fact, have school that day. I went outside and it was very cold, but I did not think it looked like the roads were too bad. Our daughters attend two different schools, and they are both able to drive. The youngest one packed her lunch and headed out the door first. When she finally arrived at the school parking lot, she called to say the bridge into Elkins was very slick. I asked her how she knew, and she said it was because the car had slid a little bit coming across it. I was thankful she had arrived safely and wondered how bad it really was.

Later, my sister, nieces and I took off in two cars to head up to Rogers for the show. As we crossed the bridge ourselves, there were emergency vehicles on both sides of the road. There had been a bad accident, and someone had run their vehicle through the fence on one of the pastures we lease. My eyes were bugged out as I told my sister I couldn’t believe I let our 14-year-old drive that day. My (much braver) sister kept scolding me for driving through town like an old lady. As we continued into Fayetteville and up Interstate 49, there was a wreck at nearly every overpass. I think after we sat in traffic while wrecks were cleared, she was glad I drive like an old lady in bad weather. It was cold and icy all the way up to Benton County that day.

My idea of a nice snow day includes a warm fire, hot chocolate and a good book while enjoying the country view outside the window. I don’t mind bundling up to go do chores if it is toasty and warm when I come back in. As the Christmas holiday approaches, it may be a balmy Arkansas 70-degree day. My hope is that your country Christmas will be full of peace and joy. Get your wood pile stacked because I really hope these kids get the snow day they have been praying for, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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