A tree for any occasion

Ellen Emery

The notation on my calendar tells me that on Sunday, we change to daylight saving time.

I love the fact the light each day is lengthening. But I honestly don’t understand the practice of adjusting our clocks forward and backward during the year.

This week, I went to the Farmers’ Almanac to seek answers as to the necessity of daylight saving time. The Almanac explained that the time change was an effort to help us “make better use of natural light.”

The first mention of this time change, the article reported, was in 1784 when Benjamin Franklin wrote his proposal to save daylight. He advocated laws that would compel citizens to awake at the crack of dawn to save the expense of candlelight.

In our household when the daylight appears, The Gardener awakes and is ready to begin his day. In a state of retirement, the time on the clock no longer affects his schedule as it once did. Even though I personally am not thrilled with waking with daylight hours, I have confidence that I could adjust my time and make perfect use of the natural light without having to lose that precious hour of sleep.

The only one who has been affected by the time change seems to have been our feline friend, Tigger. In fact, he has never adapted to the fall time change last year.

Tigger’s normal supper hour is 4 p.m. (that way, hopefully, he has left the kitchen before it is time for me to prepare our dinner! It is much easier to work in the kitchen without Tigger’s help). Since the time change, Tigger sits in front of me at 3 p.m. and meows and then starts for the kitchen with the hope that I will follow.

He works to gain my attention and get me to the kitchen for his dinner until I finally give in. For months, he has eaten his dinner at the earlier 3 p.m.; hopefully on Sunday, he will return to his 4 p.m. hour.

The official time for our clocks to spring ahead one hour is 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The Clockman will begin changing the five clocks in our home on Saturday.

For several hours, there will be multiple times to look at. The cuckoo clock will be stopped and moved ahead an hour as well as the tall clock and mantel clock — each one in readiness for daylight saving time.

At the moment, the clocks in The Clockman’s shop are still. But as he begins to reopen the shop, there will be at last 75 clocks to start and on which to adjust the time.

Today, though, most clocks don’t have to be set ahead. I am fascinated by those that automatically change.

Our computers, phones and iPads all change automatically. Even the alarm clock in our bedroom will change completely on its own. I must admit that I’m always fearful the alarm clock won’t change on its own, and I will not keep scheduled appointments on Sunday morning.

I hope you will have all of your clocks changed by breakfast on Sunday and that you will be able to now make wonderful use of the natural light in the north country!


Gary VanKennen celebrates his birthday tomorrow. What a remarkable gentleman.

He has the most wonderful sense of humor and the most caring heart. He and his wife, Judy, are truly extraordinary individuals, always there for family members, friends and neighbors and each one in need — in the north country, throughout the state and in India and Bangladesh.

How grateful I am that I have had the marvelous opportunity to meet this gentleman this past year through Zoom connections. My warmest wishes are sent this week, Gary.

Have a wonderful day celebrating with your wife, Judy, and your family and many friends throughout the north country. You certainly deserve only the very best as you celebrate this year.


This past year has been difficult for so many. We all have been concerned about the pandemic and its spread, how to stay safe with our deepest thoughts for those who contracted this deadly disease and who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

During this time, I have been so grateful for connections that have been made by those who have reached out in love — family who make more calls than usual, who text and visit with FaceTime. How grateful I have been for Zoom connections and book studies and gatherings with that amazing technology that connects so many in a time of physical distancing.

The telephone rang recently. It was a young woman I haven’t visited with in years. I had taught her in a youth class at our church more years ago than I would care to remember.

She lives in a neighboring town and is now married and a mother. She also is a nurse treating patients, many who have battled COVID-19, in a nearby hospital.

“How are you doing?” the voice at the other end of the telephone asked. She had just called to say “Hello” and make sure we were OK.

How thoughtful. This young woman’s caring heart and her time on a very busy day to call and visit touched me.

How wonderful it is to live in the north country where neighbors and friends, even those from a few years ago, remember and reach out to keep in touch. My heartfelt thanks for Elaine’s telephone call.

It meant a great deal. I would hope others would take a moment this week and call a friend or neighbor you haven’t visited with in some time — just to say “Hello!”


My thanks to the young man behind the seafood counter at Price Chopper on Sunday morning. He was so pleasant when I stopped for salmon for our dinner.

His mask was delightful — such fun! I mentioned the mask and told him he made me smile underneath my own mask.

He laughed and said that we would all be so happy when we would be able to once again see each other’s faces. He then said we now have to all look more intently at each other’s eyes.

I agree. How amazing it is now to communicate and share our thoughts and feelings with others through a masked face. My thanks again — your kindness was wonderful and the salmon delicious.


“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the whole world’s joy.”

— Henry Ward Beecher

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