Nothing beats the scent of lilacs

The fragrance from freshly cut lilacs is lovely. Nothing can compare. Pexels

“You’re just in time for coffee,” was the greeting I received last week as I entered an office in Massena on a Thursday morning. Last week there were some photos and items that needed to be dropped off. I know so many of you have been enjoying time with friends sharing over coffee at restaurants and in each other’s homes and on a Sunday morning. Although I love to visit with friends and neighbors, I have found it more difficult than I would like, to remove my mask to share over coffee.

I know I write about visiting “over coffee” each week with a title at the top of this column promoting that very idea. Since we have stayed at home during COVID, I have visited with friends infrequently. I do miss time with friends and visiting over coffee.

As I stepped into the office space two friends greeted me. Both had coffee cups in their hands and there was an immediate invitation to join them. What welcoming words, “You’re just in time for coffee.” The extraordinary woman seated by the door immediately walked across the hall and returned with a cup of coffee in her hand, holding it out to me.

What a welcome invitation. All were definitely welcomed in that space. I took the cup of coffee and was overjoyed at this time of shared friendship. As we visited, I was grateful for the invitation, for a hand reaching out with a cup of delicious coffee to share.

The coffee has never tasted so good as it did last Thursday morning. “Coffee and friends – the perfect blend” is the wording on a small wooden plaque in our kitchen. It was certainly the perfect blend last week. I was welcomed with shared coffee and words shared about life, upcoming events and dear friends. How grateful I was as I drove across town to shop, for friends who took time to share – their coffee and time.


Monday has been designated as Memorial Day. The day, I have read, was set aside to honor all who died while serving. Memorial Day was established on May 30, 1868 first to honor those who had died in the Civil War. After World War I this day, was set aside to honor all who died while serving their country. It was in 1970 that the last Monday of May was set aside as the “official” Memorial Day.

How grateful I am for each one who served and for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we might enjoy life – freedom to worship and for me freedom to write without fear of reprisal.

I hope you will take time this week-end, especially on Monday and honor a veteran – send a note, say thank you, stop and visit. I would ask that you honor those who have given their lives in service – attend a parade honoring our veterans, attend a service and place flowers on the grave with a flag flying to pay tribute.

Growing up in Dresden on Seneca Lake, there was always a solemn ceremony at the church with Clarence Ryal reading the roll of each one who had given their life in service. A parade would lead the entire community to the cemetery where all of the children would carry baskets of flowers. We would listen to taps played echoing across the hillside and then at a designated time each basket of flowers was carefully placed on a grave with a flag designating that one as a grave of one who served.

My heartfelt thanks for those who have served, those who died in service to their country, their families and caregivers, too. May we always remember.


The Gardener has been doing yard work this week. As he has worked to trim bushes and trees and mow the lawn, he also cut sprigs from the lilac bush in our yard. I love lilacs in the springtime. I must say I am not a fan of that scent in candles, but the fragrance from freshly cut lilacs is lovely. Nothing can compare. The vase of beautiful, fragrant lilacs is hidden near the sink so our feline friend Tigger cannot pull them over or consume them – he enjoys cut flowers, too, but in a completely different way than I do.

It was humid on Sunday. A friend I saw Sunday morning said she wasn’t complaining because soon enough it will be cold again! As I sat near the most beautiful sweetgrass baskets made by the local basket makers, true artists, I was reminded of one marvelous advantage to humidity. On humid days the fragrance from the sweetgrass is wonderful – heavenly. Another fragrance not so much of spring, but of joy and visits at the Snye Homemakers as splints were shaped and twisted in the most amazing way to create baskets, bells, lilies and even a Christmas tree.


The Eastern Phoebe parents have been busy the past few days. Although we haven’t been able to actually see the new bird babies as yet, it appears they have hatched. The parent birds can be seen flying to the nest, perching on the edge to feed their young.

The Phoebe’s nest was built a few weeks ago on top of the pointed back light near our back door. The first year the Phoebes chose to build their nest and raise their family on our back light was in 1986. That was the year our oldest son graduated from high school. It was also the year that I wrote my first column. Editor Ryne Martin wrote a column at that time for the Courier-Observer. Since Ryne had no one graduating he suggested I write a column addressing our son leaving home at the same time the birds left the nest. After that column I returned to my duties as a correspondent. A few years later, it was Editor Ryne who again suggested the column. And for that I am most grateful.


“The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship.” Joseph Addison

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