We’re rewarded sweetly when we tend to nature

Ellen Emery

There was a recent trip to Massena.

Our newspaper carrier, Carl, had just left our Courier Observer so we took the newspaper with us.

I rode along as The Gardener stopped to make a purchase.

While I sat in the car waiting, I opened the newspaper and began to read.

An article in an insert NNY Business caught my eye.

Cup of Joy Café was the name of the featured business.

This business, owned and operated by Amanda Derouchie, is a coffee shop in downtown Cape Vincent.

She explained in the article that the shop features local flavors and local products.

I absolutely loved the name of the business and, of course, was thrilled to learn of a coffee shop within driving distance (what a wonderful summer drive this would make).

The article included a colored photo of the business and the owner holding a beautiful coffee mug with “Cup of Joy” written on it.

It was beautiful, perfect for my morning coffee!

Cup of Joy Café is named for the owner’s mother, Joy and her daughter Hannah Joy.

It is a specialty coffee shop.

This week, I called to see if this coffee shop was open and also to see if I could purchase one of their joyful mugs.

(I honestly don’t need another coffee mug, but this one is exactly what I need to be hung beside my “Choose Joy” mug!)

Amanda answered the telephone.

She was at the coffee shop preparing to reopen tomorrow.

She explained the first few months of the year are a down time for her business.

They’re reopening tomorrow and will remain open through the season until Christmas.

What wonderful news! I plan to travel to Cape Vincent this summer — yes, for coffee and to purchase a “Cup of Joy” mug!

The most amazing aspect of this coffee connection, though, is in the north country connections across the miles.

So many of my friends have said in recent months that they only answer the telephone if they recognize the number.

In our home, we answer the telephone for different numbers — by answering we have heard from a former student of The Gardener from Ohio, friends with new phones and businesses contacted by The Gardener for projects he is involved with in our home.

(I will say, though, one of the favorite aspects of our Mohawk Networks telephone is the name and number listed on our television screen and an announcement of who is calling!)

Amanda told me she had only answered the telephone because she recognized our area code of 518 and the familiar 358 prefix designating it might be a Fort Covington telephone number.

(We live in Bombay but have the 358 phone number).

This Cape Vincent business owner grew up in Fort Covington.

She shared the names of family members — they were all people I knew or had names that I recognized.

I asked her if she had graduated from Salmon River High School.

She had but was not in the same class year as either of our sons.

I found the connections amazing. We were connected through the newspaper and coffee.

The connections of coffee then showed me how close we are even though the miles might separate us.

Yes, there were north country connections made in a telephone call to a coffee shop in Cape Vincent. And on that day, my cup was certainly filled with joy.

I look forward to a summer drive to Cape Vincent to meet this lovely woman and enjoy coffee in her shop.


My thanks to the postal clerk Elizabeth at the Rooseveltown post office.

It was perhaps a year ago when there were packages to mail and we had no desire to enter a crowded post office, once stopped at the Rooseveltown post office.

We stopped and discovered there were no crowds in Rooseveltown, which was a plus for us.

For this past year, each package mailed was made from that post office.

How kind and patient postal clerk Elizabeth was — I made numerous card purchases there when I wasn’t shopping in any other store.

All of my Christmas mailing was done at Elizabeth’s counter, too, with each package arriving safely and in a timely manner.

This week, a package had to be mailed.

Postal clerk Elizabeth took time to measure and explain prices detailing how we could save money drastically by repackaging our item.

How grateful I am for this lovely woman who has been so helpful with each mailing made this past year.

Her suggestions and care with each item mailed has been marvelous. And for that I am most grateful.


It has been a number of years ago now that a friend told me about an online site where I could watch a red-tailed hawk family in Ithaca.

I was fascinated not only about watching the birds but about having a camera lens view of Ithaca where I had spent my teenage years.

I graduated from Ithaca High School and am familiar with the sights on camera as I watch the red-tailed hawk family.

Recently the hawk parents, Mother Big Red and Father Arthur, had built their nest.

Last week, I received an email telling viewers an egg had been laid in the nest.

It was amazing on Saturday to watch the Cornell Lab Bird Cam as Big Red tucked the large blue egg under her feathers using her beak.

The wind was strong that day, but she huddled over her egg protecting it from the elements.

Arthur gathered twigs and bits of bark and brought them to position on the nest.

When I looked again on Monday there were two eggs in the nest. It was snowing in Ithaca and looked so cold as Big Red pulled her feathers closely around her eggs.

Take a moment this week and type in Cornell Lab Bird Cam Live and watch these amazing birds as they prepare for their family.

It brings such hope as you watch — yes, and joy.


“When it rains, look for rainbows; when it’s dark, look for stars.”

— Oscar Wilde

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