A sign of mutual support

Ellen Emery

Sunday evening, I had the marvelous opportunity of listening to and visiting with our son Gregg and his friends virtually.

Gregg’s friend Allison was hosting a time for others to learn about Gregg’s art.

I was interested in listening and hopefully learning, so I joined through Zoom.

Technology for me is a bit frightening, but is amazing as well to join so many across the miles.

Although I honestly don’t know where others in this group were located, I know at least some including our son live in the heart of New York City.

Just before 7 p.m., the session was concluded so those in this meeting could join in the “workers cheer.”

As someone mentioned the time to cheer for essential frontline workers, Gregg said that I wouldn’t know anything about that.

I had in fact seen the amazing support for essential workers in New York City, but that is not an event that takes place on our road.

As I thought about the young people leaving a discussion on art and lesson in drawing to support the work of those on the front lines in this pandemic, I remembered the recent directives of Massena Mayor Timothy J. Currier.

In a Bob Beckstead article, I read that Mayor Currier had asked “citizens to join us in saluting the essential workers who have stood in harm’s way to provide us necessary services and goods.”

Residents of Massena were asked to honk car horns, ring church bells and make noise to show their gratitude at 7 p.m. each night.

They also were asked to display the color red, which represented strength and courage, Mayor Currier explained.

As I visited this week, I learned the display of red on the exterior of homes throughout Massena was in an effort to display strength and togetherness in “Community Unity.”

I also learned that some of the children in town loved displaying their thanks so visibly each evening, going into the yard to bang spoons on pans.


I also learned this week that last Friday was the conclusion of the official 7 p.m. tribute to essential workers.

Although many businesses are reopening, I still do not feel comfortable enough to shop or go about business as before.

As I reflected on tributes to essential workers, my thoughts turned to those who are still putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us and lend assistance.

Even though there is no official directive to honk horns to make noise to cheer and support essential workers and in Bombay there is no one to cheer on nearby, hopefully this week you will take a moment and express your gratitude.

Write a note or call and say thanks to your local firefighters, both career and volunteer, and to the doctors and dentists and nurses (especially those who answer the phone when there is a call for help) who are trying to readjust schedules and make offices and waiting rooms safe for all.

Our thanks this week to hair dressers, too, who are making adjustments to provide us with those needed appointments in a safe environment — sending letters, calling and sanitizing.

I can never say enough for those at Walmart (and each store that provides curb service and early hours).

We placed our order at Walmart again this week.

Our order is always taken care of so professionally and with such kindness and friendliness.

And for that, we are most grateful.

So many items we need at our home have been ordered.

How grateful I am for our mail carrier and the postal clerks at the local post offices.

I understand some of our small post offices have had as many as 700 packages to deal with in a single day.

Other deliverymen are appreciated, and FedEx brings food and UPS delivers our needed cat food (which seems to always be out of stock when attempting other orders!).

And thanks to those making masks.

Thanks, too, to clergy of all faiths who have worked diligently to provide much needed worship, ways to meet online and ways to minister to each need whether it is physical healing or nourishing the soul.

And thanks to musicians who uplift and comfort with their amazing gift of song.

Take a moment this week and reach out to express your appreciation to each one who is in that essential category — essential to making our lives so much better.

And a special thank you to those essential workers in hospitals and doctors’ offices who are placing their lives in danger while caring for others, helping those who are ill and working diligently to find a cure.


Shannon McLean Bryant will celebrate her birthday Tuesday.

What a lovely young woman.

I first met Shannon as a very young girl with her mother Jackie Mitchell in the front office of the then-Massena Observer.

My warmest wishes, Shannon, for only the best as you celebrate this year.


“You’ve got coffee!” was the announcement in an email I received Monday.

What a fun declaration.

The email was from a new company to me called DripKit.

I had learned about it on the NBC morning news program, “Today.”

What had interested me the most was that this coffee was created to be shared with essential workers in the health field who were on the night shift.

I learned on the program that these workers, with stores closed and cafeterias closed, had only instant coffee to sustain them.

Instant coffee hasn’t been in our home for years now.

In fact, I honestly had no idea it was even still made.

The DripKit coffee is a single serve “pour over” coffee packet.

I read the website provided and placed an order.

When the order had been delivered to our home, the announcement was made to me through the email.

I opened the packet of coffee — the aroma was heavenly.

Yes, it was real coffee.

You make the coffee as you would instant coffee, pouring boiling water over the grounds packaged in a cardboard square for brewing.

The coffee was delicious.

And even better, this company allows customers to purchase a gift of coffee for essential workers.

The package of coffee arrived complete with a handwritten note!


So much of life and so many connections are now through Zoom.

There are meetings scheduled, coffee hour sharing, family reunions and teaching all through Zoom connections over the internet.

The host of the Sunday evening meeting I was fortunate to be part of calls the configuration of a Zoom connection a “living Zoom” rather than our familiar living room.

I smiled when I heard that phrase.

What a perfect description for a meeting place of friends newfound and familiar and family — the living Zoom!

Thanks, Allison.


“Be comforted. There is always light behind the clouds.”

— Louisa May Alcott

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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