How grateful I am for connections made and friendships shared — friends gained through contacts made and especially through this column.
I have been amazed by the outpouring of love that has been generated through the printed word in a newspaper column.
This past weekend was amazing.
I reconnected with so many within a 24-hour period.
While stopping at Family Dollar in Harte Haven Plaza for a birthday balloon for a friend, I met a woman in the aisle.
I have known Louise for some time now but had reconnected through this column a few years ago.
I was even invited to her Massena home as we visited over coffee.
Sunday was extraordinary with so many friends reconnecting.
There were hugs and remembrances of shared news through this column.
One woman had found a column from years ago featuring a beautiful woman named Marion Stevens of Massena. What fun.
I treasure friendships and am so grateful for new friends and connections made through this column.
I am always amazed when someone shares a column thought of mine.
I realize the point of writing is that someone might read, but I am always touched when I meet a faithful column reader.
And Sunday, I did just that with hugs from so many.
How grateful I am for the Courier Observer that gives me the opportunity to visit with each of you every week.
I am grateful, too, for my editor who makes sure this column appears in the newspaper and online on Wednesday mornings (or in California on a Tuesday evening!).
And how very grateful I am for those who read the newspaper and remember sharing their stories and allowing me to share their stories with all of you.
I am looking forward to a springtime filled with in-person visits over coffee as we share and meet once again in person.
What a joy that will be!
Last week, I had the marvelous opportunity of visiting with postmaster Tammy Artus.
As we visited, I learned Tammy has retired from her duties as a postmaster after 35 years of service. Amazing!
Tammy is the most extraordinary young woman — so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
I first met Tammy at the Hogansburg post office.
She has assisted me in sending boxes to servicemen in Afghanistan.
She would kindly and patiently walk me through the process of customs forms and proper mailing procedures.
I wanted to send hymnals to a church in Africa.
It was Tammy who knew exactly how to send the books to another country with the proper documentation so the receiving party didn’t have to pay duty on used items.
Again, an amazing task!
There were newsletter mailings and priority mailings to family and friends across the country and nearby.
It was Tammy who would explain flat rate mailings and priority mailings.
Tammy was always excited about stamps, too, encouraging me to purchase and use stamps that actually wish the recipient a “Happy Birthday” or tell them “Thank You!”
Whenever I would stop at her counter whether in Hogansburg or in recent years in Moira, she would have the latest stamps.
My heartfelt thanks, Tammy, for your shared knowledge, your patience with all my odd mailings and for your smile and friendship.
My warmest wishes for only the best as you enjoy your retirement.
I love pictures — photos of friends and family members.
And our feline friends, too.
A photo near my computer shows a feline friend from a few years ago asleep in the center of my typewriter I would use to write for the then-Massena Observer.
My refrigerator is covered with family photos.
It also includes photos of two dear families I have met on Zoom the past few years.
Yes, I can actually take a screen shot and print the pictures!
There are pictures on our walls and each table nearby.
Our family all lives at a distance, so I enjoy looking at their images and keeping them close.
I also love to put photos in albums.
There are baskets of albums in our home — photo albums of our sons as infants.
There are also photos of our grandchildren (now in their 20s) as infants, too.
I even have a new terrific autographed photo of Mike Cook. What fun!
This past week, I needed a new photo album for pictures I had printed out of friends.
There were no albums in any store I tried.
In fact, the photo department in one store is now called an electronics department!
Not even a mention of photos.
How sad, I thought!
I searched online and found a photo album that was ordered, delivered and now has photos for enjoyment tucked away in the slotted pages documenting the important events in our lives.
I smiled thinking of changes — phones contain our photos now with each one passing a phone around to look and smile and enjoy.
Photos are always wonderful, but I enjoy an album with photos kept to enjoy with album in hand.
I have been watching the red-tailed hawk family on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca the past few weeks.
On Saturday, the first of three eggs hatched.
I only saw the baby chick briefly.
Since that time, the mother hawk has continued to sit on her nest.
As she cares for her family, ruffling out her feathers over her babies and eggs, the viewer watching on YouTube cannot see her babies.
Monday morning as the mother hawk moved from her nest to eat breakfast, I was able to see two chicks in the nest. Amazing!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Cherish human connections, your relationships with friends and family.”
— Barbara Bush
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