Let’s make sure to keep in touch with loved ones

Ellen Emery

Today is the first day of autumn.

The change of seasons is always a joy to anticipate and celebrate.

My sisters live in California where there doesn’t seem to be a change seasonally — with the exception of an earthquake or fire, which I would never look forward to or celebrate.

I feel we are fortunate to live in an area of the country where seasons change and the beauty of each can be enjoyed fully.

Although the actual date of the beginning of fall changes I read in the Sunday Advance News and learned from our in-house scientist (which is definitely not this columnist), the autumnal equinox this year falls on today’s date.

The article in Sunday’s Advance News gives every detail of this seasonal change.

We were told that during the autumnal equinox day and night are of approximately equal length.

The color of leaves is spectacular.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a few of the colorful maple leaves from a tree on St. Regis Road where I had been.

They were absolutely gorgeous.

Those leaves were dried for saving.

Did you realize you can dry leaves successfully in the microwave?

What a lovely remembrance these leaves are of the arrival of autumn.

This week while shopping, I noticed decorative pillows for sale.

One was completely covered with the beauty of the fall leaves with the other a fall tree with the simple words, “Hello Autumn!”

Those two pillows were purchased to decorate as we celebrate the arrival of this season.

Take a moment this week and stop and enjoy the beauty of the season — the color of the leaves, the beauty of the full moon and stars at night and breathe in the crispness of the air as our summer changes into the new season.

There are usually countdowns to Christmas with a reminder of the “Shopping Days Remaining.”

Jeff McCallus would always share his “Countdown!” beginning a year ahead of the date!

Wouldn’t it be fun if we had had a Countdown to Autumn?

We could actually count using colorful leaves or apples or perhaps even pumpkins.

Perhaps next year there will be a countdown with celebrations to honor the season.

Cider doughnuts at Kanebs might be a perfect way to begin our fall celebration.


Gini and Bruce Truax celebrate their wedding anniversary today.

They are an amazing couple, always there for family members and friends.

There are cards sent, a gift of a coffee mug, a visit or now a telephone call or email to keep in touch.

My heartfelt thanks for all you both do.

Your many acts of kindness shared and thoughtfulness and caring for others mean a great deal and are appreciated.

Have a wonderful day.

Warmest wishes for only the best as you celebrate and in the year ahead.


There was a trip to Walmart last Thursday morning.

Our feline friend, Tigger, was in need of his favorite cat food and there were a few items needed that I had forgotten with my online ordering.

I shop now in the early morning hours with the hope of avoiding crowds.

The cat food shelves were bare that morning (on Monday shelves were stocked, and Tigger now has his food in readiness — which is a very good thing).

I proceeded to the check-out aisle with my handful of items that morning and waited behind the designated line.

The woman ahead of me paid for her items and started to leave at the end of the counter.

I placed my items on the counter.

As the cashier, Trudy, swiped each item, the woman who had just checked out paused with her shopping cart.

I had my credit card in hand ready to pay when the woman walked around me.

I thought perhaps she had missed an item.

A woman I had never seen before and didn’t know at all quickly placed her credit card in the slot, paid for my entire order and walked away, telling me to have a wonderful day!

From the time we first moved into our north country home on Townsend Road, I knew those living in this community were extraordinary — so kind and generous.

We lived between two wonderful families, those of Shirley and John Lenney and Marcia and Fred Chase.

Immediately there were homemade cookies shared and offers to use their washer and dryer until we could install our own.

There have been numerous kindnesses shown each day — our driveway has been plowed unexpectedly by our neighbors, gifts left on our doorstep and always a helping hand extended.

That kindness and caring of our neighbors and friends was the main reason we decided to build our home and raise our family in the north country.

How grateful we are that we chose to do that more than 50 years ago.

A week ago, a stranger in a Walmart checkout aisle confirmed my love of the north country and the kindness of those living here.

I expressed my humble thanks and asked the woman’s name as she left the aisle.

This extraordinary, kind woman told me her name was Cindy.

How grateful I am for Cindy on a Thursday morning.

Her act of kindness and giving touched my heart.

Truly, the north country is a marvelous place to live and shop where strangers reach out with the most amazing and surprising acts of kindness.


Last week in this column, I mentioned a few favorite musicians I enjoy — I included Bach and Elvis and certainly should have mentioned the amazing music of James C. Phillips, too.

A faithful reader of this column sent a link to an Elvis Presley performance. Sandra, who reads and shares her comments each week, sent the 1968 performance by Elvis on YouTube of “If I Can Dream” — telling me that since I had mentioned Elvis last week, she wanted to share this, which is one of her “favorite performances.”

This video of music icon Elvis is marvelous — absolutely wonderful. My heartfelt thanks to each of you who reads and shares each week.

Your words always mean so much.

And this week my heartfelt thanks for this amazing musical sharing — what a treasure.


“It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings and toasty marshmallow evenings and, best of all, leaping into leaves.”

— Winnie the Pooh

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