Counting down to the blessings of autumn

Ellen Emery

A few weeks ago a friend told me to circle the date of Sept. 3 for a concert featuring jazz.

What fun! I entered “Jazz Concert” Springs Park on my calendar and called this week for more details on the event to share.

A newly formed group of local musicians, Just for Kicks Jazz Band, will perform in Massena at Springs Park at 6 p.m. this Friday. I learned they will play a number of standards such as “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Swing!”

I grew up hearing jazz in our home. My father actually was part of a jazz group at one time. It was before the days of keyboards, so the group rehearsed at our home complete with a drummer — it was easier for the drummer to move his drum set than for my father to take his upright piano to another venue.

It was my father who took me to a Duke Ellington concert at my high school in Ithaca. There is an autograph from this jazz great in my music room.

The Clockman enjoys jazz as well. When our sons were in the high school jazz band at Salmon River under the direction of Lyle Crofoot, he soon realized our love for jazz.

We had the marvelous privilege of being chaperones for every field trip to a jazz concert in Potsdam — we got to see and hear Buddy Rich, Woody Hermon and Benny Goodman. Amazing!

We are looking forward to attending the concert on Friday and hearing these musicians play — and sing old favorites and perhaps a new song, too! I would urge you to circle the date and plan to attend as well.

They also will play at the Norwood Village Green at 6 p.m. on Sunday. What a wonderful time to hear great music and support the local talent.


I enjoy watching the morning news programs on NBC and CBS. Afternoon viewing usually includes “GMA3” on ABC.

Along with the news and features, there are usually promotions of new products that the show producers must think would be of interest to viewers. I must admit that I have ordered a few items — some as gifts, some were new fun creations but most aren’t of interest at all.

This week, there was one item I just had to smile at in the north country.

It was a Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock. Yes, the alarm clock fills your room with “bright, yellow light,” it was explained.

We also were told you could “wake up naturally” with this Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock!

In our Bombay home, the morning light (on most days) is bright and fills our room naturally.

The curtains are generally pulled so we will not awake with the morning light.

But on most days our feline friend, Tigger, peers through the once-drawn curtains.

As Tigger looks out, the curtains pull back and let in the morning light — which is a good thing.

The sunrise is absolutely gorgeous and definitely doesn’t have a $150 price tag with it.

Our sunrise also arrives automatically at sunrise, which now is a bit later, at about 6 a.m.

There are no adjustments to be made with my phone.

It appears naturally, beautifully, majestically.

And on mornings when the window is open, the sound of birds chirping as they greet the morning is added to our natural alarm.

How grateful I am to live in the north country where we can actually see the sunrise (unless it is raining).

We have no need for a Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock for we have the real thing — which comes in multiple colors and clouds added, too.

As you look at the sunrise tomorrow, I would ask that you don’t grumble because of the light through the bedroom curtains.

But be grateful for the beauty of a new day and the real natural sun shining through.


A faithful column reader has composed an original quotation after the heat of last week.

Some time ago, I used a quotation as my “Thought for the Week” that said: “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

The quote was used in the middle of winter when many had lost hope for springs return!

This column reader copied the quote and posted it in her home, she told me.

When our paths crossed in Massena, she would always share that quote — especially if it was a snowy winter day.

This column reader has how rewritten that quote for the heat of the summer.

Her summer quote is, “No hot, humid summer lasts forever.

No cool, refreshing autumn skips its turn!”


Yes, it gives us hope cooler days are ahead (or perhaps have arrived by the time this is printed).


After my column last week, many of you shared your memories of canning.

I was told of canning tomatoes and pickles and helping mothers can, too!

Some were shocked, though, to think there were no canning lids available.

I received a telephone call from a woman in Bombay.

She had read my column where I shared I couldn’t find canning lids in the north country.

This woman had lids she found in a nearby town that I hadn’t yet tried.

Like my neighbor Carole, she was willing to share them with me for use with my canning.

My heartfelt thanks for this kind, neighborly act — lending a helping hand.

Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live where neighbors do help each other?

I certainly think so.


“A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am receiving.”

— Albert Einstein

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