Spend additional time in a special way this year

Ellen Emery

Last Thursday, we were in Walmart. As we proceeded through the store with my list in hand, there were a number of friends with whom we visited. What a joy it always is to meet friends in unexpected places and have the opportunity to exchange greetings.

As we turned into the cereal aisle, we were greeted with a friendly “Hello!” A neighbor and friend was nearby. There were remembrances of family and shared thoughts about mutual friends and the events of the day.

A gentleman walked by pushing his shopping cart. He wore a baseball cap that proudly announced he was a veteran. I was visiting and intent on the conversation with our friend and I hate to admit it, thoughts were also on the items on my shopping list in my hand.

The young man visiting with us was very observant, noticing the hat and realizing this gentleman had served in the armed forces. As he exited the aisle and turned to proceed down the center aisle, our friend extended his hand thanking this gentleman for his service. The action and words were quietly spoken, not meant to be an announcement to others passing by, only meant for the veteran walking toward him.

“Thank you for your service” are such simple words but so meaningful. The words of our friend, who lives in the neighboring community of Akwesasne, touched my heart. His actions in the aisle of Walmart meant so very much — what an amazing example this young man exhibited.

I would ask that each of you this week look for the signs of a veteran nearby. When you realize an individual has served, take a moment and extend your hand in honor and a tribute and say those simple words: “Thank you for your service.”

Honoring veterans shouldn’t be limited to a single day in November. Tribute should be paid to each veteran each day.

We must always remember that we are able to live freely in this extraordinary country because of those who served and gave so much — many giving the ultimate. And for that I am forever grateful.

WITH THANKS

My thanks this week to Chrissy at Lowe’s in Potsdam.

The Clockman has become The Carpenter or Handyman this week as he has worked to complete a major project in my music room.

The room needed a new ceiling to be installed. We had looked for just the right tile but had not found what we had wanted for that room.

On a trip to Potsdam, there was a stop at Lowe’s. A clerk named Chrissy was in the aisle when The Carpenter asked where we could find ceiling tile. She not only directed us to that area but went with us to describe each product available.

She was most helpful. Chrissy even made sure each box purchased was placed in our truck to transport home.

Isn’t it marvelous to shop in the north country with helpful clerks like Chrissy to provide such terrific assistance? I certainly think so.

BIRTHDAY WISHES

Jim Compeau and Bruce Tusler celebrate their birthdays Friday. What terrific gentlemen! Both are so talented as well as being kind and caring friends. I am sure your families and many friends throughout the north country will join me today in wishing you both a wonderful birthday and only the best in the year ahead.

MANTRA

NBC’s morning news program, “Today,” is usually on in our home as we begin our day (that is after Reen Cook wakes us up with the morning weather, sports and the local news of the day). The topic of discussion was depression during winter. As suggestions were given as to how to cope with winter seasonal depression, one of those being interviewed mentioned using a mantra.

The suggestion was made that those attempting to cope with winter could repeat a mantra and then the woman gave an example of a saying that could be used as a mantra to assist with this seasonal depression.

The mantra that was suggested was a John Steinbeck quotation that had been used in this column on Jan. 15.

The quote is one that makes me smile as it describes a comparison between winter and summer.

“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”

When you read the “Thought for the Week” at the conclusion of this column, I am sure you didn’t realize you were receiving a mantra that could be repeated in meditation that hopefully would make the season of winter much better!

What fun to think of a quote for sharing used by a professional as a repeated saying for meditation.

WITH THANKS

My heartfelt thanks this week to those who leave the warmth of their homes to operate snowplows on the coldest of days and under the worst conditions.

It is always both unsettling and reassuring to hear the snowplow driving by our home on a snowy day or during the night.

How grateful we are, though, for their skill and diligence during the worst conditions in clearing the roadways.

When we started for Massena on Sunday morning, the highway was clear.

How thankful we were for the snowplows that worked the night before.

When we have visited our son downstate, we are made aware of the fact that not all areas have excellent road care during snowstorms.

We are fortunate in the north country that roads are cleared during the winter months allowing us to travel to our needed destinations.

SPRING COUNTDOWN

The countdown until the arrival of spring continues.

This week the sign of spring has been with the arrival of seed catalogs in our home.

The Gardener has placed seed orders and even planted some in preparation of gardening now only a few months away.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Alone we can do little; together we can do much.”

— Helen Keller

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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