Honor Rev. King’s memory by serving others

Ellen Emery

There was no visit through this column last week. It was a time to be with family.

We traveled to our eldest son’s home in Chappaqua. Our youngest son lives near his brother in New York City, so he was able to be with us as well. What a marvelous time we had with our family, which includes our grandchildren.

The first night we were there, our now-grown granddaughter asked those around the table at dinner, “What was the best part of your day?” She systematically went around the table, asking each one the question and pressing until there was an answer shared. For me, the best part of my day was time with our family, being able to enjoy hugs from grandchildren and hearing laughter of father and sons.

How marvelous to stop for a moment and share the wondrous parts of our day. There are so many “best parts” of my day to celebrate.

How wonderful it was to find a Christmas gift left that had been completely unexpected. The gift from a delightful, talented young woman named Lily touched my heart.

There were beautiful hand-scripted notes from friends, warm hugs and such wonderful text messages complete with pictures on Christmas Day. How marvelous to be remembered with shared love sent across the miles.

As I reflect on the year past, there have been so many more than a singular “best part of my day.” Each day has been filled with marvelous events to celebrate. The best part of Wednesday mornings is being able to share with each of you through this column.

I am so grateful that then-Massena Observer Editor Pat McKeown called me to her desk in 1979 to ask me to cover events in our area. And how grateful I am to Editor Ryne Martin who first gave me the opportunity to write my first column in 1986 when our oldest son graduated.

It seems there was not one individual in our office at the time who had a child let alone someone who was graduating. Since I fit that description, Editor Ryne asked me to share my thoughts on a son who was a graduating high school senior in a column.

It was a few years later, I believe 1990, when Editor Ryne suggested I actually write this “Over Coffee” column. How grateful I am for the connections made and friendship shared through words on a printed page.

Sometimes we get frustrated with daily living and with the news of the day. But at least for me (and our granddaughter), it is important to center our thoughts on the positive aspects of living. I would ask that you take a moment at your dinner table as our granddaughter did or even at breakfast.

What a wonderful way to begin the day by thinking of the “best part” of the day before! The best part can be as simple as walking to the kitchen to make coffee.

Do you realize there are some who are unable to do that simple act and there are others who have no coffee or food in their cupboards? If there is food on your table and heat in your home, that is definitely a wonderful part of a day.

And if there are family, friends and a feline friend to share life with that, too, can be counted as a very good part of your day. This week focus on the “best” part of your day and celebrate those best parts.

A “best part” of my day is always music to be listened to and the ability to play music and share music, too. Reading not only notes to be played but words written by marvelous authors is a wonderful aspect of my day.

A new book I just received was written by television news commentator Hoda Kotb, “I Really Needed This Today.” Her entire book features quotes for each day. Each quote shared comes complete with a shared message from this amazing woman’s heart.

Each page is dated with a quote for that day and commentary shared. Although the pages are dated, I have now read the entire book — and loved each page! I will begin to read it again today as the new year begins, reading page by page corresponding with the designated calendar dates.

A new year begins today. As we put new calendars with not a mark on them for use in the days to come, I would like to share the quote that concludes Hoda Kotb’s book. She shares a quote from country star Brad Paisley, “Today is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

I received a beautiful journal for Christmas this year and an equally beautiful datebook. I enjoy recording the people and events in my life that bring me joy filled moments.

The journal was a gift from a friend in Massena and was taken with me as we traveled this week. Yes, there are already entries handwritten on the first few pages.

The datebook is such fun. The cover contains three favorite words: “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed.” Although I have entered our January appointments on the pages designated for the first month of the year, this datebook is virtually empty waiting for important dates in our lives to be entered.

I know many of you no longer use a handwritten calendar or datebook. There is space on your iPad or phone to note the wonderful events in your life — take “notes” or journal on your devices, notes that will be a wonderful reminder of the “best part of your day.”

My warmest wishes are sent this week to each one reading this column — the print version held in your hand or online miles away. May you all celebrate in 2020 with only marvelous “best parts of your day” to remember and celebrate.


“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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