Counting down to the blessings of autumn

Ellen Emery

Our home has been filled with joy this week.

Our son Gregg and his friend drove north to visit our Bombay home. What fun to visit over coffee, share meals and remembrances of an earlier time and laugh together.

There was an amazing connection with one visitor in our home. Our friend was born in Bombay — Bombay, India. A request was made for a photo in front of a sign for our town.

Monday, we drove into town. A marvelous sign has been placed at the four corners; it announces “Welcome to Bombay.”

The sign, complete with a planter filled with beautiful flowers, has been placed in front of a lovely gazebo. What a wonderful spot to welcome visitors.

Pictures were taken and sent virtually to those still living in Bombay, India — which is now called Mumbai. I smiled as connections were made between Bombay, India, and our son’s hometown of Bombay, N.Y.

Did you realize Bombay, which was incorporated in 1833, was named because of the wife of Michael Hogan? He was a sea captain who came to the United States in 1805. His wife came from Bombay, India.

It has been told that Michael Hogan’s wife missed her hometown of Bombay, India, so much that the sea captain named the town we now call home after it. The Bombay Historical Society tells us that Bombay was named in honor of Michael Hogan’s wife. And now pictures were taken and connections made between the two towns so many miles apart.

How grateful I am this week for visitors and new friends with such marvelous connections with our small north country community. (Pictures also were taken in front of the Bombay Museum. Perhaps during the next visit, there will be a stop at the museum, too.)


I have shared with you before about my growing collection of coffee mugs and cups. I enjoy drinking from mugs given to me by dear friends, neighbors and loyal column readers. During the pandemic when we were no longer able to spend time together over coffee, I loved using a cup given to me by my grandchildren or a friend and then sending them a photo saying it was time for “Coffee with … and their name!”

The Gardener encouraged me to display the coffee mugs that were filling our kitchen overflowing the cupboard space available. This past year, I have purchased numerous coffee mug trees and now display a number of those that I use on a regular basis.

This week, my friend Gini sent a photo of a coffee mug collection displayed in a vertical cupboard with small slots for each mug. She told me she saw it and had to share it with me.

I appreciated her thought. But as I showed it to The Gardener, I counted: There were 36 coffee mugs in the pictured collection.

There are at least 36 mugs near my computer with others behind the commuter, in the cupboard nearby and very special ones (like the one from Tiffany’s restaurant on Main Street) tucked away on a display shelf. And those don’t even begin to include my Christmas mugs — and, yes, there are mugs for fall, too. The Gardener has attempted counting each mug and tells me there are more than 150 displayed.

I cannot think of giving even one away — most are treasured gifts with those I have purchased and find just perfect for my coffee consumption. It is always such a joy to hold a hot cup of coffee and remember friendships — even now on days when we can visit in person over coffee.


This week, my gold medal recipients would be teachers and each one involved with school. They are now working on preparing lesson plans and how best to share knowledge with those in their classroom, but today they must make sure each one is in a safe environment.

Take a moment this week and thank a teacher, school administrator, nurse, cafeteria worker or bus driver — anyone associated with our children’s education and safety. Each one is definitely worthy of a gold medal!


The morning television program detailed exercising through virtual reality. Equipment was needed to become part of an exercise program that could be completed by using virtual reality goggles.

As I sat on my couch watching others exercise, the visitors in our home were running, enjoying the beauty of the north country. Our son Gregg and a friend drove north this week to spend time with us. How wonderful it has been to enjoy warm hugs and face-to-face conversations.

Our visitors had asked about distances between Bombay and the neighboring community of Fort Covington and the distance to Salmon River Central School. The two were planning their morning run. I was absolutely amazed when as I sat with my morning coffee the two visitors donned running shoes and ear phones and left our home.

And I was even more astonished when the two returned home after completing a 15-mile run! Their morning run was the distance I drive when I travel to Massena.

How marvelous to be able to run and take in every aspect of the beauty of the north country. I certainly miss out completely in that beauty as I pedal on my recumbent bicycle in the dining room for far less than that distance.

I am so glad our visitors enjoyed the north country beauty, and I am most impressed at their ability to run that distance and I realize fully the importance of exercise. I think, though, I will leave that endeavor to our visitors and enjoy the beauty from my car.


“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

— Desmond Tutu

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