Time to reflect on all those who died in service

Ellen Emery

‘Sometimes music is the only medicine the heart and soul need,” Hoda Kotb, anchor of NBC’s “Today,” told viewers during a morning news broadcast last week.

I agree completely.

I have mentioned the gift of music in each column of the past few weeks so thought this week I would center on another topic.

But my life has been touched by music again this week.

Amazing, marvelous shared gifts of music from both international and local artists.

How grateful I have been for the song of each one.

I wanted to share my experiences this week with the hope that you, too, have been touched by music and with the hope you can listen online to some of these marvelous offerings.

Easter Sunday was filled with the most wonderful music.

I hope you have been able to listen to world-renowned singer Andrea Bocelli. I found his concert on YouTube.

He presented a concert, “Music for Hope,” in a completely empty cathedral Duomo di Milano in Milan, Italy.

Organist Emanuele Vianelli was seated at the organ providing accompaniment for most of the concert.

Duomo di Milanois is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the two were given access to the building.

Andre Bocelli’s performance provided a moment of comfort and hope as he sang arrangements of “Panis Angelicus,” “Ave Maria,” “Sancta Maria” and “Domine Deus.”

All were accompanied by the organist in the cathedral. Each piece was extraordinary.

Perhaps the hymn that touched my heart deepest was an a cappella version of the John Newton hymn “Amazing Grace.”

The artist stood alone on the steps outside of the cathedral and sang, “Amazing grace … grace my fear relieved.”

The meaning of the familiar words was heard with a different ear as I listened on Sunday.

Perhaps that is why I find the music this week so much more meaningful; it is being heard in a different time with different thoughts as I listen.

Although Andre Bocelli’s concert has been viewed by an estimated 3.4 million, for me the local artists’ voices and music have touched my heart in more of an amazing way.

“Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber, played on a Friday evening by James C. Philips, was moving and its depth so meaningful.

This week, too, the music shared by Judy VanKennen and Kathleen Baker also touched my heart and uplifted my soul.

And Dale and Elisabeth Southorn’s song “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah” as shared for the children downstate in Mount Kisco made me smile and brought joy.

If you haven’t listened to the Andre Bocelli concert and have access to a computer, I would recommend you take a moment this week and listen.

You can also find the other musicians online.

If you don’t have access to a computer, find a radio station or put on a record (a friend told me this week she was listening to Elvis!) this week and let music sooth your soul.


Last week there was a discussion of what we might do in our home to celebrate Easter.

Our two sons are now grown and live miles from our Bombay home.

(Besides, this year no family member would attempt a visit from New York City or Chappaqua nor would we want them to — we are all practicing social distancing.)

We did have eggs in the refrigerator so we thought perhaps we could color eggs and prepare an Easter basket.

The eggs were boiled for coloring and artificial grass was in readiness.

There was an immediate problem preparing artificial grass for a basket.

Our feline friend, Tigger, decided this was for his enjoyment.

He immediately attempted to eat the artificial grass.

Since that didn’t seem like a good idea and Tigger’s response to discipline is a bit flawed, the grass was put away.

Coloring the eggs was somewhat problematic as well.

It has been years since this project has been undertaken in our home.

I found the saved wire holders for eggs and a small crayon for name writing, but no egg coloring was found.

This didn’t seem to be a problem since I had food coloring.

With a recipe at hand specifying amounts, I combined the warm water, vinegar and food coloring.

And there was the difficulty — the food coloring we had I believe was purchased more than 50 years ago.

The tiny bottles contained dried coloring instead of the needed liquid.

The Clockman cut each container and put dried coloring into the cups.

With warm water, the dried coloring liquefied and we were able to color eggs complete with decorations and names written on each.

With no artificial grass for baskets to be used, the Clockman had an idea.

He suggested we take our eggs outside and lay them in the new, freshly grown green grass — a sign of spring and hope.

The eggs were beautiful if I do say so myself, each a deep color of spring.

We laid them in the grass and took a picture of each with my phone.

Each grandchild, each son and our daughter-in-law all received a photo of their egg!

How grateful I was for family and Easter customs shared across the miles.


Lori Collins will celebrate her birthday Saturday.

It is always a good day when there is a scheduled visit to see Lori at Hairitage House on East Orvis Street.

Lori is so caring and kind, always making sure there is a cup of coffee nearby as she makes my day so much better.

This year I will miss seeing her.

My warmest birthday wishes are sent your way, Lori.

I hope you can enjoy your birthday Saturday, and I wish you only good health and the best in the year to come.


“Music expresses feeling and thought without language. It is above and beyond all words.”

— Robert G. Ingersoll

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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