Journaling offers a gift for future generations

Ellen Emery

During my adult life, I have enjoyed shopping. I have loved walking through the aisles of local stores to find just the right gift for family members and dear friends.

There have been other benefits during my shopping locally. I have met so many wonderful people while shopping — Jeff McCallus, Francis Huto, Marcia Curran at Seasons and Tom Sullivan. And, of course, Phil and Jackie.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, my time shopping in a store has been limited. Our main shopping is done through the Walmart online grocery service with many other items selected through my now online shopping. In-store shopping is now usually for three or four items I haven’t been able to find elsewhere — and to pick up pictures I have sent for printing.

This past week, there was a stop at Walmart. There were only a few items on my list, but those items took me from one side of the store to the other.

As I started for another area of the store, I noticed an aisle was filed with shoppers. Not wanting to become part of a crowded area, I turned down another empty aisle. As I turned by a display at the end of the aisle, I noticed a board game promoting Massena.

The game was a familiar one, but with a local twist: It was Massena-opoly. The wording on the box said this was a “fun game celebrating Massena, NY.”

I looked at the cover of the familiar board game. What fun, I thought, as I saw familiar names of properties on the Monopoly game converted to places in Massena.

I purchased two games, which will be given for Christmas gifts. When I arrived home and showed The Gardener my purchase, the gentleman who grew up playing Monopoly thought we should try this version so I could share with you the changes made for the town we know so well. (Later in the week, there was another stop at Walmart for an additional Massena-opoly game!)

Every aspect of the familiar game was there: the cash, properties to purchase and houses for each property. Some changes have been made, though: Instead of houses and hotels, game players are asked to purchase a city block and a key to the city after the required city blocks have been purchased.

A disclaimer: I am not overjoyed with game playing. Our sons would be delighted when they had to stay home from school — not because of an illness but because it was then their mother would play the game of their choice.

I smiled this week as I read an email from a faithful column reader. She explained her granddaughter was teaching her chess. The girl had asked her grandmother what she knew about chess to which she replied, “I know how to spell it!”

I could relate to that. The Gardener enjoys game playing — counting suits in bridge, knowing every rule and usually the victor.

We began the game. And when I landed on familiar properties, I got great joy from purchasing the businesses I have always enjoyed visiting. I purchased Spanky’s, An Italian Affair, Fourth Coast Café, Kanebs Orchard, Eisenhower Lock, the Nicandri Nature Center and Spring’s Park.

Each property is an area that is part of Massena. There were references, too, in the cards selected. The Gardener received a $20 reward for catching the largest fish in the Big Bass Tournament.

Our feline friend, Tigger, loved this new game. He jumped in the middle of the board, batting pieces and houses and money everywhere. Poor Tigger had to spend his evening in the bedroom while the game was being played.

I enjoyed the new version of an old favorite as I purchased and recalled each business I love. The Gardener methodically purchased his groups of businesses, added city blocks and then keys to the city so each time my token landed on his property, I paid hundreds and then thousands to his bank. Yes, he was victorious in our game playing, but we both enjoyed the new version.

I would recommend the purchase of this game for local residents as they recall each business. It would also be a fun game for north country residents who have now moved away. I hope the two I purchased this game for will enjoy recalling time spent at Springs Park and Time Quest Miniature Golf.


The Astronomer in our home (who is not this columnist) told me there will be a lunar eclipse early Friday morning. Sunday, I read about this event in Astronomy magazine. We were told in the article about the partial lunar eclipse on Nov. 19 that in order to enjoy this spectacular sight, all you need “is a clear sky.”

Hopefully at 1:02:09 a.m., the sky will be clear and interested viewers will be able to see the sun, Earth and moon line up. The “greatest eclipse” readers were told occurs at 4:02:56 a.m. with the lunar eclipse officially ending at 7:03:44 a.m.

Although this eclipse is not considered a total eclipse, it is one we are able to see with the naked eye. I am sure the sight will be spectacular — a sight for which you will want to stay up or perhaps set the alarm.


A news item recently featured a new coffee product, Coke with Coffee. Viewers were told this cola product would be infused with Brazilian coffee. I cannot image combining coffee and a carbonated beverage.

At times, I enjoy a flavored carbonated seltzer and that drink is always cold. I honestly don’t understand cold brew coffee even though family members seem to enjoy that beverage thoroughly. And I cannot imagine drinking coffee in a carbonated form.

I enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee. Since I don’t put cream or sugar in my coffee, it remains hot for some time. I don’t think I will put the carbonated coffee cola on my shopping list just yet.

This week, my hot coffee will be made at home or purchased at Dunkin’ or Tim Hortons as I travel to and from Massena. If you try this new beverage, please let me know your impression of Coke with Coffee!


“No one wins alone.”

— Mark Messier

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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