Make sure your gratitude is evident in interactions

Ellen Emery

The date on Friday’s calendar will proclaim it to be Sept. 11, a date we must always remember.

It is a date that is important to remember those who died when two hijacked airplanes struck the World Trade Center twin towers, killing 2,753. In the same act of terrorism, a total of 2,977 were killed in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and in Shanksville, Pa.

With so much on our minds this past year — thoughts of a pandemic, so many lost and suffering and essential workers going far beyond the dictates of their jobs — it might be easy to think only of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Our minds and hearts must always remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and those lost that tragic day.

Like so many of you, I have been sorting drawers and boxes, cleaning closets and cupboards and sorting through bookcases the past few months. Among the treasures found was a book that had been given to The Gardener.

I turned the book over and the title, “Report from Ground Zero,” struck me as I thought about the upcoming anniversary. As I saw the title, I was reminded of the importance of Sept. 11.

I found it fascinating it was this week I decided to open the book. The book had been laid cover down at the end of the dining room table. I knew the contents had something to do with firefighting but never realized the significance of the contents of this book.

The book was written by Dennis Smith, a retired firefighter who had served 18 years with the New York City Fire Department. On Sept. 11, Mr. Smith reported to Manhattan’s Ladder Co. No. 16 to volunteer in the rescue effort. Many who were missing that day were friends and longtime colleagues of the author, the book tells us.

Prepared to begin reading the first chapter, I opened the book and turned to the first page. This book begins telling the reader it was dedicated “to the 403 brave souls who went in to help others get out.” Following those simple words is a listing of the 403 (343 firefighters and 60 law enforcement agents) who gave their lives to save others: members of the New York City Fire Department and the Port Authority of New York, New Jersey State Police Department and New York City Police Department.

As I began to read each name, I was moved to tears knowing they represented parents and children, sisters and brothers, grandparents, neighbors and friends. How grateful I am this book had been shared, was lost and now has been found with this amazing content discovered as we prepare to remember Sept. 11, 2001.

Take a moment this week and remember each one who was killed that day and who gave their lives in serving as a firefighter and police officer. And remember, too, our neighbors and friends who traveled to New York City to build the Twin Towers and who returned to aid in the cleanup following the attack. Pay tribute and remember.


What a joy it is to meet so many of you and hear from you after you have read this column. Each week I receive email notes and handwritten letters sharing your thoughts on what I have written.

What a joy it would be to meet all of you in person who read faithfully and share over coffee! Perhaps one day that will be possible.

A faithful column reader, who has read about my love for s’mores, recently sent an email telling me that Hardy’s Bakery on Willow Street had s’more cupcakes. She thought perhaps I might like to try them. It certainly sounded inviting.

I called to discover last week was the final week for s’more cupcakes. It was the end of the season I was told. I ordered some and stopped to make my purchase.

The s’more cupcakes were heavenly. There was a rich, delicious chocolate cupcake with perhaps half of cupcake size a rich, fudge frosting. It was topped perfectly with graham cracker crumbs and perfectly toasted mini marshmallows.

My thanks to my friend for letting me know there were s’more cupcakes nearby, and my heartfelt thanks to everyone at Hardy’s Bakery for creating this amazing cupcake. It was delicious.

I love life in the north country where there is a change of seasons. I love seeing the leaves change colors (what a beautiful drive to Norwood this week — the trees along the way were lovely as they showed the change of seasons).

I don’t understand, though, why s’more products cannot be enjoyed throughout the year. As I stopped this week at Tim Hortons and Dunkin’, I noticed advertisements on their menu boards of pumpkin spice products.

Pumpkin flavored items are not my favorite. I prefer s’mores with chocolate and marshmallows — how can you go wrong? (Please don’t tell Dr. Neil — he might have a suggestion!).


My thanks this week to the lovely woman at Lobster House who took my order and had it in readiness when I called last week. I had been given a gift certificate to the Lobster House last fall. We had planned to use it this spring, but with the restrictions of COVID there has been no restaurant dining.

Last week I called to see if I could still use the certificate wondering if I could use it for a pick up order.

The woman on the other end of the telephone Sept. 2 was so kind and friendly.

She was reassuring and so helpful.

I placed our order for pickup. I know many are dining out now, and that is wonderful news. But we thought it might be nice to take our order to the St. Lawrence Seaway and dine while watching ships.

Our dinner was ready when we arrived at the Lobster House. Everything was packaged perfectly — cold items were in one package with hot items in a separate package. When we opened the packages for dining, I was absolutely thrilled.

In a separate box labeled “biscuits” were the famous Lobster House homemade biscuits. They were not part of our order but are always a favorite when we have dined at the Lobster House. How delicious they were, and what a joy to find them with our dinner.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone at the Lobster House for a delicious dinner, and how grateful I am for the kindness of the woman who prepared our dinner on Thursday evening. Isn’t it wonderful to live in the north country where the most caring people serve others in the most amazing ways? I certainly think so.


“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

— Zig Ziglar

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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