Let’s make sure to keep in touch with loved ones

Ellen Emery

It was more than 20 years ago that I first read about a gratitude journal. Author Sarah Ban Breathnach described recording your gratitude in her book “Simple Abundance.”

I’ve mentioned that before and suggested it in this column numerous times. I find it a marvelous exercise to put into writing those things for which I am grateful.

It would be best if the listing of perhaps five items each day not be the same item. It would probably be good, too, to find more gratefulness than your children and grandchildren!

This week in my reading there was a new suggestion that I loved, literally at the bottom of a page — this author suggested keeping a Joy Journal. I actually smiled as I read it: A Joy Journal. What fun!

Gratitude implies thoughtfulness for those joys in life. This suggestion was to just list what had brought us joy that day.

The “Joy” listing began early this morning when my morning coffee was placed in front of me as I ate my breakfast. The beauty of the red and golden leaves at a stop on St. Regis Road was a joy. And always our feline friend, Tigger, running through the house on a cooler morning brings joy.

And on Monday there was joy when Kelsey at KeyBank in Massena answered my questions about the KeyBank app so calmly and patiently when I called seeking help. Her friendliness and helpfulness were a joy. My heartfelt thanks to Kelsey for her kind assistance for which I am grateful for today — yes, through her help I can once again make a deposit from my living room, which is a joy for which I am most grateful!

I would suggest you start this week. It is a new month, a new season and time to begin a Joy Journal. List each event in your day that has been a joy — or made you smile.


Today is the birthday of Dan Henry. What a fine gentleman. A visit with this extraordinary individual (and his family, too) is always wonderful.

Dan’s movies of life in Massena (and honor flights, too) are amazing. I have had the privilege of watching his home movies (now edited and on DVDs complete with narrations) of the railroad station being taken down, blasting as the Seaway is being built and Dan and his daughter Sheila Mockery on an Honor Flight. My heartfelt thanks, Dan, for your service.

Dan is always there for his family and many friends throughout the north country. Sitting around his dining room table with dear friends sharing stories is a treasure. Besides his smile and care for others, Dan can also brew a delicious pot of coffee.

My warmest birthday wishes, Dan. Have a wonderful day with your family.

Happy Birthday! You deserve only the very best as you celebrate this year.


It is that time of the year when so many decorate their lawns for the season. It is time to plan a trip to State Route 95 and the heart of downtown Bombay.

As you enter the four corners, travel down Route 95 going toward the post office. But stop across the street. It is located at the Smith home adjacent to the “Welcome to Bombay” sign and gazebo at the four corners.

The display is amazing. It is lighted and depicts all kinds of spooky, scary Halloween scenes. This year we noticed two huge skeletons — a horse and a gigantic human skeleton!

I would suggest you travel to Bombay during the daylight hours to actually see all that is part of this display. Nighttime, though, gives the ultimate affect with each scene lighted and animation throughout.

My thanks to Nancy and Curt Smith for this amazing Halloween display. It is great fun and certainly makes downtown Bombay a festive spot to visit on a fall evening.


My thanks to Andrea at Dunkin’ in the Speedway Plaza. I stopped there last week to celebrate National Coffee Day. Andrea made sure I used my Dunkin’ app correctly so I could receive my “free” coffee to celebrate the day.

She was so patient and kind with her assistance. And for that I am most grateful.


There are a few slight differences when our son Gregg shops in his grocery store in New York City and when I shop at Walmart or Price Chopper in Massena. I stopped at Price Chopper this week — I parked in the parking lot and walked into the store and to the seafood counter. I could proceed through the store very easily.

When I arrived home, there was a photo from our son of his shopping experience. In the picture that showed his shopping cart and the store, I noticed something I have never seen in any north country grocery store: an escalator.

I sent a message and asked if that was indeed an escalator in this grocery store. Yes, he confirmed that fact — there is an escalator in the store where he was shopping for groceries for dinner.

This week as no other, I am grateful for the north country. Isn’t shopping in the north country marvelous, where a shopper (especially this columnist who is terrified of heights) doesn’t have to contend with an escalator to purchase groceries? I certainly think so.


“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

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