Time to reflect on all those who died in service

Ellen Emery

What joy to actually see a tiny bird baby pecked his way through a shell to hatch on a Sunday morning.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that viewers are able to watch the nesting of the red-tailed hawks in Ithaca.

We observe this amazing occurrence each year through the Bird Cam provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University.

I have watched with great interest since a friend in Massena shared the website with me.

Mother Bird Big Red makes her nest each year on a light tower, which I believe is above or near the athletic fields.

The nesting area comes complete with two extraordinary camera angles.

Bird Father Arthur is always nearby providing food and taking his turn on the nest when needed.

Viewers see the parent birds prepare their nest and eggs are laid.

This year, three eggs were laid and on Sunday morning two of those three eggs hatched.

Although The Clockman and I watched as they hatched and saw the fluffy, white feathered chicks immediately after they had hatched, I haven’t been able to see them since — or have I seen the third egg or perhaps by now chick.

What a beautiful sign of hope and joy as the chicks (referred to on the website as J1 and J2) worked diligently to escape from the shell that has protected them these past few weeks.

Take a moment this week and locate the Cornell Bird Cam and observe the marvelous bird parents as they raise their family in a time of quarantine and concern.

I find a sense of comfort and peace as I watch and listen to the wind blowing through the tower home.

There is one advisement, though:

I stop viewing this dear family when Father Arthur brings dinner.

I love watching Mother Big Red care for her young, tucking them gently under her wings and I love the fact dinner is brought to the family.

My love of nature ends at dinner hour, though, since I have discovered red-tailed hawks are not vegetarians.


Friday is the first day of a new month, a day also known as May Day.

When our sons were much younger, we made cone-shaped baskets out of construction paper.

Daffodils from our yard were placed inside with the May Baskets left on the door of friends nearby.

At that time, this was a fun activity with children at home.

As I contemplated the first day of May this year, I thought this might be a perfect time for May Baskets to be delivered.

Wouldn’t that be a fun surprise for someone at home alone?

How beautiful to open the front door and find a spring flower — a sign of hope on a Friday morning (all done at a safe distance!).


Gene Ackerman of Massena celebrates his birthday today.

I first met this terrific gentleman in the check-out aisles at Hannaford.

His kindnesses with each one who came through his aisle was marvelous.

I am sure his lovely wife, Bonnie, and his family and many friends throughout the north country will join me this week in wishing Gene a very Happy Birthday as he celebrates.


Our neighbor Carole Smallman will celebrate her birthday Saturday.

What marvelous neighbors Carole (and her husband, Kenny) are.

Carole is always there for her neighbors across the road, her family and friends.

And for that I am most grateful.

My warmest wishes, Carole, for only the best as you celebrate your birthday.


Vincent Boyea of Massena celebrated his birthday (a milestone year plus one!) on April 23.

Although my wishes are belated, they are most sincere.

I hope you and your lovely wife, Louise, had a wonderful birthday celebration.

I look forward to the day when I can enjoy visiting in your home again and wish you well in person (and hopefully be able to hear a Boyea musical offering).


Technology is marvelous, allowing us to visit — all while social distancing.

What fun this week to hear the remembrances of column readers regarding hair care.

Although some readers never remember the torn material strips to curl hair, there were remembrances of pink rubber curlers!

If I remember correctly, my two sisters both should remember the pink rubber curlers.

And what fun to know the Thought for the Week touched readers who shared that thought with family members in the state of Washington.

I think about which quotation to use each week.

Learning it had been recorded on a 3-by-5 card for remembering and shared with others meant a great deal.

Each faithful reader always touches my heart.

I look forward to a day when we can meet and visit across the table with a cup of coffee in hand.


An item on a morning talk show this week touched my heart.

Farcia West, the high school principal at Poplar Springs High School, wanted to pay tribute to the graduating seniors.

With graduation ceremonies canceled because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Principal West honored each one.

She contacted the photographer who had taken the students senior pictures.

She had each picture made into a 45-inch-by-33-inch photo.

The pictures, now banner sized, line the driveway of the school for everyone to see.

What a marvelous act of kindness.

The signboard for the school in Graceville, Fla., reads:

“You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”

A perfect thought on a weekday morning.


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

— Desmond Tutu

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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