Tomorrow most will gather around the table with family and friends to enjoy a delicious dinner and time together. Each dinner served in homes, at a restaurant or community meal or at a local house of worship will include favorite recipes and new creations. The dinner, which seems each year to be the center of this national holiday, should never be the sole propose of this celebration.
If you are at a table tomorrow with a turkey to be served, be grateful for you are fortunate to have food before you. There are so many who do not have that luxury. And if you are able to spend the day with family, be grateful. So many this year, especially in recent days, have suffered the loss of loved ones. Others have found travel difficult and cannot spend time with loved ones at this holiday. If your family members are healthy with no major health concerns, how grateful you must be this year. If you are able to spend the day with family tomorrow, enjoy their presence, place your arms around them and make the hug last a bit longer this year. And then give thanks for each one gathered around the table.
If you have a home filled with clutter and signs your home is lived in so that you feel you must devote time to cleaning before family and friends arrive, be grateful. This year so many have lost their homes because of flooding, hurricanes and fires. Each one who has suffered the devastation from natural disasters would certainly love to have a home filled with pictures, family mementoes saved and the things that make a house a home. If there are books and cards and pictures on the coffee table nearby or next to you on the couch, be grateful. There are so many others this year who no longer have the things that add to life.
How grateful I am for family. Each one is a source of joy – always nearby in person or through a text or e-mail from miles away. How grateful I am for my families’ love, support, laughter and words of encouragement. At the top of my gratitude list is always the proofreader of this column, who many of you know as The Clockman. The Proofreader is a major part of this column preparation – you truly would never be able to read this column without his assistance each week. My life has been so much better for now over 55 years because of his presence. And for that I am most grateful.
What joy our family brings. I am grateful for our two grown sons Joel and Gregg, a wonderful daughter-in-law and two terrific grandchildren. I am blessed to have sisters, a brother-in-law, a niece and nephews and a grand nephew, too. I am most grateful for the presence of each in my life.
How grateful I am for such amazing neighbors and friends. I have mentioned the marvelous neighbors we have had since we first moved to the north country. What fun it was this fall to meet one of the McLean girls. When we first moved to Townsend Road in Bombay, our road was filled with families and children. What a joy it was. We lived between the Chase family and Lenney family. Just down the road were the Perkins, McLean and Wright families. In those families there were over 20 children! What fun.
At a wedding in a nearby town, a lovely young woman walked into the room where I entered from another doorway. As we exchanged greetings, she initially asked my name and then immediately said “I know - Mrs. Emery!” There was one of the McLean girls. What fun it was to share memories of an earlier time and to catch up on life. Nancy remembered that earlier time and the fact The Clockman, then a teacher and neighbor, had taken the young people nearby on a “Snipe Hunt!” Yes, she remembered every detail of that evening of fun with our neighbors.
There is an extended neighborhood in Bombay. I am so grateful for our mail carrier Keith, everyone at the Hogansburg Post Office, neighbors and friends who live on State Route 37 and on River Road in Snye. And I am so grateful for a neighbor and friend Devan at Subway in the Speedway Plaza. Devan is the absolute best in making a sub sandwich and always makes a stop at the Speedway Plaza so much better. How grateful I am for each gas attendant, too. Each one not only pumps my gas expertly, but never utters a complaint and scrapes my windows on the coldest of days. And for that I am most grateful.
And how grateful I am for each one I have had the opportunity to meet in this beautiful community we call home and for those I have met through this column. How grateful I am for Judi, Lucia and Dan Henry, too. And what a pleasure it was meeting a woman at McDonalds near the Mall on a Monday morning. We first met over 50 years ago in downtown Massena. We shared greetings and remembrances and she commented about this column. What a joy it was to meet Shari in a Walmart aisle. It was such a joy to visit with former students of The Clockman, then a teacher, now decades ago. “It was 40 years ago I sat next to Mr. Emery’s desk!” one woman remembered in a Walmart aisle. And how grateful I am for our friend Phil, a devoted Joe Namath fan, for cards sent, telephone visits and hand scripted notes shared. I am also grateful this week for the friend who thought of me with a darling gift shared on a Sunday morning.
How grateful I am that then Massena Observer Editor Pat McKeown called me to her desk to give me the marvelous opportunity of sharing the news of the community I live in. It was Editor Ryne Martin who suggested a column. And for that I am most grateful. And today I am grateful to Courier-Observer Editor Tom Graser for allowing me to share my thoughts each week through this column and to Editorial Page Editor Jerry Moore for placing my words on the page and making sure each of you can read and respond. What an absolute joy it is to be able to share with you each week.
How wonderful it is to have the opportunity to share my gratitude as the nation celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday. I would hope, though, that we do not limit our gratitude moments to a single day in November. In a marvelous book I read now years ago, “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author suggested that we list five things each day we are grateful for each day. What a marvelous idea. This year I would hope we could all continue to share our Thanksgiving gratitude extending it into the New Year. How grateful I am today to have so many extraordinary people in my life. And I am grateful we can visit over coffee or through words on a printed page or a computer screen each Wednesday.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“In all things give thanks.”
— Cloninger and Barker