Spend additional time in a special way this year

Ellen Emery

We are fortunate in the north country to enjoy and celebrate four seasons.

It has saddened me to hear so many complaints in recent weeks about our weather — comments about the cold temperatures or perhaps snowfall. One comment made me smile, though. After a complaint about the cold temperatures, there was a reply, “It’s winter!”

The winter skies were absolutely stunning last week on a cold, wintry day. As we drove toward Massena, I noticed the sky overhead — a rainbow could be seen, and there had been no rain.

I had seen this a few years ago in the winter sky. I was told this is called a Sun Dog.

This optical phenomenon occurs on very cold days when there are ice crystals in the atmosphere. It’s called a Sun Dog because the rainbow follows the sun similarly to how a dog might follow its master.

The sky was a gray, blue with subdued colors of the rainbow visible in the afternoon sky. How beautiful!

Friday morning as most drivers were dealing with fog, I began my trek to Massena once again. As I entered Hogansburg on Route 37, there was traffic causing me to stop on the bridge over the Saint Regis River.

As I waited to proceed through the stoplight, I noticed the trees along the banks of the river. They were covered with the beauty of the frozen air — ice crystals hung from each branch. How beautiful!

And as I approached the four-lane highway, the trees near the railroad also were covered with ice crystals. As I proceeded along Route 37, I continued to see each tree along the roadside ice covered with stunning beauty.

Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live where a routine trip to the neighboring town includes the most extraordinary beauty? I certainly think so! I hope you saw the Sun Dog this week and noticed the beauty of the north country on a wintry day.


Marcia Curran celebrates her birthday tomorrow. What a lovely woman. I miss visiting with her at Seasons when I would purchase just the right gift — or a cup of coffee.

I think of Marcia often when I drink from the mugs I purchased at Seasons and when I reach in my purse for the extra coffee sleeve for use on a hot cup of coffee. It was Marcia who suggested I always carry one with me in case one isn’t provided or in case there is a charge for a coffee sleeve (that happened on one occasion — there was a 25 cent fee in an out-of-town shop for what was described as a java wrap).

My warmest wishes, Marcia, for a beautiful birthday and only the best in the year ahead.


Phil Schwartz will celebrate his birthday Friday. It is always such a pleasure to visit with Phil. What a terrific gentleman.

Phil is a huge fan of New York Jets legend Joe Namath. I am not sure he watched the Super Bowl on Sunday since there was no mention of Mr. Namath.

I thought of Phil as we watched the game when I saw a Kansas City player with the name “Schwartz” on his back — it wasn’t Phil but Mitchell who plays for the Super Bowl champions. Just seeing the name Schwartz in the Super Bowl made me smile as I thought about our friend Phil!

My best wishes for a wonderful birthday with only good events in your life this year to celebrate.


A Saturday morning news segment on the program “CBS This Morning” told viewers about changes that might transpire in our coffee drinking. The segment featured a University of California at Davis college course offering titled “The Design of Coffee.” Every aspect of coffee and brewing is studied in-depth in this college course, which has become the top course offering.

Those being interviewed stated that the “coffee bean is magical.” Yes, I agree with that statement. The interviewer said coffee is “one of the most important beverages.” Again, I agree completely.

It was also pointed out that coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. Questions were raised though with one question asked, “Will we have coffee in 30 years?”

There was concern expressed because of disease with the coffee plants and droughts affecting the coffee plants. Climate change also has affected the growth of the coffee bean, we were told.

Studies are being conducted with the possibility of producing molecular coffee with the taste and aroma of coffee coming from leaves!

I believe I will enjoy my coffee, grinding the beans and making my cup of coffee and hope that the college classes and scientists will resolve this issue before it becomes a concern with which coffee lovers must grapple.


My thanks this week to Kevin at the Twin Leaf Plaza. In visiting with others, especially my sisters who live in California, I realize we are so fortunate to have gas attendants in the north country. I appreciate each gas attendant whether it is at Bear’s Den, Western Door or Eastern Door, Truck Stop Number Nine, Speedway or Twin Leaf (where I purchase my gas depends on where my gas tank reads empty as I travel to and from Massena).

The local gas attendants are marvelous, clearing my windshield, working diligently on a cold winter day to open my gas cap. These remarkable gentlemen never complain about the weather. And they have to work outside on the coldest of days.

As I returned home from Massena on Saturday, I stopped for gas at Twin Leaf. Kevin was there to pump my gas.

I always enjoy visiting with this terrific young man. I first met Kevin at Hannaford now some time ago. It meant a great deal on Saturday to visit over coffee with Kevin.


“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

— Aristotle

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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