Postal worker delivers kindness along with mail

Ellen Emery

A few years ago, my friend Ruth told me about a website from Cornell University where we can watch nesting red-tailed hawks.

I was fascinated because I grew up in the small town of Danby, which is just south of Ithaca.

I am a graduate of Ithaca High School and was delighted to see a part of my hometown virtually!

We have been able to watch the hawk family since 2012.

What fun to receive an email with attachments to connect with the Cornell Lab cameras so “visitors” can watch the red-tail hawk couple Big Red (she is called this in honor of the Cornell University nickname) and Arthur (named for the founder of the Cornell Lab, Arthur A. Allen).

The first egg appeared in the nest Thursday.

When I watched the hawk couple on Monday, I was fascinated to watch Big Red tuck two eggs (which you could see plainly) underneath her feathers, surrounding them with her body to protect them from the snowflakes that day.

Take a moment this week and look for the webcam from Cornell University and watch this extraordinary site as the bird parents nest and raise their family.


It was now a number of years ago that I read the book “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

The author urged readers to list five things they were grateful for each day.

Although I have always attempted to think positively and look at the good things in my life rather than emphasizing the negative, I have found it a bit harder to write five items for gratefulness.

When you actually put your grateful thoughts into writing, the thoughts on positivity are elevated.

When listing your gratefulness remember, too, that your spouse and family cannot be listed five times each day — although you are definitely grateful for their presence in your lives.

With our lives overcome by the news and reality of the novel coronavirus, I feel it is more important than ever to think of the things we are grateful for in our lives.

At the top of my list is always The Clockman and our feline friend, Tigger.

How grateful I am for the more than 55 years of companionship and a feline friend who keeps us entertained daily.

This week I am most grateful for health care workers — we should express our gratitude for each one: those in doctors’ offices, hospitals, triage centers, pharmacists and first-responders.

How grateful I am this week to our rural mail carrier who not only brings such welcome cards, notes and connections with dear friends but now also delivers packages ordered.

And there is gratefulness for the delivery people on the UPS trucks and FedEx, too — for now their packages delivered are not unexpected gifts from family and friends but items of necessity ordered online.

And thanks for our newspaper carrier.

How marvelous it is to be able to receive the news of the day at our door. How grateful I am as well for the reporters at the office and editorial page editors.

My thanks to each of them for working each day to make sure the news of the day reaches its readership (and to spark our thinking with editorials written).

How grateful I am for each of you.

I am grateful, too, for Reen Cook each morning bringing us local news, sports insight and weather.

Hearing her voice each morning makes the day a good one.

How grateful we are for those working in the stores — stocking shelves now bare on a regular basis.

I am grateful not only for the work you do in each store but for the hours you are working to provide time at an earlier hour for shopping for those in need.

And there is gratitude for ministers and organists who worked diligently to provide their congregations with worship.

How grateful I was for YouTube connections that provided an “in spirit” worship (I loved that phrasing by one minister, rather than merely virtual worship!).

Just a few weeks ago, before self-quarantine and restrictions on contact and travel, the gentlemen from Mohawk Network arrived to make sure our home had the needed fiber optic connections for internet usage. How grateful I am for these gentlemen (and the one who installed our telephone).

They were not only skilled professionally but caring, making sure each of our devices was connected.

How grateful we have been for those connections this past week as we visit by telephone and texting with family and friends.

I would urge each of you this week to find an empty notebook or a blank sheet of paper and write five things each day you are grateful for — putting your gratitude in writing is an amazing exercise — especially on a day filled with news of a pandemic.


Lessons are being learned each day as we experience our new mode of life in America.

The main one I feel I have learned is to never take a warm hug for granted.

I will never take the touch of a passerby or the handshake of a new found friend for granted again.

I will never take the warmth of a tight hug by a friend for granted.

And never will I take for granted a trip to the store to shop.

A visit from our family in New York City and Westchester County will be celebrated when they are able to travel northward once again.

Each visit will be celebrated with cake and balloons!

Visits with neighbors and friends must be celebrated as well — each one a special time together — when the time is right.

And this week, I am not taking my cup of coffee for granted.

In visiting with my sister in California, I learned there is no coffee available in the town in which she lives.

How grateful I am for coffee purchased for brewing just days before we were told that for health reasons we must stay home!

And I am grateful, too, for coffee given as a gift, which I have saved for a special occasion — now is the time.

And so if you have a cup of coffee in front of you and family and friends nearby this week, either personally or virtually, be grateful and remember there are those who are not as fortunate.


“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”

— G.K. Chesterton

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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