A sign of mutual support

Ellen Emery

When the then Massena Observer Editor Ryne Martin suggested that I might share the news of the day and my thoughts through a column, it was the importance of visiting with friends over coffee that inspired me to use the heading “Over Coffee With Ellen.”

As I am sure you realize by now, I enjoy the flavor of my favorite brews — black coffee.

Over the years, I have enjoyed learning every aspect about coffee.

I remember sitting in Sullivan’s Office Supply while Tom Sullivan (do you recall the Green Mountain coffee at Seasons and Sullivan’s?) showed me a video about the creation of coffee and how it was processed.

The video was fascinating and made coffee shared much more meaningful.

It also has been interesting to collect not only coffee cups and mugs but so many delightful items that are centered on coffee.

A treasure is the coffee grinder that hangs on the wall in the kitchen in our Bombay home.

The black cast iron coffee grinder was on the wall in my grandparents’ home in Skaneateles.

My earliest remembrances are of my grandmother grinding her coffee energetically and then brewing the coffee over her wood stove.

Coffee was served in a cup on the oil cloth covered table in her kitchen.

I loved visiting with her as she read and consumed her coffee each morning.

My grandfather preferred Postum, which he would pour into his saucer for cooling before he consumed his favorite beverage.

The most important aspect of sharing over coffee, though, is being able to meet new friends, renew old acquaintances and learn about each one who comes to the table with a coffee cup in hand.

In recent months, the joy of sharing over coffee has been done virtually through a marvelous Zoom connection.

We are able to visit, share and see one another face to face and watch as each one lifts their cup through our virtual connection.

And for that I am most grateful.

I am also most grateful for new friends, too.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Sarah in Watertown, “an avid reader” of the online “Over Coffee” column, she told me.

Again, a virtual connection — what fun!

It was marvelous “meeting” Sarah through internet connections.

How thoughtful she is.

She had read a news link about coffee.

When she read the coffee article, she said she had thought of me. Amazing!

I printed out the information on coffee.

I learned that coffee grounds can in fact beautify your skin.

The article said that if you save your leftover (coffee) beans, you can use them as a scrub to exfoliate your skin, making it “smooth and look brighter.”

I smiled as I read that suggestion. I definitely have enough leftover coffee grounds to use as an exfoliant.

Although I love to smell coffee brewing and enjoy the smell as the steam rises from my cup, I honestly don’t believe I want to have my skin smell of coffee.

Perhaps the most fascinating section of this article explained that the Black Ivory Coffee from Northern Thailand is the most expensive in the world.

Only 220 pounds are produced annually.

As I read further, I discovered this coffee is available at a few luxury hotels for $50 per cup. (I also learned this coffee is traded for $1,100 per half pound.) Unbelievable!

I realize I consume a great deal of coffee, but I love the flavor of the coffee from Dunkin’ or Tim Hortons.

An added plus, I know I can purchase coffee that will last for at least two months, perhaps longer, for the price of a single cup of Black Ivory coffee.

I will continue to purchase locally.

My heartfelt thanks to Sarah for sharing.

What fun it was to read about coffee. How kind you are.

Hopefully there will be a time when we can meet for coffee in Watertown or perhaps Massena.

I am looking forward to meeting you in person! Your thought of me with these articles meant a great deal.


A lovely woman and terrific neighbor, Pat Edwards, celebrates her birthday today.

It is always such a pleasure to visit with both Pat and her husband, Keith.

Time spent next door at their table is always a joy. Pat is a marvelous musician, both in vocal music and instrumentally.

She is an amazing organist and pianist.

My warmest wishes, Pat, for only the best as you celebrate today.


The north country is a beautiful place to live.

Last week, our neighbor Carole called remembering the words of her mother, who lived in Bombay as well.

Carole’s mother would tell her, “You don’t have to travel to see beauty — it is right here.”

I agree completely.

Our forsythia, which has been in full bloom displaying its gorgeous bright yellow welcome to spring, has faded to gray.

All of the yellow blossoms have disappeared, but there is new beauty in our forsythia bush.

As we walked around the corner of the house, a bird flew from the bush.

A mother robin has built her nest and is now sitting on her eggs. What beauty.

Hopefully, you agree that the north country is definitely a marvelous place to live and raise your family.

I certainly think so.


It is time for diplomas to be awarded and tassels to be turned and graduates to celebrate.

This is a difficult time for our graduates.

My thoughts are with each one with the hope they will know how much the community is supporting them as they stay safe at home this year.

It was a joy this week as we traveled to Massena for our grocery pickup at Walmart to see a beautiful billboard across from the Akwesasne Library and Cultural Center on Route 37 celebrating the Massena High School graduates.

As you travel west from Massena, the billboard celebrates the Salmon River Central graduates.

I had heard someone mention banners in Massena, so this week we drove down Main Street.

How beautiful to see each graduates face celebrated decorating downtown.

Banners also line Route 11 in Brasher and Winthrop celebrating the St. Lawrence Central graduates.

Congratulations, Class of 2020!

We wish you only the best as you celebrate your amazing accomplishments.


“In crucial things, unity. In important things, diversity. In all things, generosity.”

— George H.W. Bush

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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