We shouldn’t take anything for granted

Ellen Emery

When I was in the then-Massena Observer office, now more years ago than I would like to think about, a gentleman came to the front desk to purchase his morning newspaper. With enthusiasm he declared, “Good morning!”

The immediate response from behind a desk nearby was the question, “What’s good about it?” The gentleman said with a smile, “It’s morning!”

I remembered those comments made in the early 1980s. I smile today as I think about that newspaper customer’s thoughts on life itself.

What a marvelous thought to realize that if you are able to walk into a newspaper office, speak and smile and purchase a newspaper it is indeed a “Good morning!” Especially during this pandemic, each morning that we are able to begin a new day of life is a wonderful day — a time to be celebrated.

This past week, I heard an interview with a high school junior named Dathan Wickson Jr.; the young man is a high school wrestler from Rockford, Ill., and is the recent recipient of Gannett’s High School Sports Courage Award. He overcame brain surgery and worked diligently to become a state championship high school wrestler.

Dathan told “Today” anchor Hoda Kotb the details of his brain surgery and the work to overcome it. He explained he had learned through all of this, “Don’t take things for granted.”

The young man’s story was an amazing one of courage, but what I remember from the interview is the exchange of greetings by his father with the television news anchor. As the interview began, Dathan Wickson Sr. spoke to Hoda Kotb, greeting her by saying, “Great morning!” What a marvelous greeting.

I smiled thinking we should all use that phrase each time we greet one another, “Great morning,” as we realize it is truly great as we celebrate the dawn of a new morning.

As my thoughts centered on that interview, we drove to Massena on Monday afternoon to pick up our order at Walmart. Store associate Ian brought our groceries to the car and loaded them in our trunk. As he turned to leave, we thanked him. And he stopped and smiled, telling us to have “a great afternoon!”


Our neighbors Pat and Keith Edwards will celebrate their wedding anniversary Friday. I believe this year they will celebrate 66 years of marriage. How wonderful!

What a lovely and very talented couple. Visiting with Pat and Keith is always a joy. My warmest wishes to you both as you celebrate your anniversary this year.


The young man I wrote about at the beginning of this column mentioned never taking anything for granted. We have all learned in recent weeks there are so many things that had been in our lives that we had taken for granted — that we will always be appreciative of — the hug of our grandchildren and friends and in-store shopping.

The last time I was in a store (until this past week) was March 17. I honestly loved to shop — not only to make necessary purchases and gifts for friends but to visit with clerks whom I had grown to know as I shopped.

With quarantining and social distancing, a reality is we stayed home — gladly. Shortly we learned we could order just about everything we needed at home. One thing I was not able to order, though, was fresh salmon.

I had been reassured that shopping at Price Chopper would be a good experience. Friday morning, I stopped — early was best I was told.

It was a good experience, and for that I am most grateful. I was able to stop at the seafood department and purchased the most delicious fresh salmon for our dinner from a terrific gentleman who was so kind and friendly.

I must commend those at Price Chopper: the aisles were marked for easy shopping, and the check-out aisles were wiped clean before I entered. I appreciated the reassurance of a friend to shop, and I appreciate the diligent work at all of the local stores to help make shopping safe for each one.


The remote for our satellite television viewing stopped working altogether last week. My television viewing actually predated the use of a remote control, but the thought of even attempting to switch channels and recording programs was overwhelming. The Clockman tried to use his skills in repairing the device but no such luck.

I decided to call the company and see if a new remote could be provided. The gentleman on the other end of the telephone was most helpful, asking questions about our account and the device itself.

He was in the process of making arrangements for the delivery of a new remote when he explained to me he would have to put me on hold for a few minutes. He promised he would return but that this was necessary so that he could fill my order.

As he left, he shared some sage advice. “Grab your fluids,” he told me, adding quickly, “Drink your coffee!” He had no idea that he was speaking to someone who enjoys a cup of coffee.

It was such a pleasure to be told to drink my coffee, but the comment of the day was this gentleman’s advice to “Grab your fluids”! As I go to the kitchen to refill my coffee mug, I smile, following the advice of the gentleman from the satellite company to “Grab your fluids.” And that I did!


“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breath, to enjoy, to love.”

— Marcus Aurelius

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.