Arbor Day will be celebrated on Friday.

The first Arbor Day was observed in 1872.

Although I have celebrated Arbor Day with our family and school children actually planting trees, I honestly had no idea how this day began and the marvelous connections with the north country until I read a column in Sunday’s Watertown Daily Times.

Watertown Daily Times Editorial Page Editor Jerry Moore wrote a remarkable commentary, “A Legacy Planted in Rich Soil” for Sunday’s edition of the newspaper detailing the beginnings of this day and connections to both the north country and J. Sterling Morton.

If you haven’t already read Mr. Moore’s column, I would urge you to locate the newspaper online at

You can scroll down on the left-hand side of the screen until you find the Opinion section where you will see a photo of tree planting and be able to read this wonderful article.

My heartfelt thanks to Mr. Moore for sharing his knowledge of Arbor Day and his connections.

Jerry Moore explained that J. Sterling Morton (yes, father of the Morton salt founder), who was born in Adams in Jefferson County, founded Arbor Day.

I read that Mr. Morton loved trees.

In fact, the article described him as a “zealous tree lover” with a passion for planting all kinds of trees.

As I read about trees this week, numerous articles stated that trees are a vital part of our life, giving us oxygen, storing carbon and stabilizing the soil.

It also was pointed out that they provided homes and give life to wildlife as well and provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

As I read about the importance of trees, I sat on our couch.

In front of me is our coffee table, which holds a gift from a dear friend. Sometime ago, she sent me a thin board from the center of a coffee tree in Africa.

The details of this board are beautiful and sit on my coffee table holding candles and other treasures of mine.

This part of a tree is a reminder that coffee does in fact come from trees.

Yes, trees are vital to our existence.

I would ask you to plan to plant a tree on Friday honoring the memory of Mr. Morton and his love for trees or perhaps honor the memory of a loved one.

The Gardener has planted apple trees, which provide us with a marvelous crop of apples each season.

This year, there have been new trees planted with pear trees and cherry trees in bloom.

When our oldest son was a toddler, The Gardener’s parents purchased trees for our front yard.

Those trees were perhaps 10 inches at the time.

They now stand tall along our front lawn.

And in our backyard is perhaps my favorite.

It was about 15 to 20 years ago when we were traveling home from visiting family in New York City on an Arbor Day.

We stopped at McDonald’s for lunch and received a small perhaps 6-inch tree with our meal (I think each of us received a tree with three planted on our property).

The Gardener planted those trees with our youngest son.

They now tower over our home, stately evergreens in our backyard.

Take a moment this Friday and remember Arbor Day, and read Jerry Moore’s commentary.

Then plant a tree and celebrate the day.


Our neighbor Carole Smallman will celebrate her birthday Sunday.

We are so fortunate to live in the north country where neighbors talk to one another and are there whenever there is a need.

What a joy it is and reassuring, too, to know Carole (and her husband, Ken) are nearby.

Carole has a caring heart — always there for family, friends and neighbors, too — and animals both wild and domestic who stop at her back door!

My warmest wishes, Carole, for a wonderful birthday.

You deserve only the very best as you celebrate.


My thanks this week to Keith in the automotive section of Walmart.

As we stopped in the aisle to look for an item for my car and The Clockman’s truck, Keith appeared.

He quietly looked at the old parts in hand.

With care and kindness and skilled expertise, he found exactly what we needed.

And for that we were both grateful.

My thanks, too, to the gentleman behind the seafood counter at Price Chopper on a Monday morning.

This gentleman was so friendly and thoughtful — always making sure my salmon order is exactly what I need.

I saw his smile behind his mask as we discussed the joy of the sun shining that day.

My heartfelt thanks for your caring and helpfulness with each order placed.


Last week, a letter arrived at our Bombay home.

The note told me when this dear friend had seen the new U.S. Postal Service coffee stamps, she thought of me and my love for coffee!

Yes, I do enjoy coffee and visiting over coffee with friends.

What fun to receive these stamps and how thoughtful the giver was to think of me with the stamp purchase.

I discovered the U.S. Postal Service issued the stamps in celebration of “America’s love of coffee!”

What fun!

Of course, there was a stop at the post office this week so I could purchase a few more coffee stamps to use on cards for my coffee drinking friends.

My heartfelt thanks for this most thoughtful friend who sent such a meaningful, useful gift.

Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live where friends are thoughtful and caring?

I certainly think so!


“Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future.”

— J. Sterling Morton

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