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Over Coffee with Ellen

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WITH THANKS – What joy this week when the mail was brought in. Yes, on most days the clock man in our home doubles as a mail deliverer bringing the mail to me personally in our living room. Isn’t life in the north country, well at least in our Bombay home, wonderful? I certainly think so. There in the middle of advertisements, bills and junk mail was a hand addressed letter.

The card was lovely and the note from a friend in Massena touched my heart. It began, “You said you like handwritten notes so here goes (A happy face concluded that thought!). “ I love reading my parents’ journals in their own hand, my Grandmother’s letters and dear letters and notes from friends. The writing is part of that person which makes any handwritten note so personal, so heartfelt.

This note meant so much for the writer took time to take a pen in hand and share their thoughts. I have mentioned in recent weeks my connections via the internet with my sister, who is now in Italy. I have been able to be connected with friends in Antarctica, Afghanistan and Japan via the internet. Modern technology is amazing, but I hope that since the touch of a screen key pad is so easy we will not forget how to pick up a pen and write to a friend sharing our thoughts via the US postal service.

Long after the computer screen fades and the message sent is deleted, the note mailed will be saved – I have letters (called V-mail, I believe) from servicemen who had written my Father in 1943. Take a moment this week and write a note or perhaps a lengthy letter to a friend or colleague.

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GOOD NEWS – By now you must realize I love books. I enjoy holding the books as I read, turning pages (and I don’t consider touching a screen and watching a page fly by turning a page), underlining wonderful passages and turning down the corner of a page so I can find that page again to share with a friend.

I grew up with parents who loved books. The house was full of books – with so many different subjects included in their library. I actually remember seeing Mother vacuuming with one hand and holding a book in the other reading as she cleaned!

I was so pleased to read Bob Beckstead’s article in last Wednesday’s Courier-Observer about a new bookstore, “Dolly’s Books and Internet Café,” opening in Massena. I copied the address and put visiting the new bookstore at the top of my “To Do” list this week. I couldn’t remember where Romeo Avenue might be. The map reader in our home told me where I could find that street. I turned from Harte Haven and knew I was in the right area because there was a most helpful sign “New Book Store” with an arrow directing me to the lovely new addition to Massena.

My thanks to Marie Binan. What a beautiful store. It is spacious and well lit and the books are wonderful. I especially enjoyed the children’s books. I love giving a gift of books and these were marvelous – “Good Night Moon” was among the titles and the Dr. Seuss favorite “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” And a beautiful book I had never seen before about the Underground Railroad. I smiled as I looked at the titles and subject areas thinking of the book stores we had visited in Baltimore some time ago. In Baltimore there was always a coffee pot available in every bookstore we visited. And then I turned and there it was a wonderful space with tables and coffee – and fudge. What more could anyone want? A perfect place to stop and visit and purchase a book or two and enjoy a cup of coffee. Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live and shop? I certainly think so.

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OVER COFFEE – With thanks to Joe White who made sure there was a cup of steaming black coffee beside me on a Wednesday evening. How thoughtful – and delicious.

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS – Belated wishes to Larry Hazen at Hannaford’s. If I remember correctly his birthday was yesterday! I hope your day was a terrific one with only good events to celebrate.

Saturday is the birthday of one of my Buffalo Bill Fan Friends, Bob Brownell. Have a great day, Bob, you certainly deserve the very best. And on Sunday a lovely young woman Shannon (McLean) Bryant will celebrate her birthday. What a joy it is to be able to wish Shannon a happy birthday this year. I know it will be a marvelous year for you and your family! Have a wonderful birthday!

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BELATED WISHES – When I stopped at the Cornell’s Cleaners Main Street Store this week I learned that Bonnie Arazy had just celebrated her birthday. My usual time to stop at Cornell’s is in the morning. During morning hours I visit with Norma (and Lucy, too) Recently it has been afternoon by the time I turn the corner onto Main Street. During my afternoon visits, I have the opportunity of visiting with Bonnie (and Lucy, too).

A few weeks ago I wished Lucy Ackerman a happy birthday on June 3, a date I have had circled for some time now! But I never knew until this past week what date Bonnie celebrates her birthday. Although my wishes are a few days late (I know it is nearly two weeks since her birthday celebration), they are most sincere. My warmest wishes, Bonnie, for only the best in the year ahead. When you walk by Cornell’s this week or stop by with shirts and suits in hand for cleaning, take a moment and wish Bonnie a very happy “Belated” birthday.

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STANLEY CUP CHEERING – Go, Blackhawks! (Editor’s note: The poor Boston Bruins are the big underdogs yet again. Better to be an underdog than a long done team like Ellen’s Habs. And Ellen, I think you and the clock man would look very nice in matching black and gold hockey sweaters.)

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – The best things in life are often right in front of us. (Taken from the front of Nola’s card.)

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