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Fri., Apr. 18
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Over Coffee With Ellen

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UPDATE ON SPRING – Spring arrived officially on March 20, now a few weeks ago. There have been brief moments of spring like weather accompanied by snowflakes and a chill in the air. During a visit in the parking lot of the Hogansburg Post Office (where a pleasant conversation is always found) it was decided on Monday morning spring had not arrived. The gentleman I was visiting with commented on the need for heavy coats, which I agreed with completely.

I had mentioned to my Monday morning visitor that a plus was no snow that day. Within a few hours Mother Nature decided to play an April Fool’s joke by showering us with pelting snow – momentarily.

There have been signs of spring – Monday was the home opener for New York City baseball teams. Although I am not a baseball fan, I love hearing the reports of the season beginning for certainly that is a sign of spring.

And this week I saw Clark sitting on his porch on State Route 37. That is my own personal sign of spring. I had seen Clark in his yard in recent weeks and was hopeful of an early spring until I realized he was shoveling snow, but this week he was sitting on his porch enjoying the sun. Hopefully before long we can all enjoy the warmth of a coatless day from an outside perspective.

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WITH THANKS – My thanks this week is extended to Sue and Lila at First Niagara Bank. Whenever I have a banking question I go to my friendly neighborhood tellers. Each time I stop to see Bob or Pam or anyone at the counter, each one is most helpful. As I have attempted to deal with banking issues of family members, they have all been so helpful and understanding. And for that I am always most grateful.

Last week yet another banking question was raised, a banking question I had no idea how to handle. I stopped at First Niagara and within minutes Sue and Lila had addressed my concerns. And for that I am truly thankful. Isn’t the North Country a marvelous place to shop – and bank? I certainly think so.

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COFFEE ANGEL – Last week the angel who provided my Sunday morning coffee was my friend Joe. This week my Coffee Angel was my friend Krista. Coffee Angels provide my favorite brew when it is least expected and most desired.

Wednesday had been a busy day. There was no time for a morning coffee break and as I tried to prepare for an afternoon appointment, the time for coffee after lunch never happened. I was to meet friends and some young people for practice at 4 o’clock. There was preparation and rehearsal before that time that needed to be completed with no time remaining for coffee that day.

When Krista arrived, she came with coffee to share – wonderful, steaming black cups of coffee – huge cups of coffee! And this coffee tasted far better because it was shared among friends! My heartfelt thanks to Krista. How grateful I am for her thoughtfulness- she came not only with her coffee cup in hand, but enough for each one gathered! How thankful I am for friends – and sharing over coffee!

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KINDNESS DAY – A new month began this week and with it came April Fool’s Day. I know there are a number of you who thoroughly enjoy practical jokes (never as a recipient, though, I am sure!). For me it is my least favorite day of the year. Family members and dear friends seem to find great joy on this day of making complete fools of those they would normally be close to and those they admire and love.

There are even family members who have been known to make sure Mom is the recipient of their jokes that day. There have been calls just after midnight when the one being called has just fallen sleep. Yes, on that night the joke seemed unbearably real with no thought as to the day the caller was celebrating. I believe our sons – I believe most people. In fact I have a difficult time ever believing adults might lie, or play a practical joke as this day requires, or so I am told.

After years of being the recipient of April Fool’s Day pranks, I am now aware of the day and all it holds for unsuspecting Moms! The call came through on Monday – I immediately told the caller son that I knew it was April Fool’s Day! We visited about the day and then the teacher son, who had been on vacation the past week, told me he would get a second week off because a water pipe had burst at the school. I believed this now grown son completely and yes, on yet another April Fool’s Day had been pranked!

There were shared pranks from others – friends and other family members – all with laugher and good humor. Laughter is good, but I would rather see joy in kindnesses shared or laughter over the antics of a pet feline or a smile with a child over an Easter egg hunt.

I would propose that April Fool’s Day be banned. Although I am told April Fool’s Day has been celebrated for centuries, since the time of Chaucer, it has not been designated as a national holiday. Since it is not a national holiday, it could certainly be deleted from our calendar. Instead I think there should be a Kindness Day where each friend or family member finding another to treat with extra kindness for at least that one day with no jokes to be played or laughter at another’s expense. Just a thought as we begin a new month.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – A friend is what the heart needs all the time. Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)

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