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Over Coffee With Ellen

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CONNECTIONS MADE – What an amazing week I had last week with many truly wonderful visits over coffee, coffee and donuts, coffee and breakfast, lunch and juice shared. An amazing connection was made on Tuesday when I met a friend for lunch that day at Common Grounds. Three women were seated at the table adjacent to ours – they looked familiar and exchanged pleasant greetings, but I could not place them.

As my friend and I visited and enjoyed our lunch one of the women from the table nearby walked toward us. She asked if I wrote for the newspaper wondering if I was the one who wrote this column. She had watched as I enjoyed coffee with friends. She was observant noticing friends mentioned in the column and places that I had made note of as I shared in this column.

She told me she read the Over Coffee column and as we visited I knew she had for she remembered events in my life and our family that had been important enough for me write about. Although we had never met officially before Tuesday at Common Grounds, we had visited through this column. And that meant a great deal to me.

My heartfelt thanks to the woman at the adjacent table for caring enough to watch and connect and to take the time to come to our table. Although you asked that your name not be mentioned, I know you are reading this week and I hope you connect again knowing how grateful I am for your support and encouragement. Your words and the fact you are a loyal reader touched my heart and meant the world to me.

I hope our paths will cross again and perhaps the next time we can visit across the table from one another over coffee.

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TRAVEL TIME – The sky watcher in our home has been exiting our home in recent weeks during the evening hours to watch the space station. I was told that it takes roughly 90 minutes for the space station to orbit the earth.

As I sat inside thinking about the space station (I have gone outside to watch it orbit the earth from time to time, but I honestly have no desire to fight off mosquitoes on a regular basis to look at the night sky), I visited with our oldest son on the telephone. He was driving home - that night there was traffic and it took him two hours for his commute from the airport.

My California sister’s drive to work in the morning (a trip that is 11 miles long – a distance that is about the same as my drive from our Bombay home to Massena) is about an hour, in the morning, she adds! How amazing to think a drive to work would be about the same time as it takes the space station to orbit the entire earth!

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WITH THANKS – My thanks this week to Jon at the cash register at Wal-Mart on Monday morning. How pleasant he was. His assistance in finding the necessary codes to enter my insulated bag purchase (for the needed fudgesicle purchase made!) was appreciated. And during the time that certainly must have been frustrating for him, his conversation was so friendly. Jon made my Monday morning visit to Wal-Mart a marvelous way to begin my day.

And thanks, too, to Janice at Wal-Mart last week. She, too, was pleasant, just delightful and again so helpful. She provided me with everything I needed for my purchase that day – including a gift receipt. And for that I am most grateful. Isn’t the North Country a marvelous place to live – and shop? I certainly think so!

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AMERICAN CRACKERS – My sister who is in Italy, sent an e-mail last Wednesday morning after she read my thoughts on s’mores. “From Italy on a column day,” she wrote telling me she had decided to tell those traveling to Italy to bring graham crackers. She wrote that graham crackers “don’t exist here and no s’mores for me. As I read your column I so wanted them!!! Why are graham crackers so uniquely American?”

I never realized graham crackers were uniquely American! Although my travels to other countries only include Canada and I never noticed nor asked for a graham cracker on my visits to hockey arenas throughout Ontario and Quebec!

And so this week if you enjoy a s’more or perhaps icing between two graham crackers – or just snack on a plain graham cracker make sure to express your gratitude for life in America – and the tasty graham cracker snack. Remember others throughout this world have no idea what a graham cracker tastes like – and have never tried a s’more!

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STRANGE SIGNAGE – Last week I mentioned what I thought was a strange sign on the North Road. This week I believe I found even a stranger direction in my travels. As I was driving home from Massena and approached what once was the traffic circle (I have no idea how to identify it now) there is a road sign indicating the left lane is ending. I am sure many of you are aware of that sign as you approach the stop light.

Just as I was approaching the sign with the left lane ending notation, there was a huge lighted arrow pointing from the right to left indicating traffic was to move to the left lane with the right lane now closed. As I slowed I wondered how I might attempt this feat. I was told by the sign on the left the left was closed and by the sign on the right the right lane was closed!

My car is a smaller model but will in no way fit between the lanes - what to do? I drove slowly and cautiously as close to the center line as possible and wondered who had developed that traffic pattern and why! Perhaps it was to make the driver slow down, look around and enjoy the day – and smile! If that was the reason why, the project was a success!

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted. Anonymous (For Connie this week and for Joe White, too, who on his birthday made sure I had a cup of coffee as we visited.)

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