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Over Coffee With Ellen

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SKYWARD HALO – Monday afternoon as I left our Bombay home and drove toward my Massena destination, the sun was in my eyes (the sun was most welcome, although at this angle it limited my line of site while driving).

As I began the section of my trip on the four lane highway, I reached to lower my visor. It was then that I saw something in the cold, winter afternoon I had never seen before – circling the sun appeared to be a rainbow, a rainbow or at least an arc on each side of the afternoon sun.

When I arrived at my Massena destination and stepped from my car, I could see the almost circling of the sun by colorful sunlit semi-circles on either side. I called the astronomer in our home who had also seen the sun’s halo that afternoon. I was told by our resident astronomer that this was a Sun Dog. As I read more about the Sun Dog, I learned that this atmospheric phenomenon creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.

The information I read also described the Sun Dog as a colored patch of light on either side of the sun. That was exactly what the afternoon sky looked like as I looked skyward.

I hope there were others who saw the beauty in the north country sky on Monday. It was an extraordinary site to look skyward and see a colorful, light filled wintry sky – with arcing halos surrounding the afternoon sun. Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live and experience the beauty of the day? I certainly think so.

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ALL STARS – From New Jersey this week I learned about a hockey game on Cornwall Island. The game was held on Friday evening at the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena on Cornwall Island with the NHL Montreal Canadiens alumni team facing off against the Akwesasne Selects. As I read some of the names of those playing on both teams I knew immediately there were “All Stars” on both teams.

Some of the names listed as playing for the Montreal Canadien alumni team were Richard Sevigny, Guy Lafleur, Guy Carbonneau, Steve Shutt (those are the names I remember so well); Mathieu Dandenault, Rick Green, Gilbert Delorme, Normand Dupont, Karl Dykhuis, Joycelyn Lemieux, Pierre Dagenais and Steve Penney.

And some of those playing for the Akwesasne Selects, each an all-star as well, were: Nathan Sunday, Mark Thomas, Adam Thompson, Steve Thomas, Jr., Evan Thompson, Toby Sunday, Elliot Lazore, Mike Benedict and Pete LaFrance.

I understand some who were on the ice that night felt this was an awesome night with the opportunity to play against heroes they had grown up watching. What a terrific game this must have been – my thanks to my anonymous New Jersey source for sharing this story with me.

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JOY FROM ITALY – Last week I mentioned the joy that had been brought into my life with a gift of a beautiful coffee cup filled with joy. Around the outside of the cup are the letters in the word “Joy” written on every inch of the outside of this mug, truly an “explosion of joy.”

I also referred to the word “Joy” on my Dunkin’ Donuts carry out cup in December. What fun – joy was to be found everywhere!

Last Wednesday morning my sister shared her comments on this column as she does each Wednesday after reading Over Coffee online in her Italian home. She had read about my Joy-filled coffee cup that morning.

Later that day I looked at some cards that had been sent – some that I had saved to be put away in my Journal (Special cards and notes are always saved tucked away in my Journal – cards from my canine friend Heidi and a beautiful, touching note this week sent from Massena).

One was a card my sister had sent from Italy. It was not only a beautiful card complete with a poinsettia and candle on the front, but since it was mailed from Italy I was touched – touched to receive a greeting someone had taken the time to address and mail from afar.

As I began to put it into my Journal, I realized I had no idea what the printed verse meant for it had been written in Italian. I could read my sister’s name and recognized her hand writing and knew her greeting, but did not know nor understand the printed card message. I sent her the message for translation via the internet and the response came back quickly.

She told me she was emotional about the greeting as she translated it with the words bringing tears to her eyes because “it is about Joy …because it is so magical.” She explained it was rare to find a Christmas card there because no one sends them where she lives, but she found one and mailed it sending it across the Atlantic. And on this week my thoughts centered on Christmas Joy, her translation began, “This year at Christmas I send you Joy,” the card read.

Yes, there was Christmas Joy sent from Italy. Amazing.She explained that in Italy Joy or Gioia is a term of endearment similar to darling in English. What fun – Joy in a coffee cup and joy sent from Italy – and what joy to know my sister will read this visit Over Coffee in her Italian home before our Daily-Courier Observer is delivered at our Bombay home.

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COFFEE KINDNESS – Two terrific gentlemen expressed such kindness this week in making sure I had a cup of coffee. Earlier in the week Gene Ackerman (yes of Hannaford’s fame) made sure I had a cup of coffee in hand as I left Massena on my way home that day. And for his kindness I am most grateful.

And on Sunday morning, I had left the table I had been sitting at to attend to some business of the day. I knew my coffee cup was almost empty, but had forgotten to take it with me for filling as I crossed the room. I returned to my seat at the table and my coffee cup was filled to the brim (perfect for someone who enjoys their coffee black).

I looked up in disbelief for I was sure my cup was empty when I left. I knew what had happened when I saw the gentleman seated next to me. Joe White had made sure my cup was full that day and again I am most grateful. What a marvelous act of kindness. What fine gentlemen both Joe and Gene are – the north country is filled with the most extraordinary people who care about one another and always make sure coffee drinkers have a cup in hand! And for that I am truly grateful.

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WITH THANKS – My thanks this week to Darren at the Speedway Dunkin’ Donuts. He was extremely pleasant and helpful when I stopped on Monday afternoon to make my coffee purchase.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. Benjamin Franklin

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