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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

Getting ready for big party

This Friday begins the great countdown to the 150th anniversary of Canada.

On the 149th anniversary of Confederation, we will begin making preparations for the grand celebration one year from now.

This past month, my wife and I were fortunate to visit Newfoundland—the last province on our list of places to see. It has a different history than the rest of Canada having been a colony of Great Britain through to 1948, and has its own customs and special celebrations.

Fishing memories with my father always treasured

Facebook and Twitter were alive with photos and memories of dads on Sunday.

I didn’t post anything, but the number of memories of fathers got me to thinking about the impact my father had on my life. I remember a saying he often used: “If everyone is thinking and saying the same thing, then someone is not thinking.”

He could play the “devil’s advocate,” taking a contrary view to determine how well thought-out your argument or opinion was.

So much to learn about ‘The Rock’

Marnie and I believed it was important for our sons to see and experience all the provinces in Canada, and we travelled to all of them except for Newfoundland.

Well, last week Marnie and I travelled across Newfoundland—from Corner Brook to St. John’s and part of the Avalon Peninsula.

We stayed at B&Bs, where we met interesting travellers along the route. The B&B hosts also are a trove of information about the communities they live in.

Hoping plan won’t blow up

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Environment minister Glen Murray are going to save the planet with their new “Climate Action Plan.”

After the Ontario legislature begins its summer vacation, the “action plan” will be released. They really don’t want any embarrassing questions asked in the House.

Time to relax at cabin

What a difference a week makes on the lake.

Rainy Lake was magnificent all weekend. The freezing temperatures had disappeared and the stillness of the lake allowed the sun to raise the lake’s temperature by 10 degrees C.

Cottagers were arriving and opening their camps. Our neighbour, Larry Greif, arrived early in the week having driven through a snowstorm on his final day getting to Fort Frances from Arizona.

By Tuesday he could trade in his jeans to shorts.

Weather made work tough

The day was chilly. The air filled often with freezing rain bits almost feeling like hail as it pitted your face this past weekend.

My wife and I headed to the cabin last Wednesday afternoon to get a jump on finishing off several projects. It was a cool 10 C with a slight misty rain in the air. The cabin was cool but we soon had a hot fire roaring in the wood stove.

Two pails of water were brought up from the lake for cooking and doing dishes. Our new water system had to be finished before we could start the water pump to deliver water to the cabin.

Big fires can happen here

With television, messaging, and “YouTube” available to all of us, we immediately can feel the force and wonderment of Mother Nature.

On Rainy Lake, we have watched winds blow ice from one shore to another—often sliding up shores and toppling tall red and white pines.

We have witnessed the ice shearing off and moving huge rock-filled cribs as if they were small boxes of rock.

First cabin trip enjoyed

Rainy Lake’s ice finished sinking to the bottom over the weekend and the first boats started filling marinas.

Everyone seems to be rushing to get their boats on the water.

I wasn’t the first to put my boat in this year. The blue water beckoned and Badiuk’s had my boat all serviced, the batteries charged and the pumps in working order, so it only was a matter of picking the boat up and launching it off the ramp.

What foods are safe?

The world and research constantly is changing its opinions on what foods are safe to eat.

The most recent change has come with the rehabilitation of butter.

Back in the 1950s, very few people were fat. Most households in Fort Frances had very rich milk, where the cream would separate from the milk.

If left out on a cold January day, the cream would burst through the seal of the glass milk bottle that the milk man had left earlier in the morning on your doorstep.