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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

Early spring is welcomed

It is lake time again.

Commissioner's Bay has already lost its ice. Creeks are brimming with fast flowing water. I have booked my boat to be ready for pickup this weekend and hope that I will be able to travel to the cabin for the first trip of the year.

On Easter Sunday, I was reminded by Facebook of a picture taken at the cabin in 2015 with ice still on the beach, deep blue water and bright sunshine. It may have been the earliest trip ever.

Sore muscles tell us a different story

Sometimes we think that we are younger and stronger than we really are, and all too often when we take on jobs, our bodies remind us of our ages.

Marnie and I have been remodeling at our home for three years.

Last year, we expanded the work to include an updated look to our rear entrance. Previously, a huge Manitoba Maple had occupied a significant portion of ground.

Once the tree was removed, a much more open area was available.

Changing of the guard

We have begun a new era at the Fort Frances Times with a trusted new editor.

My first writing adventure was an assignment by Mr. Steve Bond, my English teacher. At the time I didn't think of him as a good teacher but over time I have come to realize that he taught me about research, essay writing, and making sure assignments were in on time. He had no forgiveness as a teacher.

The Times is part of our community

I am being tasked with explaining what is the role of a newspaper in a community.

I have given this a great deal of thought and this past Friday night the incoming president of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association explained it most eloquently by showcasing a series of front pages from papers across the province showing the role of papers in the community.

'Spring Fever Days' has long history

With Easter being as late as possible, “Emo Spring Fever Days” are jumping a week ahead this year.

Across the district from Atikokan to Rainy River and north to Sioux Narrows this marks the first big event of the year, a tradition that goes back more than 50 years. Even though it has rained, or snowed on the weekend, the weather mostly promises to be filled with bright, sun-filled days and moderate temperatures.

Value of local news re-discovered

It is often difficult to keep up with the heartbeat of the district. Even catching up at a Tim's or McDonald's with friends, we miss out on lots of activities that are taking place across our communities that enhance or have some effect on our lives and those of our families.

Yet every Wednesday without fail, the Fort Frances Times tries to provide the district with stories and features about the clubs, organizations, and governing bodies that impact our lives. The paper includes the births, obituaries, socials, and upcoming events.

Spring definitely is in the air

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the calendar spring. Sunday was St. Patrick's Day and the wearing of green really marked the beginning of spring.

My mother was dressed in green at her Rainycrest home and she could feel the heat of the sun blazing through her south-facing window on Sunday afternoon. For her, that heat from the sun was a clear indicator that spring is on the way.

She couldn't see the blue sky, or know what month we are in, but the heat of the sun told her that spring was arriving. And she was pleased that winter was coming to an end.

Being diabetic is a lifetime disease

I am a diabetic with Type 2 diabetes. I was first diagnosed more than 25 years ago and over the course of time, I have moved from controlling diabetes with diet, then to pills, and now finally with pills and insulin.

Every quarter, I dread the A1C test that my family doctor orders up. It can track your blood glucose levels for 90 days. The test tells me how well I have been managing my diabetes in the previous three months (you can't cheat on the test unless you have someone else provide the blood sample).

And then you wait for the results.

Time to plan cabin projects

Even though the temperatures haven't risen above the freezing mark, and the wind still chills the body through to the bones, I'm ready to begin making plans for the cabin.

Each year, we look at potential projects to make the cabin more enjoyable. One year it was all new insulated double windows. Another year was new knotty pine paneling and bead board ceilings. Another was hardwood flooring and then there was a new unattached bathroom with all the comforts of home.

There was a wide wooden walkway connecting all the buildings.

Snow piles bring back memories

The sun is shining, making it look like a perfect day, but the wind is continuing to blow from the northwest, making it feel like a frigid mid-January day when, in fact, we are nearing the end of February.

The talk in the coffee shops now is focusing on when the snow will end, as well as the height of the snowbanks lining the streets of Fort Frances.