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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

No use fighting dandelions

Three weekends ago, I was looking forward to the snow disappearing from my yard. And that weekend, I raked parts of my lawn.

Two weekends ago, I was hoping I could put my boat in the water by the following weekend.

My lawn and yard waste had been hauled to the dump, and I began looking forward to my grass turning green. I applied some spring lawn fertilizer.

But as I walked up and down the lawn, it seemed really sparse in parts. Dandelion plants were sprouting and their green leaves were spreading flat over the area.

Didn’t cross my fingers long enough

We can hardly wait to get to our cottages and cabins, though people on mainland with roads to their cabins have had a significant jump on “islanders.”

Last Wednesday evening, Marnie and I launched our boat and headed to our cabin on the south arm of Rainy Lake. It has been a long seven months.

It was clear running, although ice had piled up on the west side of islands and rocks from the winds of the previous day. As we neared our island, the bay leading to the dock was iced in with shards of ice and small ice sheets.

Risks have to be taken

The Town of Fort Frances did not exist when Sieur de la Verendrye, in 1731, set up a fort at the head of the Rainy River.

Fort Frances did not exist when Fort Lac La Pluie was established by the North West Company as a fur-trading post—and even when it was renamed Fort Frances in 1830.

Although the name Fort Frances existed when the Dawson Trail was being established, and settlers began settling and clearing farmlands along the river between Fort Frances and Lake of the Woods, the community was far from a community.

Mother’s Day breakfast memories

I enjoy cooking and like to think that I’m fairly versatile when it comes to preparing food.

And Mother’s Day was the successful beginning of my love of cooking.

I can’t remember when I first began cooking, but it probably started when my brother and I were old enough to man the kitchen of my parents’ home on Third Street.

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day and I still can remember that first meal my brother and I prepared that morning.

Spring clean-up just starting

After this past weekend, I now can put my snow blower into the back of the garage and move my lawn mower forward.

By this time last year, my lawn already had two clippings. The tulips were pushing themselves out of the ground and my day lilies had bright green shoots sprouting through the tangled brown leaves of the previous year.

The lawn had been raked at the first part of April.

Border fee would hurt trade

“That will be $22,” the Homeland Security border guard at the U.S. Customs said to the family of four headed to the movie theatre in International Falls.

It has not happened yet, but the United States is exploring the option of collecting a user fee to enter the country by land (the U.S. already collects $5.50 through a passenger inspection fee from Canadians flying into the States).

Like all agencies across North America, this U.S. agency is looking at ways to offset costs in protecting the country.

Many ways to fight cancer

April is Cancer Awareness Month.

The Beta Sigma Phi sorority recently sold daffodils here for the last time. Shortly, daffodil pins will go on sale throughout the community for those to make donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.

The money is well used assisting in research and helping cancer patients.

When the sign-up sheet was posted here at the Times to buy the daffodils, I didn’t hesitate. It was an insignificant amount of money that might make a difference.

Still waiting for spring to start

Last year, I launched my boat on April 13. I was able to get to my cabin on Rainy Lake on April 16 and we had the water running April 21.

It was the earliest we had ever reached and opened our cabin since starting records in 1968. Our hot tub was filled and heated, and we watched the sun set over Sand Bay.

On the other hand, we have been as late as the second weekend in May in travelling to the cabin.

Join in on wearing pink

I have a pink tie and a pink dress shirt—and I’ll be wearing both of them on April 10.

It is “Pink Day,” the international day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia in schools and communities across our country.

It began as a simple gesture at Central Kings High School in Cambridge, N.S., where a freshman student wore a pink polo shirt to school on his first day of class.

School bullies verbally abused him for his choice of colours.

People must save the town

I attended an interesting meeting last Wednesday, during which one of the people on hand made a very appropriate comment.

“The council of Fort Frances is not going to save the town,” he said. “The people of the community will save the town!”

And when the words had settled at the meeting, I realized how right he was.