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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

Memories of a good first job

We all pass through milestones in our lives, and many change the direction of our lives for better or worse.

You will remember the day you married, the birth of your first child, the death of a parent. All are important days in our lives.

For children, a big event is their first day of school. On that day, parents realize their youngster is growing up. And on their graduation from high school, it is the sudden realization that their child is moving on into the bigger world.

Autumn is well upon us

Before dawn was breaking Monday morning, I left my home heading to work. As I went down the stairs at my side door, the golden leaves from the Manitoba maple crunched under the soles of my shoes.

I looked up and almost all the leaves had fallen from the two trees that guard my driveway. Fall has really come to our region.

On the lake over the weekend, the gold of the ash, poplar, and paper birch stood out from the pines that cover the land. The brilliant red leaves of the occasional maple broke up the brilliant gold colours.

Health-care system isn’t free

I read an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently that looked at the costs of job-based health care in the United States.

I was shocked by the cost being pegged at $15,745, which struck me as being unbelievably high. The costs had risen by $2,400 over the past four years.

Another study that was published in 2011 indicates a family of four in the United States would pay almost $20,000 annually.

Meanwhile, the Fraser Institute reported last week that health-care insurance costs the average Canadian family of four almost $11,000.

Get your hockey fix in your local arena

We all awoke to the announcement that another hockey strike was happening. The owners are locking out the players.

One might think that in hard times, the owners might have been tightening the reins on their own personal spending for hockey players. But recent announcements in the hockey-signing world seem to indicate that the owners still haven’t closed their wallets.

Help make a difference

By the time you read this column, the cross-district bike ride for the “Together We Can” fundraising campaign to replace the mammography machine at La Verendrye Hospital here will have been completed.

But the campaign to raise funds for the new machine only will have been kicked off. Just as previous campaigns to modernize the hospitals in the district, and bring a CT Scanner here, took many months, this campaign still requires the financial support of everyone in the district.

Summer has been good to us

It was the Labour Day weekend. The moon, almost still full, lit the lake Sunday evening.

A fire burned across the lake at Gasparinis’ cabin. A small light shone from the Tibbs’ cabin. A bright light lit the cabin across the water on Nowhere Island.

Phil Bangert had arrived at the island shortly after lunch. He spent Sunday evening with us on Turtle Island, then headed north to Sioux Narrows before daybreak to fish in the annual “Bassin’ for Bucks” there this weekend.

There was just enough light across the lake to make your way when he left.

Babies bring the office to a standstill

Nothing brings work to a standstill faster than a mom bringing in her newborn baby.

Even from the back pressroom, the pressman can hear the cooing the front office staff make. And quickly they reach the front office to compete for time to hold those newborns.

And as they grow months older, the women on staff find every excuse to unburden the mother of her child or help the infant escape the confines of the carrier. The children then are taken on a tour of the newspaper, meeting everyone, while the mother is abandoned at the counter.

Are eggs good or bad for me?

I have a confession to make. I really like a ham-and-cheese omelet.

I also enjoy my “Egg McMuffin,” my Tim Horton sausage-and-egg breakfast sandwich, and Subway’s sausage-and-egg breakfast meal on flat bread.

One of my treats at the cabin on the weekend is a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast. I like dipping my toast into the yolk and sopping up the yellow.

I limit myself to one of those meals a week because when I look at the calories and fat, I really know the meal is not good for me. But I do enjoy those rich calories.

Time to meet at fair again

At 113 years of age, the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society’s annual fall fair in Emo gets underway tomorrow with the midway cranking up the sound during the day.

Then on Friday and Saturday nights, the roar of stock cars racing around the track will be heard for miles in all directions.

Cabin part of all our lives

I am sitting in the sun porch of our cabin. A light breeze out of the north is rustling the needles of the pines. A woodpecker is nearby batting its head against a tree to get at some bugs. The Bearskin flight to Thunder Bay just flew overhead.

I am well into my first cup of coffee of the day. Not a cloud can be seen in today’s sky.

The cabin is slowly coming to life.