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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

We've come full circle

There is an old saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

Almost 60 years ago, when I was much younger, there were neighbourhood grocery stores on almost every corner in town. They served the neighbourhood and the families that owned the stores knew all of their customers by their first name.

The husband manned the meat counter while the family looked after stocking the shelves with the fresh produce and products that came from the local wholesalers.

Do you embrace change?

Are you someone who is comfortable with change?

Are you ready to grab on to the latest technology and products? Have you loaded up your vehicle with all the latest safety monitoring gadgetry?

Or are you someone who clings to the present?

As I sat discussing technology on Saturday afternoon, I was surprised to hear from this person that he would never ride along in a driver-less vehicle, or one that did the driving for him.

He likes the feel of the road in his hand and the speed of the vehicle in his foot. A self-driving vehicle would be too unsafe for him.

A coy election ploy

It is an excellent election ploy, with hidden benefits for both the Liberal federal and provincial governments.

Ontario's Liberal government is promising major changes to labour laws that will see the minimum wage rise to $15 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019. The current rate will rise to $14 per hour this coming Jan. 1.

The government contends that 30 percent of the working force in Ontario today makes less than $15 per hour.

Deer have safe urban haven

Today is the last day of May.

The sun starts shining through the windows earlier every morning. The deer, meanwhile, continue to pick off flowers in my yard almost daily.

Last fall, I purchased several dozen special “Canada 150” tulips. Since squirrels like bulbs in the fall, I covered the plantings with chicken wire to prevent them from digging up the bulbs before the ground froze.

It worked. No bulbs were lost.

Korean weddings very symbolic

In preparation for the marriage of our son, Adam, and his fiancée, Meesun, Marnie and I viewed a YouTube video several times to understand what would take place.

It was very informative and had no resemblance to a wedding you might be a guest at in North America or Europe. I am pleased that we had watched and learned of the symbolism of the Korean wedding ceremony.

Seoul now holds special place

It has been two weeks since I wrote my last column. In the meantime, Marnie and I travelled to our son Adam's wedding to Meesun Shin in Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul proper is a city of 10 million people and the region has some 25 million people all within 100 km of the North Korean border.

In our weeklong visit to Seoul, we did not give even a single thought to the world tensions that have developed between North Korea and Washington. Instead, we had the opportunity to be tourists in a fabulous, modern, clean city.

Parties gearing for provincial election

The parties already are gearing up for the next provincial election in June, 2018.

All three leaders are rolling out policies to the public to see which ones will attract the most attention of voters in the coming months. With the Liberal government planning to announce a balanced budget in this fiscal year, we can expect all of the parties to discover new projects to spend money on.

Cabin season has arrived

In February, you start to get lake fever. By the end of March, you are chomping to get on the water. April comes and the snow disappears, lawns are raked, and the ice recedes.

Cabin season has arrived.

The warm temperatures of Friday and Saturday had begun teasing us with the thought the lake ice might be receding and cabin season quickly would be upon us. We had been hoping “ice-out” would occur prior to the last week of April.

Surprise family ties discovered

There are some days when you open a letter that it is a pleasant surprise. Monday was such an occasion.

Last week, I wrote of the discovery of a treasure of family history—and it is a treasure that keeps unfolding. A letter arrived from New Zealand wondering if I had a grandmother related to Jane Ribchester.

More amazing was that the letter had been mailed on April 4, 2017.

Learning about family history

It is amazing what you can learn when you begin clearing and rooting through the files at your parents' home.

My mother is downsizing and the family is doing the downsizing. You never can know what you might discover. For instance, we have the receipts for my grandfather's funeral in 1962, my grandmother's funeral in 1970, and my father's funeral in 1995.

There is quite the range of prices. My grandfather was buried for $575. My grandmother was buried for $789.75 and my father was buried for $7,137.50.