Sporting mask doesn’t have to be a pain

Mandatory masks in the Czech Republic reduced their infection rate. Austria ditto. Seven states in the United States have made masks mandatory for people in public places. In Canada, mask are only mandatory on airplanes, and are recommended on trains and boats. Why wouldn’t we make masks mandatory for everyone in Canada (or Ontario or at the very least locally) …

Tents are tolerable, but can’t beat cabin comfort

Given that summer vacation plans are up in the moist air at this time, it got me thinking about possible vacations for the fall. Anything out of the house would be a grand escape, but I keep reminiscing about my Thanksgiving last year, spent up at Pancake Bay Provincial Park, in its new, cute wood cabin. Instead of dealing with …

Homeschooling is no April Fool’s joke

I’ve seen people writing on social media that, with current school closures, perhaps parents will value teachers more and understand the issues that teachers are striking for. For all of us who are trying to keep our children learning while they are off school, this may indeed be correct, but we are in the minority, or so my teens are …

High school theatre helps students develop practical, life skills

My daughter recently finished her run in the Superior Heights Onstage’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I watch these community theatre productions through a bunch of different lenses including: educator, parent, and theatre lover. As a columnist I get to share my thoughts about all three lenses. I teach at the post-secondary level, so as an educator and …

Usury appears to be alive and well

I got a piece of direct mail last week for a service that purports itself to provide “affordable loan solutions.” It said I could apply easily at the branch, online, or by telephone. I could get $5,500 loan – today. I read the conditions on the back, and nowhere did it mention the interest rate for this “affordable” solution that …

You’re wonderful just the way you are

Life has been unkind to you as of late. I see that you are suffering and it hurts me to know that you are suffering. You don’t know what to do. Your thoughts spin. You see and feel the dark, the bad, the unfairness, and the hurt. You have every right to be hurt. You didn’t deserve this, but here …

Why pull plug on Sault blood donor clinics?

Last week marked the last blood donation clinics in Sault Ste. Marie. Does this bother anyone else? The Sault Star’s Brian Kelly reported on Jan. 16 that the mobile clinics, run by Sudbury staff, would no longer be collecting whole blood in 11 Northeastern Ontario communities. This means that if Saultites want to donate blood, they are driving to Sudbury …

Board/card games sure beat being glued to screen

As opposed to the standard New Year’s resolution column, I’m going with “What I did on my vacation?” In a nutshell, I was focused on maintaining eye-contact with my kids instead of all of our eyeballs being transfixed on electronics, which is, I suppose, resolution-like. For screens, my teens now both have cellphones, then there are the video game consoles, …

Bracing for blue Christmas no piece of cake

Silent Night brought me to tears today. Why? This is the first Christmas that I will spend alone. There is no special someone in my life. My children will be with their father. Frankly, I’m dreading the quiet. I’m far from unique in this situation. This is the reality of many singles, and widows, whether they are parents or not. …

Setting the stage for meaningful memories

Once in a while there is a moment in life that gives you pause; even stops you in your tracks, as the circle of life becomes an overbearing elephant in the room. Sometimes the elephant is filled with joy, and only gives you a light mortality slap. The events surrounding my daughter’s recent birthday are one such pachyderm. I wanted …