The past has a story that should be carried into the future

IRON MOUNTAIN — When I was growing up, my grandfather and father and anyone born during or before the ’50s would constantly remind me that when they were my age, they “walked to school uphill… both ways… in a snowstorm no matter the season… with holes in their shoes… and only the hope of making it home alive to keep them warm.”

I can almost see the perpetual eye rolling that ensued. I’d often recite the “story” back to them on occasion when I could tell where they were going. Usually, they’d say this to me when I was complaining: I didn’t like my lunch today; everyone else at school has pet fish; eight is too early to wake up in the summer; why do I have to clean my room when it’s my room and I like it messy?

It was after such mutterings that the injustices they had to face were brought forth. Just because my family had to walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways, didn’t somehow mean I was never allowed to complain, right? After all, it was a different time, so why should I be expected to view situations the same way they did. Why were they continuously projecting their childhood hardships on me, as if how I conducted my life should somehow show responsibility for what they went through?

Now that I’m older, I find myself in a similar situation as that of my grandparents and parents. I’m constantly telling my sister that, “when I was her age,” we didn’t have Smartphones, or the internet. I was never allowed to watch anything other than G or PG movies; I couldn’t listen to secular music, or watch the Nickelodeon channel. There were no iPads or iPods, or fancy headphones that canceled out the noise. We didn’t have debit cards, play stations, or XM radio. No, I tell her, when I was a kid, I read books. I played outside and used my imagination. I sang along to cassette tapes and watched shows like Reading Rainbow, Wishbone, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She is never amused.

With every new generation, the generation before it becomes not only nostalgic for their good old days, but nervous that the values and beliefs they cherished are no longer being recognized. For my grandparents and parents, it was hard work. They came from a time where food was scarce because of the depression, and where a dime actually held worth. My grandfather had his first job at five, and my father was working in his father’s store when he was younger than 10. To them, my generation had it easy, and so when I would complain about such minuscule things, it brought up the memory of how they couldn’t even think of complaining about such trivialities because they were raised to provide. They were born into years of wanting, survival of the fittest, and so they did what they had to to make sure they persevered.

For my generation, or at least myself, it’s about the loss of self-sufficiency and innocence. These days, kids are handed electronics before they can talk. They’re bred into a society that depends on projected battery life, and once that battery life dies, they can no longer function. They are products of a generation who has taught their youth to expect things they haven’t earned and exposed them to so much that they are desensitized. In the days of “I Love Lucy,” Lucy and Ricky couldn’t be shown sleeping in the same bed, and they were married; today, the sexuality of some commercials could be rated PG-13. Long gone are the days of shielding the minds of the young. Now, kids can go and buy a video game that places value on the amount of kills they can achieve.

My mother has always said that she hates the word progress; while she realizes that we as a world need to move forward, and that change is inevitable and often needed, she also realizes that with each advancement, something loses its value. For example, the internet is an amazing thing. It’s an incredible tool that allows us to have knowledge at our fingertips; need to figure out what the word cacophony means but you don’t have a dictionary? Use your phone. It can tell you the answer in two seconds. The downside? Students no longer know how to read reference materials, because actual dictionaries have become obsolete. I think I am one of the only people on the planet who after taking a course in college called History of the English Language asked my mother for a set of authentic Oxford Dictionaries for Christmas. I brought those dictionaries with me when I taught on the South Side of Chicago, and taught my students to use them.

Reference sources aside, books in classrooms are becoming increasingly more infrequent because there are tablets and kindles for that. Cars and other vehicles are constantly being upgraded and made better, and yet the world talks of how walking and riding a bike can lower your carbon footprint, and thus preserve the planet; walking and riding a bike is what the generation of my grandparents always did. Their soap box preaching is becoming far too relevant.

A few months ago I went antique shopping with my father, and I found this old Fischer Price toy on one of the dusty shelves. It was an elephant that could be pulled apart and put back together using different pieces, so that it could be multi-colored or solid. I remembered this toy from my childhood, because my Grandma Swanson used to have the exact same elephant in a bin for me to play with at her house. Then it hit me; the toys of my adolescence had officially become vintage. Not because they were all that old, but because they were no longer used. They were no longer valued. I picked up the elephant, brushed the age off it, and smiled at the memories that had stirred. I seriously considered buying it until I saw the price, because with age comes monetary gain. I shook my head, and thought to myself, “It’s ok. When I have kids, summer camp will probably be held on Mars and they’ll have to travel in a spaceship to get there and so they won’t be able to fit this in their air compressed bag.”

My generation and the generations after me are full of amazing people. We are blessed to be taught that being different can be celebrated; we’re a generation who fights for the inequalities surrounding us and pushes the bounds of the norm, and yet, we seem to be missing a vital point. We’re so focused on all the mistakes from the past that we tend not to see the successes of it. In some way, every generation has something they value above all else, and when that generation slowly fades out of the spotlight, they become desperate for their values to still hold relevance.

As a child, I couldn’t see what the people before me saw. In a world that was ever changing, they could see a generation of children who could grow up to be privileged, thinking they had a right to everything without putting forth anything. Now that I’m older, I can look back on their stories and realize that it is my responsibility to carry their hardships forward with me, because without them, I wouldn’t be here.

They fought for the life that I could one day have, and they paved the way for me to have it. It’s not my job to make sure the coming years remain the same as my childhood, just as it wasn’t the job of my grandparents to replicate their lives in mine, but it is my job to make sure we remember that the past isn’t all bad. It is our duty to put down the phones, and engage. In a world full of selfies and social media filters, dare to be a film roll, complete with untouched blemishes of reality; strive to unite the beauties of the past with the advances of the present, so that the future won’t forget.


Featured events of the week:

Iron County Medical Care Facility will be hosting their veteran’s program on Friday, Nov. 10 and their fall Harvest Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The veterans program is hosted on their site at 2:30 p.m., with help from both the local and area VFW. The area VFW members will be putting on the program. The ladies auxiliary from the local VFW will be presenting veterans at the facility with a gift of appreciation. In the past, readings and the folding of the flag have been performed. Employee veterans dress in their service attire and will be reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.” Resident veterans often wear their service hats, and some have been personalized or embroidered. Cake, ice cream, and punch will be served and family and friends are encouraged to attend this program of gratitude.

The fall bazaar will take place in the Trillium dining hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The bazaar is put on by the facility’s ladies auxiliary, and funds go towards purchasing resident birthday gifts for the year. Diversional therapy staff members will be helping with the event throughout the day. White elephant, baked, and craft goods will all be available for purchase. The residents help to bake some of the goods that are sold at the fundraiser, as well as help to make the crafts that are for sale. Families and friends have also donated for the cause. All are welcome to attend.





Scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m. (Monday through Saturday).

Sunday: Scenes and sounds, noon; Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Pretty nails, 10 a.m.; brouhaha, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crochet, 10 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; bible study, 11 a.m.; what’s that word?, 1 p.m.; Crystal Hogan, 2 p.m.

Friday: Coffee social, 10:30 a.m.; what’s cooking?, 11 a.m.; Bunko, 1 p.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.; happy hour, Neeley kids music, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; spinning records, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, veterans tribute, 11:45 a.m.; Daily News, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Room visits, 1 p.m., (Monday and Friday).

Exercise, 11 a.m. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

Sunday: One to one church visitors, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; resident council, 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: CF library, 9:30 a.m.; Book Club, 10 a.m.; Mass, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Trivia, 10 a.m.; getting pretty, 1:15 p.m.; men’s club, 2 p.m.; nite bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Visiting pets, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1 p.m.; Christ United, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.; card club, 6:30 p.m.

Friday: Bazaar baking exercise, 10 a.m.; Veteran’s Day program, 2 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Fall bazaar, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Price is Right, 10 a.m.; trivia, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.



Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m. (daily).

Movie, 10:45 a.m. (daily), and 3:15 p.m. (Monday through Friday).

Gathering place, 11:40 a.m. (Saturday and Sunday), and 11:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday).

Popcorn Day, Fridays (weekly).

Protestant Church service, Sunday, 3 p.m.

Exercises, 10 a.m. (daily)

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; Morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Who, what, when, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: You be the judge, 10:15 a.m.; Wheel of Fortune, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 p.m.; Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; Flip Five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.; crafts, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: ABC game, 10:15 p.m.; Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; Veteran’s Day program, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. (Monday through Friday).

Parachute, 1:30 p.m. (daily).

Monthly support group for grief and loss, second Monday of the month at 2 p.m.

Weekend pet visits.

Sunday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; tee time, golf, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Joker-eno, 10:15 a.m.; Family Fued, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; crafts, 1:30 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15

Wednesday: Trivia and coffee, 10:15 a.m.; Joker-eno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; Derby Day, 2 p.m.; Whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Sing-a-long, 10:15 a.m.; happy hour, Ron Willinski, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Veterans Day trivia, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish coffee social, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor,

Alzheimer’s Unit

Niagara, Wis.

Grooming, 8 a.m. (daily).

Lunch, 11 a.m. (daily).

Bread making, noon (daily).

Chicken soup, communication program, 4 p.m. (daily).

Dinner, 5 p.m. (daily).

Sensory group, 6 p.m. (daily).

Movie, 6:30 p.m. (daily).

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Exercise, 11 a.m. (Monday through Friday).

Juice pass, 10 a.m. (daily).

Shopping days: Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Smile a while, 2 p.m.; Packers vs. Lions, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Music with Crystal, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Left center right, 2 p.m.; rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Louise’s “101” birthday party, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Old Maid card game, 2 p.m.

Monday: Paper plate turkey craft, 10 a.m.; bingo with Bette, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; Packers vs. Lions, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Yahtzee, 10 a.m.; native American display with Valri, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Catholic Mass and rosary, 10 a.m.; parachute exercise, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; music by Larry Jankowski, 2 p.m.

Friday: Veterans Day service, 10 a.m.; Tic Tac Toe tournament, 2 p.m.; movie night, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; hearts dice, 2 p.m.; Veterans Day social, 3:30 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Life connections, 9:45 a.m. every Monday

Busy bee, 12:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday).

Sunday: Grace church, 10 a.m.; Scrabble, 10 a.m.; cribbage, 2 p.m.; aroma therapy, 2 p.m.

Monday: Song service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; trivia, 2:30 p.m.; bowling, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Resident council, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.; rummy, 3:30 p.m.; one to one visits, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Shopping outing, 10 a.m.; Jim Clement entertains, 2 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10 a.m.; hang massage, 11:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; ball toss, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; Jerry Beauchamp, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Coffee social to honor our veterans, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; balloon toss, 2 p.m.

Victorian Heights

Crystal Falls


*Activities director out on leave. Please call the home for additional information.


Note: All centers ask for 24 hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at noon.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center


Meals: Monday through Friday.

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m.

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.  

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are held first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m. with dinner served at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Blood pressure and blood sugar testing, every fourth Wednesday.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook, Tracy West


Meals will be served on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. (a salad bar will be open at 4:30 p.m.). The dinner donation is $5 for those age 60 and over and $6 for those under age 60. There is a take-out container charge of $1. All persons are invited. 

Cribbage will be played on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and be concluded in time for the dinner.

Center is closed Thursday through Sunday. 

A site council meeting is held on the third Wednesday at 3 p.m. 

Blood pressure taken by request anytime the center is open.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on the weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m.; crafters, scrap bookers, etc. also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday of the month: Music jam starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Dances are held on the second and fourth Friday’s of the month from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $6 and coffee is free.

The Photo Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month from 1 to 3 p.m.

Evening meals are usually on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. They have a salad bar beginning at 4 p.m. with the meal beginning at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $4 is accepted for seniors (60 plus), but not required.

Home delivered meals are for seniors 60 plus and can be delivered seven days a week. Suggested donation is $4 per meal For information call Chris Tramotin at 906-774-2256 ext. 235.            

Transportation is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call the center to book your ride.

Felch Center


Meals served Monday through Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Bingo on the first and third Wednesday of each month after lunch.

Congregate jigsaw puzzle done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County


Director: Lori Friberg

Three senior dining locations are listed below:

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon on Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. 

Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage, and board games are available. The coffee is always on.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Jigsaw puzzles, cribbage, cards, and board games are available. The coffee is always on.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is Monday through Friday at noon. Suggested donation is $3 for those 60 and older and $7 for those under 60.

Morning coffee is available each day

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday along with 50/50.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill is also available.

Friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; $4 donation is encouraged (over 60) and $5 (required under 60).

Salad bar with Thursday meal, 4 p.m. and dinner at 4:30 p.m.

DICSA operates all meals and transportation out of the Iron River Center. Rides are $2.50 (over 60) and $3 (under 60). Call 265-6134 to schedule a ride

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Corrie Maule, meal site manager


Jill Anderson, senior center director

715-251- 4154

Noon Meals served Monday through Thursday

Transportation to the meal site from the Niagara area is offered.

We welcome any senior groups who would like to use the meal site as their meeting place; join them for lunch and then stay to have your meeting or social time.

Wii games, cards, puzzles, board games available to play for your enjoyment

Nov. 15, Thanksgiving dinner.

Nov. 21, bingo.

Nov. 30, LRC Tournament.

Other activities are in the works; your suggestions are always welcome.

If you have not tried our meal site/ senior center we invite you to give us a try. If you haven’t been here in a while, they encourage you to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon with salad bar. Soup is also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Meal donation is $5.

Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea, and coffee served daily.

Two special theme noon meals each month with bingo, prizes, and 50/50.

Two evening meals, 5 p.m., on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month with bingo, prizes, and 50/50.

Nov. 11, pasty sale, all orders must be picked up at noon.

Nov. 13, Center board meeting.

Nov.15, Blood pressure clinic, 11 a.m. to noon.

Nov. 21, Thanksgiving dinner, please sign up early .

Nov. 23, center closed.

The center is selling tickets for their holiday drawing. Painted sled and ice skates by Barb Grenier; six tickets for $5 or $1 each.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Puzzles always worked on.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Cards: Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.

Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months.

Puzzle table for all to enjoy.

Volunteers are always welcome.