Spring bucket list: the dos and don’ts

IRON MOUNTAIN — As a child, the first thing I can really remember is from when I was four or five. I have vague pictures of places from before that, but nothing I could concretely recall. When I was a little girl, my days were full of possibility. I had a little brother that I could dress up as I saw fit, a dog that would follow me around to watch the birds, and a mom who constantly found meaningful activities for me to do, but despite all of these amazing qualities of life, my favorite part of the day was lunch time. Lunch time, was when my dad came home from work.

When I was little, he would drive the 15 minutes from the office to our home, stay with us for 30, and then drive the 15 back to make it there within the hour. I couldn’t tell you what we ate or what we talked about, but I can tell you about sitting on the back porch as the sun bronzed my little shoulders, with both my parents smiling at me. Without fail, every beautiful day that he came home, he would pick me up and take me to our play set and push me on the swing. I have actual, visible memories of my feet as they reached for the sky. I would tell my dad to push me higher and higher until my laced-up chucks could “touch” the top of our house’s chimney. I would yell for him to do an “Underdog” and laugh as the ropes of the swing found slack and gravity would jerk me back down.

My mother is famous for giving gifts that have a theme, and I’ve famously followed in her footsteps, and so for one of my husband’s birthday presents, I dedicated a week to checking off parts of his bucket list but I’ve never been one to make bucket lists. If I were to sit down and actively think about it, I could make one, but I’ve never actually done it. There are hundreds of things I want to do with my life, and eventually I hope to get to them, but for some reason, writing them down gives too much potential of never completing everything, and so instead, I just check off dreams as they come. I am, though, a fan of lists. I even have a “spring-to-do” list that could very well be taken as a spring bucket list:

1. Repaint the upstairs laundry room and bathroom… and then redecorate them both. While we have officially owned our house for just over a year, we still haven’t finalized every room. For the most part, the downstairs is finished, but I’ve purposefully left the upstairs waiting because we just don’t use it that much and it wasn’t as important. Now, however, I’m gaining moments, and motivation, and it’s time that I freshen up those walls and make it my own.

2. Go to Marquette and have a milkshake at Donkers. For weeks Rob and I have been saying that we want to go to Marquette, and then every weekend there is a reason not to, most recently being the accumulation of snow far beyond anyone’s desire, but Marquette has always been a U.P. luxury to me, and even though walking it’s brick building streets and driving its coast can be accomplished in a matter of hours, creating a mini escape to somewhere other than here holds inexplicable value that adds to the excitement of spring.

3. Have a day dedicated solely to antiquing. This is another passion that I share with my father. He is the king of finding deals. For my birthday, he once gave me a Super-One bag with contents strictly purchased from the discount cart in the back. I still have cans of weird soup and beans in my pantry just to laugh, but every now and then, he and I take a tour around the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin to find the best bargain priced treasures.

4. Drive with the windows down. I’ve actually already done it, but I’ve had to raise them back up rather quickly as it’s still chilly out, despite the sun trying to be deceiving. I want to drive my car with the windows down, my sunglasses on, and the radio blasting, knowing that it’s warm enough for me not to catch a cold.

5. Clean out my gutters. This is a task that is on most people’s lists, and one that no one really looks forward to, but for me, it’ll be my first time. I’ve only ever lived in apartments and dorms, but this year, I have my own house that demands upkeep. I don’t think I’ll enjoy the task, and I don’t think it’ll be anything to brag about, but if I’m able to clean out my gutters, that also means that my deck is clear of snow and ice, so that in itself is reason enough to desire the tedious task.

6. Visit Chicago and walk the Magnificent Mile without a winter jacket. I have always loved the streets of downtown Chicago. I loved the lights in the trees at night and the lights everywhere at Christmas. I like wandering in and out of the shops even if I don’t buy anything, and meandering over to State Street to see what it has to offer. I love feeling like I’m full of life because even though the world in that moment is overly crowded, it’s also bustling with activity, and I’m part of an irreplaceable moment. I can’t wait to grab an iced coffee, and sip it while strolling, without my fingers going numb from the cold.

7. Find new recipes to try that I haven’t made before. Growing up, we didn’t eat pork, mostly because it was against our religious views, but as an adult, I definitely relish bacon. I haven’t, however, ever acquired the taste for pork of other kinds. I don’t like ham, and pork chops and pork loins have never been good to me, but my husband loves them, because he was raised on them. Recently, I made a pork tenderloin much to Rob’s delight. I’d searched recipes online but I didn’t like any of them, so I created my own out of my head, and supposedly, it was a hit. As I said, pork never agreed with me, so I had to let my husband and his friend be the judges, but while I wasn’t a fan of the chosen meat, the joy in creating my own recipe and making something new was a superb feeling.

8. Renew my teaching license, even though I’m not currently using it. When Rob and I decided we would move back here after we got married, we did it knowing that I would probably have to put my teaching career on hold, because the U.P. simply didn’t have as many jobs to offer. When people teach here, they do it until they retire, so positions are infrequent, at least in my specific area of study, so while I am only tutoring, and I haven’t seen any jobs that pertain to my area of expertise, I want to make sure I keep all my options readily available.

9. Book a flight to somewhere other than the Midwest. I love Michigan and Wisconsin and Illinois (well, basically only Chicago), but I am desperate to go somewhere that requires jet fuel. It’s been said that travel is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer, and I couldn’t agree more. I have a need for my mind to expand through experience, and I want to make a commitment to myself and husband that we will be packing our bags before summer is over.

As adults, so much of our lives have to be scheduled out on a calendar as to not lose track, and much of our bucket list desires get pushed to the wayside because there’s just too much else to do. When I was little, the only things on my bucket list were catching a toad by the end of the day and being pushed on the swings by my dad. I woke up every morning knowing that anything could happen, but that seeing my dad was the best thing that could happen. Bucket lists and spring to do lists are combinations of hopes and dreams yet also reality. I can’t say that as a little girl I closed my eyes and pictured myself wanting to do yardwork on my house, but as an adult, I want to hold onto the purity that is a child’s mind to see only the possibility. In between my spring bucket list are doctor’s appointments and bills to pay and resumes to write, but if for just a moment I could hone my 5 year old self, I could also view the world for everything it has to offer, and know that a bucket list doesn’t have to be limited to what you want to accomplish in a lifetime, but rather what you want to experience in a moment. Close your eyes and imagine your toes reaching for the sky, and then open them to a world full of what could be… then chose to make it happen.





For Thursday through Saturday schedule call the home’s director.

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.; library cart, 11 a.m.; brouhaha, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crochet and craft, 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.; Golden Throats, 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.; bingo with Carol, 2 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking?, 11 a.m.; bunco, 1:15 p.m.; Mass, 2 p.m.; sing-a-long, 2:30 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

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

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Room visits, 1 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

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

Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; storytelling, 10 a.m.; matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 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.; prayer, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Community breakfast, 9 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; Apostolic Lutheran, 1:15 p.m.; reminiscing, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; United Lutheran, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Iron Mountain Vinnies, noon; room visits, 1 p.m.; To Tell The Truth, 2 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Puzzler, 10 a.m.; name that word, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.; Card Club, 6 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.

Protestant Church service, 3 p.m. Sunday.

Exercises, 10 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Did you know?, 10:15 a.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Who am I?, 10:15 a.m.; Resident Council/food committee, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; Monthly birthday party/Jim Edberg entertains, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Pictionary, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: Finish lines, 10:15 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; chips n’ chatter, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 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, 2 p.m. second Monday of the month.

Weekend pet visits.

Sunday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; music bingo, 10:15 a.m.; Penny Ante, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Protestant Church, 9 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; Family Feud, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Men’s breakfast, 7 a.m.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; crafts with Cathy, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Penny Ante, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Stations of the Cross, 10 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; prayer shawl, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Rosary, 9:30 a.m.; exercise and trivia, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

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

Maryhill Manor, Alzheimer’s Unit

Niagara, Wis.

Bread making, noon daily.

Chicken soup, communication program, 4 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.

Coffee clutch, 9:30 a.m. daily

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 2:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Music with Pastor Jim, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

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

Thursday: Birthday party, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.; dinner out, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; poker dice, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Balloon badminton, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; Family Feud, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; omni-cord sing-a-longs with Valri, 2 p.m.; one on one time, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Jackpot bingo, 10 a.m.; horticulture, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; music by Amber and Jason, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; monthly birthday party/Larry Jankowski entertains, 2 p.m.

Friday: Catholic communion service, 10 a.m.; lunch outing to Barb’s Café, 11 a.m.; recycled caps art project, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Trivial Pursuit, 2 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical

Care Facility


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

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

Rosary 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Sunday: Grace church, 10 a.m.; shopping outing, 10 a.m.; mind joggers, 2 p.m.

Monday: Bean bag toss, 3:30 p.m.; King’s Corners, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Movie, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Pictionary, 3:30 p.m.; one to one visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Shopping outing, 10 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.; Rummy, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Volunteer banquet, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 2:15 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one to one visits, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Karaoke, 10 a.m.; exercise, 10 a.m.; wine and cheese, 2 p.m.; sensory, 2 p.m.

Victorian Heights

Crystal Falls


*Activities director out on leave. 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 noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month.

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 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner 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, Lucy Korhonen


Meals will be served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m., with the salad bar opening at 4:30 p.m. The dinner donation is $5 for those age 60 and older and $6 for those younger than 60. There is a $1 charge for take-out containers. All are invited. 

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

The center is closed Thursday through Sunday. 

Monday: Soup, salad, pork roast, mashed potatoes, oven roasted carrots, homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, pasties, homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, fish fry, cod, French fries, coleslaw, homemade dessert.

A site council meeting takes place at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. 

A blood pressure reading can be taken by request at any time while the center is open.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on 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 and others 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 take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Admission is $6; coffee is free.

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

Evening meals are usually on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with the meal served at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $4 is accepted for seniors age 60 and older but not required.

Home-delivered meals are for seniors 60 and older 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 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call the center to book a ride.

Felch Center


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

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

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County


Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations needed 48 hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.

Four senior dining locations are listed below:

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon 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 as well.

Senior Dining Center-NWTC, Aurora


Serving lunch at 11:30 am, Monday through Thursday

Tipler Town Hall


Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.

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 as well.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


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

Morning coffee is available daily.

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

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, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60.

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

DICSA operates all meals and transportation out of the Iron River Center. Rides are $2.50 donation for age 60 and older, and $3 required for younger than 60. Call 906-265-6134 to schedule a ride

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Corrie Maule, Meal site manager, 715-251-1603

Jill Anderson, senior center director, 715-251- 4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday.

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

They welcome any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place — join them for lunch and then stay for a meeting or social time.

Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play.

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome.

Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in a while are encouraged to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea, and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50 drawing.

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

If Norway-Vulcan are schools are closed due to snow days, so is the senior center. If the schools are on a two-hour delay, the center remains open.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Puzzles always in the works.

A senior coloring class meets daily. All are welcome. Some materials will be provided.

Wednesday — Blood pressure clinic, 11 a.m. to noon.

Wednesday — Noon meal with pizza burgers, tater tots, peas, salad bar, fruit, juice, dessert.

Wednesday — Dinner meal at 5 p.m. with barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, soup and salad bar, dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50/50. Sign up early.

Thursday — Birthday Club with meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, soup and salad bar, and birthday cake.

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.

A puzzle table is available to enjoy.