Take time to revel in small victories, because sometimes they’re the most important

IRON MOUNTAIN — When you fly on a holiday, airline tickets are typically cheaper; that’s because people usually already want to be where they’re headed by those holidays, and so most commercial flights aren’t even close to being sold out and are just happy to sell some tickets. I’ve traveled on New Year’s Eve once in my life, and I was coming home from a wedding and desperately trying to make it back to my family before the peach wine was toasted and the confetti thrown, but other than that, I’ve only flown on one other holiday — the Fourth of July. Of all the holidays we have, the Fourth of July holds the least amount of traditions, because nearly every year we do something different. When I was younger, we usually spent the day at my grandparents’ house or at my aunt’s, and for a while in college we went to Mackinac Island for a few years, but as I grew older, we all kind of scattered with our plans. Sometimes the siblings would spend the day with significant others or friends, and sometimes we’d all just stay home and have a picnic on the back porch. Even so, when my husband and I took our anniversary trip and decided to leave on Independence Day, something still tugged at my heart.

I don’t know if it was the simple fact that I wouldn’t be with my family or if it was that there was actually going to be somewhat of a shindig with extended family for the first time in years, but despite the grand adventure that awaited in New York City, a part of me wished we’d left July 5. I love fireworks, cookouts and sparklers; I was an avid fan of yard games and patriotic napkins but since we were traveling, I wouldn’t get to experience any of those things. As we boarded our evening flight, and successfully nabbed an entire row to ourselves due to the emptiness of the plane, I longingly looked out the window at the dimming sky wishing I could watch the firepower I knew was brightening the world in Michigan; that’s when I saw it. Just over the terminal, past the other Southwest planes and airport security, was a small, tiny burst of color. Immediately, I perked up and leaned in closer to the window, as if that would somehow make what I saw happen again, but to my delight, I saw another small burst. We began to taxi, and the stewardess came over the intercom and announced that we would be taking off just in time to see some of the fireworks from below. I was ecstatic. What followed, was the grandest flight I’ve ever been on.

All the way from Chicago to NYC, the sky was alit with celebrations of freedom. While I was far above them in the atmosphere, everywhere I turned, I could see fireworks. Some looked just like blinking lights, but others were large enough that I could make out colors and shapes. If I looked left, they were there; if I looked right, they were there too. For the entire duration of our journey, I watched the night sky in utter amazement. If I told Rob to lean over and look out the window once I told him a hundred times, but when we finally made it to our destination, New York was putting on a display of its own. As we were on the right side of the plane, we flew directly over the skyline; I could see Times Square plain as day, and the city lights were so bright it was as if it was a.m. instead of p.m. The city was so vibrant it was hard to even decipher which were fireworks and which were billboards.

I’d been to New York before, but not like this, and it got me thinking, what else have I seen in my life that was one of a kind? What else could I look back on and say, “That was incredible”? The Giants Causeway in Ireland. My student walking toward me at the end of the school year after having been shot multiple times. Titletown during opening day after the Pack won the Super Bowl. The stars from the fields outside my grandparents’ house, where the darkness engulfs you so much that you feel like you’re part of outer space, and the Milky Way can be seen with such clarity and the shooting stars are so long that you think you’re in a movie. My father-in-law proving the doctors wrong a year after he was told he had terminal cancer and would only live three months. My brother’s smile in high school after I got a call saying he was hurt during football and was having seizures. The cemetery at Normandy. A snowstorm while going to school in Tennessee that closed down the entire town. The Titanic exhibit at the Field Museum, and the feeling of placing my hand on the giant wall of ice that simulated the temperature of the water that night. My autistic student who hated people and crowds sharing her research paper on dinosaurs because she was just that proud. My mother, every day.

Life, is short. On that Fourth of July, while I was excited to be going somewhere with my hubby, I was sad that I was missing out on the fun my family had planned. But in those few moments of sorrow, I was reminded that there are amazing things to be seen wherever you are. There are everyday miracles that happen all around, and if you blink, you just might miss them. I’ve been blessed in my life to see as much as I have at the age that I am, and never do I take that for granted, but sometimes, it’s nice to have a reminder of all the wonderful pieces of my life that have helped me see the joy in it. The most amazing things you’ve ever experienced don’t have to be grand — they can be as simple as hearing a smile in someone’s voice, or the turning the pages of a book, or feeling the slice of the rink as skates glide over the top — all you have to do is remember them. Hold onto them and don’t wish for the things that you can’t control, because maybe, just maybe, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be.

——

Freeman

Kingsford

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

Sunday: 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, 1:15 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts, 10 a.m.; gardening, 11 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, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; puppy visits, 1:15 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking, 11 a.m.; bunco, 1:15 p.m.; sing along, 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 to 11 a.m.; room visits, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; high rollers, 10 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

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

Wednesday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; hangman, 10 a.m.; Gramma Groomers, 1 p.m.; Garden Club/reminisce, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; St. Mark’s, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Grandparent’s Day party, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: “Price is Right,” 10 a.m.; trivia, 10 a.m.; geri gym, 11 a.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.

ManorCare

Kingsford

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: Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m.; just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; inside out visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant Church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Labor Day social, 9:30 a.m.; gathering group, 11:40 a.m.; big buck bingo, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; “Wheel of Fortune,” 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; bocce, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

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

Friday: All about September, 10:15 a.m.; 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.; Mass, 9 a.m.; penny ante, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Help your neighbor, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Rummage bingo, 10 a.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; concert: group therapy, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Spelling bee, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Bible stories, 3 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; target practice, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Mass and adoration, 10 a.m.; ball toss, 10:15 a.m.; short stories, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish/coffee social, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 5:45 p.m.

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, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Music with Chris and Larry, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Left, center, right, 10 a.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

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

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Uno, 2 p.m.

Monday: Bingo with Bette, 10 a.m.; special picnic lunch, noon; table top games, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Chair exercise, 10:30 a.m.; blackjack, 2:30 p.m.; one-on-one time, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Parachute fun, 10 a.m.; table top bowling, 2:30 p.m.; reading, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2:30 p.m.; social hour, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic service, 10 a.m.; reminiscing magazine, 2:30 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; flippo, 2 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility

Powers

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.; sensory, 10 a.m.; life stories, 2 p.m.; outside social, 2 p.m.

Monday: Song service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 3:30 p.m.; bowling, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Outside social, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Scattergories, 3:30 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Gardening, 10 a.m.; social circle, 2 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Chair chi, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; ball toss, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; outside social, 2 p.m.; fish fry outing, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; crafts, 10 a.m.; mind joggers, 2 p.m.; sensory, 2 p.m.

SENIOR CENTERS

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

906-875-3315

Meal noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center

906-822-7284

Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center

906-774-5110

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.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook, Lucy Korhonen

906-875-6709

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.

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

906-774-5888

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, scrapbookers 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 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

906-246-3559

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

715-528-4890

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

715-336-2980

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

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

715-528-4261

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-Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Aurora

715-589-4491

Serving lunch at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

Tipler Town Hall

715-674-2320

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

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska

906-498-7735

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

906-265-6134

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.

Dickinson-Iron Community Service Agency 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 is offered from the Niagara, Wis., area.

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

906-563-8716

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.

Telephone reassurance is available for any senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone check to see that all is well.

Monday — Labor Day; center will be closed.

Tuesday — TEFAP quarterly food distribution from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Iron Mountain Senior Center.

Tuesday — Noon meal with breaded pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, soup, salad bar, and dessert. Bingo and prizes, with 50-50 as well. Those planning to attend are asked to sign up early.

Wednesday — MSU-Extension class, “Eat Healthy, Be Active,” from 10 to 11 a.m. Call the center to sign up.

Saturday — Pasty sale; $5 a pasty. Call or stop by to place your order. All orders must be picked up by noon.

“Eat Healthy, Be Active,” is a nutrition and physical activity program for adults. It promotes living healthy to reduce the risk of obesity and chronic disease, where participants lean the skills needed to make healthy eating and regular physical activity part of their lifestyle. Each class is about one hour long, and participants receive stretch bands for physical activity, recipe books and a certificate of completion. The classes will take place at the Norway Senior Center on Sept. 5, 12, 26 and Oct. 3, 10 and 24. They will be from 10 to 11 a.m. and the cost is free. If interested, call the center to sign up.

Note: A CSFP food card (green card) is available to income-eligible seniors. Make an appointment to get signed up. File of Life packets available at the center.

Note: Ask about the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps people pay their Medicare part B premium. You may be eligible. The local MMAP counselor can be reached at 1-800-803-7174, or dial 211.

Sagola Center

906-542-3273

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.

Volunteers are always welcome.

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