A year to remember and a new year to cherish

Senior News

IRON MOUNTAIN — I have never been an inspirational quote kind of person. My mom calls it pessimism; I call it realism. In truth, I think I’m slightly in the middle of a true optimist and pessimist. I don’t really see the glass as half full or half empty, I just see it as unfinished. Growing up, my mother would always tell me that things would look better in the morning, that other people can’t make us feel a certain way, and that if I didn’t have anything nice to say then I shouldn’t say anything at all. Since I’m no longer young and perpetually annoyed at these words, I’m able to find truth in them, but I still remain the girl who never enjoyed cliché quotes like, “Be a pineapple: stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.” Or ones that compared life to a “beautiful ride” or happiness to a “journey not a destination.”

There is nothing wrong with these sayings, and for some they make a difference, but for me, they only made my eyes roll. I was far more of a John Keats or Emily Dickens kind of soul; I’ve found the quote, “…and here you are living, despite it all” by Rupi Kaur far more relevant than others. “Courage, dear heart,” by C.S. Lewis has permeated many dark days, and I’ve always valued the words of Louise Alexandra Erskine when she said that “from the chaos of her soul there flowed beauty.” I think the resonance of these quotes was that to me they felt more real and relevant.

I think my disdain for the banality of inspirational quotes also fuels my contempt for New Year’s resolutions. Like so many, I’ve made them. Most everyone could sum up the common ones — lose weight, spend more time with family, exercise more, eat healthy, quit smoking/drinking, get a new job, save more money, travel, get out of debt, learn a new language, more sleep, run a marathon — and it’s not that these goals are not worthwhile, but more times than not, they’re broken or never implemented. In an episode of “Friends,” the characters all make New Year’s resolutions. Monica resolves to take more pictures; Phoebe wants to fly an airplane, Ross wants to not get divorced again, Chandler determines to not make fun of his comrades, Joey dedicates himself to guitar lessons, and Rachel pledges that she will no longer gossip. These resolutions lasted only the one episode and by the end of the 30-minute segment, each “friend” willingly gave into the fact that their resolutions were destined to die.

Thus, I’ve always had a tough time with the ideals of New Year’s, because while it is a technically a fresh start, it’s literally just a day different than the year before, and problems and hardships don’t automatically hit refresh once January first comes around. Those trials still follow you despite the restart of the calendar, and what was taxing before still is. Several years ago, Apple came out with a commercial for the new “iPad Air,” and Robin Williams read “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion… and medicine, law, business, engineering — these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life — but poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘Oh me! O life! … of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless…of the cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these? O me, O life?’ Answer: that you are here. That life exists, and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on…and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

As the words were spoken over the television, viewers watched as all kinds of people lived out their “verses.” I can still hear Williams reciting the lines with fervor. In that moment, I was struck. I think this is why we are so keen on making resolutions. We may not realize it, but in some way, human kind is desperate for their own mark, whether it’s known to the world or known only to their world. With some kind of passion, we want to contribute a verse.

The year 2017 was supposed to be one of the best of my life. I got married; we’d bought a house, and we both started new jobs, and yet, 2017 was probably one of the hardest years to date. Planning a wedding is stressful, but I think the amount of mishaps leading up to June 25 takes the cake on what the true definition of stress is. Our house, while beautiful and amazing, came with so many unforeseen problems that our minds and bank accounts were truly exhausted, and our jobs brought issues that were anxiety ridden. For the outside looking in, we appeared untroubled, but the inside of a matter is often overlooked. Christmas marked six months that we’ve been married, and our proudest accomplishment is that with everything that has gone wrong, nothing broke us. We are strong and more in love than before. From the chaos of our lives flowed beauty.

We make resolutions to better our lives and selves. We want to take a problem we have, and make it smaller, because human beings are perishable items, and we should live accordingly. I still can’t say that I like resolutions, but I can say that I understand their implications. Agatha Christie says, “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” This quote is one of my favorites, because in it I’ve found vitality, but it is also a promise within itself. In the new year that is nearly here, remember that the resolutions of life are meant well, but that the verse you choose to contribute isn’t determined by the changing of the guard. The mayhem and havoc that come with living will always be lurking around the corner, but it’s the vow you make to yourself about how you want to be that matters. Resolve yourself to living your most authentic life, and dedicate the most precious gift of time to the realness you want to help create. Libba Bray has said that if you write like it matters, it will. I think if you live life like it matters, it will. No one is you; no one has your story, and that, dear reader, is your power.





*For information on events, call the home.

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

*For information on events, call the home.



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

Movie, 10:45 a.m. daily and 3:15 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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

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: New Year’s social, 9:30 a.m.; New Year’s bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.

Tuesday: Who am I?, 10:15 a.m.; “Wheel of Fortune,” 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:30 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.; charades, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: All about January, 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.

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

Monday: Nickel joker-eno, 10:15 a.m.; New Year’s social, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; sing along with Teresa, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: You be the judge, 10:15 a.m.; joker-eno, 2 p.m.; Bible stories, 3 p.m.; bunco, 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: Mass and adoration, 10 a.m.; exercise and trivia, 10:15 a.m.; happy hour with Denise S., 2 p.m.

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

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Juice pass, 10 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Packers vs. Lions, noon; Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Birthday party and Happy New Year.

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

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

Thursday: Crosswords, 2 p.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.; Packers vs. Lions, noon; New Year’s eve party, 2 p.m.

Monday: New Year’s resolutions and reminisce, 10 a.m.; bingo with Bette, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Uno cards, 10 a.m.; balloon badminton, 2 p.m.; one-on-one time, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Poker dice, 10 a.m.; jackpot bingo, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; manicures and massages, 2 p.m.; comedy hour, 3 p.m.

Friday: Catholic communion service, 10 a.m.; tabletop bowling, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; hearts dice, 2 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Life connections, 9:45 a.m. Mondays.

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

Rosary, 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

Sunday: Word Puzzles, 10 a.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.; Packers vs. Lions, noon; Packers party, 2 p.m.

Monday: Spa treatments, 10 a.m.; song service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; ladder ball, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking group, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 1:30 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Tea party, 10 a.m.; movie, 2 p.m.; life stories, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; reminiscing, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10 a.m.; beach ball toss, 10 a.m.; bingo and trivia, 2 p.m.


24-hour reservations needed.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Lunch at noon.

Breen Center


Meals: Monday through Friday. Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dinner is first and third Thursday of the month. Salad at 4 p.m., dinner at 5. Donations are $4 age 60 and older, $5 if younger.

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook, Tracy West


Meals served 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, salad at 4:30 p.m. Donations are $5 age 60 and older, $6 if younger. Take out $1. Center closed Thursday through Sunday. 

Crystal Lake Center


For information, call Chris Tramotin at 906-774-2256, ext. 235. Transportation 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call center to book.

Felch Center


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

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County


Director: Lori Friberg

Donation $4 if 60 or older, $7 if younger. Reservations and cancellations needed 48 hours in advance. The ADRC assists area seniors and those with disabilities with transport Monday through Friday. Make transportation reservation with meal reservation.

Dining locations are:

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon Wednesdays only.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall


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

Senior Dining Center-NWTC, Aurora


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

Tipler Town Hall


Lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora


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

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older, $7 if younger.

Iron River Center


Meals served Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; $4 if 60 and olde and $5 if younger than 60. Salad with Thursday meal, 4 p.m. Dinner at 4:30 p.m. DICSA operates meals and transport for the IRC. Rides are $2.50 for 60 and older, $3 if younger. Call 906-265-6134 to schedule.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Corrie Maule, meal site manager


Jill Anderson, center director

715-251- 4154

Meals at noon Monday through Thursday. Transportation available in the Niagara, Wis. area.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Meals with salad at noon Monday through Thursday. Soup at 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Donation is $5. Reservation needed in advance.

Sagola Center


Meals at 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.