Make time for the parts of life that keep you sane

IRON MOUNTAIN — When I thought about all the beautiful things in my life I’ve seen and experienced, I was reminded of how precious life truly is, and how it’s so very important to always appreciate the little things.

This last week has been an incredibly chaotic one, with my to do list climbing at an alarming rate. I’ve navigated meetings, doctors’ appointments, siblings’ volleyball games, friends from out of town, meals to be made, work requirements, Labor Day functions, puppy training, house cleaning, and so much more. In reality, while my week was busy and hectic, it was a week that was like so many others. How often, do we go through the week longing for 5 p.m. on Friday evening? Is it a longing that is surmountable, and occurs nearly every Monday, or is it a feeling that is rarer, and only happens a couple times a month? For some, it may be a weekly occurrence, and others monthly, and still yet, daily, but no matter your schedule, and no matter your desire for a small glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, there is still time to stop and smell the roses.

On a particularly muggy night this past week, I sat out on my porch under the hanging lights from my table umbrella, and watched our puppy play, desperately trying to catch every moth that he saw. In that moment of peace, where I had pushed my computer to the side and given myself a moment, I thought about all the parts of life that I would never want to give up. Obviously, my family, friends, and God were at the top of my list, but I began to ponder what else I wouldn’t ever want to lose. So, I gave myself a limit. What are the top ten things I would have the hardest time living without?

1. Books. I suppose as a formal English teacher this is somewhat a given, but I think even if

I hadn’t pursued the world of the written, I still wouldn’t want to give it up. Books have an amazing capability to transport you to a complete other world, and if you allow them, they will envelop you and overwhelm you. As Paul Sweeney has said, “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

2. Coffee Shops. I love these cafes for more than the caffeine that they provide me. Coffee

shops, give me a sense of ease. In college, I would park myself in the corner of our local shop and work on essays for hours. The Moose has always been a favorite spot to catch up with friends, and I’ve found that local charm in a small café is always in abundance no matter where you are. When I was in France, my favorite place was a little café right outside of Notre Dame, and I stayed there sipping my latte and writing in my journal for half a day.

3. Rain. There isn’t anything quite like the smell of rain, or the feel of it on a hot day. With

rain, comes thunder and with thunder comes lightning, and on a dark summer night there is nothing like lying in bed while you hear the pitter patter upon the roof and feel the ground turn cool.

4. Fall. Anne of Green Gables was right when she exclaimed, “I’m so glad I live in a world

where there are Octobers” – cider, leaves, scarves, orchards, pumpkins, football, plaid – it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

5. Photographs. Even when a moment has passed, and my mind has sadly forgotten, a picture can flood the memories back to life. My home, like my mother’s and grandmother’s, is filled with framed moments in history, some of the moments not even mine, but that have become a part of me. My husband and I have talked about if there were ever a fire in our home, and we could only grab five things, how the picture of my grandparents sitting on a brick half wall would be one of them. They were young, and I didn’t know them then, but I can feel their happiness.

6. Oversized sweaters. This one kind of goes along with fall, but I wear them any chance I

get. It might seem like a trivial item to have on my list, but some of my favorite oversized sweaters aren’t mine. I have one that was my dad’s – it’s a Packers hoodie from when they won the Superbowl in ’97 – I technically stole it from him but he’s let me keep it. I also have one that was my mother’s and one that was my husband’s. They’re comfortable, yes, but they’re also home.

7. Passport. I can’t give up the world.

8. Movies. I could technically give up film, but I would never want to give up what movies

have meant to our family. For us, it’s a bonding activity. We sit together, with homemade popcorn, and laugh at the classics. My sibling’s and I often speak in “movie talk”, quoting our favorites back and forth. I wouldn’t be able to never have that experience again.

9. Traditions. Christmas Eve without the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song just wouldn’t be

the same.

10. Pencils. My die hard classic.

Even over the course of this last week, amidst the business that took place, I was still able

to find a moment for my favorite things. When it poured on Tuesday, and the streets were painted with water, I sat on our porch swing, and just watched. I felt at peace. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you simply can’t wait for Friday to come, make a list of the most important parts of your life, and make yourself find time to do at least one of them. “You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly”. – Colin Wright




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.; line dancers, 1:30 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.; Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; movie, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; puppy visits, 1:15 p.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 2 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking, 11 a.m.; bunco, 1:15 p.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 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.; how do you feel?, 10 a.m.; matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Memory books, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Resident Council, 10:30 a.m.; VFW bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book Club, 10 a.m.; Mass, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; Western movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Community breakfast, 9 a.m.; storytelling, 10:30 a.m.; head’s up, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

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

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Wii fun, 2 p.m.; web browsing, 2:30 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Puzzler, 10 a.m.; reminisce, 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.

Protestant Church service, 3 p.m. Sunday.

Exercises, 10 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Grandparent’s Day social, 9:30 a.m.; inside out visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant Church, 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Who am I?, 10:15 a.m.; Lutheran church, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

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

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

Friday: ABC game, 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.; help your neighbor, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: You be the judge, 10:15 a.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Patriots bingo, 10 a.m.; Resident Council, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; bunco, 6:15 p.m.

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

Friday: Ball toss, 10 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Baking, 10:15 a.m.; football game in courtyard, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2:30 p.m.; Yahtzee, 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.; Packers vs. Bears, 7:20 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Wheel of Fortune, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 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.; King’s Corners, 2 p.m.

Monday: Bingo with Bette, 10 a.m.; Resident Council meeting, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Horse races, 10:30 a.m.; flippo, 2:30 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Chair exercise, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2:30 p.m.; music with Grace and Dave, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Clay sculpting, 10:30 a.m.; music with Larry J., 2:30 p.m.; one on one time, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic service, 10 a.m.; state fair with Valri, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Farkle, 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.; beauty shop, 10 a.m.; Rummy, 2 p.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.

Monday: Worship and Communion service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; bean bag toss, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking group, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Pictionary, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Tea party, 10 a.m.; Jim Clements entertains, 2 p.m.; Rummy, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Gardening, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one on one visits, 6 p.m.

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

Saturday: Karaoke, 10 a.m.; trivia, 10 a.m.; ice cream social, 2 p.m.; sensory, 2 p.m.


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.

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, scalloped potatoes and ham, vegetables, homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, Philly steak sandwich, pepper and onions, homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, grilled chicken spaghetti, vegetables, homemade dessert.

Last Thursday supper: Soup, salad, grilled burgers, baked beans, veggies, 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.

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.

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 — Center board meeting at 10 a.m.

Monday — Noon meal with pork chop suey, Asian mixed veggies, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Monday — Dinner at 5 p.m. with company chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, soup, salad bar, and dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50/50 as well. Sign up early.

Wednesday — MSU extension class, “Eat Healthy/Be Active,” 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“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. 12, Sept. 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


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.