In the business of life, taking the time to be thankful is always important

IRON MOUNTAIN — My friend told me that she feels like October went by pretty slow, but that November has been doing 75 in a 35-mph zone, which I laughed at, but also totally agreed with.

Christmas suddenly is only 24 days away. How did that happen so quickly? Time is time, and an hour is always the same, no matter how you look at it, but sometimes, an hour seems like minutes and minutes feel like an hour.

For me, I realized that November has flown by at the speed of light and left very little remnants to be seen because I simply haven’t stopped. If I look back on the month of November, excluding Thanksgiving, I’ve only had four days off, and held two different events at the store that had long hours and exhausting preparations. It feels like in the chaos of the month, I haven’t really stopped to breathe.

I’ve always been at my best when I’m busy — I’ve never been good at sitting still — and it’s been this way since I was young. It’s why I’ve never lived in one place for more than two years, and why I transferred colleges three times before landing at Purdue University.

It’s why I loved teaching, because every day was different, and life and learning was continuously evolving, and it’s also why in the short amount of “life” that I have lived, I’ve had jobs and “careers” in teaching, journalism, and small business.

Being busy is my cup of tea, and I love it, so when I looked at my calendar and saw that November was over, I was in shock and also not really all that surprised, and even though I was perfectly content with the chaos that was November, I realized I hadn’t really had that moment — that moment of pure reflection and genuine content — in which I reflected on everything I had, set all the negative aside, and just chose to be thankful. That’s what November is all about, right?

Every year, for the last several years, my grandmother has brought a most beautiful tradition of gratefulness to our lives. After the turkey has been devoured and the stuffing has made us stuffed, during the time when crumbs from the bread plate grow cold and the green bean casserole begins to water, as a family, we all take a moment to grab a marker, and write out on the “Thanksgiving Tablecloth” what we’re most thankful for. There are always recurring themes, like family and friends, and my grandpa says “to be alive and for my beautiful wife” every year — sometimes he just writes “ditto” with a new date — but for the most part, we all have something new to add because life is ever-changing, and like the chaos of November, it continues to evolve and move at a steady pace, and so there is never a lack of thankful hearts on that famous November Thursday.

What is it, that I’m most thankful for? Is there really enough paper and ink in the world to ever encapsulate everything that my heart holds most dear? No, but I can try.

I am thankful for leaves, and the crunch that they provide as I walk over them on crisp fall mornings. I am thankful for veterinarians who hold the lives of our animals at the same level of importance that we do. I am thankful for hot water heaters and warm furnaces, the privilege of refrigerators and freezers; I am thankful that despite my garage doors always acting up, I have a garage, and even though my grass never really turned green this year, I have a yard. I am thankful for apples that make cider and water that makes snow, for Benjamin Franklin discovering electricity so that my tree could be beautifully lit and Thomas Edison for making the actual bulb that would later become string lights.

I am thankful for potatoes that can be mashed and beans that can be brewed; I’m thankful that I am not only blessed with one family, but after being married, three. I’m thankful for new additions to our extended family and for the dreams in their lives that are coming true.

I am thankful to my readers who continue to amaze me as they write to me and call me, with words of encouragement and love, and whose perpetual prayers are always appreciated. I am thankful for big hands, like my dad’s, who hold mine when I’m sad and for elevated deer posts that house cribbage games and hot chocolate.

I am so thankful and in love with my husband, the man that God planned and chose for me — he makes my world better, and is the puzzle piece to my life I never knew was missing. I am thankful for my mom, who is really my best friend — for my dad who is always proud of me, my grandparents who would do anything for me, my sister who was my answered prayer, and my brothers, who despite our many differences, are still the men I look to for protection. I am thankful to be a follower of Christ, and to know that even when I can’t see the light, he can.

November. Where has it gone? I’ve said before that it’s my least-favorite month because the beauty of fall has left and the dazzle of winter has not yet come, but the truth about November is this: it’s the forgotten month that holds a far too short-lived holiday, when in reality, the holiday it boasts should be the one we refer to all year long. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment of gift buying and house decorating and forget why it is that we are able to do the things we do. No, we don’t always get everything we want, but consider this: there are people who will never have, what you have, right now. Gratitude is everything, and there is always something to be thankful for. When you’re going 75 in a 35-mph zone and you come up on that stop sign, make sure you breathe, and in that breath, remember why November matters.




For Saturday’s schedule, contact the home.

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.; Resident Council, 11 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Reminisce, 11 a.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.; craft, 3 p.m.; laundry day, 4 p.m.; dinner theater, 5 p.m.

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

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; pokereno, 2 p.m.

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

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

For Saturday’s activities, contact the home.

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

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

Sunday: One-to-one church visitor, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; senior basketball, 10 a.m.; matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Cooking, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; DT luncheon, noon; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book club, 10 a.m.; Mass, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1:30 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; senior scrappers, 1:30 to 3 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; Travel Club, 10 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Men’s Club, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; service with Doris, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.; mystery movie, 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.; company’s coming room 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: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; Paula D entertains, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

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

Friday: ManorCare monthly, 10:15 a.m.; Lucky 13, 2 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.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; tailgate party: Packers vs. Vikings, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Storytelling with hot apple cider, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Men’s breakfast, 7:30 a.m.; bingo, 10 a.m.; memorial service, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; you be the judge, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; bunco, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattergories, 10:15 a.m.; retro show “Honeymooners,” 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Exercise, 10:15 a.m. trivia, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Crafts, 10 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 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. Vikings, 7:20 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Craft class, 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.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Morning news, 6 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Yahtzee, 2 p.m.; Packers vs. Vikings, 7:20 p.m.

Monday: Bingo with Bette, 10 a.m.; table top volley, 2:30 p.m.; one on one time, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Pastor Doug, 9:30 a.m.; music with Valri, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Chair exercise, 10 a.m.; birthday party, 2:30 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3 p.m.

Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.

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

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


For Saturday’s activities, contact the home.

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, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Sensory, 10 a.m.; song service, 1:30 a.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; sensory, 3:30 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking group, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; bunko, 3:30 p.m.; Scrabble, 6 p.m.

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

Thursday: Exercise, 10 a.m.; social circle, 2 p.m.; hangman, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; King’s Corners, 3:30 p.m.; room visits, 6 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.

Monday: Soup, salad, Reuben sandwiches, oven-roasted potatoes and homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, liver and onions, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables and homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, wet burritos, Mexican rice, chips, homemade dessert.

The center is closed Thursday through Sunday.

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. Christine McMahon has information for all meals and can be reached at 906-774-2256 ext. 235. For transportation rides call Buzzin’ Around Town at 906-282-0492. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60.

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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.

Christine McMahon has information for all meals and can be reached at 906-774-2256 ext. 235. For transportation rides call Buzzin’ Around Town at 906-282-0492. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

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

Senior center director: Jill Anderson, 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.

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.


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