Taking that leap of faith sometimes harder than you think

IRON MOUNTAIN — Have you ever been slapped in the face with your own advice in a moment in which you really don’t want to hear it? I have. It’s very often brutal, because in a moment of strength, you’ve issued that same advice, but in your own moment of weakness, the pill that is reality is always a little harder to swallow. When I was a kid, my mom always used to tell me things like, “It’ll look better in the morning,” and, man, I used to hate that. In that moment, I didn’t want to hear about it looking better in the morning, because 1. I was unhappy then, and 2. I didn’t really believe it. Now that I’m older, indeed, things do tend to look slightly less bleak in the morning — assuming that morning is sunny — but nevertheless, it’s always easier to say those words than to live by them.

When I was in school, like many kids and young adults my age, I used to long for adulthood. I had these grand ideas about what it would be like — I’d have my own car and could go anywhere I wanted, but of course I really didn’t factor in gas prices; I would be able to live in my own apartment and be independent from my parents, but forget about rent and taxes and insurance; when I was grown I could have a cell phone with whatever plan I wanted, but, oh, wait, the better the plan, the higher the cost; and when I was an adult, I would finally be able to quit studying and taking exams and writing papers, but I’d also lose Christmas breaks and summer breaks and taking naps at noon because my college classes had a two-hour break in between them. Yes, when you’re young, you idolize adulthood, and when you’re an adult, you kick yourself for ever wishing such nonsense.

I used to be able to crank out a nine-page paper in a couple hours, read a few chapters in a book, watch an episode of “Friends,” go to bed at midnight and wake up at eight and feel totally refreshed. Now, I go home, clean the kitchen, play with my dog and make dinner, go to sleep by 11 p.m. and wake up at 9 a.m. and wonder how I ever had the stamina to do what I did in college. I will sometimes read some of my past papers just for kicks, and I am genuinely shocked by the level of competency that they display, and authentically believe that I couldn’t do it anymore. When I was doing it, I wanted to be an adult. Now that I’m an adult, half the time I reminisce about the time when my responsibilities totaled making sure I was showered and in class on time, but I also really don’t think I could do it all over again if I tried.

Recently, Rob and I were faced with a choice to make, and no matter how much we talked it over with each other or pondered it on our own, we couldn’t ever come to a final decision; we kept going back and forth. As I was sitting at work during a slow hour, yearning for the good old days of college where “stressed” equaled too many papers to write and not life-altering decisions, I called my mom. When in doubt, call mom, right? She listened to me recite out all the pros and cons, and allowed me to speak my entire piece, and even when I asked her what she thought we should do, she told me she couldn’t tell me, but she did say, “You’re a good planner, and I know you like to be confident in a decision, but sometimes, you just gotta take a leap.” I smiled when she said this, because I’d spoken those words to so many others when they were faced with similar situations. She couldn’t see, but I nodded my head. I had to take a leap. I thought to myself, I could do that, right? I’ve leapt before… or have I?

Going to Purdue University was a leap — it was a school of 40,000 students and I didn’t know a single one of them. I had no family in Indiana. I’d never even spent any time in Indiana. I had only decided to apply there because on my way home from Tennessee, I passed a billboard that said, “Be a Boilermaker.” That was a leap, for sure. But, then again, it wasn’t, because I had gotten into Michigan State, University of Michigan, DePaul University in Chicago, Roosevelt in Chicago, Northwestern in Chicago, but for some reason that I can only say was God, I was 100-percent sure that I was supposed to go to Purdue in little ole’ West Lafayette.

Well, if that wasn’t a leap, then maybe I could say that teaching on the South Side was — really, that wasn’t, either; it was more of a leap for my family to have faith that I knew what I was doing than it was for me. I had felt a calling to teach in the inner-city for years, and I even did my student teaching there to make sure I was cut out for it, so when the opportunity to teach there came up, even though it was in the middle of the school year and it was for a long-term sub position, it really wasn’t a leap, because I knew it was what I wanted.

Was dating Rob a leap? No. I’d prayed and made a promise to God that I wouldn’t date anyone until he sent the man I was supposed to marry into my life, and so even though he didn’t fall for me when I fell for him, I knew he would, because I knew that was God’s plan, and so even though it was unsteady, I didn’t think of it as a leap.

“Sometimes, you just have to take a leap.” My mom’s words stuck with me. I had always considered myself a “leaper,” but really, I only leapt in life when it was a decision solely about me, because I was always able to be confident in any decision I made as what was best. This decision, the decision we kept going back and forth about, was a decision that would affect both our lives, but really, it was a decision about Rob, and it was a decision for Rob, and so I was having a harder time “leaping” because unlike in the past, when I knew and was confident, I didn’t have to think about someone else or feel the pressure of someone else’s happiness being altered by a decision I helped make.

Is it easier to leap when you’re the only one leaping and you don’t have to take anyone else with you? Or is it harder because if you leap when you’re not alone, there’s more pressure to land on your feet? What are the things in life we can control? We can control how kind we are, and what we eat. We control our own thoughts, who our friends are, what we talk about, what we take personally, what we think about, our priorities, our effort, and, what we believe. Belief can fuel a leap. “What if” equals fear but “even if” equals faith. Even if I fall, I will get back up. Even if I stumble, I will not stop. Even if things don’t go as planned, I will not regret my decision. Even if I don’t fly, I can still leap. You can’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. As 2 Corinthians says, fix your eyes on what is unseen, since what is seen is only temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.




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.; brouhaha, 11 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 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.; Golden Throats entertain, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; puppy visits, 1 p.m.; bingo with Carol, 2 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking, 11 a.m.; Mass, 2 p.m.; sing-along, 2:30 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; Daily News, 11 a.m.; spinning records, 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 visitor, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; trivia, 10 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; afternoon matinee, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Christmas cookie decorating, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; exercise, 11 a.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.; light tour, 5:30 p.m.; holiday movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Community breakfast, 9 a.m.; faces and places, 10:30 a.m.; Apostolic service, 1:15 p.m.; spelling bee, 2 p.m.; baseball, 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 a.m.; old-fashioned sing-a long with eggnog, 2 p.m.; holiday movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: “Price is Right,” 10 a.m.; penny ante, 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: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; company’s coming room visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Who, what, when?, 10:15 a.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Christmas traditions, 10:15 a.m.; resident council/food committee, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Christmas fill ins, 10:15 a.m.; Christmas party with Jim Edberg entertainment, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Bobbie Jo karaoke, 2 p.m.; Christmas Name That Tune, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: Visits from Willis Center, 9:30 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.; music bingo, 10:15 a.m.; penny ante, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; Travel Club, 10:15 a.m.; Christmas party, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; “Deal or No Deal,” 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: You be the judge, 10:15 a.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; bunko, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattergories, 10:15 a.m.; prayer shawl, 2 p.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Ball toss, 10:15 a.m.; Christmas trivia, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; Christmas movie with 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: Packers vs. Bears, noon; 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.

Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; Christmas carolers, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Left, center, right, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Birthday party, 2 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.; Packers vs. Bears, noon

Monday: Bingo with Bette, 10 a.m.; table volley, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Pastor Doug, 10 a.m.; music with Tom Palmer, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Christmas bingo, 10 a.m.; oatmeal muffin party, 2 p.m.; music with Grace and Dave, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; singing angel with Valri, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; Christmas movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Connect Four, 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, 10:15 a.m.; ball toss, 10:30 a.m.; Packers party, noon; life stories, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Rosary, 2 p.m.; bean bag toss, 3:30 p.m.; checkers, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Shopping outing, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Pictionary, 3:30 p.m.; book cart, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Gingerbread houses, 10 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.; rummy, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Christmas movie, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; Trouble boardgame, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; crafts, 2 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Karaoke, 10 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; ice cream social, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 3:30 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 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, pork chops, cheesy potatoes, vegetables and homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, French toast casserole, sausage, and homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Christmas dinner.

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, 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 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, 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.

The four senior dining locations are:

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.

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.

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 on Tuesdays and Fridays, 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 take place.

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 Wednesday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60.

Thursday meal, 3:30 p.m. soup, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner at 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

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

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site manager: Corrie Maule


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, 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.

Tuesday — Christmas dinner with stuffed pork loin, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, onions, soup, salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50-50 also available; sign up early.

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

Wednesday — Noon meal with chicken chop suey, rice, mixed vegetables, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Wednesday — Evening meal at 5 p.m. with barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, soup, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50-50 also available; sign up early.

Thursday — Birthday Club meal with lasagna, broccoli, garlic toast, soup, salad bar, fruit, juice, and birthday cake. Join us and get your picture on the December birthday wall of fame.

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.