Cooler weather brings memories of back to school

There is a different feel to the air now that August has come to an end. It happens every year; that cooler, drier air that signals the end of summer and the beginning of autumn and generally includes the presence of ground fog and more deer roaming than you can shake a stick at. The days are noticeably shorter. As much as I dislike the thought of another winter arriving, I do love this time of year and the many memories it brings.

When I was a kid in grade school, I was always very excited about another year of school starting. I was totally bored with summer vacation by the time August began, and I was tired of babysitting my siblings who had been jumping on my last nerve all summer long. I started to make almost daily visits to the local dime store to wander the aisles, examining all of the school supplies in great detail. By the time school started, I knew which pencils and erasers I wanted and which pencil case I would buy to hold them all.

Every year through grade school, my mother took all four of us school shopping to either Oshkosh or Fond du Lac. We were all excited to make the 20-mile trip for new school clothes. As I look back on those years, I marvel at her patience in taking the four of us from store to store as we tried on new things; we each could pick out one new outfit for the first day of school. I remember one year when I just could not make up my mind which of two dresses I wanted, and she let me get both of them! On my sister’s recent visit from California, she was fondly remembering one of those dresses — the purple plaid one that eventually became a cherished hand-me-down for her.

My mother had grown up on a farm in the days of migrant workers. Not every farmer owned his own threshing machine, so teams of threshers went from farm to farm to help bring in the crops. Many of the seasonal farm hands came from Jamaica, and my mother remembered how they would come walking down the road to their farm. First, she would see one, and then several yards back, a second one would emerge while farther back yet the third would come sauntering down the road — always straggling one at a time and never together. Well, as the four of us went school shopping, she did her best to corral us to keep us from getting lost or injured. I still remember her sternly reprimanding us as she said, “You kids have got to stay together. Stop walking down the street like a bunch of Jamaicans!” My siblings and I laugh about that to this day.

As I grew older, I never lost my excitement over the start of a new school year. I worked in the college bookstore every summer through high school and unpacked and organized all of the new books ordered by each professor. I always found it exciting, and I could not wait until I graduated from high school and could start college.

Once I was in college, I worked every summer in the college library, where I shelved cart after cart of books that needed to go back into the stacks. Every book had to be back in its proper place for the start of a new fall term. I loved the smell of those musty volumes and, once the school year began, had my favorite study carrel amid the stacks where I holed up every night until 11 o’clock when the library closed. By that time of night, I could return to the dorm and be reasonably assured of enough quiet to finish studying.

In addition to all of the back-to-school memories, I remember the fun surrounding harvest time on the farm. Our grandfather let us ride next to him on the tractor as hay was baled. And we watched as load after load of grain was brought up to the granary, where the wagon was hooked up to a special conveyor belt that delivered the grain into the bins inside. We were allowed to stand on the tires but never get inside the wagon; this was a notorious time for farming accidents. And we were not allowed in the granary itself when the grain was being off-loaded into the bins, for the same reason. It was an exciting time nonetheless.

Living in town as a kid, autumn color was an occasional brilliant tree in the various neighborhoods as I walked to school. It was not until I moved up north as an adult that I was exposed to the autumn grandeur of an entire forest! I had never seen such a concentration of brilliant colors displayed across so vast an area. I marvel at it to this day.

When our boys were young, we always fit in one final fall picnic or campfire supper before it got too cold to enjoy. Some years we pushed our luck with Mother Nature and hit some pretty blustery days. We invited my husband’s parents along on one of those trips to the Keweenaw so we could all be “leaf peepers” together. The further north we drove, the more blustery the weather became. As we sat huddled around a picnic table in a roadside park near L’Anse, the wind actually blew the bread off the sandwiches! My father-in-law, with that characteristic glint in his eye, asked my husband, “Why do you put your parents through this!” We all laughed.

Now that we are older, we have become less adventurous and prefer a few more creature comforts. While we will still drive north to see the colors, campfire suppers have been exchanged for sitting in front of the fire table on our deck for as many nights as possible. We bundle up and cozy in as we drink our Frangelico-laced hot cocoa … and try not to think of the winter winds that will soon be blowing and keeping us all inside.






Scenes and Sounds, 11:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Sunday: Toss across, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; brouhaha, 11 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts and gardening, 10:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 11 a.m.; Bible study, 1:15 p.m.; pokereno, 2 p.m.; afternoon visitor, 3:30 p.m.; “Lawrence Welk,” 4:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 11 a.m.; Pictionary, 1:15 p.m.; sing along, 2:30 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; daily newspaper, 11 a.m.; oldies but goodies, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; evening news, 6 p.m.

Iron County 

Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30-11 a.m.; room visits 9-11 a.m.; reminisce, 10 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9-10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: CF library, 9:30 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; prayer, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1 p.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/puzzle time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; senior scrappers, 1 p.m.; heads up, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; St. Marks, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Grandparents’ Day party, 2 p.m.; western movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Room to room bingo/how do you feel? 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 p.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.



Wet your whistle: 9:30 a.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Saturday.

Exercise: 10 a.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Saturday.

Movie: 10:45 a.m. Sunday through Saturday and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Popcorn Day: Every Friday

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; company’s coming room visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Labor Day social, 9:30 a.m.; big bucks bingo, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; pokeno, 2 p.m.; movie and manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Sharpen your senses, 10:15 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; good neighbor bingo, 2 p.m.; crazy for cards, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: All about September, 10:15 a.m.; lucky 13, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Sunday through Friday.

Sunday: “Family Feud”, 10:15 a.m.; music bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Labor Day social, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Derby day, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; you be the judge, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Ball toss, 10:15 a.m.; short stories, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour with Denise S., 2 p.m.

Saturday: Crafts, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; animal kingdom — hummingbird, 5:45 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Juice time, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 2:30 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: “Wheel of Fortune,” 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.

Beauty shop open Tuesday and Thursday

Snack cart, 7 p.m. daily

Sunday: Bingo/family and friend social, 10 a.m.

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

Tuesday: Flippo, 10 a.m.; Black Jack/21, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Chair exercise 10 a.m.; craft, 2 p.m.

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

Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; happy half hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Kamo fishing, 10 a.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Sunday: Coffee clutch, 10:15 a.m.; hangman, 10:30 a.m.; social circle, 2 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Life connections, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; song service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; cribbage, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Employee of the Month meeting, 10 a.m.; resident council, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; sing along, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 3:30 p.m.; room visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Casino outing, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; cards, 2 p.m.; trivia, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10:30 a.m.; fish fry outing, 11:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 a.m.; Trouble, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Rummy, 10 a.m.; bunco, 10:30 a.m.; social circle, 2 p.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. Those who have meals delivered who will not be home should notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Tuesday: Chop suey, rice, oriental vegetables, lettuce

Wednesday: Ham, scalloped potatoes, corn, salad

Thursday: Sloppy joes, baked beans, coleslaw

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month, except on holidays.  

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.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Monday: Closed for Labor Day

Tuesday: Chili, sandwich, cornbread

Wednesday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots

Thursday: Night Meal – Beef pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, wax beans, biscuits

Friday: Baked fish, smoked sausage, potato wedges, fried cabbage

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook: Lucy Korhonen


The center is not just for seniors – bring a friend.

Suggested meal donations: $5 if older than 60; $6 if younger than 60; $1 extra for take-out

To reserve meals, call the center by 1 p.m. with name and number of people planning to attend.

All dinners include the soup and salad bar, homemade dessert, tea, coffee and milk

Open: Monday-Wednesday; 4:30 p.m., soup and salad bar; 5 p.m., dinner

Mondays: Basket weaving after dinner — all are welcome for dinner and/or the class. Beginners can make their first basket with materials provided.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Monday: Closed for Labor Day

Tuesday: Chicken parmesan, spaghetti, vegetables

Wednesday: Sweet and sour pork, rice

Crystal Lake Center

Christine McMahon

906-774-2256, ext. 235

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., with crafters, scrapbookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Thursday: Happy Quilters, 1 p.m.; two-person team cribbage, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Smear, noon.

The kitchen once again is open and serving meals. A new lunch program is offered every Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Meals cost $5 for those under 60 years old and a $4 donation for those older than 60.

Menu for week of Sept. 2:

Monday: Closed for Labor Day

Tuesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn

Wednesday: Lunch — calzones with chili and salad bar; dinner, pork chops, sweet potatoes and carrots

Thursday: Bratwurst, seasoned potatoes, cauliflower

Friday: Chicken strips, french fries, mixed vegetables, yogurt parfait

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 Township 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.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Monday: Closed for Labor Day

Tuesday: Barbecue pork, baked potatoes, bread, apples

Wednesday: Chicken noodle soup, dinner roll, Jello

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 are 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.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Monday: All centers closed for Labor Day.

Tuesday: Taco pasta salad, corn pudding, fruit salad

Wednesday: Lasagna roll-ups, dark green salad, garlic bread, fruit cup, birthday cake

Thursday: Boiled dinner with ham, carrots, cabbage and potatoes, fruit

Friday: Cabbage roll casserole, cooked beets, fruited Jello

Other assistance available includes information on aging, benefits specialist, and care-giver support.

Fence Center/Town Hall

715-336-2980 — RSVP for meal at 855-528-2372

Meal at noon Wednesdays only – Same menu listed under ADRC of Florence County. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

RSVP for meal at 715-528-4261

Home-delivered meals are available. Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. at this center Monday through Thursday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.

Tipler Town Hall

715-674-2320 — RSVP for meals.

Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month only, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

715-589-4491 — RSVP for meals

Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County. Transportation arrangements can be made to and from the meal site.

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.

Enjoy 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 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Home-delivered meals are available — call 906-774-2256, ext. 235 or ext. 230.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Monday: Closed for Labor Day

Tuesday: Pizza, cottage cheese, fruit, milk

Wednesday: Philly steak casserole, carrots, roll, fruit, milk

Thursday: Parmesan chicken, noodles, cauliflower, garlic bread, dessert, milk.

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 is available to the meal site for those living in the Niagara, Wis., area. Any senior groups who would like to use the meal site as a meeting place are welcome — join us for lunch 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. Reservations for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month on Tuesday, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Two evening meals are offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Monday: Closed for Labor Day

Tuesday: Noon – Biscuits and gravy, Brussel sprouts, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, dessert; supper – Company chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, soup and salad bar, dessert

Wednesday: Salmon, scalloped potatoes, spinach, salad bar, fruit, juice, dessert

Thursday: Bacon-lettuce-tomato wrap, broccoli, coleslaw, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, dessert

Blood pressure clinic on Wednesday, September 4 from 11 a.m. to Noon.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes are Mondays and Thursdays; ceramic and art classes are Wednesdays.

Puzzles always in the works.

Note: File of Life packets available at the center.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Cards: Tuesday, 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. 

Menu for the week of Sept. 2:

Tuesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice, roll, broccoli, tropical fruit

Wednesday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, bread, carrots, Mandarin oranges

Thursday: Tuna casserole, biscuit, peas, apricots.


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