Spring cleaning about more than just clearing house

The age-old saying says that “April showers bring May flowers.” Doug Larson says that “Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” Most people would agree — at least people living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — that spring is a welcome sight for very tired and cold eyes. While I’ve joked for years with friends that the U.P. sees nine months of winter and laughed while others shiver on 40-degree days, it is always a welcome relief when the sun starts to come out and the snow starts to disappear. My mother has always said that she dislikes spring because with spring comes mud and puddles and brown yards, but I’ve always been torn between which season is my favorite; fall, or spring? When spring comes, you need it, you want it, you’re desperately ready for it. You’re anxious for nature to come back to life and color that isn’t from Christmas lights hanging on eaves to brighten the world. If you open your window, you can hear the Chickadees singing their ritually repetitive song, and the air doesn’t smell so fierce anymore, but instead rich and earthy.

Those who are not from here have often asked me when we start to get warm weather. I tell them that March is our bipolar month; it never really knows what it wants to do. One day, it could be a beautiful 50-degree day, and come that evening we’ve inherited an inch of snow. April, I say, is our “we’re so close.” month, as it finally starts to stay consistently above 30 and instead of snow banks we mostly just have lingering snow piles, but make no mistake, a blizzard on Easter is nothing out of the ordinary. May, I tell them, is typically when we’ve entered the home stretch. Any snow that has stuck around out of sheer stubbornness usually has no chance to stay, and the color green finally starts to show itself. However, I always follow up with something like, “Even then we’re not safe, though. My brothers once played a baseball game in the snow, and it was June. There’s been frost in July.” They always look at me in shock and wonder how it is I willingly chose to live where I do, but I tell them the beauty that is home outweighs any lasting winter… most of the time.

I’ve found that spring is so genuinely sought after because folks are in desperate need for a change. It’s why there is such a thing as spring cleaning; you really don’t hear people talking about a deep fall cleaning, or a winter cleansing – no – we really only talk about spring cleaning. Dust bunnies fly, bicycles are oiled up, and flannel sheets are finally put away. When I was a kid I always used to hate Sundays. We went to church on Saturday, and on Sunday, we cleaned. We cleaned out the garage, the house, the attic, the basement; we cleaned windows and bedrooms and cars. Sundays were never days of relaxation, and so as a child, I loathed the day after Sabbath even more than the Monday that followed it, but as an adult, I find that cleaning my home gives me a greater sense of relief than most activities. When my husband is on lunch, and he shoots me a quick “how’s it going” text, I am always thrilled when I get to tell him that the house is spotless. Then he comes home, and I excitedly show him how there’s no lint in the corners, and all of the dishes are in their proper places. I grab his hand and show him how the faucets in the bathroom sparkle and, even though we’ll be sleeping in it shortly, the bed is made exceptionally well. I’ve even told him that I’m glad when the house gets cluttered, because then I get to look forward to the feeling I will have once I’ve brought it back to ship shape.

Spring springs us into wanting to feel anew, and fuels an energy the bitterly cold winter days seemed to blur away, but what about the notion of spring cleaning our lifestyles? I read an article some time ago on liveboldandbloom.com about eight ways in which a person could “spring clean their life”. The first way was to re-define your core values, and it even gave a list of ones to consider. The second way was to restore your integrity, which bordered shamelessly close to the first method discussed. Then it said to harmonize your close relationships, suggesting neglect or distraction on your own part. For the fourth suggestion they said to shine up one’s attitude. This idea was followed by simplifying your thinking which was followed by changing up routines. The second to last idea said to reclaim your inner peace, and finally, to “buff up your emotional intelligence”, because if you are emotionally intelligent, then you are a person who “knows what you want and how to make it happen.” To me, this article was a load of you know what. While I am always a firm believer in looking within to solve what is without, I found most of the article’s methods obscure.

When my mother got married, she had bridesmaids that surrounded her that loved her dearly, but she chose some of them based on the simple fact that they’d asked her to be in their weddings, and because she didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Because of this, some of her girlfriends that she herself was closer with didn’t make the bridal cut. Similarly, when I was getting married, my aunt recommended “friends” to stand beside me who I had previously stood for. As I debated in my head over who to have as my “one day only” ladies in waiting, I struggled with this antiquated notion. For days I went back and forth as to who I would ask. Rob even had the same struggle. In the end, we decided to look at it this way: who did we think would still be in our lives in 10 years? Or even 5? And were we struggling with our decision out of guilty obligations, or were our hearts perpetrating the real struggle?

Our wedding was much of the same. I was never that little girl who dreamed about her wedding day. I was the little girl who grew up with two brothers and was a tomboy by nature. I was that weird kid who found bugs fascinating and actively searched for toads in my mother’s rock garden. Therefore, I’d never been the type to start building a wedding binder before it was the right time. When I met Rob, though, I did. We both had ideas of our perfect weddings, and thankfully they mostly added up, but we both had agreed that we didn’t want a big wedding, which is why we only invited 150 guests, knowing full well that we’d probably only have about 120 on our actual day. This decision spurred some controversy, as everyone involved in planning a wedding has a list of their own that they want to be invited, but again, Rob and I looked at our guest list the same way that we looked at our bridal party: have these people supported us our whole lives? Do they truly love us for who we are and know us, inside and out? Are they people who will be there when we have kids and when we come into hardships, or are they simply people we’re supposed to invite out of obligation?

As I read the article on how to spring clean your lifestyle, I thought back to our wedding. People love spring so much because it means everything is starting over and becoming brand new again; if you’re going to spring clean your life, why don’t we look at it that way instead? Sure, there are things that we all could fix about ourselves that probably need fine tuning, and there are days where we should absolutely consider trying to reclaim our inner peace (that’s easier said than done), but if spring cleaning is about decluttering and starting fresh, why shouldn’t that be how we approach cleaning out our lifestyles as well? Sometimes in life, do much seems to be about fixing what’s inside that we forget the outside can need fixing too. You can try to “buff up your emotional intelligence” all you want, but simply knowing what you want will not get you what you want. Maybe you need to remove yourself from a toxic relationship or separate yourself from a situation that only brings headache.

As you see the flowers begin to bloom, and hear the pitter patter of rain as you sort out boxes left awry, remember that the spring cleaning of your life doesn’t have to be constricted to the months that no longer see snow. Know your own personal worth, and know that the litter that can fill up our lives isn’t always our fault, but the way we choose to handle those situations is up to us; instead of redefining your core values, as the internet so keenly suggested, redefine how you want to be valued in life, and just like you value your home’s beauty, allow yourself to be important enough to declutter what it is that’s weighing you down. Sometimes, it isn’t you.





For Thursday through Saturday schedule, call the home’s director.

Scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Sunday: Scenes and sounds, noon; 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.; brouhaha, 1 p.m.; Jim Edberg, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crochet and craft, 10 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.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; what’s that word?, 1 p.m.; pokereno, 2 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking?, 11 a.m.; bunco, 1 p.m.; sing-a-long, 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 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; reminisce, 10 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.; Activity Council, 3 p.m.

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

Wednesday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; puzzle time, 10 a.m.; heads up, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

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

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; summer fun celebration, 2 p.m.; Western movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Room to room bingo, 10 a.m.; how do you feel?, 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: Easter social, 9:30 a.m.; Easter/April Fool’s facts, 10:15 a.m.; morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Who, what, where, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

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

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; Crafts, 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 April, 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.

Monthly support group for grief and loss, 2 p.m. second Monday of the month.

Weekend pet visits.

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

Monday: Nickel jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; Family Feud, 2 p.m.; Baptist services, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Penny Ante, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Bible stories, 3 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; Deal or No Deal, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Rosary, 9:30 a.m.; Mass and Adoration, 10 a.m.; exercise and trivia, 10:15 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

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

Maryhill Manor, Alzheimer’s Unit

Niagara, Wis.

Bread making, noon daily.

Chicken soup, Communication Program, 4 p.m. daily.

Sensory Group, 6 p.m. daily.

Movie, 6:30 p.m. daily.

Sunday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-a-long, 12:15 p.m.; bowling, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; balloon ball, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; Animal Kingdom, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; kickball, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; table ball, 10:15 a.m.; sing-along, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; creative art, 2 p.m.; balloon ball, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; coloring, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; through the years, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; golf, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-a-long, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; men’s group, 2 p.m.; parachute, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; coloring, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; creative art, 1 p.m.; happy hour/music and memory, 2 p.m.; kickball, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-along, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; parachute, 3:30 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, 2:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Birthday party, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Birthday party, 2 p.m.

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

Thursday: Bingo, 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.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; hearts dice, 2 p.m.; Easter service, 3 p.m.

Monday: Dominoes, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; “Family Feud”, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Balloon volleyball, 10 a.m.; bunny display with Valri, 2 p.m.; reading short stories, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Poetry reading, 10 a.m.; flower paintings, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; music and movement, 6:30 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.; happy hour, 3:30 p.m.; movie night, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; card games, 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: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; trivia, 10 a.m.; movie, 2 p.m.; life stories, 2 p.m.

Monday: Song service, 1:30 a.m.; Rosary, 2:30 p.m.; Rummy, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Movie, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Spa treatments, 10 a.m.; gardening, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 3:30 p.m.; one to one visits, 6 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.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10 a.m.; beach ball toss, 10 a.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.; trivia, 3 p.m.

Victorian Heights

Crystal Falls


Activities director out on leave. Please call the home for additional information.


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.

Blood pressure and blood sugar testing every fourth Wednesday.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook, Tracy West


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.

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.

The Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency (DICSA) will offer lunch to the public at the Iron Mountain Senior Center each Wednesday in March between 11:45am and 12:45pm. Anyone over 60, suggested donation is $4. For those under 60, the meal is $5.

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.

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 as well.

Senior Dining Center-NWTC, Aurora


Serving lunch at 11:30 am, Monday through Thursday

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.

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

April 9 — Center board meeting, 10 a.m.

April 9 — Dinner at 5 p.m., with company chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetable, soup and salad bar and dessert. Bingo with prizes will be played. They also will have a 50-50 drawing.

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.