Enjoying summer the only bucket list you need

As the heat waves have officially started to roll in, I’ve been reminded of why summer is my least-favorite season. After the long winter, I’m entirely ready for spring, and after the April showers I’m ready for May flowers, as well as the green it brings, welcoming in the once again changing of the proverbial Mother Nature guard. But once Fourth of July rolls around, and I can barely step foot out my front door without breaking a sweat, I’m suddenly wholeheartedly ready for cooler weather. I’m not quite ready for October and pecan scented candles, but I’m definitely ready to move past 80-degree days.

As I was watering my flowers this past week — flowers that were drying like the desert by the minute — I had to convince myself to be happy for the warmth. Just a few months ago, I was cursing the sky as 16 inches of white condensation covered the ground, so there was no way I shouldn’t be thankful for the sun, and yet there I was, wiping the perspiration off my upper lip in ever-so-slight disgust. I decided it was time to write my “Summer Bucket List,” like I had with spring, because maybe then I’d be more grateful that warmer days were finally here. What were my greatest summer desires? The first thing I wrote down was go to Mackinac Island with my family, but then I realized I’d already done that. Then I put activities like mini-golf at the Bear’s Den, and grab a scoop at the Cows, but I’d already done those things, too. I’d bought my flowers and my ferns; we’d grilled out several times and had a roaring barbecue with friends and family; visitors from Chicago, California, Florida and North Carolina had already been up; and my toes had been painted and repainted in preparation for sandals.

I’d cleaned out my closet and put all my cold weather clothes away, repainted my upstairs bathroom and laundry room, eaten outside several times at my favorite restaurants, sipped on iced drinks without getting cold, cheered on my sister at baseball and soccer games, gone to a matinee on a week day, played yard games, rode my bike, bought a new/used bike, put all the flannel sheets away, spruced up my outdoor patio furniture with accent pillows that were new, finally purchased an umbrella for our porch table, watched the baby birds hatch that had been born into a nest that was built in one of my ferns, driven with the windows down, gone to the Farmers Market, taken pictures of the new murals and so many more things that I couldn’t think of what else I wanted to do that hadn’t already been done. I knew I wanted to go out on the pontoon boat with my family, but we always did that toward the end of summer, and I knew I wanted to go on my anniversary trip with my husband, but that was planned and in the books.

As I pondered what else I could think of to forget about the heat, my cat, Mosley, jumped up on the table next to me. He sat and looked at me, genuinely happy to be in my presence. Every summer, because he is a Ragamuffin cat and very fluffy, we shave him to look like a lion so 1. He’s cool; and 2. We’re amused. His little mane was blowing gently from the fan and, just like a dog, he reached his paw out and put it over my hand. I found Mo at the animal shelter four years ago, when I initially moved home. He was a little over 2 years old, and had been in the shelter for nearly a year. He’d been abused in his past, and when the shelter had originally found him, he was completely shaved to the point he was bleeding. He had burn marks on both his ears — his hair still doesn’t grow there — and was clipped to show he’d been neutered.

Mosley was a survivor, and when I went to the shelter, I immediately knew he was meant to be mine. He was so anxious to be chosen that he basically banged his head against the crate door, trying to get to anyone who would pet him. Despite his horrible past, he is the most loving thing you’ll ever meet. He’s more like a dog than a cat. He comes to his name, follows you around wherever you go, must be touching you to sleep and drinks out of the toilet. He refuses to drink out of a pet dish, hates tuna, milk and cheese. Instead, he likes steak, broccoli, ranch and caramel sauce. Mo, in his most honest of moments, reminded me of something I’d seemingly forgotten. He was probably hot, too, even though he was shaved, and all day, every day he stayed in the same house, looking out the same windows, eating the same dry food, with the same people, but he was absolutely content. The temperature didn’t matter, let alone the season. All that mattered was he was with someone who loved him, and that he loved.

I smiled at him, pulled my hand from under his paw and gave his ears a good scratching. Sometimes, life can be as simple as loving the beauty in a moment. The truth was, I didn’t need a bucket list to remind me how wonderful summer is. If it weren’t summer, Mo wouldn’t look like a lion and I wouldn’t get to wear my sundresses. Lemonade wouldn’t be as appealing, and the fireflies wouldn’t dance among my lilies at dusk. The tans of summer will undoubtedly fade, but the moments you memorize will last forever, because a life lived in love will never be dull.




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, 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.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; what’s the word?, 1:15 p.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 2 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 11 a.m.; bunko, 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 a.m.; brain teasers, 10 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Memory books, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: CF library, 9:30 a.m.; Book Club, 10 a.m.; Mass, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Cowboy breakfast, 9 a.m.; puzzle time, 10 a.m.; reminisce, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; horses, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Christ United church, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; hoedown, 2 p.m.; music, treats and Western movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Rodeo parade in Iron River, 8:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.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 on Fridays.

Protestant Church service, 3 p.m. Sunday.

Exercises, 10 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m.; just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; inside-out visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant Church, 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Trivia, 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 entertain, 2 p.m.; flip five on the patio, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; K bingo, 2 p.m.; Randy’s Magic Moments, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: ABC game, 10:15 a.m.; chips n’ chatter, 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: Mass, 9 a.m.; help your neighbor, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Trivia: history of a bee, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.; Bible stories, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; baseball, 2 p.m.; courtyard concert: Matt Harvath, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 10:15 a.m.; archery, 2 p.m.; fire side: Crystal Hogan, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; bag toss, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.; music in the park: Mark Harvath, 6:30 p.m.

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

Saturday: Jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish coffee social, 2 p.m.; movie and 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: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Birthday party, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Mass, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Music with Carol and Marj, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.; dinner out, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; shuffle board, 2 p.m.

Monday: Resident Council meeting, 10 a.m.; bingo with Bette, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; music and movement, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Teddy bear picnic, 10 a.m.; UNO, 2 p.m.; one-on-one time, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Balloon volleyball, 10 a.m.; Yahtzee, 2 p.m.; blueberry muffin party, 3:30 p.m.; music by Grace and Dave, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; music by Larry Jankowski, 2 p.m.; manicures and massages, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Communion service, 10 a.m.; Kings Korner’s card game, 2 p.m.; coffee social, 3:30 p.m.; reading from “The Dog from Rodeo Drive,” 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; basketball on the patio, 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.; sensory, 10 a.m.; life stories, 2 p.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.

Monday: Worship and communion service, 1 p.m.; Rosary, 2:30 p.m.; one on one visits, 3:30 p.m.; bowling, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Resident Council, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Scattergories, 3:30 p.m.; one on one visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Baking group, 10 a.m.; Jim Clements entertains, 2 p.m.; one on one visits, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Chair Chi, 10 a.m.; pizza outing, 11 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; ball toss, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; outside social, 2 p.m.; fish fry outing, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; crafts, 10 a.m.; mind joggers, 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, BLT sandwich, macaroni and cheese, homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, chicken parmesan, noodles, veggies, homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, cheeseburgers, oven fries, veggies, homemade dessert.

Thursday: Soup, salad, chimichangas, chips, salsa, 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 more 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.

Senior Dining Center-Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, 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 a $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.

The Iron Mountain Post of the Michigan State Police will have a six-week Citizens Academy at the Norway Senior Center, starting this Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and continuing on Wednesdays through Aug. 15. A certificate will be issued to all participants at the end of the academy. Those interested can call the center to sign up.

Monday — Center board meeting at 10 a.m.

Wednesday — Blood pressure clinic at noon.

Wednesday — Michigan State Police Citizens Academy, 10 :30 to 11:30 a.m.

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 by dialing 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.