It’s better to make life resolutions, not New Year’s ones

IRON MOUNTAIN — “Was it hard for you coming to Chicago all on your own?” my husband asked me as we were driving back from a most wonderful time in the Windy City. I shook my head, and answered no.

I said, “Moving to Chicago would seem hard from an outsider looking in, but it didn’t really faze me. Technically, I hadn’t lived with my parents full-time since I was 14, because that’s when I went to the academy, and then I was in college, and so by the time I moved to Chicago full-time and started teaching, I was 24. It had been 10 years since I’d lived with my family, and so it was less daunting. Plus,” I continued, “living in Chicago was always something I wanted to do, ever since I was a little girl. I didn’t know I would be a teacher but I knew that I’d live in Chicago. I used to tell people that one day I’d live there. It was the same with going to Europe — I knew that I’d visit Paris and London, because it was a dream I’d had since a child, and so when I did it, and I backpacked through Europe on my own, it didn’t scare me, even though it scared other people.”

Then I said something I think he didn’t expect but completely understood. “Honestly, moving home and opening up the store has been harder for me than moving to Chicago or traveling solo through Europe ever was, because those were things I always wanted and always knew I would do, but our life now was never something I thought of, and so it’s scarier for me because going into it, I was less sure and there was more hesitation.”

If I’m to look back on my life and dissect all the small parts of it that to an outsider seem intimidating, I would tell them that for me, they weren’t hard decisions. People always ask me if going away to a boarding school at 14 was difficult and I always tell them it wasn’t. This year will be my 10-year high school reunion, and though I have no desire to relive high school in any way, I can still say with complete confidence that the initial decision to go to Wisconsin Academy was not a hard one, and it wasn’t hard because my entire adolescence I knew that was where I was going. My parents had gone there, my uncles, too, my aunts and grandma went to academies and so did my cousins, so it never crossed my mind to go anywhere else, and when my parents dropped my baby-faced 14-year-old self off at the dorms, my mom cried, but I didn’t.

When I chose to go to Purdue University, something in me had made the decision before I even got the acceptance letter. It didn’t matter that I’d gotten into other schools, for whatever reason, I had already made up my mind that I wanted to be a Boilermaker. Maybe it was the subliminal messaging from the billboards I passed en route home from Tennessee, but either way, when I got that congratulatory email, I didn’t need to see any other acceptance letter. When I actually visited Purdue, and life there was so much larger than anything I’d ever experienced, I had a moment of doubt but that quickly faded and I never looked back.

Teaching on the South Side was the same thing. I couldn’t tell you when in my life I decided I wanted to teach inner city youth — I’d never been around that demographic in my entire life, and I knew nothing about what I was getting myself into, but a part of my heart knew that it was where I was supposed to be and so I was never afraid. Even when I had a gun in my classroom, I never stopped and contemplated if I should or shouldn’t teach where I taught. I simply knew.

Rob was no different. I knew I’d marry him after our first real conversation, which does sound slightly creepy but either way, my famous gut was once again right.

Before our car ride conversation, Rob and I had been listening to our cousin’s podcast, and on this particular podcast they spoke about the whole “New year, new me” phenomenon that goes around at the end of December and beginning of January. They, like myself, didn’t believe in resolutions — they laughed at how hypocritically they kind of had made resolutions for themselves — but they didn’t like the idea that just because the year on your calendar suddenly changed that meant that so should you. They spoke about how personal change should be an ever-evolving and continuous journey, not a once a year destination.

See, 10 years after I graduated high school and 14 after I actually started, it’s a new year, but not necessarily a new me. There are parts of me that are different and parts of me that have grown — I am far more mature now than I was a freshman, at least I hope — but inherently, I’m still the same Samm that I always was. I am still the girl with the “gut,” and the girl who seems to take great leaps that don’t feel like leaps. I am the girl who knows what she wants and goes after it. I’m the girl who in many ways has lived multiple lifetimes in only 27 years, but, I’m also the girl who’s now living a life she never saw coming, and dealing with the famous “gut” for once in its life not being so certain. Is it a new year, and therefore a new me? No, but this new year will bring forth parts of me I have yet to discover.

I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions, but over the course of time, I have made life resolutions. I’ve resolved that I need to work on my faith when my life turns in a direction I never had planned. I’ve resolved to find a better organizational system for the business so that I’m not pulling my hair out for years to come. I’ve resolved to wake up earlier and make family even more important than they already are, yet these resolutions have not come simply because it’s now 2019 instead of 2018 — they’ve come because these are pieces of my life where there have been holes, and I want them filled. I don’t want a “new year, new me” — I want a great life with an always-growing me. This year, find resolutions every month, not just in January. Seek to better yourself in all you do because it’s good for your soul, not because it’s what everyone else does. I’m living a life I never saw coming. I’m a small-town girl finally living in a small-town world, and ironically, I’m more unsure now than any of my “leaps” in the past have made me, but I’m so excited. New year, new me? No. New year, new leaps, new challenges… and me.




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: Crochet, 10:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.; pj dice, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 11 a.m.; Crystal Hogan entertains, 2 p.m.; pokereno, 3 p.m.; laundry day, 4 p.m.; dinner theatre, 5 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking, 11 a.m.; bunko, 1:15 pm..; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: 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 a.m. to 11 a.m.; you be the judge, 10 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; resident council, 10:30 a.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.; Mass, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; Travel Club, 10 a.m.; Amasa Senior Center, 10:30 a.m.; pass the prize, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; Christ United, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Hawaiian luau, 2 p.m.; music and fun with island movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: “Price is Right,” 10 a.m.; Pictionary, 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.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: All shook up match, 10:15 a.m.; Lutheran church, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; Golden Throats entertain, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

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

Friday: ABC game, 10:15 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.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; penny ante, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Derby Day, 10:15 a.m.; help your neighbor, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 6 p.m.

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

Wednesday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; hot tea social/trivia, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Mass, 9 a.m.; short stories, 10:15 a.m.; chocolate bingo, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

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

Saturday: Crafts, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 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, 2:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Ukulele with Katie, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

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

Thursday: Crosswords, 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.; crazy 8’s, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 6 p.m.

Monday: Bingo with Bette, 10 a.m.; one-on-one visit, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Chair exercise, 10 a.m.; scarf display, 2:30 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Uno, 10 a.m.; apricot party, 2:30 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; one-on-one time, 3 p.m.

Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; flippo, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 6 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.; sensory, 10:30 a.m.; beauty shop, 2 p.m.; Phase 10, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Song service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2 p.m.; bowling, 3:30 p.m.; Scrabble, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Resident council, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Scattergories, 3:30 p.m.; Uno, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Shopping outing, 10:30 a.m.; Jim Clements entertains, 2 p.m.; rummy, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Chair Chi, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; “Sorry” boardgame, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; coffee social, 10:30 a.m.; mind joggers, 2 p.m.; sensory, 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 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, turkey pot pie and homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, sloppy Joe’s, calico beans and chips and homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, liver and onions, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, and 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.

Meals can be delivered to seniors 60 and older. 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.

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.

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 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 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 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.

Monday — Center board meeting, 10 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 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.