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Senior News: Finding inner peace and joy all year long

NIAGARA, Wis. — Here we are at the beginning of another holiday season; that time of year when we work like crazy to get to the peace and joy of it all. In my younger years, when I was still working and had kids at home and a husband on the road with his job, I was a frazzled mess by the time the holidays arrived. But I was also a perfectionist back then so much of the jangled nerves was the result of my own need to have everything done … well, perfectly. And, on top of everything going on at home, there was the worry about the weather because we always traveled to extended family. There were many years we left home with a shovel and sawdust in the trunk “just in case.”

Now I have entered that time of my life ­– as have many of you — when I am finished with the juggling act between work and home. Retirement definitely has its advantages this time of year. I do not have children at home any longer, and my husband and I are long past giving each other gifts. After 52 years, we have everything we need. We no longer travel during the holidays, but our oldest son and his family travel to us. Our younger son calls because he now lives in Arizona; too far away to travel home for the holidays. We have developed easier, quieter holiday customs now that we are older.

Yet the question of, and need for, inner peace lingers. I am still bothered by nights where sleep eludes me. My body seeks rest, but my mind keeps churning its thoughts. I do not believe I am alone in this dilemma. I do not have the same issues I had when I was younger when concerns over work, worries about children and their challenges, and household problems kept my mind going long past bedtime. But life is never without its challenges; aging brings only a new set of concerns. Also, we now have a lifetime of memories — not all of them good ones — that creep in around the edges and disrupt our ability to sleep peacefully. And then there are the events that are going on around the world, over which I have no control but still bother me. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do any of you find yourself wishing for sleep that just does not come because the worries do still arrive?

An interesting essay on finding peace of mind hit my inbox recently. I will share it with you today. The article stated that finding the peace we seek doesn’t have to be an impossibility. According to philosophers, spiritual leaders, and thinkers inner peace is something we each already carry within us ­– we just need to make space for it so it can surface through the noise of our everyday lives.

According to these sage folks, one big part of attaining peace is slowing things down, taking deep breaths, and being present in the moment. Another is to accept that life will unfold in the manner it was always intended. My grandmother knew this for her mantra was, “Whatever shall be, will be.” And she was the most peaceful person I had ever known throughout my growing up years. My husband is also a very peaceful person. He has this inner calm that stems from a firm belief that there is nothing life can throw at us that we will not be able to figure out together. Generally, calm comes from embracing every life experience — good or bad — as an opportunity for growth.

Acquiring this attitude is, of course, easier said than done. Those who have mastered the art of staying calm, however, have noted that it is not numbness that defines peace of mind so much as it is awareness. It’s about being conscious of what’s happening around us but actively choosing not to be disturbed in spite of the circumstances. I will share with you quotes from people who have this insight. They tout the importance of finding peace, and they encourage us to hold onto the core of who we are, even in the face of difficulties.

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” — Marvin Gaye

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” — Dalai Lama

“If there is to be any peace, it will come through being, not having.”— Henry Miller

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel inner peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your inner peace and then everything will fall into place.’ “ — Marianne Williamson

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”— Thich Nhat Hanh

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” — Wayne Dyer

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there — buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks each day.”— Deepak Chopra

I am sure those of you who find it difficult to turn off your brain so peaceful thoughts can emerge are thinking, “Sure — easy for them to say that. But they do not have my life.” This is true. But each of them has found a helpful way to deal with the lives they do have. Each of us deserves the opportunity to do the same; to find a moment of peace each day from which we gather the strength we need to take the next step toward solving the next problem or meeting the next challenge.

I have found two coping mechanisms for those challenging times when my mind will not stop running down every rabbit hole it can find. If it is the middle of the night and sleep has not yet found me, I simply sit in the darkness of my living room looking out into the peacefulness of the night. I let my mind go where it wants and eventually it comes to rest with no more thoughts to think, no more barriers to sleep. When I am troubled during the day, I drive the mile to Niagara’s boat landing and simply watch the river passing by. I let my mind go, and my thoughts are soon following the current down river. And I am at peace with myself and with life.

Worries and bad memories are troublesome things. And they are as stubborn as children at bedtime refusing to call it a day. So, it is we who need to be in charge. Find a place. Find a time. Find some quiet to just be … and let all thought move aside and let our inner peace emerge. When we clear it a path, it will most surely find us.

——

NURSING HOMES/ SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES

Freeman Nursing and Rehabilitation Community

Kingsford

906-774-1530

Group activities are ongoing, and doors are unlocked for visits. Anyone who would like to entertain residents is welcome. Volunteers are also needed to help with crafts and other activities.

Sunday: Church on TV/coloring/residents’ choice,10 a.m.

Monday: Rosary, 10 a.m.; room visits, 10 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; reminisce, 1:30 p.m.; LRC, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Church with Sam, 10 a.m.; ball workout, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; art, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: For the love of nails, 10 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; drinks and chatter, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; We Are Here party, 2 p.m.

Friday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; Uno, 10:30 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; music with Jim Edberg, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Visit with coffee at the nursing desk / resident choice

Iron County Medical Care Facility

Crystal Falls

906-874-1501

Sunday: Room visits, 9 a.m.; storytelling, 10 a.m.; chair exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 12:30 p.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Cooking, 9:30 a.m.; DT luncheon, 11:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.; cocoa and cookies, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Sunshine Club, 9 a.m.; hymn sing, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1 p.m.; trivia teasers, 2 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/just friends, 9 a.m.; Wii fun, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 1 p.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; happy hour with music, 2 p.m.

Friday: Facility decorating, 9-11 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; activity council, 3 p.m.; holiday movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Room-to-room bingo/storytelling, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.; Christmas in Lights outing, 4:30 p.m.

Optalis Healthcare

(formerly Manor Care/ ProMedica)

Kingsford

906-774-4805

The center is now open for visitation. Visitors no longer need to call in advance.

Sunday: File and style, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Flip-o, 1 p.m.

Monday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; chair yoga, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; devotional, 10 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; volleyball, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; exercise, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; Coming up! 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; file and style, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Chips and chatter, 9 a.m.; reminiscing, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Devotional, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; creative corner, 1 p.m.

Maryhill Manor Nursing Home

Niagara, Wis.

715-251-3172

Visitation is allowed. Families are now encouraged to join in activities.

Sunday: Coffee and crafts, 10 a.m.; delivery of communion, 12:30 p.m.; western movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Monday: Rosary / communion, 9 a.m.; pamper and polish, 10 a.m.; joker-eno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; exercise and trivia, 10 a.m.; Scattegories, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; Yahtzee, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; exercise / bag toss, 10 a.m.; Scrabble, 2 p.m.

Friday: Hot chocolate/Uno, 10 a.m.; C & R happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Morning mingle/spelling bee, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Northshore Healthcare

Florence, Wis.

715-528-4833

Sunday: Independent activities.

Monday: Coloring for adults, 10 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Chair exercise and dance, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Group puzzle, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; group puzzle, 2 p.m.;

Friday: No information available.

Saturday: No information available.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

906-774-5158

Sunday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; bingo and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; ladder ball and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; birthday party, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; LCR and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; bingo and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday: Juice time, 10 a.m.

Pinecrest Medical

Care Facility

Powers

906-497-5244

Sunday: Morning visits and reality orientation; church service, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; dice, 2 p.m.

Monday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; casino outing, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; table talk, 4 p.m.

Tuesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; Pictionary, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 4 p.m.

Wednesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; current events, 11:30 a.m.; painting, 2 p.m.; story hour, 4 p.m.

Thursday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 4 p.m.

Friday: Morning visits and reality orientation; Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; reminiscing, 11:15 a.m.; tree trimming and hot cocoa, 2 p.m.; person-centered visits, 4 p.m.

Saturday: Morning visits and reality orientation; kickball, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

SENIOR CENTERS

Alpha-Mastodon Center

906-875-3315

The center at 415 Main St. is open four days a week, serving soup and sandwich meal from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays, fish fries from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, pizzas from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and dinner from 2 to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Amasa Center

906-822-7284

Menu for the week —

Tuesday: Grilled chicken salad, cottage cheese, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Rigatoni with meat sauce, Italian blend vegetables, garlic toast.

Thursday: Pancakes, bacon, fried potatoes, juice.

Breen Center

Kingsford

906-774-5110

Open for dine-in eating Monday through Thursday, serving at noon. Friday and night meals are on hold indefinitely. Carryout meals are available. Soup and salad bar are also available. Menu for the week —

Monday: Chicken stir fry, fried rice, fresh fruit.

Tuesday: Spaghetti, Italian sausage, green beans, garlic toast.

Wednesday: Liver or bratwurst, roasted garlic potatoes, asparagus.

Thursday: Tater tot casserole, dill carrots, Jell-O with fruit.

Note: All meals served with a choice of skim milk or juice and fruit.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook: Sterling Peryam

Assistant Cook: Bitsy Peryam

906-875-6709

The center is open on Mondays, serving meals for dine-in or takeout — call the center by 1 p.m. to make reservations or place an order. All food is purchased from local vendors. All dinners include warm vegetables, salad bar, soup, homemade desserts, coffee, tea or milk. Salad bar begins at 4:30 p.m. and dinner is served at 5 p.m. Pickup for takeout meals is 4 p.m. — call ahead and leave a message with phone number. A volunteer will deliver meals to homebound citizens only.

Menu for the week —

Monday: Breaded chicken sandwich, tater tots.

Tuesday: Penne pasta, meatballs.

Wednesday: Pork chops, mashed potatoes.

Home-delivered meals (prepared by the Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency, independent from the onsite menu).

Monday: Sloppy Joes, tater tots with cheese, green beans.

Tuesday: Hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, buttered carrots, dinner roll.

Wednesday: Chicken noodles soup, spinach side salad, biscuit.

Thursday: Pasty, mixed vegetables, beets.

Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency

DICSA

Iron Mountain

906-774-2256, ext. 230 or 235

This is a Meals on Wheels program only. Home-delivered meals only — call to make arrangements. Menu for the week —

Monday: Sloppy Joes, tater tots with cheese, green beans.

Tuesday: Hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, buttered carrots, dinner roll.

Wednesday: Chicken noodles soup, spinach side salad, biscuit.

Thursday: Pasty, mixed vegetables, beets.

Friday: Deluxe chef salad, hard-boiled egg, cottage cheese, fresh fruit.

Note: All meals include a choice of skim milk, juice or no beverage

For more information, call Christine McMahon at 906-774-2256.

Crystal Lake Center

Iron Mountain

906-828-1776

Schedule for the week is:

Monday: Les Artistes’ art club, noon to 4 p.m.; woodcarvers, starting at 9 a.m.

Tuesday: Cards — Pinochle and cribbage, noon to 4 p.m.; Happy Quilters, noon to 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m.; cards cost 25 cents with 10 games played.

Thursday: Closed.

Friday: Closed.

Felch Center

906-246-3559

Open for dine-in eating — call for serving times. Carryout meals also available. Menu for the week —

Monday: French toast bake, hashbrowns, sausage.

Tuesday: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, winter blend vegetables.

Wednesday: Deluxe chef salad, cottage cheese, pineapple

Note: All meals served with skim milk or juice

Home-delivered meals –

Monday: Sloppy Joes, tater tots with cheese, green beans.

Tuesday: Hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, buttered carrots, dinner roll.

Wednesday: Chicken noodles soup, spinach side salad, biscuit.

Aging and Disability Resource Center

Florence County, Wis.

715-528-4890

Director: Tiffany White

Menu for the week —

Monday: Tacos (meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese), refried beans, fruit.

Tuesday: French toast casserole, pork sausage patty, hashbrown patty, applesauce salad.

Wednesday: Chicken parmesan with spaghetti, broccoli, breadsticks, fruit, pudding.

Thursday: Pizza burger with lettuce and tomato, sweet potato fries, fruit.

Friday: Fish sandwich with lettuce and tomato, sweet potato puffs, coleslaw, fruit.

Note: All meals served with whole grain bread, butter and milk.

Fence Center/Town Hall

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

Same as ADRC menu, served at noon on Wednesday only.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

RSVP for meal at 715-528-4261

Same as ADRC menu. Open Monday through Thursday, serving at 11:30 a.m.

Reservations for an onsite meal need to be made 48 hours in advance by calling the number listed earlier.

Tipler Town Hall

RSVP for meals at 715-674-2320

Same as ADRC menu, served at noon on second Thursday only.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

RSVP for meals at 715-589-4491

Same as ADRC menu. Now open, served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Barb Peters

906-498-7735

Center is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meals are served through the Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency in Escanaba. Meals On Wheels program is available for those who are homebound.

Monday: Bourbon steak, white rice, wax beans, carrots, fruited yogurt

Tuesday: Tasty hamburger casserole, seven-way mixed vegetables, fruit cup, whole wheat bread.

Wednesday: Pork chop with cranberry sauce, boiled potatoes, country trio vegetable, dinner roll, pineapple upside-down cake.

Thursday: Chicken Alfredo, mixed vegetables, salad, fresh fruit.

Friday: Sweet and sour pork over rice, Brussel sprouts, carrots, cook’s choice fruit cup.

Iron River Center

906-265-6134

Open for dine-in eating, serving at 11 a.m. Salad bar is available. Carryout meals also available. No night meals being served at this time. Menu for the week —

Monday: Beef stroganoff over noodles, winter blend vegetables, dinner roll.

Tuesday: Boiled dinner, ham and cheese slider, croissant.

Wednesday: Chef salad, cottage cheese, hard-boiled egg, fresh fruit.

Thursday: Meat ravioli with marinara sauce, zucchini bake, garlic bread.

Niagara Senior Center/Café

715-251-1603

The center is open, with dinner served at noon Monday through Thursday. Reservations are required one day in advance. Suggested donation is $5 for those older than 60 and $11 for 60 and younger. Bingo is played on most Wednesdays. Transportation is available.

Monday: Swiss steak, oven potatoes, corn, brownie.

Tuesday: Sandwich, stuffed pepper soup, cucumber ranch salad, peaches.

Wednesday: Italian sausage with peppers and onions, potatoes, vegetables, pudding.

Thursday: Meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli, banana.

The center will have bingo on Mondays and Wednesdays this month.

Norway Center

Director: Joyce Olesky

Head Cook:  Brian Gutkowski 

906-563-8716

Open for dine-in eating, beginning at 11:15 a.m. Salad bar is available from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Takeout meals will remain available for pick-up from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Those coming for a meal should let staff know if planning to dine in or pick up. Menu for the week —

Monday: Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables.

Tuesday: Biscuits and gravy, hashbrowns, sausage.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, cauliflower.

Thursday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, baked potato, vegetables.

All meals include milk, juice, fruit, bread and dessert.

Center activity schedule:

Mondays and Thursdays – Exercise at 10 a.m. and card bingo after the meal.

Monday through Thursday – Card game 101 from noon to 3 p.m. – call Joe at 906-563-5587 for information.

Tuesdays – Quilting and sewing.

Wednesdays – Ceramics and crocheting.

Last Monday of each month – Book club at 9 a.m.

Second Thursday of each month – Birthdays and bingo.

Sagola Center

906-542-3273

Open for dine-in eating — call for serving times. Carryout meals also available. Menu for the week —

Tuesday: Philly steak sandwich with peppers, potato wedges, creamy coleslaw.

Wednesday: Smoked sausage, cabbage, buttered peas, yogurt cup.

Thursday: Cheese manicotti, Italian blend vegetables, garlic toast.

All meals served with an option of milk, juice or no beverage.

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: Sloppy Joes, tater tots with cheese, green beans.

Tuesday: Hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, buttered carrots, dinner roll.

Wednesday: Chicken noodles soup, spinach side salad, biscuit .

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