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Senior News: Our search for happiness and noticing the ‘glimmers’ along the way

NIAGARA, Wis. — What makes us happy? What are our goals? What do we do when we fall short of our expectations in life? There are as many answers to these questions as there are people walking this earth. Our situations are different, as are our histories. Our life experiences help to define our goals, and the level of self-confidence we possess determines whether or not we believe we can accomplish them. Some of us are very regimented and systematic in pursuit of personal happiness, while others are more free spirited and simply take life as it comes, finding a bright side in every twist and turn along their journey.

My husband and I were brought up in very blue-collar households by hardworking parents. Their biggest goals for us centered around first attaining an education which, to them at that time, was key to a bright future. Certainly, they hoped we would find a mate with whom we could share a life, provide them with grandchildren, and be more financially secure than they had been. Beyond that, they did not dictate to us how we should lead our lives or what decisions we should make. They were there if we needed advice, and in the first few years of our marriage they provided us with a lot of support until we had our degrees, found jobs and moved north. They knew what we did not, but would soon discover; life is more difficult than we could have imagined, and goals take a lot longer to attain. And we learned that happiness was not a single goal, but a state of living that not only had to be built over time but recognized in moments along the way.

Sometimes, I think we make the mistake of setting up too many goals that need to be reached before we are truly happy with our lives. When we do this, we risk sabotaging ourselves; each goal becomes an obstacle on the track that must be jumped over before we reach a self-imposed finish line. Goals are fine as long as we see them as motivators to keep going when we fall short. But if we are so rigid that we become exhausted in our search for the “perfect life,” then we fail to experience a lot of joy along the way.

Albert Camus was a French philosopher who advocated living in the now — “to count on nothing and to see the present as the only truth given to us.” Adopting this approach to life allows us to stop fighting with a past that is over or worrying about a distant future; we can simply enjoy the now in which we are living. He further states, “What is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?”

President Teddy Roosevelt popularized words initially said by Squire Bill Widener, a soldier and community leader from Virginia, when he stated, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” He believed that a life lived merely for pleasure and personal success was hollow in comparison to a life lived dutifully for the people around us. Roosevelt continued, “Why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done.” How many of us have found this to be true in our own lives? Our lives take on a richness when we step away from our individual concerns to help another.

Chinese author and scholar Lin Yutang reminds us that life can be daunting when faced alone so true happiness is generally not found as a result of solitary pursuit. The quest is made easier and more fulfilling when undertaken with others as he wrote, “Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” I cannot count the times in the span of the 52 years I have spent with my husband when one of us has felt lost and unsure only to have been put back on course by the other. Having company on that journey has made life a lot easier — and happier.

Part of finding happiness in life is taking advantage of second chances when they come our way as well as granting them to others. Very few of us “get it right the first time” as we make our way over and through the hills and valleys of our life’s journey. We need to be able to learn from our mistakes and not be bogged down by them. And we need to be willing to allow others to learn from their errors. An opportunity to begin again can produce relationships that are stronger than ever before and accomplishments we could never have achieved without learning from the past. Consider these words:

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, author

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” — Maya Angelou, poet

“Second chances do come your way. Like trains, they arrive and depart regularly. Recognizing the ones that matter is the trick.” — Jill A. Davis, author

“The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” — Oscar Wilde, playwright

It’s no secret that things in life do not always go the way we had envisioned them; we did not get the job despite the interview we felt we had nailed, or vacation plans fell through at the last minute. Whatever the “plan” was, we just could not make it happen. After my husband and I married, we had a plan that would land us on “easy street” in five years. Oh, my goodness, that street proved to be the hardest place to find! In fact, when we did finally arrive, it did not look anything like we had imagined. But we learned so much along the way — about ourselves, each other, and our relationship. Looking back on the journey, I would not trade it for a different route. Consider these thoughts on handling life’s disappointments:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” — Thomas Edison

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher

“As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” — Steve Maraboli

Most of us have a plan we try to follow and a vision that guides us as we make our way through life. We cannot always accomplish all that we hope and certainly not as quickly as we would like. So, it is very important to be able to recognize that we are at least making progress lest we begin to lose heart. On the most recent “CBS Sunday Morning” program, they did a feature on people who are not the stars; the backup saxophone player, the second-string baseball catcher, and the Broadway stage understudy were all interviewed on whether or not they felt short-changed in life by never having the spotlight on them. They all had interesting perspectives, but the statement made by Kayla Pecchioni, the young female understudy, can serve as a guide to all of us. She said that she has become very good at noticing the “glimmers in life — those small, wonderful moments that help you appreciate the everyday, mundane things.”

One final word comes from Hermann Hesse, a German novelist and poet and a 1946 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. When life lets us down and we risk giving up, we can seek refuge within ourselves where the answers wait to be found … “Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time.”

When life turns difficult, and our goals seem completely out of reach, it is time for some quiet. For it is in the quiet times — the times in between — that we can find the answers we seek, a path forward, and an appreciation for the “glimmers” in our lives.

——

NURSING HOMES/SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES

Freeman Nursing and Rehabilitation Community

Kingsford

906-774-1530

They welcome anyone who would like to entertain residents. 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.; Uno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Church with Lisa, 10 a.m.; ball work out, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; crafts, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: For the love of hair, 10 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; tongue twisters, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; inventor’s day, 1:30 p.m.; card club, 2 p.m.

Friday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; white board fun, 11 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Thank you to our veterans.

Iron County Medical Care Facility

Crystal Falls

906-874-1501

Sunday: Room visits, 9 a.m.; “Name That Tune,” 10 a.m.; parachute, 11 a.m.; room visits, 12:30 p.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; high rollers, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Sunshine Club, 9 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; faces and places, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/just friends, 9:30 a.m.; Animal Kingdom, 10 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; Family Dollar, 1 p.m.; Christ United, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

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

Friday: Shoebox crafts, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; veterans program, 1 p.m.; room visits, 2 p.m.; patriotic movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: ICMCF word search/room visits, 9 a.m.; puzzle time, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.

Optalis Healthcare

(formerly Manor Care/ProMedica)

Kingsford

906-774-4805

Sunday: File and style, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; po-ke-no, 1 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Leisure cart, 9 a.m.; bake sale, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; “Jeopardy,” 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; stretch it out, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; “Price Is Right,” 2 p.m.

Thursday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; who’s that? 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.

Friday: Chips and chatter, 9 a.m.; reminiscing, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Veterans Day ice cream floats, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday: Men’s social, 9:30 a.m.; devotional, 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Flip-o, 1 p.m.

Maryhill Manor Nursing Home

Niagara, Wis.

715-251-3172

Sunday: Coffee and tic-tac trivia, 10 a.m.; delivery of communion, 12:30 p.m.; comedy 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.; Bob Larson, 10 a.m.; Scattegories, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; Protestant service, 10 a.m.; Yahtzee, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; evening prayer, 5 p.m.

Thursday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; exercise, bag toss, 10 a.m.; baking cupcakes, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Friday: Men’s breakfast, 7 a.m.; monthly birthday coffee clutch, 10 a.m.; C & R happy hour with Jim D., 2 p.m.

Saturday: Morning mingle/“Price Is Right,” 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

715-528-4833

Sunday: Independent activities.

Monday: Music and memories, 10 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Coloring for adults, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Social/coffee, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

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

Friday: Catholic communion, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Independent activities

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.; bingo and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday: Communion with Deacon Don, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; crossword 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.; movie, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; real talk, 11:30 a.m.; manicure Monday, 2 p.m.; table talk, 4 p.m.

Tuesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; sensory group, 10:30 a.m.; trivia, 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.; what’s in the bag, 11:15 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; story time, 4:30 p.m.

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

Friday: Morning visits and reality orientation; Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; lunch outing, 11 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; crafty Friday, 2 p.m.; person centered visits, 4 p.m.

Saturday: Morning visits and reality orientation; kick ball, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 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: Scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, orange juice.

Wednesday: Pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, applesauce.

Thursday: Crunchy cod, cheesy hashbrowns, creamy coleslaw.

Breen Center

Kingsford

906-774-5110

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: Pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, applesauce.

Tuesday: Meatballs, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn.

Wednesday: Chili, cornbread, pudding.

Thursday: Fish, cheesy hashbrowns, creamy coleslaw.

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 and serves 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: Cheeseburger, tater tots.

Tuesday: Chicken ala king, egg noodles.

Wednesday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes.

Home-delivered meals (prepared by DICSA — independent from above menu) —

Monday: Chicken cacciatore, parsley buttered noodles, dinner roll.

Tuesday: Blackened fish, au gratin potatoes, cauliflower.

Wednesday: Sausage and potato skillet, peas and carrots.

Thursday: Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce, Italian blend vegetables, breadstick.

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: Chicken cacciatore, parsley buttered noodles, dinner roll.

Tuesday: Blackened fish, au gratin potatoes, cauliflower.

Wednesday: Sausage and potato skillet, peas and carrots.

Thursday: Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce, Italian blend vegetables, breadstick.

Friday: Chef salad, cottage cheese, pineapple.

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:

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: Spinning Spools quilting, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday: Cards, smear, noon to 4 p.m.

Felch Center

906-246-3559

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

Monday: Omelet, oven-browned potatoes, sausage.

Tuesday: Philly cheese sandwich, chips, coleslaw.

Wednesday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans.

Note: All meals served with skim milk or juice.

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: Chicken cacciatore, parsley buttered noodles, dinner roll.

Tuesday: Blackened fish, au gratin potatoes, cauliflower.

Wednesday: Sausage and potato skillet, peas and carrots.

Aging and Disability Resource Center

Florence County, Wis.

715-528-4890

Director: Tiffany White

Menu for the week —

Monday: Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, fruit.

Tuesday: Chicken corn chowder, toasted cheese sandwich, cottage cheese, fruit.

Wednesday: Baked chicken, baked potato, broccoli, apple pie bars.

Thursday: Hot pork sandwich, mashed potatoes, squash, cherry pie bars.

Friday: Enchilada bake (with lettuce, olives, onions, rice, salsa), refried beans and cheese, 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 Wednesdays only.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

RSVP for meal at 715-528-4261

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

Reservations for a meal on site need to be made 48 hours in advance by calling the above number.

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, 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: Salisbury steak, red smashed potatoes, green beans, peaches, whole wheat bread.

Tuesday: Meat lasagna, Brussel sprouts, side salad, escalloped apples.

Wednesday: Baked ham, sweet potatoes, Prince Charles vegetables, whole wheat bread, fruit cup.

Thursday: Broccoli turkey casserole with cheese, zucchini, diced pears.

Friday: Chili over a baked potato with sour cream and cheddar cheese, cornbread, warm fruit cup.

Iron River Center

906-265-6134

Dine-in meal served at 11 a.m., salad bar available. No night meals. Carryout meals also available. Menu for the week —

Monday: Egg bake, hashbrown patty, sausage.

Tuesday: Italian beef sandwich, orzo pasta, stewed tomatoes.

Wednesday: Chicken cordon bleu casserole, cauliflower, beets.

Thursday: Pork-apple stew, squash, spaetzle.

Niagara Senior Center/Café

715-251-1603

Dinner is served at noon on 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. Transportation is available.

Monday: Hamburger stroganoff, noodles, corn, biscuit, spiced apple rings.

Tuesday: Chicken salad sandwich, cheesy broccoli soup, peaches, dessert.

Wednesday: Polish sausage, hashbrowns, peas and carrots, dinner roll, cake.

Thursday: Early serve — sausage and cheese egg bake, hashbrowns, fruited muffin, orange juice.

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

Norway Center

Director: Joyce Olesky

Head Cook:  Brian Gutkowski. 

906-563-8716

Dine-in eating offered beginning at 11:15 a.m. Salad bar is available from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Takeout meals are available to be picked up from 11 to 11:30 a.m. — let staff know if planning to dine in or pick up. Menu for the week —

Monday: Lasagna, vegetable, breadstick.

Tuesday: Philly cheese steak, wedges, vegetable.

Wednesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetable.

Thursday: Pork loin, baked potato, vegetables.

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

Birthdays and bingo on Thursday.

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

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

Tuesday: Pepper steak, rice, green beans, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Smothered chicken with mushroom sauce, buttered noodles, California blend vegetables.

Thursday: Pork chops, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, applesauce.

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

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: Chicken cacciatore, parsley buttered noodles, dinner roll.

Tuesday: Blackened fish, au gratin potatoes, cauliflower.

Wednesday: Sausage and potato skillet, peas and carrots.

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