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Senior News: It is possible to create meaningful change in our world

NIAGARA, Wis. — Each week throughout this month I have been writing about the start of a new year, change, and making resolutions. The focus has been on the possibility of doing things differently in our individual lives.

In this final column this month, and the last one on this topic, I want to entertain the question as to our ability to create change in our broader world. Can we, as one individual, bring about change that will positively affect humanity?

It seems to be an appropriate time to take a look at what our individual impact could be. How do we make a difference? It is an election year, after all, and with our vote we have a voice. Our democratic form of government gives us this privilege, and it is our responsibility to be an informed voter. I have to confess that I have not been looking forward to this election year and the barrage of newscasts and commercials to which we will all be subjected. I do not like politics — or at least what politics has become in recent history.

But, as a citizen of this great country, I have a responsibility to be an informed voter. We all do. Our forefathers fought hard to create this democracy that has allowed us to experience a level of freedom found in very few places in the broader world. Under its constitution, we have been able to grow and flourish and enjoy a quality of life not found elsewhere on the planet. Others throughout history have fought and died to maintain our form of government. So, we also owe it to them now to do our part — no matter how unpleasant and inconvenient — and to exercise the rights for which many have given their lives.

It is tempting to believe that our country is so divided right now that our single, solitary voice cannot possibly make a difference. Yes, we are divided. And yes, this is an historically troubling time. It seems like there is no end to the list of challenges we currently face — and they are all big issues. Among them: climate change, abortion rights, foreign wars that are impacting us, economic issues, immigration policy, socio-economic inequities, and a government imploding with its inability to work together for all of us.

At a time like this — when we are tempted to think that we are living through an awful chapter in history that doesn’t seem to have an end — it is important to remember that our country and its people have lived through some pretty awful times in the past … and found their way through them. Most of you reading this column today remember living through the ’60s. We were a divided nation then, too. We watched massive demonstrations against the Vietnam war take place in our capitol and on our college campuses. Our brothers and friends graduated from high school with a diploma in one hand and a draft card in the other. Arguments about that contentious war tore families, and our nation, apart. We witnessed congressional hearings then, too, that led to the resignation of a president and a vice president who pardoned rather than prosecuted — a very controversial decision back then.

Long before our time, the Revolutionary War gave birth to our nation. But it just as easily could have failed, and this great experiment in democracy would never have taken hold. As a young upstart nation, with a variety of conflicting priorities, we found our way through all of that initial confusion and uncertainty. Together our ancestors believed it was worth the struggle to build something that had never been built before; and they believed in their ability to do it.

Our own Civil War tested our young nation. We found our way through that horrendous time, and through a very difficult period of reconstruction, to become the leader of the free world that we are today. Other nations have historically looked to us for help in other wars, and we have made commitments to help in order to bring peace throughout the world. Our participation in World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the war in Iraq and now Ukraine, and again in the Mideast have never been entered into without disagreement here at home. Yet, we found our way through those difficult times thanks to compromise and a commitment to who we are as a nation. But the road was never easy, and victory came with much sacrifice.

We need to remember these periods of history when we find ourselves doubting our strength as a nation. We need to remember who we are and that we can come through this time also. But we need to also know that we can only accomplish great things as a nation when we do our part as an individual. We each need to contribute to the change that must occur. We owe our best efforts to our nation and to our forefathers who fought throughout history to keep us together. We enjoy our freedom, but we cannot ever take it for granted. It will always take hard work and commitment to maintain and to guarantee it still exists for the generations of young people who will follow us.

It is easy to think that the problems are so great, and have been going on for so long, that it is impossible now to fix anything. I read an article recently which emphasized that we can make a commitment to change any time we choose. We need only to believe that we are ready to take that first step, even when it seems difficult or scary to move beyond our comfort zone. If you think it is simply too late to create change, consider this wise proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was thirty years ago, and the second-best time to plant a tree is now.”

Consider these additional wise thoughts.

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” — Mary Pickford

“The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Dan Millman

“You can make things happen. You’re in control of change.” — Dyllan McGee

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” — Dolly Parton

It is never too late to begin making changes in, or improvements to, our lives and our world. While there is a certain motivation that comes with the start of a new year, we do not have to be limited to beginning now or not at all. Hal Barland, an American author, journalist and naturalist, stated the following: “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” We can make an impact in our world and begin to create change anytime — it is never too late.

Also, we cannot afford to ever assume that things are so far out of whack, that the situation is so out of control, that it cannot be fixed. Consider these words said by Austrian poet Rainer Mario Rilke: “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.”

Finally, never doubt that we, as individuals, can create the change that is needed in our world. If we do not create it, who will? Barack Obama said it best, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

So, let us begin … today, together.

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/resident self-activities, 10 a.m.

Monday: Dining room fun, 10 a.m.; dining music, 11:45 a.m.; card club, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Nails, 10 a.m.; dining music, 11:45 a.m.; movie, “Mrs. Doubtfire” and popcorn, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday: Resident Council meeting, 10 a.m.; dining trivia, 11:45 a.m.; craft/art, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Spa hour, 10 a.m.; dining music, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Resident choice; color a nice picture, 1 p.m.; CNBC “Undercover Boss,” 7 p.m.

Iron County Medical Care Facility

Crystal Falls

906-874-1501

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

Monday: Cooking, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; DT luncheon, 11:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.; balloon toss, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Just Friends, 9:30 a.m.; hymn sing, 10 a.m.; Book Club, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1 p.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/animal kingdom, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; monthly birthday party with cake and music, 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 with special music, 2 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; “Name That Tune,” 2 p.m.; Activity Council, 3 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Room-to-room bingo/You Be the Judge, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 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.; exercise, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; Who’s That? 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; devotional, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; crafters corner, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; Black history, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Pictionary, 1:30 p.m.

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

Saturday: Devotional, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Flip-o, 1 p.m.

Maryhill Manor Nursing Home

Niagara, Wis.

715-51-3172

Sunday: Valentine crafts, 10 a.m.; delivery of communion, 12:30 p.m.; comedy movie, 2 p.m.

Monday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; winter word search, 10 a.m.; joker-eno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; Protestant service, 10 a.m.; pamper and polish, 10 a.m.; creative art, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; hot cocoa bar social, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Rosary/communion service, 9 a.m.; coffee and “Jeopardy,” 10 a.m.; cornhole, 2 p.m.

Friday: Bubble blowing contest, 10 a.m.; C & R happy hour with Jim on the piano, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Bird trivia, 10 a.m.; make bird feeders, 2 p.m.

Northshore Healthcare

Florence, Wis.

715-528-4833

Sunday: Independent activities.

Monday: Word search, 10 a.m.; puzzle, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Chair exercise, 10 a.m.; manicure, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Social hour/hot chocolate, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; bean bag toss, 2 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 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.; trivia and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

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

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

Friday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; 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 services, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:15 a.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.

Monday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 9:30 a.m.; a puzzled tea time, 11 a.m.; off to the races, 2 p.m.; dad jokes, 4 p.m.

Tuesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 9:30 a.m.; “Name That Tune,” 11 a.m.; bingo/January birthday celebration, 1:30 p.m.; poker, 4 p.m.

Wednesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 9:30 a.m.; cards, 11 a.m.; “Family Feud,” 2 p.m.; sensory, 4 p.m.

Thursday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 9:30 a.m.; bingo, 10:30 a.m.; senior Independence Day celebration, 2 p.m.; short stories, 4 p.m.

Friday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 9:30 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; spring or snow, 11 a.m.; Cupid, 2 p.m.; person centered visits, 4 p.m.

Saturday: Morning visits and reality orientation; chair exercise, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; activity packets

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: Pancakes with strawberries, breakfast potatoes, bacon, orange juice.

Wednesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce, Italian sausage link, green beans, garlic toast.

Thursday: Mushroom Swiss burger, french fries, pasta salad.

Breen Center

Kingsford

906-774-5110

Dine-in eating Monday through Thursday, served 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: Beef stew, garlic biscuit, Jell-O cup.

Tuesday: Pancakes with fresh strawberries, breakfast potatoes, sausage, orange juice.

Wednesday: Wet burritos, Spanish rice, refried beans.

Thursday: Breaded chicken on a bun, macaroni and cheese, baked beans.

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

Meals served 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: Shepherd’s pie, dinner roll.

Tuesday: Bratwurst, tater tots, baked beans.

Wednesday: Lasagna, garlic bread.

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

Monday: Pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, applesauce.

Tuesday: Pigs in a blanket, cauliflower with cheese, baked beans, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Creamy chicken vegetable soup, spinach salad, Jell-O cup, saltine crackers

Thursday: Shepherd’s pie, beets, biscuit, pudding cup.

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: Pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, applesauce.

Tuesday: Pigs in a blanket, cauliflower with cheese, baked beans, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Creamy chicken vegetable soup, spinach salad, Jell-O cup, saltine crackers.

Thursday: Shepherd’s pie, beets, biscuit, pudding cup.

Friday: Chili with beans, cornbread, side salad, 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:

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

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

Monday: Pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, carrots.

Tuesday: Pasty pie, coleslaw, tomato fillets.

Wednesday: Baked fish or bratwurst, seasoned potato wedges, creamy coleslaw.

Note: All meals served with skim milk or juice.

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: Pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, applesauce.

Tuesday: Pigs in a blanket, cauliflower with cheese, baked beans, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Creamy chicken vegetable soup, spinach salad, Jell-O cup, saltine crackers.

Aging and Disability Resource Center

Florence County, Wis.

715-528-4890

Director: Tiffany White

Menu for the week —

Monday: Turkey ranch wrap, tomato soup, coleslaw, fruit.

Tuesday: Spanish rice, vegetable medley, cottage cheese, fruit.

Wednesday: Scalloped potatoes with ham, candied carrots, fruit, cookies.

Thursday: Meatloaf, baked potato, vegetable medley, fruit, brownies.

Friday: Homemade pizza, broccoli salad, 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, served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

Reservations for a meal onsite 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: Breaded chicken breast sandwich, potato wedges, Prince William vegetables, peaches.

Tuesday: Goulash, green beans, scalloped apples, breadstick.

Wednesday: Beef roll-up, mashed potatoes, winter blend vegetables, dinner roll, strawberry shortcake.

Thursday: California medley soup, pickled bologna spread, whole wheat sandwich bread, celery sticks, pears.

Friday: Stuffed green peppers, 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. No night meals at this time. Carryout meals also available. Menu for the week —

Monday: Tacos, fiesta corn, refried beans.

Tuesday: Cheese omelet with salsa, hashbrowns, sausage.

Wednesday: Tater tot casserole, applesauce, biscuit with butter.

Thursday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas and carrots.

Niagara Senior Center/Cafe

715-251-1603

The center is open, and 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. Bingo played on most Wednesdays. Transportation is available.

Tuesday: Beef stew, bread, fruit, brownie.

Wednesday: Brat on a bun, coleslaw, chips, cookie.

Thursday: No information available.

The center will have bingo on Tuesdays 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. Let staff know if planning to dine in or pick up. Menu for the week —

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

Tuesday: Breakfast bake, sausage, hash brown potatoes.

Wednesday: Barbecue pulled pork, baked beans, red cabbage slaw.

Thursday: Beef stroganoff, egg noodles, vegetable.

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: Pancakes with strawberries, breakfast potatoes, sausage, orange juice.

Wednesday: Swedish meatballs, buttered egg noodles, asparagus.

Thursday: Hearty beef stew, biscuit, beets.

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

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: Pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, applesauce.

Tuesday: Pigs in a blanket, cauliflower with cheese, baked beans, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Creamy chicken vegetable soup, spinach salad, Jell-O cup, saltine crackers.

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