NIAGARA, Wis. — November is a special month for my husband and me; specifically, Nov. 27 as it is the day we got married. This year marks our 48th wedding anniversary. It has always been a date neither one of us forgets, and we have always celebrated it without fail; dinners out grew to get away weekends. In recent years, we have spent time perusing our wedding photos over a glass of wine — now remarking how thin we were back then and how young we looked. Along with the memories, we share our thoughts on how we arrived to our current anniversary milestone. Those thoughts and memories never get old.
Everyone who has managed to stay married for decades has a laundry list of rough patches that vary from couple to couple. Challenges may have included relocations, job and financial stresses, raising children, adjusting to each other’s changing needs over the years, extended family issues, and health issues; the list goes on. A good work friend of mine once wisely said that it took a lot of time and energy to find a way for “two very different creatures to live together.” The priest who married my husband and I counseled us to each enter into the marriage planning to “give 60 percent with the expectation of receiving 40 percent in return.” Inherent in both these bits of wisdom is the acknowledgment that marriage is not always a walk in the park; it takes commitment and work to get lasting and fulfilling results.
So, why are double digit anniversaries now more of an uncommon event? How is it that some couples make it “until death do us part” and others do not? It is a very complex question, and the answer will most likely vary from couple to couple. I am not a psychologist so can only attempt to shed light on this from my own experience.
First, the choice of a mate needs to have some thought behind it, and positive role models help inform that choice.
Second, both partners need to take the word “commitment” seriously. The traditional wedding vows really spell it out quite clearly in the phrases: “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part. This is my solemn vow.” While these vows are serious, they do not exclude joy. They acknowledge the challenges throughout every stage of life, but also include the need for loving and caring for the other person. And they also underscore the seriousness of the vow by using the word, “solemn.” Yes, marriage is a serious commitment, but a lot of fun can be had along the journey.
Another important word in the prescription for a happy marriage is “appreciation.” One of my book club members and her husband have a wonderful tradition. Each anniversary they write a letter that describes how much they continue to love and appreciate each other based upon another year of marriage. What a wonderful tradition!
Of course, positive acknowledgment of your spouse does not have to wait for an annual anniversary letter. I recently found a list of “Ten Things to Say to Your Partner to Keep Your Love Alive” on the website “Verywell Mind.” I almost dismissed it based upon the rather trite heading, but after reading it, I decided it was worth sharing. See what you think…
1. “You look great.” This is especially helpful as you feel yourself getting older. While a look into the mirror finds graying hair and more wrinkles, and a step onto the scale reveals what you already knew, it really feels good to hear that your spouse still finds you attractive. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it never hurts to verbalize what you see.
2. “Thank you.” Never underestimate the importance of these two simple words! It is so easy after many years together to take for granted all the things your spouse does each day to keep the household running smoothly or to keep you comfortable and happy. And, as you age together, those “little things” get more difficult to accomplish. But showing appreciation never gets old.
3. “I think you’re amazing.” Maybe this sounds over the top to you, but it really is another way to let your spouse know that you still think he or she is special. Don’t mistakenly think that your spouse just knows what you think or how you feel. They need to hear it from you.
4. “I love you anyway.” Everyone makes mistakes. No matter how long you have been with a person you will not get it right all the time. In those moments when your spouse has fallen short, don’t add to it by getting angry. Forgiveness is a better choice every time.
5. “We’ll get through it.” Every rough patch is made easier when you work through it together and when you know you can count on each other to put in the effort it takes to see things through.
6. “Yes, I’d love to.” Life is not all about you — there is another person involved who needs consideration too. So, put your own preferences aside once in a while and agree to go see Star Trek or watch yet another post game Packer show. Or watch an episode of HGTV without commenting on yet another white kitchen! It’s about time together — not about the event.
7. “I understand.” The longer you are together, the more you will know how certain difficult life events will affect your spouse without him or her even having to explain. It is a great comfort to realize you have someone in your life who knows you that well.
8. “How can I help you?” As parents, helping our children is second nature. Part of a solid marriage is putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. Truly wanting to lessen your spouse’s burden strengthens the marriage bond.
9. “I’m here for you.” Knowing that there is another person in the world who will always be there to share the burdens in life — whether they be physical or emotional — is a huge comfort. Let your spouse know that you are that person.
10. “I love you.” So simple, but so often overlooked, these three words should be said to your partner every day.
Somehow, the gray hair and extra pounds fade into the background, and we become those young people in the wedding photos once again as joyful memories are shared on each anniversary. Yes, marriage is definitely hard work, but no other job will net as many rewards as a marriage done well.
Sunday: Scenes and sounds, noon; Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.
Monday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; brouhaha, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:30 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.
Tuesday: Crochet, 10:30 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.
Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 10:30 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Golden Throats, 2:00 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.
Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; Bible study, 1:15 p.m.; bingo with Carol, 2 p.m.; Lawrence Welk, 4:30 p.m.
Friday: What’s cooking? 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; parlor games, 1:15 p.m.; jigsaw puzzle, 2:30 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.
Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; daily newspaper, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:30 a.m.; oldies but goodies, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; evening news, 6 p.m.
Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; story telling, 10 a.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.
Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m..; room visits, 1 p.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; sunshine club, 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Book club, 10 a.m.; prayer, 10 a.m.; Sagola senior center, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; family movie, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Coffee social/yoga with Dodie, 10 a.m.; monthly birthday party, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.
Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; Presbyterian church, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.
Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Wii, 2 p.m.; web browsing, 2:30 p.m.; comedy movie, 6 p.m.
Saturday: ICMCF word search/you be the judge, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.
Wet your whistle: 9:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.
Exercise: 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.
Movie: 10:45 a.m. Sunday through Saturday and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Popcorn Day: Every Friday
Sunday: Just jokes, 10:45 a.m.; company’s coming room visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.
Monday: Who, what, when, 10:15 a.m.; Soundz of Time, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday: Who am I? 10:15 a.m.; resident council/food committee, 2 p.m.; movie and manicure, 5:45 p.m.
Wednesday: Sharpen your senses, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party with Jim Edberg’s entertainment, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.
Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; deal/no deal bingo, 2 p.m.; magic moments, 5:45 p.m.
Friday: ManorCare monthly, 10:15 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.
Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.
Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Sunday through Friday.
Sunday: Help your neighbor, 10:15 a.m.; penny ante, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.
Monday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; bingo,10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.
Tuesday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; religious movie, 2 p.m.; Soundz of Time — Jan and Gino, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Yoga, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party with Ray and Mindy, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.
Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; prayer shawl, 2 p.m.; help your neighbor, 6:15 p.m.
Friday: Exercise, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour with Jim D., 2 p.m.
Saturday: Baking, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; bingo, 5:45 p.m.
Juice time, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.
Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
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: Music with Pastor Jim, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.
Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.
Thursday: Birthday party, 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
Morning news, 6 a.m. daily
Beauty Shop open Tuesday and Thursday
Snack cart, 7 p.m. daily.
Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Pastor Miller, 3:30 p.m.
Monday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; coloring and coffee, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Uno, 10 a.m.; music with Jan and Gino, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Chair exercise, 10 a.m.; jewelry class, 2 p.m.
Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 p.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.
Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; flippo, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.
Saturday: Bingo/family and friends social time, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.
Pinecrest Medical Care Facility
Sunday: Grace church, 10:15 a.m.; coffee social, 10:30 a.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.; ball toss, 3:30 p.m.
Monday: Life connections, 9:45 a.m.; beauty shop, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:15 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; ball toss, 3:30 p.m.; mind joggers, 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Shopping outing, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Purple pancake breakfast, 8 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.; “Family Feud,” 3:30 p.m.; rummy, 6 p.m.
Thursday: Exercise, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.
Friday: Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 a.m.; baking group, 2 p.m.; fish fry outing, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.
Saturday: Fall Bazaar in the multi-purpose room, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; sensory, 3:30 p.m.
Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. Those who have meals delivered who will not be home should notify the Center.
Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Lunch at noon.
Bingo on Tuesdays.
Free meal drawing on Thursdays.
Menu for the week:
Tuesday: Spaghetti, wax beans, salad, and garlic bread.
Wednesday: Barbecue pork, baked beans, and coleslaw.
Thursday: Turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and cranberries.
Meals Monday through Friday.
Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month, except on holidays.
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.
Menu for the week:
Tuesday: Beef stew, and cornbread.
Wednesday: Liver or smoked sausage, potatoes, and carrots.
Thursday: Night meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin dessert.
Friday: Baked fish or brat, potato wedges, and Brussel sprouts.
Soup, salad and dessert are offered with every meal. Reservations for meals are encouraged. Walk-ins are welcomed.
Crystal Falls Center
Head cook: Lucy Korhonen
The Center is not just for seniors – bring a friend.
Suggested meal donations: $5 if older than 60; $6 if younger than 60; $1 extra for take-out. To reserve meals, call the Center by 1 p.m. with name and number of people.
All dinners include the soup and salad bar, homemade dessert, tea, coffee and milk
Open: Monday through Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., soup and salad bar; 5 p.m., dinner.
Mondays: Basket weaving after dinner – all are welcome for dinner and/or class. Beginners can make their first basket with materials provided.
Menu for the week:
Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables.
Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and vegetables.
Wednesday: Roast pork, roasted potatoes, and vegetables.
Crystal Lake Center
906-774-2256, ext. 235
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.; two-person team cribbage, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m.; crafters, scrapbookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.
Thursday: Happy Quilters, 1 p.m.
Friday: Smear, noon.
The kitchen once again is open and serving meals. A new lunch program is offered every Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Meals cost $5 for those younger than 60 years old and a $4 donation for those older than 60.
Home delivered meal menu for week:
Monday: Boiled dinner, biscuit, and apple cider.
Tuesday: Chicken a la King, noodles, and mixed vegetables.
Wednesday: Philly casserole, green beans, and dinner roll.
Thursday: Cheeseburger, steak fries, peas, and cranberry trail mix.
Friday: Chicken salad sandwich, and side salad
Center based meal menu for week:
Wednesday lunch: Split pea and ham soup, calzones, and salad bar.
Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Buzzin’ Around Town at 906-282-0492. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60.
Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.
Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
Menu for the week:
Monday: Burgers, potato wedges, coleslaw, and tropical fruit.
Tuesday: Pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans, and bread.
Wednesday: Night at 5 p.m.: Salad bar, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, and rolls.
Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County, Wis.
Director: Tiffany White
Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations are 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.
Menu for the week:
Monday: Chicken gnocchi alfredo, dark green salad, garlic bread, and fruit.
Tuesday: Hamburger on bun, lettuce and tomato, baked French fries, calico bean salad, and fruit.
Wednesday: Roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, and pumpkin pie.
Thursday: Sweet and sour pork, rice, Brussel sprouts, fruit juice, and apricots.
Friday: Baked fish, baked potato, beet salad, and fruit.
Other assistance includes information on aging, benefits specialist, and caregiver support.
Fence Center/Town Hall
Meal reservations call 855-528-2372
Meal at noon Wednesdays only – Same menu listed under ADRC of Florence County. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.
Florence Community Center/Town Hall
Meal reservations call 715-528-4261
Home-delivered meals are available. Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. at this center Monday through Thursday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.
Note: Center closed on Tuesday for elections
Tipler Town Hall
Meal reservations call 715-674-2320
Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month only, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.
Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora
Meal reservations call 715-589-4491
Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County. Transportation arrangements can be made to and from the meal site.
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.
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 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Home-delivered meals are available — call 906-774-2256 ext. 235 or ext. 230.
Menu for the week:
Monday: Sloppy Joe, macaroni and cheese, and peas.
Tuesday: Tuna casserole, mixed vegetables, and roll.
Wednesday: Chicken dumpling soup, and egg salad sandwich.
Thursday: Night meal: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and dessert.
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 is available to the meal site for those living in the Niagara, Wis. area. Any senior groups who would like to use the meal site as a meeting place are welcome — join us for lunch 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.
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 on Tuesday, 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 drawing.
Wednesday, Nov. 20: Blood pressure clinic from 11 a.m. to noon.
Menu for the week:
Monday: Chicken pot pie with biscuit, mixed vegetables, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.
Tuesday: Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.
Wednesday: noon: Breakfast bake with sausage, hash browns, muffin, salad, bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.
5 p.m. dinner: Barbecue rib dinner, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, soup and salad bar, dessert
Thursday: Birthday Cub dinner: Lasagna, green beans, garlic bread, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, and birthday cake.
Cards are played daily after the noon meal.
Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.
Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.
Note: File of Life packets available at the center.
Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Cards: Tuesday, 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.
Menu for the week:
Tuesday: Philly steak sandwich, potato wedges, green beans, and Mandarin oranges.
Wednesday: Breakfast bake, biscuits and gravy, and fresh fruit.
Thursday: Stuffed manicotti, carrots, pears, and bread stick.