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Boreal Community Media

January News from North Shore Living

Dec 28, 2020 05:21PM ● By Editor
Photos submitted by Lisa Bloomquist

December 28, 2020


Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus 

Christmas was different this year. It wasn’t all of us together with lots of commotion as you could imagine in a house filled with 37 residents plus family and staff. We had individual household parties in our multi-purpose room where the Activity staff and many different departments decorated trees. We got to judge the 14 or so Christmas trees all light up to our delight with the EMT’s tree being our favorite. We all received a present from Santa with Mrs. Claus’s help. We played a trivia game, got our pictures taken with Santa and then went back home for some eggnog, punch, and delicious Christmas cookies baked by our favorite Christmas baker Barb Wright.


Santa showed up in a magical way. Santa wasn’t just a Santa with a red coat and a jolly big belly. Santa was our wonderful community loving on us by making sure we had enough gifts, cookies, candy, and cards. Santa was Irene Peterson’s family, who gave us Happy Hour snack supplies for a good long time. Irene’s granddaughter Andrea, who has been fixing a few ladies hair in her not so spare time also gave us Nerf guns to play a few rounds of taking out Rudolf which we will do in January and other months of the year. Santa was the wonderful staff at North Shore Health, who helped us have a great Christmas by decorating the 14 or more trees for our Christmas party. Santa was Hilja Iverson and her family for putting up lights and other decorations out on our lawns. Santa was Gine Meissner by purchasing gifts for us that were passed out Christmas day. Santa was Sandy Skrien, calling in and reading Christmas stories via FaceTime with residents. Santa was Linda Harsdorf, who faithfully sends us candy, cross word puzzles, etc. for our Perk prizes. Santa was Marsha Hansen who sends us cards we so much love to receive. We had a lot of other Santa’s and we are very thankful for you too. These people aren’t just  Santa’s, they are more like angels to us.

According to the Perk, December 27th was National Fruitcake Day. How many of you still pass around Grandma Betty’s fruitcake from 1910?  Supposedly fruitcake has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs which had pomegranate seeds, raisins and pine nuts. We enjoyed a game of Holiday Hangman on the 27th with our last phrase being “You can have your fruitcake and eat it too.” We did enjoy fruitcake made by Sharon Bloomquist, who seems to keep losing her favorite recipe. Please send your favorite fruitcake recipe to me, Sharon can bake the cakes and we will test them out.

 Our spotlight this month shines on Nadine Abel. Nadine was born in Dunnell , MN in May of 1926. She was born at home weighing 3 pounds. She said, “You didn’t go to the doctor for those types of things.” Nadine was so tiny her dad’s wedding ring fit on her wrist and she fit in his shoe box. She had a brother and a sister and said they either walked or got a ride the 10 miles, but they spent a lot of time in the summer at her relative’s farm where they had a lake and they swam a lot. “We were at the lake all day long and only ate apples. We didn’t have a sandwich or anything like that.” Her father worked for a mining company. 

Nadine got married right out of high school and married the boy next door. He was a farmer so she became a farmer’s wife. Nadine said their farm was really big maybe 400 acres or something like that. They raised soy beans, corn and cattle. I asked her if they had chickens and of course they did.

Nadine said her husband would always tell her she could have new furniture next year, next year because he always had to have big farm equipment. Well next year never really came.

Nadine has 3 children Charlie, Peg and Mary. Mary lives in Grand Marais right near Nadine. They chat on the phone or FaceTime almost daily. Nadine has 6 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and 3 great- great grandchildren. Nadine said, “I think my kids believed in Santa Claus until they got married or they probably thought they wouldn’t get a Christmas present.”

Nadine worked at Minnesota Mining and Weigh-Tronix and probably never missed a day of work according to her daughter Mary. Nadine had a big vegetable garden, loved to bake and cook. She always had extra people over especially on Sunday’s for a meal. Cooking and baking always gave Nadine lots of joy. One year Nadine and her mother in law made over 100 apple pies in 2 days to put in the freezer.

Nadine always tells me “I have a sweet tooth you know” as she’s gobbling up another chocolate. Nadine helps us whip up brownies or cake batter when we get the chance to do that. She doesn’t mind licking the spatula when we are done either. Nadine is helpful around our facility by assisting in whatever activities we can coerce her to do. She helped us wrap the ghost suckers we gave out at Halloween and drew the little eyes and mouths on them. Of course she had to taste one while she was doing it.

Her passion in life first and foremost is her family then gardening, baking, and cooking. On Nadine’s bucket list:  I don’t have anything. I have always been content. She would like young people to know: Work hard and don’t be a quitter!

Other going-on’s. 

Our December birthday celebrants are Gloria Martineau and Erland Shold.

We will miss Dale Hooper, Howard McKenzie and Robert Sherman who passed away this last month. They were all special fellows and hold a place in our hearts.

December 2020 sure flew by. We played lots of Bingo, started a new game called Hi-Low, had weekly Happy Hour, shopped at our General Store, enjoyed holiday music and had chocolate coming out of our ears. It sure is different not having all our wonderful volunteers, carolers, and families milling about at Christmas, but we still had fun.

We enjoy getting letters and fun things your kids have made. We will put them on display.

We also started a program where you can Skype or FaceTime and read to our residents for about 10 minutes.

If you are interested in reading or talking with a resident via FT or Skype you can call us at 218-387-3518.

Our address to send us fun stuff is 515 5th Ave W Grand Marais, MN 55604

Thank you so much for all you do for us. Yes, Virginia we did have Santa Claus and angels.

Happy New Year from all of us at North Shore Living!