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Boreal Community Media

April North Shore Health Care Center News

Mar 29, 2021 12:16PM ● By Editor
Photos submitted by Lisa Bloomquist

March 29, 2021

Spring Almost Sprung

Well Spring almost sprung, mud came and stayed, and our secure patio opened so we can bolt out there like new spring lambs when the weather finally decides to cooperate. Oh, whom are we kidding? We may grunt and groan and finally get ourselves up out of our chairs, achingly reach our way to our walkers and ever eventually make our way to the patio door. At least that is how it goes for some of us, including our residents.  We are impatiently waiting to be able to sit in the sunshine, hear the birds sing, set out new lawn decorations and plant flowers and vegetables. Come on spring.

We are still playing Bingo twice a week, Bethlehem Lutheran and St. John’s Catholic churches come for communion and Bible study on Tuesday mornings. We play many games and throw a party or two in there. On St. Patrick’s Day we shot Nerf guns at a rainbow made of helium balloons. Some of us still can hit the target like nobody’s business. We had lots of laughs as the Nerf bullets went flying everywhere sometimes getting into people’s hair and punch. We enjoyed an Irish poem, mint Girl Scout cookies, green punch, green deviled eggs, corned beef spread on crackers and homemade Chex snack mix along with some good ol’ Irish music. We have been enjoying Arm Chair Travel. Have you heard of this? Go on YouTube and you can tour any country you would like whether you get to take your trip via drone, train, or gondola. We get so enamored we end up sitting for hours seeing and hearing about traditions and sights from other countries. We have been to Norway, Sweden, Venice, Ireland, and Greece to name a few.


According to the Perk

Each day in the Perk it is national ____day. In honor of National Puppy Day, we had a pet adoption. Anyone who wanted to choose a stuffed animal did and named it. Residents received an adoption certificate in case their pet ran off which things tend to do around here.  We learned from the Perk that cold cereal started out in the 1800’s as an unappetizing health food made from nuggets of bran, California grows the most spinach produced in the USA and Spinach Florentine came about because Catherine de” Medici, the queen of France in 1522 insisted spinach be served at every meal. Did you know the Barbie doll came about when Barbie, the daughter of the co-founder of Mattel was playing with baby dolls and giving them adult roles? Also in the Perk, we learned laughter is good medicine. Laughing strengthens abdominal, arm, and leg muscles while using humor to cure the soul. Laughter burns up 40 calories for every 10 minutes so laugh away. Speaking of laughing Ms. Anna Speck is our resident spotlight of the month.

Nothing but work and maybe a little dancing

Anna was born Anna Everson to Cecelia and Adolf Everson on April 18th, 1926  weighing in at only 2 pounds in our house up there on Maple Hill she said. Gladys Rindahl, who delivered lots of babies, was there to help mom take care of me. I was the 2nd of 10 children. I had to take care of all of them so I didn’t have any time to have any fun. It was nothing, but work. Dad did make us some of those sticks, walking sticks. I went through 8th grade and I wasn’t the smartest one. I had to stay home a lot to help with the kids. We had to walk 3 miles one way to school each day and we had to cross the Devil’s Track River. There wasn’t a bridge and it was dangerous to cross.

One time Uncle Chris bought us a bike. I said, “One bike?” Yep, one bike. We all had to take turns on it. There was a lot of crying my turn, my turn. You can imagine. I ran a trap line and I used to catch weasels and beaver. I saved my money from the pelts to go to the dentist. One time I caught a skunk in the trap so I smelled really bad. I said to my mom, “I caught a skunk in the trap.” She said, “I can tell, go change your clothes.” I said I did and she said to go change them again and wash them. I went down to the creek and washed them. We had a farm that included horses, heifers, bulls, chickens, ducks and geese. My favorite was my horse named Blackie. I had to carry water a mile for all the animals every day. One time the cows got out and I had to chase those dam things back up the hill swearing at them the whole way.

World War I was going on while I was growing up. I started working at Cherry’s Bakery as a waitress right across from Vi Wonser’s there.  One time my sister Gladys and I went to Duluth to sing on a radio show called Corn’s- A-Poppin’. On the bus on our way home where a whole bunch of WWII Vets coming home on leave. Some of the guys included Paul Johnson, Harvey Mork, and Clyde Boostrom. We sang and played the whole way home for them. All but two of my brothers and sisters played a musical instrument and we played in a band at town halls and things. Those two couldn’t play for nothin’ Anna said with a laugh. I played the mandolin.

I worked at Mable’s Cafe’, Clarence Speck kept coming in, and coming in and finally asked me out. We got married well you figure it out. They were married on August 7th, 1946 in Duluth, MN. Why there I asked and she said that’s where Clifford wanted to go. What did Clifford have to do with where they got married I asked? She laughed. She said Gladys and Clifford stood up for them. She doesn’t remember anything about their wedding. I tried coaxing her about whether they had a dance, etc. Well, we went out to eat I guess. No music I exclaimed. I can’t imagine you not having music.

They had a farm and raised cattle, pigs, chickens, and even foxes. The fox we sold to people for their pelts. Anna and Clarence enjoyed picking all kinds of berries and Anna would make jam for the winter. Clarence didn’t dance and Clarence didn’t play an instrument Anna said with a belly-shaking laugh. Anna and Clarence did have three boys close together. Those boys sure knew how to monkey around Anna said with a huge grin on her face.

Clarence and Anna were married 13 years when Clarence passed away leaving Anna to raise the boys. She worked hard at home and at her jobs. Everything was a job. She said she and the boys raised turkeys, but mostly it was Anna working, working, working.

She said she can’t believe she made it to be 94 with all the work she had to do. Anna had her 90th birthday bash at the Legion and moved into the Care Center the next day. Anna loved to bake and according to family was an excellent caramel roll, pie and cake baker. Lloyd chimed in on an interview and said the boys never went hungry no matter where they were working. Anna always brought them something to eat. She enjoys visits from her family and friends either by phone calls, indoor visits, as Essential Caregivers, on FaceTime and with window and patio visits. She’s seen and done it all.

I asked her what advice she has for young people today and she said, “Work hard and get out there and dance!” I asked her what was on her bucket list and she said she likes to bake! I bake!

Thank you’s  and stuff

Our friend Carol T celebrated her birthday and our friend David Groth passed away.  Dave was a man all about the MN Twins and sweets. He usually had a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He is the grandfather to Sarah and father-in-law to Kay Groth, who both work at North Shore Health.    Hugs to you and your families from all of us at North  Shore Health.                      

Once again thank you so much to all of you who do so much for us. I had put out on FaceBook for Girl Scout cookies whether we could purchase them or have them donated and we received a visit from a cute little Girl Scout and close to four cases donated. They should keep is in a good supply for a little while. Of course, we have already been in them as we celebrated National Girl Scout week. Thank you for all the homemade treats that have been coming in from the green deviled eggs to our not local anymore beautician so we can look gorgeous. Thank you to the WISE ladies and others who have been calling in to assist with our Read To Me program. Thank you for the donations of stuffed animals and there is oh so much more.

I told one of our residents the other day that she was awesome and she asked me what that meant. Awesome=tremendous, amazing, grand and remarkable, to which you all are.

To our awesome volunteers-we miss you and hope to see you soon!

The Activity Department can be reached at 218-387-3518 or things mailed to:

Activity Dept 515 5th Ave W. Grand Marais, MN 55604

Happy Easter and Happy Spring from all of us at North Shore Living

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