Page 1

Mankato Marathon

A Weekend of Events Bringing the Community Together A Purr-fect Place

North Mankato Animal Hospital

The RV Way of Life

Locals spending winters on the road

Things You Need to Know About Your Will

Why you may need one and changing it Volume 4, Issue 3






Mature LIFESTYLE ● September 2012 ● VOLUME 4, ISSUE 3


6 The Mankato Marathon

A weekend of running events brings together a community of runners in Mankato, including local attorney Randy Zellmer.

10 A Purr-fect Place

North Mankato Animal Hospital makes veterinary care available to pets on the north side of town.


16 The RV Way of Life

Two local couples who spend their winters on the road in the RVs.

18 What you Didn’t Know You Need to

Know about Your Will

Like why you might need one, or why you might need to make some changes to the one you already have.


Publisher’s Notes

14 20 22


Book Reviews

Calendar of Events

Travel: Barry & Kathy Wortel, Traveling Together Mature Lifestyle September 2012 3



Welcome to the fall edition of Mature Lifestyle...

f you are or have ever been a runner, I think that you’ll particularly enjoy our story about the Mankato Marathon. But you don’t have to be a runner to be inspired by Randy Zellmer. His passion for running and for pushing the envelope on what he can achieve next makes him an inspiration. Just as Maureen Waltman says, Randy is “one of those guys who I am just in awe of.” I share her sentiment. I started running last summer and competed—if you call walking, running, walking and running competing— in my first 5K. Long story, short: I did it! I probably could have finished with a sprint but my husband was hampered by an annoying Achilles tendon, and because this was the first race that we ever ran together, I decided to cross the finish line by his side (although I really wanted to finish ahead of the girl who ran ahead of me through the whole race). I will race again, but not in the any of the Mankato Marathon events this fall; I need extensive training before I tackle that! But I will be there on Sunday, Oct. 21st, cheering all the runners onward to the finish line. That is what I do best—for now. Whether you are running in the marathon or one of the other races, or not, you too can support all the runners. It will be an exciting weekend. I had the pleasure of meeting Myron and Colleen Thompson of North Mankato and their granddaughter, Cassie, to take pictures for our story about The RV Way of Life. They’ll be heading south in their RV before too much longer, actually. Their RV is beautiful and roomy, and they are lucky to be able to enjoy time together while relaxing, meeting new friends and enjoying the countryside. I hope you’ll enjoy the story of traveling with Barry (The Bear) and Kathy Wortel. I can’t imagine the fun—or the responsibility—of being a guide for a trip to Alaska with almost 50 people, or to all the ball games. Although I have never been to Alaska, we have made it to Yankee Stadium once. When I asked my son what was the highlight of our trip to New York, his firm answer was simple: Yankee Stadium. I hear that going with the Bear and Kathy is a very fun trip—for everyone involved. They admit that part of the fun for themselves is watching the other travelers laugh and enjoy themselves. 4 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

Next read about Dr. Maryann Nelson and her new animal hospital on North Mankato’s hilltop. I grew up on a farm, and one of my chores was to help Dad vaccinate the cattle (actually I was better at watching the gate and herding). There is nothing worse for a pet owner than knowing that “your best friend” is sick and needs doctor care. Fortunately, through her modern equipment and unique techniques, Dr. Nelson can take care of any type of pet. Lastly, read about wills…why you might need one and why you might need to make some changes to the one you already have. I like their advice of re-visiting your will every five years. It will bring peace of mind to know that your wishes will be carried out. And don’t procrastinate on this… As the weather turns cooler, enjoy the sweatshirt days of fall and watch for our holiday edition of Mature coming in November…

Kelly Hulke, Publisher

Com fort & Independence Whatever your personal mobility needs, you’ll find the right fit for you in our line of Pride Scooters and Lift Chairs. Pride’s lift chairs feature multiple-position recline, removable cushions, and attractive fabrics. And join activities on a Pride scooter.

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Mankato Marathon

A Weekend of Events Bringing the Community Together A Purr-fect Place

North Mankato Animal Hospital

The RV Way of Life

Locals spending winters on the road

Things You Need to Know About Your Will

Why you may need one and changing it

Volume 4, Issue 3


On the cover: Mankato Marathon Photos provided by SPX Sports

Blue Earth Monument


700 KnightStreet,StPeter,M N


1305 M arshallStreet,StPeter,M N


Mature Lifestyle September 2012 5

Mankato Marathon

A Run-derful Race

The Mankato Marathon has been great for local runners as well as for the local community. By Sara Gilbert Frederick


and that doesn’t bother him at all. “They’re challenged by what they Seeing runners of all ages and abilities think is possible.” out training for fall races—including the Mankato Marathon—makes the On October 21, Zellmer will run the veteran of 55 marathons and 17 ultraMankato Marathon for the third time. marathons excited. It’s one of three races he has planned during a three-week stretch this fall; “I think the Mankato Marathon has he’ll also be running the Twin Cities But at this time of year, in this town, really gotten people in this community Marathon on October 7 and a 50-mile Zellmer is rarely alone on the roads— excited about running,” Zellmer says. ultra the week after the Mankato andy Zellmer likes to run alone. He heads out at times that other runners might not choose and seeks routes that often stray from the beaten path. It’s his time for peace and quiet, a time when the busy father, grandfather and attorney can be by himself.

Photo provided by SPX Sports

6 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

Marathon. It’s a grueling schedule, but that’s part of what Zellmer likes about it. “It’s the challenge of it,” he says. “I like the challenge. And I do just enjoy running.” “Randy is one of those guys who I am just in awe of,” says Maureen Waltman, the Mankato Marathon coordinator for the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “What he does is just so impressive.” But Waltman, who has run 20 marathons herself (her 20th was the first Mankato race, in 2010) and who will run the New York City Marathon this November, is equally impressed by all of the runners training for this year’s race. She’s been thrilled to see people in their Mankato Marathon

Zellmer credits the organizers for training shirts about town all summer. “You see them all over,” she says. putting together a great event that “It’s just wonderful to see how many attracts more runners every year. “I think it’s a very well-run race,” he people want to be involved.” says. “They’ve gone about it in the right way and have put together a firstEach year, the number of people class event.” signing up for the Mankato Marathon events—including the full 26.2 mile Zellmer started running in the mid marathon, a 13.1 mile half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K and KidsK—has grown. 1980s. He ran his first marathon, Last year, a total of approximately Twin Cities, in 1990. “I felt totally 4,000 runners took part in the various undertrained for that race,” he admits. races—a significant increase over the “I remember hitting Summit Avenue previous year. In late August, Waltman and thinking ‘This is crazy!’ Luckily, said that registrations for the 2012 that’s where my family came out to races were already up 28 percent over see me, which helped.” last year. “I think we will fill most of the races this year,” she said. “The half Since then, he’s run, in his own will fill, and the 10K and the 5K look words, “many, many marathons.” The like they will fill too.” Twin Cities is still one of his favorites, alongside Grandma’s Marathon in

Photo provided by SPX Sports

Mature Lifestyle September 2012 7

Duluth (which he’s run 17 times), the Pike’s Peak Marathon in Colorado and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. But since 2005, when he ran his first ultra (any race longer than a marathon), he’s been more challenged by the longer format. “Now, most of my training is for the ultras,” he says. In preparation for his 50-mile race at the end of October, for example, Zellmer spent one weekend running a total of 42 miles—22 on Saturday morning, and 20 more on Sunday. “Saturday was a nice, flat run, on the River Trail and the Red Jacket,” he says. “But Sunday was more hills, out at Seven Mile Park.” Zellmer admits that both his legs and his brain were tired by the end of that weekend. The mental fatigue, he says, requires just as much recovery time after a long run or race as the physical. “You have to take a week to recover both physically and mentally after a marathon,” he says, “especially your first one.”

“Randy Zellner (right) is anxious to run in the Mankato Marathon, but also trains for Ultra Marathons which can be 50 miles or more.”

Photo provided by SPX Sports

The rewards of running, he adds, go beyond physical fitness as well. “I know that I’m more confident as a person and as an attorney,” Zellmer says. “I know that I can challenge myself to do more than I thought possible.”

Strong Finish Runners from 29 states, including Alaska, will be participating in the Mankato Marathon this year. Most 8 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

“Friends finishing the race together is one of the highlights for spectators.”

Photo provided by SPX Sports

until the last runner crosses. The runners who come in at the end, she says, have often had to work the hardest to get there— and they deserve as much of a “This is a welcome as communitythe fastest wide event,” finishers. Wa l t m a n “I’d like to really fun to be a spectator. And it’s says. “If you get a group of people to wait for that go out along the course to watch the like a big celebration at the finish line, last person to come across,” she says. race, you will see a lot of people you too.” “I’d like to focus in on that person and know in the race. There are so many Waltman’s goal this year is to keep really be able to applaud that person.” people from Mankato running—it’s that finish-line celebration going strong  of them, however, come from within a 60mile radius of Mankato— and many c o m e directly from the Greater Mankato area.

Photo provided by SPX Sports


Saturday, October 20, 2012 7:00 p.m. Myers Field House Minnesota State University, Mankato

Keynote Speaker:

lson e u m a S it Sneak Peak o n e B n a Jo With the whole world watching, Joan Benoit Samuelson was the first ever gold medalist for the Women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984. Now we have a chance to watch her as the headline speaker of the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic Speaker Series. Winning that gold medal wasn’t Samuelson’s only accomplishment. In 1979 she won the Boston Marathon in world record time. In 1983 she ran the Boston Marathon again, setting another world record. Joan has been running competitively for over 35 years. Samuelson has remained an important figure in the running world and in women’s athletics. She serves as an inspiration for runners and athletes of all ages around the world. In 1998, Samuelson founded the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race to benefit children’s charities in Maine. This premiere event attracts elite runners from around the globe. Mature Lifestyle September 2012 9

Dr. Maryann Nelson

A Purr-fect Place

The North Mankato Animal Hospital serves the pet population with modern equipment, unique techiques and a convenient location. By Jean Lundquist


hen Dr. Maryann Nelson opened the doors of her animal hospital on North Mankato’s hilltop last April, it became the city’s only veterinary clinic—which was precisely why she had chosen that location. “I felt this was a very undeserved area,” Nelson says.

A digital x-ray machine facilitates immediate analysis as well.  It’s also better for the animals, their owners, the employees and the environment, Nelson says. There are no chemicals needed to develop x-ray films, and storing the files on a compact disc is easy.

ma em

As a brand new clinic, the North Mankato Animal Hospital sports all of the most modern and up-to-date medical equipment. There’s a large laboratory area, so animals and their owners are treated to onsite blood work and receive other lab reports on the day of service. 


surgical table and an anesthesia delivery machine “that dispenses the same anesthesia you or I would receive,” Nelson explains. Also echoing the treatment a human would receive is a pulse oximeter machine for animals.  

“You and I would have this on the end of our finger,” Nelson says. “With animals, we put it on their ear or clip it to their tongue.” Blood pressure is also monitored during surgery, Nelson says, with a small cuff that goes around a leg or tail. “We are able to monitor our patients much better now than   in the days when we had a tech who The surgery room features a heated checked the color of an animal’s gums

10 March 2012 Mature Lifestyle

and used a stethoscope to see how they were doing,” she says. Nelson also uses a surgical laser almost exclusively on her patients.  It results in less pain, less bleeding, and a faster recovery.   It’s not just modern equipment that Nelson believes sets her clinic apart from many others. The techniques she uses are also somewhat unique.  For example she has examination rooms for cats “Especially for cats, that difference,” she explains. 

separate and dogs. makes a Cats are

often upset by being in a carrier and being in the car, so when they get to the clinic, they don’t have the added distraction of smelling unknown dog scents in the room.

idea of dental care still needs attention.

a clinic that was much more centered “Sometimes, we don’t even take the on small animals—and she discovered cat out of the carrier to examine it,” she that she really liked it. That’s when says.  “We take the top off the carrier, she decided to switch her focus. and leave the cat inside, if that’s where   he feels safer.” “One of the perks,” she says, “is we   get to work with pets all day long.” When cats and dogs need to be kept   in the hospital, they are also housed in kennels well separated from each other.   Nelson admits that although she loves dogs, she especially likes to work with cats and considers them a specialty.  Growing up on a farm north of Nicollet, she fondly recalls playing with all of the barn cats.  Dogs were part of upbringing as well. “We always had a German shepherd outside, and a Pomeranian for a house dog,” she says.    After graduating from Gaylord High School, Nelson went to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, and then attended veterinary school at the University of Minnesota.  When she graduated, she expected to work with large animals, not small.   She wanted to work in dairy, so she moved to Sauk Center to work in a dairy centric practice there.  “Some 94 percent of that practice was dairy,” she says.   Then she and her husband moved to Le Sueur, where she took a job in

“If your pet has breath so bad that you don’t want a lick or a kiss, it means his teeth need to be cleaned,” she says. “By the time they are three years old, they should have their teeth cleaned.”  

A way to avoid having a vet do that is to brush their teeth yourself, she says—but never with human toothpaste, which is toxic to animals. When she and her two employees— “Animal toothpaste is usually chicken Kristi Brown, a certified vet technician, or malt flavored, and they love it,” she and Shelli Allen, the receptionist— says. “You have to work to keep them aren’t busy, they often take their well from just eating the toothpaste.”  patients out of the kennels and play with them to ease the stress of being in By brushing your pet’s teeth, you the hospital.  Many owners drop their can usually delay a trip to the vet for pets off in the morning before work, the procedure for another two years. and pick them up on the way home.   The hours between can be lonely for the animal. Most of the clients of the North Mankato Animal Hospital come   from a three-mile radius around the Most of the work done at the clinic facility, Nelson says.  Nelson herself is well-pet checks and services.  “We travels a little farther than that each do a lot of vaccinations and heartworm day.  She still lives near Le Sueur with checks, which are very important,” her husband, a retired St. Nelson says.  Nelson calls the coyote Peter police officer, her population in the area “a reservoir 11-year-old twin boys of canine problems” that can be who they adopted eight transferred to domestic dogs, but years ago from Russia, can be prevented with  proper her 2-year-old Gordon care. setter and her 6-year Preventive care is a lesson old domestic longthat Nelson teaches haired cat, every chance she Romeo. gets.  Heartworm  prevention among dogs and cats is well accepted avery now, but the Mature Lifestyle September 2012 11

Top 10

Human Medications That Poison Our Pets


lthough pet parents are well aware of poisons lurking around their home, many don’t realize that some of the biggest culprits are sitting right on their own nightstands. Remember to keep all medications tucked away in bathroom cabinets— and far from curious cats and dogs.


(non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats— kidney damage.


can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.


Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, which can damage red blood cells and interfere with their ability to transport oxygen. In dogs, it can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.


(for ADHD) Medications used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people act as stimulants in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.


—an anticancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers

and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.


Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.


is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

to a k n a M h t Nor tal Vet Hospi

1765 Commerce Dr North Mankato,MN 56003 Phone: 507-720-6700

12 March 2012 Mature Lifestyle


Many oral diabetes treatments— including glipizide and glyburide— can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives

Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don’t occur for more than 24 hours after ingestion.


is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.


1. Young salmon 6. Kisser 10. Droops 14. Lowest point 15. ___ believer 16. Small gull 17. 1952 novel, with The 20. Split

4. Beer garnish 5. ___ housing 6. “Harper Valley ___” 7. Ashes holder 8. Logic game 9. “La Scala di ___” (Rossini opera) 10. Inscribed stone 11. Greek moralist 12. Artist, with El 13. Sinuous 18. ___ degree 19. “48___” 23. Yen 24. Sang like a canary 26. Scores high 27. Do the trick 28. Doctor Who villainess, with The 29. Big bang matter 31. Beam 33. Sixth sense 34. Peeper problem 36. “Walking on Thin Ice” singer 37. Shrek, e.g. 38. Holiday opener 39. Weak 40. Young falcon 42. Lots 46. Napa Valley area 48. Sting 49. Certain inmate 50. Empty 51. Kind of pool 52. “Give It To You” rapper 67. Ashtabula’s lake 43. Meager 21. Rowboat adjunct 54. Illuminated 68. Exhaust 44. Broad view 22. Not too brainy 55. Muzzle 69. Deuce topper 45. Square 25. ___ Rebellion of 57. Blown away 47. Che or gen followers 70. Turned blue, maybe 59. Hombre’s home 1857-59 48. Item with a ladder 71. Interesting 26. Twisted 60. “Iliad” warrior 53. Pastoral poems (var.) 30. Hoodlum 61. Blue books? 56. Wheels for mom 32. Fuse Down 62. See 58. Lest 35. Sniff out 1. Prig 64. Go horizontal 41. Author of 17 & 63 63. 1929 novel 2. French Sudan, today 65. Directed 66. Cost of living? Across 3. Betting data

Answers are located on page 23

OFFICE HOURS M,T,W,F 7:30am-5:30pm Thur 2:00pm-8:00pm For After Hours Emergencies Call 507-720-6700 Mature Lifestyle September 2012 13


Terri Schlichenmeyer

“Hello Goodbye Hello” by Craig Brown

©2012, Simon & Schuster $26.95 / $29.99 Canada 384 pages


he other day you met somebody who could change your life. It may not happen immediately. You may not see life-alterations for years, in fact. Right now, the two of you are in a “get to know you” phase, but one thing’s certain: this former stranger will be a good person to have in your circle. So what would it be like to meet someone famous – or someone on the fast-track to infamy? In the new book “Hello Goodbye Hello” by Craig Brown, you’ll read about some of history’s most unusual and interesting tete-à-tetes. Nineteen-year-old John Scott-Ellis had just gotten his first car. It was August, 1931, a beautiful day for a drive around Munich. Scott-Ellis swore, years later, that he wasn’t speeding. He was enjoying a leisurely drive, which was fortunate for the man who stepped in front of Scott-Ellis’ car. The man was Adolph Hitler. Rudyard Kipling longed to meet Mark Twain and when he finally did, Kipling was pleased that Twain was generous with his time. Later, when Kipling became famous for his own books, he was not so gracious. Although Helen Keller knew many notables, she was eager to meet Martha Graham. Keller had always longed to dance like “other girls” and Graham was happy to let Keller feel the music. But by the time Graham met Madonna, Graham’s reputation had turned darker. Madonna sought out the semi-reclusive “Grande Dame” of dance and when they finally connected, Madonna was awestruck. It was a meeting that, years later, turned out to be beneficial to both. Michael Jackson saw no benefit in a “date” with Madonna, however,

but his agent insisted. Jackson was mortified, embarrassed, and felt “queasiness” at the meeting, yet still agreed to accompany Madonna to the Academy Awards in 1991. In 1972, Queen Elizabeth spoke with her estranged uncle, the Duke of Windsor, at a meeting the Duke’s wife disdained. There was no love lost when the Duchess of Windsor met with others of the Royal Family after the Duke’s death, either. Yet, when the Duchess met Adolph Hitler, he had nothing but praise for her… They say you’re never more than six connections away from any person on earth. “Hello Goodbye Hello” is fascinating proof of that. Starting with a chance encounter that might’ve changed the world, and ending with a friendship that likewise would’ve had worldwide repercussions, author Craig Brown takes readers on a circuitous connection through history, art, and entertainment. I got a kick out of the real-time feel of these stories (even though some of them happened decades ago), and I liked that Brown gleefully gives readers the good and the bad, as well as plenty of side-notes and further information that gives double meaning to many meetings. Indeed, this book carries a lot of surprises. Though some of the personalities may be unfamiliar, this is an easy-to-read, quick and quirky book that’s hard to put down. If that sounds like it might meet your interests, “Hello Goodbye Hello” is one to get acquainted with.

14 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

“Visiting Tom” by Michael Perry

©2012 Harper $24.99 / $27.99 Canada 310 pages


our friend called the other day, but you had to call him back. You were on your way out the door and didn’t have time to talk. But when you return-phoned him, he was busy and said he’d call again. You’ve played Phone Tag like this before, and you know the only antidote is to make an appointment – which is funny because, once upon a time, you couldn’t understand the appeal of “visiting.” Now you wish you had more time to just sit and talk and listen because, as you’ll see in “Visiting Tom” by Michael Perry, you learn a lot, and a lot about life. Tom Hartwig lives on the land where he was born eighty-some years ago. It’s the same farm where he brought his bride, raised kids, milked cows, and made a living. Just about everybody around knows Tom, but those who don’t could be forgiven for thinking he’s some kind of superhero. That’s because Tom’s renowned for fixing what’s broken and making what’s needed. He created a snowplow out of pieces of machinery. He manufactured a saw for planing lumber. He made a few working cannons, just for fun. When he finds a bit of steel, he sees possibilities. But there’s one thing he couldn’t fix. Back nearly fifty years ago, progress came to his little valley and, after considerable back-and-forth, Tom’s beloved farm was cleaved in two by Interstate 90 that runs right through Wisconsin. His outbuildings now sit snug up to the highway. The background

of his life is the ka-thumpa-ka-thumpaka-thumpa of semi tires on the road. Mike Perry is friends with Tom Hartwig. But what could a forty-something man have in common with someone old enough to be his grandfather? Perry knows a kindred spirit: both are men who love the land, love their families, and have a touch of poetry in their souls. Perry, a storyteller himself, also knows a good tale when he hears it. And he knows a good story when it walks into his life. Let me tell you about “Visiting Tom.” It’s part memoir, part character piece. There’s a bit of the poetic to it. It’s about fighting bureaucracy, Foxfire-ish self-sustenance, life the “old-timer’s” way, and male-bonding foolishness. It’s about fatherhood, marriage, and love. And it’s just about one of the sweetest books you’ll ever read. Author Michael Perry admits to more than one lump-in-the-throat moment, and his descriptive way of explaining them causes the same in his readers. He’ll make you homesick for an old way of life (whether you lived it or didn’t), but he’ll also make you laugh because he laughs at himself. Spending time with Perry, in fact, is like a lemonadelazy afternoon on a front porch with an old friend who loves to jaw about everything and nothing. I loved that. I think this book will appeal to anyone who longs for a time when life was slow and friends were fast. If that sounds like heaven to you, then “Visiting Tom” is a book you’ll want to call on.

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Mature Lifestyle September 2012 15

Recreational Vehicle

The RV Way of Life

Heading south in an RV is an October rite of passage for a pair of local couples. By Jean Lundquist


t’s a lifestyle that doesn’t fit everyone, but for these two Mankato area couples, it’s nearly perfect. Don and Liz Keepers of Mankato and Myron and Colleen Thompson of North Mankato are snowbirds who spend six months of the year in Arizona in a recreational vehicle (RV).   As Don Keeper puts it, “If a man and his wife get along well together all the time, they’ll get along well together down there.”  By there, he means the 400 square feet of RV that he and Liz share for half the year near Mesa, Ariz.

The Keepers’ are a well-known name in the area among people who like to camp in RVs. They started, owned and operated Keepers RV Center near Mankato for many years.  Next year will be the 50th year the Keepers RV Center has been in business, now operated by Don and Liz’s daughter Lisa and her husband, Jack May.

In addition to their park model RV, which Don likens to a small mobile home, they also have what is called “an Arizona room,” which is a small 10-by12-foot shed under the outside awning.  “That’s so Don can get away if he needs to,” Liz chuckles.   Still she says, they have all the room they need.  “The only thing we don’t have room for is a lot of company,” she says.   16 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

“Colleen and Myron Thompson, with granddaughter Cassie.”

“We used to take a new trailer or motor home every year,” Liz recalls. “That was a lot of work—loading it and unloading it.”  But in some ways, it was also more fun, even though they were going to the same park every year.   “We’d take a different route and see different sights,” Don says.  “Now, we’re just anxious to get down there and settle in.  It was easy, because we had our place to sleep with us.” As the Keepers prepare for their mid-October exodus, they’ll arrange to have all their mail forwarded to them in Mesa.  “It’s expensive,” Don says, “but sometimes a piece of mail looks like junk mail, but it’s important.”  They will turn down the thermostat in the house so the temperature hovers around 50, and put the temperature alarm in the window.  If the temperature drops too low in the house, it turns on a red light.  When the neighbor in the townhouse across the driveway sees it, he calls one of the Keepers’s children.  So far, that’s only happened one time, they say.

The lack of class barriers is an added plus for the Thompsons. “There will be a guy with a half a million dollar motor home, and he’s no different than you and me.  There are no boss-employee lines.  Everyone is equal and just having a good time,” says Myron.

Like many snowbirds, the Keepers’ will not come back to Minnesota for the holidays.  “Christmas is a wonderful time down there,” Don says, as Liz shows pictures of palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights, and a decorated cactus in their yard.  “Besides, you talk to most grandparents who come back to see their grandchildren, and they come and ask, ‘How’s it going, Grandpa?’ and they’re gone right away.”

In their travels, the Thompsons have encountered other couples who have sold their houses and live in their RVs fulltime, travelling the country.  “We came home last year ready to do that,” says Colleen, “but our banker son talked us out of it.”

“And we have so many friends down there, that is our home, too,” adds Liz.   Like the Keepers, the Thompsons will be heading south in mid-October this year.  “Each year we leave earlier and come back later,” says Myron, though this year family events like weddings and graduations will cut down on the time they spend in Arizona in both the fall and the spring.

Myron believes they are well positioned to go full time, however. “We know of a couple who has lived “If you’re hungry, you eat; if the in a unit just like ours for 15 or more sun goes down, you sleep,” says years, and they’re very comfortable,” Myron.  “You can sit on the patio in he says. the afternoon and have a drink if you   want, have snacks, read.  There’s just   no hurry to do anything.” As the Thompsons prepare to leave for the South this fall, they’ll drain the The first year, they didn’t leave until water pipes in their house—a necessity after Christmas, so they could spend after suffering a flooded basement a the holidays with their children and few years ago.  Though it was a bit of grandchildren.  They were heading for a fluke, Myron calls it a comfort factor Texas, that year.  “We had 18 inches activity. of ice and snow on the camper, and couldn’t get in it until we hit Waco,”   recalls Colleen.  Since they won’t be staying in one   place, they won’t have their mail forwarded by the post office.  Instead, Unlike the Keepers’, the Thompsons their son will pick up the mail when he pull a fifth wheel trailer and don’t ”This emblem on the RV camper checks on the house, and either send stay in a permanent place.  Instead, highlights all the states the Thompsons   traveled.” it to the park where they are staying they have joined a couple of camping have or send it general delivery to the post organizations that allow stays of up to three weeks in assorted campgrounds. “I suppose we could do that here, office near where they are, as they make When their three weeks are up, then it’s too,” Colleen adds, “but it just feels like reservations three months in advance. time to move on.  “We get to see more, there’s always something that needs to   meet more people, and have more fun,” be done here.  Sometimes Myron will Although the Thompsons agree explains Colleen. ask me if this is church day (Sunday).  that many of the parks put on great One day just flows into the next.”   Christmas parties, they prefer to be with   family for the holidays. “We always try The word both Thompsons use to describe their snowbird experience is The Thompsons also enjoy the social to make it to my sister’s in Tucson for “relaxing.”  aspect of their snowbird experience.  Christmas, so we aren’t so homesick,” “I’ll take the garbage down and get Colleen says.    back two hours later,” he says.

“The Thompsons enjoy their beautiful RV kitchen.”

Mature Lifestyle September 2012 17

Last Will & Testament

What You Didn’t Know You Need to Know about Your Will

Like why you might need one, or why you might need to make some changes to the one you already have. By Sara Gilbert Frederick


orun Groe Meierding can’t be sure why people choose not to have a will. Those aren’t the people who come to chat with her or one of the other attorneys at Maschka Riedy & Ries in Mankato, after all. “I don’t know what holds people back,” she says. “Maybe the expense? Maybe they don’t like attorneys?” When it comes to writing a will, however, Meierding says that an attorney can be your friend. Attorneys know what questions to ask about your estate. They know the statutes relating to the execution of a will. They know how the courts in the area handle probate, or the official proving of a will in court. They understand the legal nuances better than most. They know that there are a few things you don’t know—and that you should know—about your will.


Will or no will, you still can’t take it with you when you go. “If you don’t have a will, then the state has one for you,” Meierding says. “Something has to be done with your assets.” You can decide what you want to do with them, by putting those wishes in a legal document, or you can let the state decide. “Some people are okay with that,” Meierding says. “It 18 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle


goes to the spouse, then to the children. Divorce dissolves any legal If that’s what you would have wanted, rights to an estate. Even if then that is fine.” a former spouse is still named as the beneficiary in the will or other documents, no assets can be distributed You cannot cut your spouse to that person. It’s one of only two out of your will. You can cases Meierding can think of in which cut your children out. You can even a will is rendered ineffective. “The cut just one or two of your children other,” she says, “is if you’ve killed out. You can cut anyone else out as the person.” well—just not your spouse. “Your spouse is the only one who is entitled to your assets,” Meierding explains. Even so, divorced couples “A spouse can contest a will, if they would be wise to revisit their are provided with less than they would documents and revise the beneficiaries have received by statute.” There are they name. “You still want to get it exceptions, of course; couples sign changed, so that you can redistribute prenuptial agreements, for example, your assets as you want,” Meierding often have established guidelines says. about the distribution of wealth upon death that lay the groundwork for the execution of the will as well.




Everyone, actually, would be in a disclaimer trust. Upon your death, in place,” she says. “It may end up wise to revisit their documents your beneficiary has the option to the same way you had hoped it would from time regardless, but if you to time. Meierding have it written down, recommends taking then you will know a look at them at that it will happen.” least once every five years. Make sure the Peace of correct beneficiaries mind is worth are named and that the the price you pay to people you’ve given draw up a will you feel power of attorney and good about. “To have health care directive to your affairs in order, are still your choices. to know that once you Those can be changed die your wishes will easily if necessary. be carried out—I don’t know if you can put You can a price tag on that,” make your own list of your either receive your assets in full or to Meierding says. “I tend to think the personal belongings and designate disclaim, or give up, the assets and peace of mind is worth it.”  who gets what; you don’t need a place them in a trust. “It’s a nice tool if lawyer to do that for you. But, to make you and your spouse have significant that list legally binding, its existence assets,” Meierding says. “It gives you needs to be mentioned in a will, and it the flexibility to make a decision about needs to be either written in your own those assets when you need to.” handwriting or signed by you.


6 7

Keep a copy of your will for yourself, and make sure the person you’ve asked to be your personal representative knows where to find the official copy as well. You can choose to file your will with your attorney’s office, where it will be stored in a fireproof safe. You can file it with the court, where it will be kept safe and sound until you request it for changes, or you die. Or you can tuck it into a safe deposit box—but know that once you are gone, it can be difficult for anyone else to gain access to that box.


If you’re concerned about the tax burden you might place on the beneficiaries named in your will, you can place your assets


How to Find a Free Sample of Last Will & Testament Template... • Your local Legal Aid Office

You’re probably not Offers sample forms & templates too young to have a will. Meierding says that she sees far more • Your local Library older clients than younger ones, and Resource materials & books to guide you often they are quite clear about their plans for their assets. She understands • Check Online that it may be harder for younger Websites offer FREE documents & templates people to think about the future quite so clearly, especially when their finances already feel stretched to the limit. But especially once ...With Care! children enter STS Wheelchair & Ambulatory Transportation the picture, she Services for individuals unable to drive to: recommends ● Medical Appointments ● Shopping developing at ● Family Visits ● And Other Destinations As Needed least a basic will Serving LeSueur & Scott Counties that designates Will consider other areas. Call for rates! guardians. “It’s always a good STS #376171 idea to have that

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Mature Lifestyle September 2012 19

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Where to go and what to do!


Blues Dancing Class Wednesdays through December 1, 9 p.m. Savoy Bar and Grill, 526 S. Front St., Mankato 507/385-0072 Bella Ruse Concert September 13, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Halling Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, MSU (507) 389-5549 Modern Living Show September 14-16, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. River Hills Mall, Mankato 612/418-4374 Trampled by Turtles Concert September 14, 7 p.m. Vetter Stone Amphitheater at Riverfront Park, Mankato (507) 389-3000 Winedown for the Weekend September 14, 21, & 28; October 5, 12, 19 & 26 Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm (507) 947-3547 History Fest Benefit “Do it for the Kids” September 15, 10 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Red Sky Lounge, Mankato Fall Fest @ the Arb 2012 September 15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Linnaeus Arboretum, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter (507) 933-6181 Black & White Gala, “The Artist” September 15, 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Centennial Student Union Ballroom, MSU (507) 387-1008 Zonta Fashion Show 2012 September 20, 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato; 507/387-8453 “November” September 19-22; 7:30 p.m. Andreas Theatre, MSU, Mankato; 507/389-6661

20 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

Arts on the Green September 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Campus Green, Bethany Lutheran College

“A Chorus Line” October 4-6 & 11-13, 7:30 p.m.; October 14, 2 p.m. Ted Paul Theatre, MSU, Mankato; 507/389-6661

Fall Home and Living Expo September 21-23, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. River Hills Mall, Mankato Disney Institute: Disney’s Approach to Quality Service September 24, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Centennial Student Union Ballroom, MSU; 507/389-8875

International Bioenergy Days Conference October 7-10, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Minnesota State University, Mankato; (507) 389-5198 Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson October 9, 7 p.m. Verizon Wireless Center (507) 389-3000

Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour September 27, 7 p.m. Verizon Wireless Center 507/389-3000

Signature Chef’s Auction October 11, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Snell Motors, 1900 Madison Avenue, Mankato (507) 388-6342

Gingerbread Craft Show September 28-30, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. River Hills Mall, Mankato (651) 45-8980

Historic Pub Crawl October 13, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Good Thunder (507) 345-5566

Remembering Front Street Opening Weekend September 28-29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Blue Earth County Historical Society, Mankato (507) 345-5566

Music on the Hill Concert, Mankato Symphony Orchestra October 14, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Chapel at Good Counsel (507) 625-8880

8th Annual Arf Walk September 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Land of Memories Park, Mankato (507) 625-6373

Fall Sidewalk Sales October 18-21, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. River Hills Mall (507) 385-7450

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Mankato September 29, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Riverfront Park, Mankato

Mankato Marathon October 20-21 Mankato; 507/385-6664

Merely Players presents “Helen’s Inner Circle” September 28-October7, 7:30 p.m. Lincoln Community Center, Mankato (507) 388-5483 Remembering the Boys in Blue Glenwood Cemetery Tour September 29, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Glenwood Cemetery, Mankato (507) 625-8056


The Unforgiving Minute—Book Discussion October 3, 7 p.m.-8 p.m. North Mankato Taylor Library (507) 389-5498

Wine Diva Weekend November 2-4, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm (507) 947-3547

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Mature Lifestyle September 2012 21


Traveling Together

Barry and Kathy Wortel team up to lead group travel trips every year.

By Sara Gilbert Frederick


or their 35th wedding anniversary last fall, Barry and Kathy Wortel took an Alaskan cruise together.

doesn’t have anything like that, so that one was a little trickier to get through as a group.”

With 47 other people, most of whom they’d never met Even with the added responsibilities of leading the group, before. the Wortels agree that the cruise still felt like a vacation. Once the cruise began, their primary role as leaders was to answer any questions that came up and to check in with The trip, which the Wortels all of the travelers regularly. They hosted on behalf of the Travel scheduled occasional optional Center in Mankato, was one of activities for the group, including dozens that the couple has hosted excursions, happy hours and a together over the years—but it pub tour, but no one was required was the first time they had flown to join them. with that large of a group. Barry, a longtime KTOE radio personality, and Kathy, a media specialist with the Mankato Area Public Schools, have taken annual bus trips to Branson, Mo, since 2004; they’ve taken groups to see the Minnesota Twins play in Milwaukee, Wis., and in Kansas City, Mo. Every summer, they also fill a bus for several KTOE-Minnstar fan trips to Target Field for Twins games. But getting almost 50 people to and from Alaska was a different experience, they say.

“It was a great trip,” Barry says. “There were no glitches at all. It was a lot of fun.” That’s how the Wortels feel about all of the trips they take, whether as leaders of a group or just a couple. They try to visit a new city every summer, often timing it around their July 2 anniversary and usually including a baseball game somewhere on the intinerary; they’ve been to ballparks in New York, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington D.C., to name just a few.

On November 1, they’re heading back to Branson again. Although this will be their seventh trip to the music and “The gal at the Travel Center said to me, ‘Barry, once you entertainment mecca in Missouri, they’re looking forward get them all on the plane and all on the ship, then it will be to the adventure, as always. easy,’” he says. “And it really was.” “It isn’t necessarily Branson that I love,” Kathy explains. “The airport was the only part with the potential to be a “It’s the people we go with. They’re always different, and hassle,” Kathy adds. “In Minneapolis, there’s a group gate they’re always so much fun. Those are my four favorite that you go out of, which is nice. But the Seattle airport 22 September 2012 Mature Lifestyle

Matthew Barnes

1400 Madison Ave #322 Mankato, MN 56001

days of the year. We just have such a wonderful time there.” Even though they often see the same shows year after year, watching a new group of travelers experience it keeps it fresh for them. Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff has used the same material every time they’ve seen him, for example, but the Wortels still find themselves laughing at the familiar lines. “It’s fun to see other people enjoy it,” Barry says. “Seeing them laugh is what makes us laugh.” The Wortels have hosted almost every trip together, as a couple (their daughters have filled in for Kathy twice— once when she was sick and once when she had to work). It’s a nice getaway for them, they agree, but it’s also a lot of work.

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“You definitely need two people,” Barry explains. “It’s easier to pull things off with two, and issues do come up that are easier to handle if you have two people.” But even when one is leading a group into a venue while the other follows behind at the rear to keep any stragglers together, Answers from puzzle on page 13 the Wortels enjoy the opportunity to travel together no matter where they go. “We enjoy whatever we do,” Barry says. “It’s been a great opportunity for us.” 

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Mature Lifestyles Magazine  
Mature Lifestyles Magazine  

Mature Magazine is geared to those who are 45+. Stories about growing older and making a difference.