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NOVEMBER 2018

Andrea Jenkins Going GLUTEN FREE

PLUS HOUSING RESOURCES INSIDE

MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL VICE PRESIDENT LOOKS BACK ON HER FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE

Where has religion gone? Oh-so-sunny SANTA BARBARA!   The strange story of IGNATIUS DONNELLY


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Contents

NOVEMBER GOOD START FROM THE EDITOR

8 Andrea Jenkins — regardless of gender — looks like a leader to me.

MY TURN

10 These five Minnesotans belong on the nice list this holiday season.

MEMORIES

12 Are we witnessing the final days of simple, small-town religion?

MINNESOTA HISTORY

14 Meet our state’s most famed Shakespeare conspiracy theorist.

20

COASTAL LIVING

Fine food, drink, history, architecture and natural wonders abound in the sunny, palm-lined oasis that is Santa Barbara.

⊳⊳ Santa Barbara sits on one of the longest south-facing stretches of coastline on the West Coast.

GOOD HEALTH CAREGIVING

16 There’s no easy formula for when to move a loved one into memory care.

WELLNESS

18 Beyond celiac disease: Could you be sensitive to gluten?

GOOD LIVING HOUSING SPOTLIGHT

26 Community spaces give Affinity at Eagan an edge.

HOUSING

36

ON THE COVER

30

HOUSING LISTINGS

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins shares highlights from her first year representing Minneapolis’ 8th Ward. Photos by Tracy Walsh

28 Consider these tips when deciding if it’s OK for Mom to live alone.

FINANCE

32 Here’s how to manage the costs of owning a home in retirement.

45

CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR

6 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

48

BRAIN TEASERS

NANA & MAMA

34 These days, it’s easier than ever to connect with far-flung grandkids.


FROM THE EDITOR Volume 37 / Issue 11 PUBLISHER

Janis Hall jhall@mngoodage.com

CO-PUBLISHER AND SALES MANAGER

Terry Gahan tgahan@mngoodage.com

GENERAL MANAGER

Zoe Gahan zgahan@mngoodage.com

EDITOR

Sarah Jackson editor@mngoodage.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Carolyn A. Brent, Ed Dykhuizen Catherine Engstrom, Carol Hall Larry Kallevig, Julie Kendrick, Tracy Walsh Laura Groenjes Mitchell, Dave Nimmer Lauren Peck, Mary Rose Remington Carrie Luger Slayback, Carla Waldemar

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Valerie Moe

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Micah Edel

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Brenda Taylor

CLIENT SERVICES

Delaney Patterson 612-436-5070 dpatterson@mngoodage.com

CIRCULATION

Marlo Johnson distribution@mngoodage.com

40,000 copies of Minnesota Good Age are distributed to homes and businesses metro-wide. Minnesota Good Age (ISSN 2333-3197) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. Minnesota Good Age, 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403 © 2018 Minnesota Premier Publications, Inc. Subscriptions are $18 per year.

8 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Transcendent BY SARAH JACKSON

W

hen most people talk about Andrea Jenkins, including Time magazine, the first thing that comes up is her status as “the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to office in the United States.” But at the end of the day, Andrea Jenkins is just a human being — an impressive human by any measure, a human who transcends gender identity with all that she’s done. She’s a parent (and grandparent), a writer, a poet, a performance artist and, P.S., Minneapolis’ Photo by Tracy Walsh • tracywalshphoto.com City Council Vice President, who represents the 8th Ward of the city. Her story is one of conquering diversity. She grew up on the south side of Chicago in a low-income, working-class community, with a single mother who loved her children and wanted them to get a good education. Jenkins achieved that dream — and more — with a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and even a Bush Fellowship in 2011 to advance the work of transgender inclusion. She went on to serve as the curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota. She worked for a decade as a vocational counselor with Hennepin County and then went on to work as a staffer at City Hall, where she worked for 12 years for the council on which she now serves. Wow! And she did it all while going through personal life changes I reckon few of us can imagine — and kept her creative passions going, too. Not bad for 57 years on the planet. And that’s only part of her story. You can read more — including some of her poetry — in the profile in this issue. You can also hear about her favorite accomplishments so far in her leadership role at one of the largest cities in the land. Jenkins has been described as having an uncanny calm in the face of real danger for minority groups. When I met her during our cover photoshoot at City Hall, I was struck by her grace and wisdom. I noticed how evenly and warmly she treated everyone she met — from high-powered folks in the hallways to the hard-working staff in her office. Offering that kindness, of course, has nothing to do with gender. It’s what good humans do.


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MY TURN

A time for gratitude BY DAVE NIMMER

H

ere it is, November, a month that’s hard for me: Days get short. Winter is coming. I can slip on the driveway while taking out the garbage. I can’t breathe as well. So, it’s time for me to come up with a list of those things for which I’m thankful — in this month of Thanksgiving. My list this year is made up of people — human beings, not things — and it begins with Lindsay Whalen. I’m thankful I was able to watch her play basketball for almost two decades, first at the University of Minnesota and then with the Minnesota Lynx. She changed the way I looked at women’s basketball. She made me take it seriously. She could put a ballclub on her back in the fourth quarter with her drives to the basket or no-look passes. Fierce, gritty, heroic: The adjectives defined her. Besides all of that, she’s a good human being, generous with fans and open with the media. In fact, she turned out to be witty

10 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

and deft with reporters’ questions. I think she’s the most impressive Minnesota athlete of the decade — man or woman. Her boss, Lynx and Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor is also on my gratitude list. I’m thankful he’s the owner of the Star Tribune, one of the best metro papers in the country. The Strib is adequately staffed, colorfully written and thoughtfully comprehensive. And Taylor isn’t making a fortune; he’s merely breaking even. That takes a good citizen, one who understands the value of a free press and vetted information. The paper’s series on sexual assaults in Minnesota that were investigated poorly, or not at all, was a textbook example of good investigative reporting. The young mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul are two good examples of enlightened leadership. Jacob Frey of Minneapolis and Melvin Carter of St. Paul are energetic and engaged in the events in their cities. They show up

She changed the way I looked at women's basketball. She made me take it seriously. publicly in times of crisis and conflict, something former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges didn’t consistently do. Carter led the charge to release a bodycam video in the wake of a controversial police shooting in the city’s SummitUniversity neighborhood. Frey has been a central figure in efforts to deal with a growing number of homeless men and


⊳ Basketball legend Lindsay Whalen took on the Washington Mystics in August 2018, her final regularseason game before retiring from the Minnesota Lynx. Photo by Lorie Shaull

Dave Nimmer had a long career as a reporter, editor and professor. Now retired, he has no business card, but plenty to do. Send comments or questions to dnimmer@mngoodage.com.

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women living in a tent city at Hiawatha and Cedar avenues. Both mayors seem to understand when folks need to hear from them and when to show they’re engaged and aware of potential problems. Finally, I’m thankful for the people of the Twin Cities who behaved so peacefully during the Super Eid celebration late this summer at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thousands of Muslims came to the stadium to celebrate the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham to Christians and Jews). They came driving, riding and on foot. According to news reports, the security staff was helpful. The police surrounding the stadium were respectful. The parade of Muslims into the place was orderly. The onlookers outside were friendly. No incidents. No arrests. No violence. I loved the Star Tribune’s description of the scene: “It was eerier inside the stadium — no big screens, no advertisements. There wasn’t any consumption going on — no beer, hot dogs or peanuts interrupted the action. Concession stands were dark and abandoned. The majority of people who came that day were seeing it for the first time, impressed by the epic place.” I’m impressed by those who came to work, pray and simply watch. They say a lot about the society I want to be a part of — and they provide an alternative picture to us old guys who sometimes wonder whether the best days are behind us. They aren’t.

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MEMORIES

Where has religion gone? BY CAROL HALL

W

hen I was growing up, Sunday morning found me in church. With my parents. In the second pew from the front, right aisle. Period! Actually, Sunday school, which took place in the church basement, preceded the service. But once upstairs, I was seated between my dad and mother — he, who unfailingly wore a suit, vest and tie, and she, a hat, gloves and “good” dress. I sat fidgeting, also in a “good” dress — they were always uncomfortable — with a nickel knotted inside my hanky, ready for the offering plate. We were Norwegian Lutheran. We also had a Swedish Lutheran and a German Lutheran church in our small southwestern Minnesota town. Our pastor was a stern-looking man with a bristly black mustache, who usually delivered an equally stern sermon. Our church, built early in the century, featured magnificent stained-glass windows on each side and an upper balcony in the rear. A pipe organ, played by the minister’s daughter, made the hymns we sang seem truly holy, reverent. Sunday was set aside for church then, in the 1940s and ’50s. Attendance was sacrosanct. Inviolable. But when I reached my teens, I began to chafe. Sunday evenings often were filled with Luther League activities. Saturday mornings were spent in confirmation training, which meant even more church during the weekend. When I left home at age 18, I found myself resisting attending church

12 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

services. The overkill of those teen years was taking its toll. Even now, I don’t look back on them with fondness. Nevertheless, I appreciate what they did for me — beyond their intended purpose of nurturing my spirituality. Even though my era was sans drugs — drinking and smoking were our big temptations — as teenage kids we needed an anchor, simply because we were stuck in that confusing time between childhood and adulthood. Church provided

that anchor. The lessons learned there were positive: Love thy neighbor, respect thy parents, do good works, walk humbly with your God. Our mandatory church attendance made good practice for future career discipline. The seriousness of the sermons and their solemnity set the stage for dealing with life’s inevitable and sometimes unsolvable problems. When I read about how church membership is declining in our country


Many churches are closing for good, including the tiny ones that dot the country hills and vales of my home territory, like the one founded by my immigrant ancestors. today, I feel sad. The valuable life lessons I learned there are something many children today — including some in my own family — are missing out on. But the tables have indeed turned. Most mainline Christian denominations are facing unprecedented declines. Many churches are closing for good, including the tiny ones that dot the country hills and vales of my home territory, like the one founded by my immigrant ancestors. This humble white structure with the tall Norwegian steeple is set in the peaceful agricultural region of Minnesota that those sturdy pioneers farmed. A pasture flanks one side; a grove with a small stream running past it, the other. My mother was baptized, confirmed and married there. Her forebears and siblings are buried in the grounds. Its closing sadly symbolizes a way of life now fading. Carol Hall lives in Woodbury. She’s a longtime freelance writer, a University of Minnesota graduate and a former Northwest Airlines stewardess. Send comments and questions to chall@mngoodage.com.

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MINNESOTA HISTORY

The eccentric Mr. Donnelly BY LAUREN PECK

T

his November marks the 187th birthday of one of Minnesota’s most prominent and eccentric figures of the 19th century — Ignatius Donnelly. While his name is less known to Minnesotans today, Donnelly not only held numerous public offices (including lieutenant governor at an exceptionally young age), but he also went on to become a best-selling author and a famed Shakespeare conspiracy theorist. Born on Nov. 3, 1831, in Philadelphia, Donnelly visited Minnesota Territory in 1856 at age 25 and quickly became part of a land-speculation scheme establishing the townsite of Nininger, located on the Mississippi River near Hastings. Donnelly soon moved his family to Nininger — named for his business partner, John Nininger — and took on the role of promoting the new town. By the summer of 1857, new construction was booming, and Donnelly and John Nininger were selling land for almost 20 times the original price. But the town’s promise was quashed by the financial panic of 1857. By 1869, the town had largely disappeared with Donnelly’s home and a post office standing among the few remaining buildings. Though their town venture failed, Donnelly’s relationship with John Nininger connected him with Nininger’s brother-in-law, Alexander Ramsey, 14 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Minnesota’s first territorial governor. When Ramsey ran for state governor in 1859, Donnelly was his Republican running mate and he became lieutenant governor at age 28.

A critical misstep In 1862, Donnelly was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the youngest member at the time. He served several terms and worked on a variety of issues, including land grants for western railroads and the education of former slaves. But his national political career went downhill when Rep. Elihu Washburne of Illinois accused Donnelly of taking bribes from railroad companies. In response, Donnelly delivered a vulgar, hour-long speech on the House floor, saying, “If there be one character which, while blotched and spotted all over, yet raves and rants and blackguards like a prostitute; if there be one bold, bad, empty bellowing demagogue, it is the gentleman from Illinois.” Donnelly’s speech shocked the country, and the St. Paul Pioneer called him “the nastiest and most foul-mouthed wretch who ever had a seat in the American Congress.” The Republican party turned

The Cipher: In the Plays, and on the Tombstone continued his elaborate theory that Francis Bacon was the real Shakespeare. against him, and Donnelly ended up losing his House seat in his fourth reelection bid. Donnelly soon left the GOP and — while he never won statewide office again — was elected to the Minnesota legislature nine times as a third-party candidate between 1874 and 1901. Throughout the 1870s, he lectured around the state on behalf of farmers and helped form the Anti-Monopoly Party, advocating for farmers who were exploited by railroads


▲ Ignatius Donnelly, 1898. Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

and banks. In the 1890s, he also became a leader of the Populist Party, a coalition of populist third parties, and drafted the party’s platform in 1892.

The prince of ‘cranks’ In addition to his political career, Donnelly was a prolific writer. He published his first book of poetry at age 19. The pseudoscience book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World was published in 1882, in which Donnelly argued that Atlantis had existed, but was destroyed by a natural disaster. He also claimed that all ancient civilizations had originated from the island. The book was a bestseller with 23 U.S. editions by 1890 and several foreign translations. Donnelly received letters about the book from luminaries such as British Prime Minister William Gladstone and Charles Darwin, who was skeptical of Donnelly’s science. His writing remained fairly fantastical, earning him the nickname “the prince of American cranks.” The Great Cryptogram, published in 1888, detailed how he’d cracked a secret code in Shakespeare’s works, proving they’d actually been penned by English philosopher Francis Bacon. Donnelly’s personal copy of the book, now in the Minnesota Historical Society collections, is full of his handwritten notes as he continued to revise his analysis even after publication.

Holding out for Populism Donnelly also published a dystopian sci-fi novel, Caesar’s Column, in 1890. Set in 1988, the book told the story of a scientifically advanced, but nightmarish future, in which the United States is ruled

▲ A Swedish-language copy of Caesar’s Column, 1891.

by a financial oligarchy that is eventually overthrown in a bloody rebellion. The book mirrored his populist political views advocating for ordinary people and sold an estimated 200,000 copies. Donnelly saw his book as moral fiction, modestly calling Caesar’s Column “the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the new revolution.” In 1899, he published his final book, The Cipher: In the Plays, and on the Tombstone, which continued his elaborate theory that Francis Bacon was the real Shakespeare. (It’s still in print today and for sale on Amazon, courtesy of Londonbased Forgotten Books.) In the 1900 presidential election, Donnelly ran as the Populist Party’s vice presidential candidate with Wharton Barker, and the duo received about 50,000 votes. A few months later, Donnelly died of a heart attack at age 69. Today the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections house numerous editions of Donnelly’s writing as well as his extensive personal papers, including letters and diaries. Lauren Peck is a public relations specialist for the Minnesota Historical Society. Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 15

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CAREGIVING

Making the call on memory care Making the call on memory care BY CATHERINE ENGSTROM

BY CATHERINE ENGSTROM

I

n my job as a caregiver consultant at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, I work with people who are caring for a family member or friend, often someone with dementia. I’ve learned from this work that caregiving for a person with dementia is one of the most difficult challenges in life. There’s so much grief and uncertainty for the caregiver and — to make matters worse — often the person they’ve always turned to for counsel and comfort is slipping away. There’s a lot I can offer to help these families, including finding community resources such as day programs, open invitations to support groups and coaching on how to manage difficult behaviors. One of the most frequent requests I get from caregivers is help with the transition from caring for the person at home to caring for them in memory care. For caregivers who are ready to make that transition, I can offer information about the different types of memory-care facilities, the costs and even ideas about how to evaluate them. But for many the struggle is less in figuring out where to move the person and more about when. 16 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

This decision, like so many caregiving decisions, is deeply personal and unique to each situation. Many caregivers ask for a sign that it’s time — such as a diagnosis or a test that will then result in a prescription for memory care. I understand this desire for certainty, and I wish I could give it. While there are assessments that can give information about the safety of someone being left alone or the amount of care a person needs, there’s no assessment that can definitively say to a caregiver, “The care this person requires is now beyond what you can do at home.” So many caregivers find themselves stuck in uncertainty about whether they should move their loved one and/or themselves to more supportive housing. Even though I can’t tell a caregiver when it’s time for them to move, I can suggest that they consider more than just the needs of the person they’re caring for. I tell them that if they have the money and the ability, they can care for someone at home for a very long time. But at some point, it may come at a cost to their own health, wellbeing and possibly their relationship with the person they’re caring for.

I also remind them that just because the person they’re caring for will be living in a facility, they most definitely still will be doing caregiving! I also encourage caregivers who are grappling with this decision to meet with other caregivers. Other caregivers understand better than anyone what they’re going through. Earlier this spring and again this summer we hosted a series of events for caregivers thinking about moving. They included information on available housing, rights of residents and their families in facilities, and tours of a few facilities to get an idea of what they look like and what questions to ask. Many caregivers said the most valuable part was hearing from others about what they were looking for and what questions they were asking. Deciding when it’s time to move someone into memory-care facility is very difficult and complex. There’s support available, however, even if there aren’t easy answers. Catherine Engstrom is a licensed social worker in Caregiver Services at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul. Learn more at wilder.org.


Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 17


WELLNESS

Should you go gluten free? BY CARRIE LUGER SLAYBACK

“D

o you see ‘Complaint Department’ written across my forehead?” I asked my husband as I hung up from my niece’s phone call. My niece was in pain as usual — bloated, cramping and working in a very small space. “Co-workers can hear every bathroom noise!” she wailed. My husband and I agreed she seemed to be a bit of a hypochondriac. Then suddenly my niece’s health complaints stopped.  How? She eliminated gluten. Whoops, our hypochondriac cured herself. Her turnaround made me confront my own judgmental nature about gluten and inspired me to actually research the topic. I found that there are two medical conditions associated with gluten intolerance:

Celiac disease This is an established diagnosis (with identifiable genetic markers) that affects an estimated 1 percent of the U.S. population. According to the Mayo Clinic, celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating foods containing wheat, barley and rye gluten. Gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine, which produces inflammation with potential to damage the lining of the small intestine, preventing absorption of some nutrients. WebMD names the nutrients as fat, 18 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

calcium, iron and folate. If left untreated, complications from the disease can include iron deficiency, osteoporosis and lymphomas of the small intestine. Fortunately, testing for nutritional deficiencies through blood tests, stool samples or endoscopy can definitively diagnose celiac disease.

Gluten sensitive The second group of people reporting reactions to eating gluten have lately been labeled as “gluten sensitive.” Dr. Stefano Guandalini at University of Chicago, in talking to WebMD, said: “Gluten sensitivity is a condition that doctors once dismissed, but now recognize as legitimate.” Since it’s important to separate those with celiac disease from those with gluten sensitivity, Guandalini warns against starting a gluten-free diet without first being tested for celiac disease. Going gluten-free can eradicate the antibodies found in the tests, thus delaying diagnosis of celiac disease and treatment of its dangerous complications. Kenneth Chang’s 2013 New York Times article, Gluten-Free, Whether You Need It or Not, explained that gluten sensitivity is “less a diagnosis than a description — someone who does not have celiac disease, but whose health improves on a gluten-free diet, worsening again if gluten is eaten.”  The above may seem academic, but both

celiac disease and the new diagnosis of gluten sensitivity are on the rise according to Guandalini, who’s spent the past 40 years studying gluten-related diseases. Meanwhile, a 1.5 billion dollar industry fills grocery shelves with products labeled “gluten free.” Health professionals — besides cautioning people against self-diagnosis — agree that going gluten free isn’t necessarily a healthier option for 99 percent of the population who can digest gluten. In an article on ScientificAmerican.com, dietitian Katherine Tallmadge said: “Whole grains, which contain gluten, are good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals.” Not all gluten-free products are created equal either. Potato chips can be certified gluten free, but they aren’t a health food. The article, of course, also pointed out that skipping all packaged foods — and eating a whole-foods diet of fruits, vegetables and small amounts of lean protein — will result in a healthy, virtually gluten-free diet anyway. (Learn more at celiac.org.) I shared my research with my niece. She’s ignoring it. First, her insurance doesn’t cover gluten testing, and second, she feels so much better, she’ll never return to wheat. In the meantime, I send her garbanzo-flour raspberry muffins, which everybody likes. Carrie Luger Slayback, in addition to being a freelance writer, is award-winning teacher and champion marathoner.


Simply

Sumptuo Photos courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara; by Blake Bronstad, David Collier, Lucky Penny, Max Whittaker, Mark Weber 20 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


ous

Bask in the sun and surf in Santa Barbara after a direct flight from MSP. By Carla Waldemar

They call it the American Riviera, where frenzied Los Angelinos come to escape the rat race. Where the rich and famous head to kick back. And where the rest of us swarm to bask in the endless sun and surf aside platoons of palms, fruity fig trees and brilliant blossoms festooning every possible surface.

Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 21


PLAN YOUR TRIP!

Sun Country Airlines is offering nonstop seasonal service from MSP to Santa Barbara through Dec. 9. Learn more at suncountry.com and santabarbaraCA.com.

Me? I’m here to channel my inner Julia Child. She lived in nearby Montecito, shopped at Saturday’s farmers market and vowed that a certain taco stand was “the best restaurant on earth.”

indie boutiques, wine-tasting rooms and farm-to-fork cafes. No skyscrapers, no billboards, no neon, by law: Instead, you’ll find white stucco walls topped by redtiled Spanish Mission-style roofs, fronting streets named after conquistadors.

“She never stopped talking about it,” said our guide on a fabulous, four-hour Eat This, Shoot That! walking tour. As its title hints, the tour allows visitors to not only sample food and drink at special local haunts, but also receive tips on how to best photograph these treats with a mobile phone. The neighborhood we’re tramping through is called The Funk Zone — named, we learn, for the smelly fish market that once occupied the formerly seedy niche of Santa Barbara between State and Garden streets near the water. Not anymore: It’s now the city’s trendy artists’ quarter, crammed with galleries,

A hop-on/hop-off trolley tour, leaving from the harborside visitors center, provides an overview and a history lesson in the city’s past. We trundled through ritzy Montecito, home of glam resorts, the zoo and Oprah, then up to the beloved Santa Barbara Mission of 1786, with its twin towers silhouetted against the tawny surrounding mountains. (It’s called Queen of the Missions among the 21 that dot the California coast.) There’s an even earlier church — 1782 — clasped within the El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, the fort where the Spanish set up shop, in what’s now the heart of town, where the protec-

22 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Mission and museums

tion it offers today is from sunburn rather than members of the Chumash tribe. To add flesh to these historic bones, step into the nearby Santa Barbara Historical Museum, where all that glitters probably is gold, from church treasures carried by intrepid missionaries from Spain and Mexico to an old scale, weighing a panner’s findings in the Gold Rush. That rush brought more immigrants, spelled out in an exhibit called Bandits! and another on Chinese arrivals, with gorgeous silks and a shrine. A Project Fiesta! exhibit employs restored ruffled costumes, posters, art and artifacts. Santa Barbara herself gazed patiently upon us from her carved likeness.

On the water The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum fills in the gaps, starting with the nearby discovery of a human bone 13,000 years old (!), well before Juan Cabrillo of Spain sailed up the coast from Mexico


in 1542. The Chumash natives greeted him in their sophisticated canoes. Seal hunters and whaling ships followed, then surfers in the mellow 1960s. Interactive exhibits allow you to steer a vessel and peer through a periscope, too. The Sea Center at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (on the city’s historic Stearns Wharf) presents close encounters with marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel.

Near the wharf, board a tour boat for a jaunt along the coastline, which includes spying sea lions, nonchalantly catching rays atop cement buoys, who batted nary an eye at us as we passed. You can go whale watching here, too, to see Pacific greys, humpbacks and even a few blues, plus dolphins — or just jump right into the salt spray with the locals at the area’s many sandy swimming beaches. (See 10best.com for a list.)

Sumptuous city life Dry your toes, then step aboard the State Street shuttle bus (25 cents). Or hike along wide brick, palm-shaded sidewalks, past shops galore (my favorite: a Japanese micro-Walmart called Miniso — like Hello Kitty for grown-ups) on down to the prettiest building in town: up, the courthouse, with its signs in fake Olde Spanish and everything else in a 1925 version of Colonial decor.

Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 23


Patterned tiles climb every surface, creating a glorious, inside-the-kaleidoscope experience. Clamber to the bell tower for a 360-degree view of the city, then relax on the courtyard lawn as festive wedding parties troop past. But Julia’s calling. Saturday’s farmers market was her all-time fave, and now it’s mine, too: It boasts 140 vendors showcasing of-course-it’s-organic everything, from stone fruit of every persuasion to cucumbers shaped like lemons; newborn turnips and infant cobs of corn; bouquets of lavender; and mountains of avocados. A vendor of heirloom tomatoes offers free poetry readings with purchase (or, actually, without).

Fabulous food Speaking of avocados, the avo toast at Helena Avenue Bakery is perhaps the sexiest dish in the state — half a ruddy boiled egg on a chunky terrain of avocado atop a slice of house-baked toast, shimmering with a dash of olive oil and a sparkle of sea salt. The Lark, around the corner, was voted “one of the 30 best restaurants” in the land, and that’s a modest understatement. The casual café shines with platters like my salad, topped with baby yellow tomatoes, cukes, cantaloupe and goat cheese. I followed it up with suckling-pig porchetta toast, then smoked quail in porcini butter. Its neighbor, Loquita, knows a thing or two about tomatoes, too. We started with a toss of cherry tomatoes, peaches, mozzarella and pine nuts, then summoned a couple of the tapas for which this Spanish kitchen is famed, finishing with a seafood paella. Not to miss: the El Bulli olive — named for Spain’s foremost restaurant — an oval of liquid that explodes in your mouth (an effect made possible with a technique known as reverse spherification). Blackbird, in the Hotel Californian, whose chef came from California’s famed 24 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


French Laundry, got me at dessert — offering strawberries with hay semifreddo and nettle ice cream, plus rhubarb with meringue and wild-flower granite. At Hotel Indigo, its neighbor, Mezcal is the spirit of choice in its Mexican kitchen (Santo Mezcal); linger to ogle the art on loan from a local museum.

Minnesota connections Convivo’s Italian menu, in the Santa Barbara Inn, is devised by a Minnesota bro who graduated from Gustavus Adolphus before heading west. He makes a mean tagliolini, heaped with shellfish. Another Minnesota boy, who grew up in Willmar, now reigns at much-admired bouchon bistro, leading the vanguard of Wine Country cooking. He pairs foie gras with Belgian endive and Bordelaise sauce, rather than the usual fruit, then produces an avocado toast (yes, for dinner) that’s seductively chunky, not mashed. He’s rightly famed for his trio of scallops — one upon vanilla-scented risotto, another paired with prosciutto, potato rosti and corn pudding, and a third partnering with fennel, orange and tapenade. Spot-on wine pairings abound here, too. Speaking of which, the Urban Wine Trail sports 25 tasting rooms, virtually all within strolling distance (eight within 250 steps in the Funk district alone). Au Bon Climat and Santa Barbara Winery stand out as tops with their versions of the region’s heavy hitters, pinot noir and chardonnay. Another vintner, the man behind Jamie Slone Wines, boasts a Minnesota connection, too: He’s got a cabin in our north woods. Carla Waldemar is an award-winning food/travel/arts writer. She edits the annual Zagat Survey of Twin Cities restaurants and writes food and travel articles for publications around the world. She lives in Uptown. Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 25


HOUSING SPOTLIGHT

Affordable senior housing in Eagan BY SARAH JACKSON

T

here’s a new option for people ages 55 and older looking for independent living in the southeastern suburbs. Affinity at Eagan — at the interchange of Highway 77 (Cedar Avenue) and Highway 13 — is located across the street from Twin Cities Premium Outlets. The 174-unit property is a first in the state for the Inland Group, a Spokane, Washington-based multi-family housing developer and builder, which has opened numerous properties out West, including similar age-restricted communities. Like many senior-living communities, Affinity at Eagan offers a wealth of on-site amenities to engage residents. A few that stand out include a heated indoor salt-water pool and spa, a Zumba studio, virtual golf and — along with a dog run — an indoor dog-wash station. Though the rooms here may not be huge — about 500 square feet for studios and about 1,100 for 2-bedroom units — the residents all have access to 30,000 square feet of shared spaces designed for socializing, exercise and hobbies.

26 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

That includes the on-site Dilly Dally’s Pub offering Wednesday and Friday happy hours, and a theater featuring weekly 1 p.m. film screenings as part of Matinee Mondays. Add to that the facility’s family dining room, Internet cafe, library, game room, card room, craft room, workshop and — for outdoor spaces — a deck, outdoor kitchen and a community garden. Assistant community director Reanna Smith-Fields said the community’s claim to fame is how all-inclusive it is: Each unit comes with one heated underground parking space, plus free wi-fi, cable and utilities. “We offer luxury living at an affordable cost,” she said. “People rave about the customer service and the wide array of amenities that we offer.” Do you know of a new or interesting senior housing option — brand new or long-standing — in the Twin Cities that might make a good Housing Spotlight? Write Minnesota Good Age editor Sarah Jackson at editor@mngoodage.com with the subject line #HousingSpotlight.

Amenities ⊲ Heated indoor salt water pool and spa ⊲ Fitness center ⊲ Zumba studio ⊲ Dilly Dally’s Pub ⊲ Family dining room ⊲ Internet cafe ⊲ Virtual golf ⊲ Workshop ⊲ Library ⊲ Theater ⊲ Indoor dog-wash station ⊲ Dog run ⊲ Craft room ⊲ Game room ⊲ Billiards room ⊲ Card room ⊲ Community garden ⊲ Community deck ⊲ Covered patio ⊲ Outdoor kitchen and bbq


AFFINITY AT EAGAN WHERE: 4000 Eagan Outlets Pkwy. OPENING DATE: July 2018 AGES WELCOME: 55 and up NUMBER OF UNITS: 174 apart-

ments, including studio, 1- and 2-bedroom units ranging from 552 square feet to 1,235.

STARTING COST RANGE: $1,490

to $2,540. (Pet fees, storage and additional parking stalls cost extra.)

PROPERTY OWNER: The Wash-

ington-state based Inland Group (inlandconstruction. com) plans to open Affinity at Ramsey in 2019 at the southwest corner of Center Street and Ramsey Parkway, a few blocks from a Northstar commuter rail station.

PROPERTY OWNER: RM Senior Living Richfield LLC, 1964 W. Wayzata Blvd, Suite 200, Long Lake, MN 55326.

INFO: 651-454-3329

or affinityeagan.com Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 27


HOUSING

Signs your loved one may need more care BY CAROLYN A. BRENT

I

t’s a sad reality that — as people are living longer — we become less independent as the years go by. With multiple millions of baby boomers throughout the U.S. caring for aging parents (and aging themselves), throngs of adult caregivers are struggling to determine if a parent or loved one is fit to remain living alone. It’s a difficult, multi-faceted decision not to be made lightly, as there is much at stake — both the physical and emotional well-being of the older adult in question and for the extended family at large.

 To help determine if an elderly person should no longer live on their own, here are 10 signs to watch for when making this all-important decision, courtesy of Carolyn A. Brent, an eldercare authority and author of Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially & Legally for a Parents’ Death. 1: Tidiness slips: Mom or Dad has always been an excellent housekeeper, but the house just doesn’t look like it used to. The home is decidedly cluttered and not nearly as clean. Of course, this can mean a lot of things. Your parent may actually have an active social life and is more concerned about staying busy than tidying up. But it could be a more ominous sign that your loved one is having a difficult 28 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

time keeping up with all the chores. She may feel overwhelmed. His physical health may be slowing him down. Ask your parent or loved one if help is needed with the clutter, but do it in a nonchalant way to prompt a conversation. Keep a keen eye out for little details to discern if the clutter is getting worse each time you visit. 2: Mail keeps piling up: We all get busy — even those who are retired. But when basic tasks that were often dealt with quickly and easily during those younger days fall by the wayside, it could be a sign that an older adult is getting overwhelmed, and isn’t able to manage daily affairs. This problem may also indicate some issues with memory problems. 3: Bills go unpaid: If the checking account balance is wrong and bills are going unpaid, this can be a red flag for spotting memory issues or a newfound difficulty with math cognition. It can also indicate a general apathy — a mindset that can be equally problematic for someone with the responsibility required to effectively live alone.
 4: Weight loss occurs: Though some decrease in appetite is normal among older adults, losing a lot of weight suddenly is cause for concern. Pay close attention to

your loved one’s weight. Also, check the refrigerator and pantry to see if there’s an appropriate supply of food — and that what’s there is fresh and edible. Think about bringing groceries by, look into a service that offers prepared meal delivery or consider finding a housing option that provides regular, healthy meals.
 5: Hygiene lapses: If you notice that your parent is wearing the same clothing day in and day out — or that their hair or skin appears dirty on a fairly regular basis — they may have lost the motivation, ability and/or forethought to take care of basic hygiene. Living alone, they may feel like they don’t really need to dress up or clean up for anyone. 6: Clothing choices seem odd: While you might not share your mother"s or father’s sense of style, there’s cause for concern if your parent dons summer clothing in the dead of winter or leaves the house in a nightgown and slippers for a trip to the store. This often happens when older adults lose the ability to use discretion in social situations due to cognition issues. 7: Forgetfulness causes problems: You may have heard stories of older people who accidentally burn their houses down because they left a pot on the stove for hours and fell asleep — or about others


who have flooded a home by forgetting to turn off the tap. At some point, it can become unwise for your parent to be left home alone for extended periods of time. Watch for earlier signs of confusion, such as milk being placed in the pantry versus the refrigerator or other unusual or unsafe situations in the home. 8: Appointments go unattended: Forgetfulness, absentmindedness and memory issues may also show up when it comes to keeping certain appointments, recognizing key dates or — even more important — main-

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9: Behavior changes: This is always the sign that families dread the most. A parent begins acting just plain weird. You might notice your parent has lost his or her personality or their behavior has taken an odd turn. If you see signs of paranoia, fear, nervousness and strange phone calls and conversations, living assistance may be in order. 10: Depression sets in: A loss of interest in caring for one’s self as well as a lack of participation in socialization and in onceloved hobbies can mean that your parent needs treatment or should reside in an environment with other people. Sometimes, depression comes from a sense of loneliness or the realization they can no longer do things for themselves. Assistance, socialization and activities can help cure that loneliness and put them back on track to a more fulfilling, active and engaged life. 

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Carolyn A. Brent is an American author, bodybuilder and eldercare expert. She’s also the founder of Caregiver Story and Grandpa’s Dream, two nonprofits geared toward supporting caregivers. Her next book — Transforming Your Life Through Self-Care: A Guide To Tapping into Your Deep Beauty and Inner Worth — comes out in May 2019. Learn more at caregiverstory.com.  Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 29


HOUSING RESOURCES •MEMORY CARE •ASSISTED LIVING •INDEPENDENT HOUSING •LONG TERM CARE •NEW CONSTRUCTION AUGUSTANA CARE OF MINNEAPOLIS ••••

Our full continuum of care includes everything from independent living to skilled nursing, all on one campus! We offer in-home care, restaurant-style dining, a bank, pharmacy, grocery store, coffee shop, beauty shop, medical clinic, fitness center, and more! Minneapolis • 612-238-5555 minneapoliscampus.org

SAINT THERESE •••

Saint Therese is a nonprofit, senior living organization born 50 years ago out of a simple mission: do ordinary things with extraordinary love. Our continuum of care communities are rich with thoughtful amenities while our compassionate services reach the broader Twin Cities area through in-home services and wellness programs. Multiple locations • 612-322-5477 sainttherese.org

30 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

CITY OF SOUTH ST. PAUL, HOUSING DIVISION •

The City of South St. Paul operates 296 one-bedroom public housing apartments for residents aged 50+. Rent is based on 30% of tenant’s income. All utilities paid, on-site caretaker, security, after-hours answering service, community room, resident activities, laundry facilities. Call today for an appointment. South St. Paul • 651-554-3270 mostrow@sspmn.org

COMMONBOND COMMUNITIES ••

CommonBond builds stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities. As the largest nonprofit provider of affordable homes in the Upper Midwest, CommonBond has been building and sustaining homes with services to families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities since 1971. St. Paul • 651-291-1750 commonbond.org/findhousing

LYNGBLOMSTEN •••

Lyngblomsten is a Christian nonprofit organization serving older adults and their families. A continuum of care includes: independent housing with assisted living services, a full range of 24-hour skilled nursing options including short and long-term care, and community services and resources. St. Paul • 651-646-2941 lyngblomsten.org

NOKOMIS SQUARE COOPERATIVE •

Nokomis Square Cooperative is a member owned and operated housing and lifestyle choice for individuals 62 plus. We’re situated between Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Park in South Minneapolis. Concrete and steel construction and experienced maintenance staff provide a carefree, well-kept environment. Minneapolis • 612-721-5077 nokomissquare.com


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Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 31


FINANCE

Owning a home in retirement BY LARRY KALLEVIG

Y

our biggest costs in your golden years likely won’t be food, transportation or even health care. Housing makes up the majority of spending for pre-retirees and retirees, according to data by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are ways to cut down on the costs:

Pay off your mortgage This is an obvious way to cut back on housing expenses. I recommend my clients pay off all their debt before they retire, including their mortgages. Use one of these strategies to help yourself get there:

32 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

MAKE BIWEEKLY PAYMENTS: Most mortgages are set up so you pay them once a month. Instead, try making half of your payment every-other week. That adds up to 26 half-payments, or 13 full payments, per year. By making that one extra payment each year, you can take eight years off a 30-year mortgage, depending on the interest rate. Before you make extra payments, make sure your bank accepts additional payments and doesn’t charge prepayment fees. Be sure to tell the bank that you want your extra payment put toward the loan’s principal balance. REFINANCE TO A 15-YEAR MORTGAGE: By refinancing from a 30-year mortgage to a

15-year mortgage, you can cut down on the interest you’ll pay. As an added bonus, 15-year mortgages often come with interest rates about a quarter to three-quarters of a percentage point lower than 30-year mortgages. If your interest rate is already low and you don’t think it’s worth the closing costs of refinancing, you can pretend. Put extra money in each payment as if you were beholden to a 15-year mortgage.

Cut down on costs DOWNSIZE YOUR SPACE: Once the kids are no longer under your roof, downsizing can make good financial sense. You can cut down on mortgage costs if you haven’t


paid it off yet. Downsizing can also help you save on housing-related costs, such as utilities and taxes. And what about that furniture that can’t fit into your smaller space? Sell it for additional income.

GET A ROOMMATE: Who said roommates

HELP US BRING JOY TO ISOLATED SENIORS WITH YOUR GIFT!

are for the young? Retirees often end up living alone if their spouse passes away, but they don’t have to! Having another retiree in your home can help bring down costs and give you someone to talk to. You can also consider renting a room in your home, either to a long-term renter or on a shortterm basis when there are events in town.

KEEP UP WITH UPKEEP: Depending on your home’s age, homeowners should expect to spend 1 to 4 percent of their home’s value each year on maintenance and repairs. Some years you may spend a couple hundred dollars on paint. Other years you could be spending a few thousand on improvements such as a new roof. If you have an older home, expect to spend more than when you first moved in. Make sure to keep up to date on small maintenance projects to avoid surprise home repairs, which can be costly.

RESEARCH A REVERSE MORTGAGE: This type of mortgage is available to homeowners over age 62 who meet certain criteria. It allows homeowners to tap into their home’s equity, and you could use those funds to pay off higher-interest debt. A reverse mortgage doesn’t add a monthly bill; the amount you borrow is due upon death or if you sell your home. If you’re considering a reverse mortgage, talk with your financial professional to make sure it’s a good move for you. Larry Kallevig, owner of Haven Financial Group in Burnsville, helps clients create financial plans that ensure dependable and comfortable income in retirement. Learn more at havenfinancialgroup.com.

Gifts for Seniors provides donated gifts and life-affirming personal contact during the winter holidays and year round to isolated seniors in the Twin Cities metro area with the critical support of volunteers, donors, and community partners – people like you.

HOW TO HELP Host a Gift Barrel • Organize a Gift Drive Individual Shopping • Find us on AmazonSmile

GIFT IDEAS Cardigans • Slacks • Shirts • Blouses • Sweats • Fleece Nightwear • Robes • Socks • No-skid slippers • Hats • Scarves Mittens • Towel sets • Small appliances • Clocks (big numbers) Sheet sets • Blankets • Pillows • Dishes • Flatware CD or DVD players • Books • Music • Movies • Puzzles Personal care sets • Grocery gift cards • Cash donations Feel free to use this list for shopping ideas! We only accept new, unwrapped gift items.

giftsforseniors.org | 612-379-3205 info@giftsforseniors.org Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 33


NANA & MAMA

Staying in touch with Nana and Papa BY MARY ROSE REMINGTON AND LAURA GROENJES MITCHELL

MAMA:

We live 1,000 miles away from my parents. When our son was born, I wasn’t sure how the distance might affect his relationship with his grandparents. But over the past 2.5 years we’ve developed a system that’s worked really well to bridge the gap as much as possible. Although Kellan sees my parents in person only once every few months, he knows exactly who they are and doesn’t take any time to warm up during in-person visits. He’s still talking about his favorite parts of our last visit (three months ago) and planning for what he wants to do with everyone when we get together over Christmas. Careful planning and technology have been the two biggest factors in helping to ensure the distance isn’t a divide for our family. The frequency and type of communication and visits may vary for your family, but below are some strategies we’ve found helpful in our quest to stay in touch.

Connect digitally Set up an easy system for regularly sharing photos, in addition to texts and email messages, including: ■ Use a digital frame that can be updated wirelessly from anywhere in the world; ■ Set up a private shared photo album with apps like Google Drive, iCloud or private photo-sharing apps such as 23Snaps. ■ Leverage the power of video conferencing by using FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or other services. After you determine the platform, stick to a regular schedule if possible. 34 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Plan in-person visits Try to agree on an in-person visit schedule as far in advance as possible — taking into account the ideal time between visits and how to make that happen with holidays, birthdays and/or vacations. This will help all family members budget PTO and finances accordingly. You can also give each other airline gift cards instead of other gifts, and/or check out credit cards with airline miles/rewards.

NANA:

If I could have one superpower right now, I would choose teleporting. With two adult children and one grandson living in Denver, and my husband and I here in Minnesota, it wouldn’t matter that we live so far apart. But until scientists figure out how to teleport, or until we retire and move, our family will continue to search for creative ways to keep in touch over a long distance. Here’s what I find helps:

■ Videos and photos: These delights — which my daughter sends daily of my grandson via text — are priceless! His funny sayings and facial expressions make me laugh out loud. I turn on our digital photo album in the evening, which makes me feel closer to him since it can easily be updated with new photos from across the miles. ■ Face time: We almost always connect on Sunday afternoons, working around naptime to make sure we see the little guy in action. This really helps Kellan remember who we are, and not be a stranger with his Nana and Papa when we reunite. ■ Texting during college: My son, who attends college in Denver, is extremely busy with school and work and doesn’t have much time for long phone conversations. Texting helps us keep up in between visits and calls.


■ Flexible job: I’m grateful to be working at a hospital that supports work/life balance, and I take full advantage of the flexibility. I can work four 10-hour days to create longer weekends for visits — and not have to use paid time off. ■ Flight costs: My husband gets the credit for finding the best deals on flights, and we’re always willing to fly at odd hours — early morning and late nights — to get the best prices. ■ Road trip: Once a year we take a road trip, and stay at least one night with my mother-in-law, who lives in Nebraska, conveniently located at the halfway point to Denver. We make this trip during months with more predictable weather — not in the winter. ■ Holidays and birthdays: Long holiday weekends and birthdays often provide us the added incentive needed to schedule trips.

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If I could rewrite our family script, I’d place all three of my grown kids and grandchildren in the same ZIP code. Everyone would gather around our dinner table every Sunday for a lovingly prepared meal; we’d share stories and go for walks. And when my heart would ache, as it does sometimes in the middle of the week, I’d simply call my daughter and say, “Can I stop by after work for my Kellan fix?” But my adventurous adult children are writing their own stories, which puts us in different states across the country. So our family will continue to make staying in touch a priority — using technology and frequent-flyer miles — to bridge the 1,000-mile gap. Mary Rose Remington, a baby boomer grandmother living in Minneapolis, is documenting her journey in this occasional series with her daughter, Laura Groenjes Mitchell, a millennial mother who lives in Denver. Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 35


36 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


Zen Master Andrea Jenkins talks poetry and politics — and shares why she never loses hope by Julie Kendrick

IF YOU ASK ANDREA JENKINS WHAT SHE DOES FOR A LIVING, she won’t tell you she’s a politician. She won’t mention being the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to office in the United States. And she certainly won’t talk about being featured — along with 47 other women who broke barriers by running for public office — on the cover of Time magazine this past January. Instead, as Jenkins, 57, shakes your hand and offers a warm smile, she’ll probably answer that question about her occupation by telling you she’s a poet. “I always lead with ‘poet,’ because it’s my deep passion to be an artist, an educator and a Andrea Jenkins of Minneapolis, in addition humanitarian,” she said. “The ‘politician’ label is to working as an elected a new one. I don’t shy away from it, but that’s not official, is also a writer, poet, performance artist how I introduce myself.” and transgender activist.

Photos by Tracy Walsh

Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 37


Remaining hopeful Jenkins — the City Council Member for Minneapolis’ 8th Ward — is also the Vice President of the City Council. But she is so much more than that. As someone whose election made national and international headlines, Jenkins has been a groundbreaking figure for the transgender community. It’s clear that she’s serious and thoughtful about being a role model in the LGBT community. But her philosophies about leadership and democracy transcend her own identity (and apply to all her fellow citizens). Jenkins, speaking on a recent anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, described the lasting significance of that day 55 years ago. “There are moments in history that prove that this grand experiment — that we call the United States — is working,” Jenkins said. “We have to remain hopeful,” she said. “My ancestors were enslaved in this country, and they hoped and prayed that someday, somebody like me would be able to have a role in shaping how we live. Now that dream has come to fruition. And even though we have a long way to go, we have to hope that we’ll reach our goals. Otherwise, why get out of bed in the morning?”

Accomplishments Jenkins, who was elected a year ago this month, said she feels proud of her first year in office. One of the highlights of her political career so far, she said, was the Dinner on the 38th Street Bridge this past August, organized to restore a sense of community before the reopening of the newly renovated bridge over Interstate 35. More than 300 residents of the Kingfield neighborhood (on the west side of the freeway) and the Central and Bryant neighborhoods (on the east side) met in the middle of the new bridge to share a meal. “It connects to one of my biggest goals and that is to revitalize the 38th Street Corridor. It was a tremendous undertaking that brought several community organizations together,” Jenkins said. Partners included Jenkins’ office, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, organizations from the Bryant,

We’re not all the same. But there are many things we all have in common.

Kingfield and Central neighborhoods and Marnita’s Table, a local nonprofit that helps bridge communication barriers. During the past year, Jenkins —  as chair of the city’s new Race Equity Subcommittee —  also helped establish a Racial Equity Community Advisory Committee made up of city residents. Designed to address the equity gaps facing Minneapolis, the committee will advise the City Council, Mayor and City Departments, including the city’s Race and Equity Division, which is a permanent part of the municipality’s structure, not subject to the ups and downs of political elections. Finally, there’s a third accomplishment that stands out for Jenkins: Almost immediately after taking office, she was elected by her colleagues to step into the role of Council Vice President. “It is a distinct honor to be in the leadership of this Council,” Jenkins said. “And it fulfills my campaign goals of ‘Leadership. Access. Equity.’”

Early family life Jenkins grew up on the south side of Chicago. “It was a low-income, working-class community,” she said. “We lived in some pretty rough places, and my mom, who was a single mother, would move us every time it got bad.” Jenkins said her mother was “very loving and very much concerned that we get a good education.” Fortunately, Jenkins achieved those goals, and then some: She holds a bachelor’s in Human Services from Metropolitan State University, a master’s in Community Development from Southern New Hampshire University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 39


She was awarded a Bush Fellowship in 2011 in to advance the work of transgender inclusion. She also served as the curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota’s Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. These days, her mother, Shirley Green, lives in Ward 8 in south central Minneapolis, where Jenkins also lives. Green, age 76, is a foster parent to two children, ages 9 and 10. “I’m so proud of her for stepping up and taking on that role,” Jenkins said. Jenkins has a 29-year-old daughter, Nia, and two grandchildren, Aniyah, 11 and Kennedy, 6. “They live in the metro area, and I do get to see them, but not as much as I’d like to, since my life is so busy,” Jenkins said. “I am incredibly grateful to be here to see them grow up and be on the route to making their mark on the planet.” Of her partner of eight years, who lives in southwest Minneapolis, Jenkins said: “We don’t live together, which some days is the subject of concern. But we are deeply in love — and, for right now, it’s a good idea that we live separately.”

‘I’m not that different’ While her transgender status has made her a trailblazer in politics, Jenkins said it was simply a matter of deciding to truly be herself. “I made a choice to be open about who I was internally, and people do respond to that. I speak to groups all over the country, and people are positive. I think they respond to my authenticity and my self-acceptance. When they meet me and hear me talk, they recognize that my life is similar to theirs,” she said. “I have grandkids. I cut my grass. I put gas in my car. I’m not that different from everybody else.” It’s really not all that complicated, Jenkins said: “We’re not all the same. But there are many things we all have in common.” Jenkins’ good friend and local entrepreneur Gloria Freeman has known Jenkins since they were both college students in Minneapolis. “We did the things that young people do together,” she said. “Now we’re old ladies together.” Freeman said she’s always admired the way Jenkins remains serene, even when the situation around her may be chaotic. “She is always calm and collected, and she takes things in stride. She was open about being transgender when it was not popular,” Freeman said. “Sometimes I felt sad for her — with what she had to go through and knowing how hard it would be — but she had to live her life. Even though people can be cruel, she took it in stride. It made me love her even more.”

There are moments in history that prove that this grand experiment — that we call the United States — is working.

Freedom to be herself Living a full, vibrant and healthy life is a priority for Jenkins, especially since some authorities estimate that the average life expectancy for a transgender woman of color is 35, primarily because of violence. Her most recent volume of poetry is titled The T is Not Silent as a way to signify that the T (transgender) of LGBT can no longer be overlooked. “The only way we can change that horrifying statistic is through understanding. I have been able to live my life out, but not all transgender people have that opportunity,” she said. “I realize that my age is a blessing, and I’m thrilled and grateful for my relative longevity. I try to advocate and lift up the narrative of my community every opportunity I get.” After a recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Jenkins is more aware than ever of the need to take care of herself. As often happens after a longtime illness is finally diagnosed, she felt a sense of relief: “I was having a rough time before I found out what it was, and I was so concerned about what was happening to my body.” Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 41


Here’s an excerpt from Andrea Jenkins’ most recent volume of poetry, The T Is Not Silent: new and selected poems, from the poem Love Letter in Seven Stanzas.

Live your life dear don’t hold Back because the sun is too bright Or success seems just out of reach You deserve all that you will experience Welcome each moment, exuberant Whether winds are gentle or ill They will all blow eventually The winds will sing to you A song that will guide you It is so difficult to remain sad when you sing The sound of the winds will soothe you The work will get done and you

I have grandkids. I cut my grass. I put gas in my car. I’m not that different from everybody else.

42 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

You my dear will feel relieved and I I will feel loved.


Now that she’s received a diagnosis, and has started treatment, she’s feeling much better. “I’m working with some wonderful doctors and healers, and I’m grateful for every day that I get to wake up, say good morning, go out in the world and do my part to make it a better place,” she said. Jenkins has been asked if she’d ever consider running for a higher office. To that she says: “All of the work we do has a national impact, so I hope what we’re doing here in Minneapolis reverberates and maybe helps people think about what they can do in their own communities. I’m trying to improve the life of people in the 8th Ward. But if an opportunity arises in which I can be helpful to more people on a broader basis, I would pursue that.” It’s impossible to spend any time with Jenkins without noticing her deep reserves of serenity. How does she manage to be so Zen during such tumultuous times? “For me, it’s about loving myself and giving myself permission to be who I am,” she said. “I do feel like I still have a lot more work to do — and a lot more life ahead of me.” Check out Andrea's Time magazine cover!

Julie Kendrick is a contributing writer for many local and national publications. She lives in Minneapolis. Follow her on Twitter @KendrickWorks.

▲ Andrea Jenkins appeared on the cover of Time in January 2018 — bottom row, third from the right — after her election to the Minneapolis City Council.

Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 43


CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR NOVEMBER

Photo by Petronella J. Ytsma

MARIE AND ROSETTA

→ This play with music tells the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a 2018 inductee into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame who brought fierce guitar playing and swing style to gospel music, and went on to influence rock musicians such as Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles. When: Nov. 23–Dec. 30 Where: Park Square Theater, St. Paul Cost: $20–$60 Info: parksquaretheatre.org

ONGOING

NOV. 8–11

→ Set in 1934, this classic is full of mistaken identities, one-liners and slapstick a la the Marx Brothers along with the sentimentality of a romantic comedy.

→ This Cirque du Soleil production — telling the story of a festive parade imagined by a clown — has amazed 8 million people in 64 cities in 19 countries on four continents.

LEND ME A TENOR

When: Through Feb. 16 Where: Old Log Theatre, Excelsior Cost: $30–$40 Info: oldlog.com

NOV. 5–11

IKEBANA SHOW → Experience the Japanese art of flower arrangement courtesy of Ikebana International’s Minneapolis St Paul Chapter. When: Nov. 5–11 Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: comozooconservatory.org 

CORTEO

When: Nov. 8–11 Where: Target Center, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $45. Info: cirquedusoleil.com/corteo

NOV. 9–11

MINNEAPOLIS HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE → More than 250 exhibitors, including exclusive vendors and artisan designers, come together to offer the latest styles, trends, jewelry, gifts, children’s items and gourmet foods. When: Nov. 9–11 Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

Cost: $10 online or $12 at the door for adults; $8 for ages 56+ (box office only) on Nov. 9, free for ages 12 and younger Info: minneapolisholidayboutique.com

NOV. 11

LEST WE FORGET → In this centenary concert — a co-production of the Oratorio Society and University of Minnesota School of Music and Northrop — audience members will experience a variety of classical works related to wartime. When: 4 p.m. Nov. 11 Where: Northrup, Minneapolis Cost: $18–$58 Info: northrop.umn.edu

NOV. 17–JAN. 6

GINGERBREAD WONDERLAND → See gingerbread versions of familiar buildings and landmarks, both contemporary and historical, created by everyone from Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 45


8131 4th St N

Mark your calendars for our famous bake & craft sale! Friday,

Nov 30th

3-8 PM

CONTACT KIM

651-578-0676 www.oak-meadows.org

professional bakers to first-time gingerbread enthusiasts. (You can contribute your own creations regardless of your ability level; just drop them off between Oct. 29 and Nov. 15.) When: Nov. 17–Jan. 6 Where: Norway House, Minneapolis Cost: $5, free for ages 12 and younger Info: norwayhouse.org

NOV. 17–DEC. 16

TEEN IDOL: THE BOBBY VEE STORY → With the tragic crash of Buddy Holly’s plane, a bright new star from Fargo emerged — 15-year-old Bobby Velline, who performed at the Winter Dance Party in Moorhead, on the day the music died. Bobby went on to record his first hit single, Suzie Baby, in Minneapolis, and soon would become a teen idol. When: Nov. 17–Dec. 16 Where: History Theatre, St. Paul Cost: $15–$56 Info: historytheatre.com

NOV. 21–DEC. 30

GUIDED HOUSE TOUR → Learn about Christmas traditions for the Hill family and their servants with 60-minute tours. 46 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

When: Nov. 21–Dec. 30 Where: James J. Hill House, St. Paul Cost: $10–$12 for adults, $8 for ages 5–17, free for ages 4 and younger Info: mnhs.org

NOV. 28

INA GARTEN → The Barefoot Contessa — one of the culinary world’s most beloved icons — shares stories from of her newest cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, followed by a Q&A session. When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28 Where: State Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $53.50–$79.50 Info: hennepintheatretrust.org

NOV. 30–DEC. 2, DEC. 7–9

EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS MARKET

→ Shop for handmade holiday gifts and decorations from local vendors, drink spiced mulled wine and taste Europeaninspired delicacies. When: Nov. 30–Dec. 2, Dec. 7–9 Where: Union Depot, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: stpaulchristmasmarket.org


A DON’T HUG ME CHRISTMAS CAROL

→ It’s Christmas Eve in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, and cantankerous bar owner Gunner Johnson decides to skip Christmas. Folk legend Sven Yorgensen takes Gunner (Scrooge) on a Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adventure Minnesota-style.

When: Nov. 30–Dec. 30 Where: Chaska Community Center Cost: $21–$25 Info: donthugme.com

NOV. 30–DEC. 30

BRITISH ARROW AWARDS → Celebrate the UK’s most innovative and daring commercials from the creative world of British advertising. When: Nov. 30–Dec. 30 Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: $11.20–$14 Info: walkerart.org

NOV. 30–DEC. 2

ST. PAUL ICE FISHING & WINTER SPORTS SHOW → Shop more than 190 exhibits with products and services dedicated to the die-hard ice-fishing and wintersports enthusiast. When: Nov. 30–Dec. 2 Where: St. Paul RiverCentre Cost: $12 for adults, $5 for ages 6–12, free for ages 5 and younger Info: stpaulicefishingshow.com

MORE ONLINE! Find more events on the new Minnesota Good Age website at mngoodage.com/cant-miss-calendar. Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 47


Brain teasers SUDOKU

WORD SEARCH NORTH STARS

ANDERSON BOSCHWITZ CARLSON COLEMAN ELLISON EMMER FRANKEN

CRYPTOGRAM Break the code to reveal a quote from a famous person. Each letter represents another letter. Source: Walter Mondale

W I

G M O

Clue: M = O

K D R

U O D R

FREEMAN GAZELKA HUMPHREY KELLOGG KLOBUCHAR MCCARTHY MCCOLLUM

OBERSTAR OLSON PAWLENTY PILLSBURY SIBLEY STASSEN WELLSTONE

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WORD SCRAMBLE O Y L R D U C K Y L

R A R D G C T W Y B

Complete the following words using each given letter once.

, B MW Y B

M Y ,

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T M S R X R U U X G .

F M Y I O U R L .

48 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

T F

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ANSWERS

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TRIVIA 1. Jesse Ventura of the Reform Party 2. Michelle Fischbach 3. Alexander Ramsey

C T K C


South St. Paul HRA • 50+ Community • Income Based Rent • All Utilities Paid

TRIVIA

• Newly Remodeled • Elevators

POLITICS 1. Every person elected as Minnesota governor has belonged to the GOP, DFL, Democrat or Farmer/Labor party except one. Who? 2. When Tina Smith was appointed to the Senate in 2018, who took her place as lieutenant governor? 3. Minnesota’s first territorial governor was also a U.S. Senator. But he may be best known for lending his name to the state’s secondmost populous county. Who was he? Sources: leg.state.mn.us, senate.mn, Minnesota History column in this issue!

• Controlled Entries • On Site Caretaker Call for an appointment 651-554-3270

8/24/18 1:57 PM WILLS, ESTATE PLANNING

South St Paul HRA GA 1018 12.indd 2

JAMES G. ROBAN Attorney at Law

261 Ruth Street North St. Paul (651) 738-2102 Will: $40 PoWer of Attorney: $30 HeAltH CAre DireCtive: $70

SUDOKU WORD SCRAMBLE Dayton, Senate, Reform CROSSWORD

ANSWERS Minnesota Good Age / November 2018 / 49

CRYTPOGRAM If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused.


Crossword

69 “Tomorrow” musical 70 Slip up 71 Cozy spots 72 Rent-a-car choice

DOWN

ACROSS

1 Beauty queen’s topper 6 Standoffish 11 Irish folk dance 14 Naysayers 15 “Z: The Beginning of Everything” star Christina 16 Santa __ winds 17 *Easy-to-read character 19 “Real World” channel 20 Triangular Indian pastry 21 Skinny fish 22 Buzzing insect 23 Luxury bag monogram 24 *Cruise stop 28 Like much Scotch 30 Purchase at Lowe’s 31 July 4th nonstarter 34 Kagan of the Court 50 / November 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

37 “Grr!,” say 40 *Microsoft Outlook service 42 Freight weight 43 *FaceTime alternative 44 1988 film farce fish 45 Asian part of Egypt 47 Assist 48 Goes to seed 50 “Enchanted” fantasy film girl 52 *Emphatic typeface 56 Patriots’ org. 59 Stool pigeon 60 Put a spell on 61 Decline to participate 64 Cigar refuse 65 Parting words suggested by all or part of the answers to starred clues 67 Peg for a round 68 “Grr!”

1 File folder projections 2 Mosaic technique 3 Molecule parts 4 Cough drop name sung in ads 5 Seeks answers 6 “__ you listening?” 7 Soda bottle size 8 Four pairs 9 Spotted wildcat 10 Evergreen tree 11 One-pot New Orleans dish 12 Major chip maker 13 Chairperson’s order keeper 18 Place for a campaign button 25 “Waiting for Lefty” playwright 26 Archaeologist’s find 27 Fail suddenly, with “out” 29 Desserts in Little Italy 31 Morning drops 32 Actress Thurman 33 Longtime “CBS Evening News” anchor 35 “There’s __ in team” 36 Building add-on 38 Hudson Riv. tech school 39 Went first 41 Worshiped star 46 “Iron Chef Gauntlet” host Brown 49 Devious plan 51 San __: Texas city, familiarly 52 Steaming mad 53 Law enforcement shocker 54 Overflows (with) 55 Yank in Yemen, for short 57 No longer lost 58 Saint __: Caribbean island 62 School bake sale orgs. 63 In that case 65 They’re related 66 Cards checked at the gate, briefly


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