Page 1

APRIL 2016

R.T. The former mayor of Minneapolis isn’t slowing down in the slightest Page 28

Travel: The Green Heart of Austria

Page 20

Learning to play piano at 75 Page 10

Make your own biscotti! Page 27

Cremation Society of Minnesota

ABOUT CREMATION Q. How does the Cremation Society of Minnesota work? A. The Cremation Society is notified immediately

at the time of death. The member’s body is taken to the Society’s crematory. It is held until proper medical authorization and a cremation permit is secured. It is then cremated.

Q. What happens to the ashes after cremation? A. The member’s remains are handled according to their written instructions. They may be picked up by survivors or delivered for a fee.

Q. What is the cost for cremation? A. “Our current cost for our basic direct cremation service is $1,595.00.” It includes removal of the body from the place of death, cremation, filing of necessary papers, and a cardboard container suitable for burial. The charge for non-members, who we also serve, is more.

Q. How do I become a member? A. Fill out the registration form and mail it to our

near-est location. Enclose a one-time membership fee of $15.00 per person. The fee covers setting up and maintaining records. It is not refundable nor an offset to final service costs. We will register you and send you a wallet-sized membership card, and a certificate of registration.

Q. What are the benefits of prepaying for services? A. Prepayment provides two benefits – it removes a

stress from survivors and guarantees that services will be performed at today’s cost.

Q. Where can I learn more? A. You may call or visit any one of our locations, or

visit us at cremationsocietyofmn.com or email us at csminnesota@aol.com


Name Address Telephone (



(will remain confidential)

Place of Birth

Sex ❏ M ❏ F


Hispanic ❏ Yes ❏ No

Father’s Name

Social Security #

Mother’s Name

Marital Status ❏ Married ❏ Never Married ❏ Widowed ❏ Divorced If married, spouse’s full legal name, including maiden Are you a Veteran? ❏ Yes ❏ No

If Yes, enclose a copy of your discharge paper.

AUTHORIZATION FOR CREMATION I, the undersigned, authorize and request the Cremation Society of Minnesota or its assigns to cremate the remains of , and further authorize and request that the following disposition of the cremated remains be made: . I will indemnify and hold harmless the Cremation Society of Minnesota and the crematory from any claims to the contrary including all liability and claims related to the shipment and storage of the cremated remains. Signature


Witness Signature


Address Telephone (


Email address

NEXT OF KIN – Please list at least one. Name


Address Telephone (


PAYMENT PLAN – You are not a member until this form is on file and your registration fee is received. “Our current cost for our basic direct cremation service is $1,595.00.” ❏ I wish to preregister with the Cremation Society of Minnesota

Registration Fee:

❏ I wish to prepay for my Basic Cremation, I understand my pre-payment will be placed in an insurance policy to be used at time of death ❏ I wish to register at this time but not prepay

$15.00 $

Total Paid: $ GA 4/16




Contents Good Start From the Editor 8 Could R.T. Rybak's 'civic life' and career inspire you to volunteer?

My Turn 10 It's not easy, but I'm learnng to play the piano, with sheet music, at home.

Memories 12 Seniors need to socialize to stay healthy. But it's also fun!

This Month in MN History 14 Cricket took off in Minnesota in the 1970s.

Travel 20 Graz — 'The Green Heart of Austria' — is the best city you’ve never heard of.

Good Health House Call 16 Vascular screenings offer limited benefits. Here's what to do instead.

Caregiving 18 Members of the LGBT commmunity may face special caregiving challenges.

Good Living Housing 24 Senior Community Services helps seniors stay in their homes longer.

Finance 26 Women make less and save less. And that can hurt them in retirement.

In the Kitchen 27 Make your own biscotti with white chocolate, apricots and pistachios.

→→On the cover


R.T. Rybak: Minneapolis' energetic former mayor didn't retire when he left office in early 2014. He's now the executive director of Minneapolis-based Generation Next, the vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and the author of his own political memoir: Pothole Confidential: My Life As Mayor of Minneapolis. Photos by Tracy Walsh tracywalshphoto.com

38 Can’t-Miss Calendar 6 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

36 Team of two Marriage dynamics can change dramatically when one spouse retires and the other keeps working. Here’s how to adjust and thrive!

40 Brain Teasers

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Good Start / From the Editor / By Sarah Jackson

Leading a ‘civic’ life Give a smile to a friend and show them they’ve still ‘got it’ after hip replacement. A great day brightener for someone on the mend. T’s are available in a variety of colors in men’s and women’s styles and sizes. To order, visit our shop at zazzle.com/agraphic. Take a look at our other fun items for wine lovers.

Well, look at that! It’s Mr. Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, on the cover of Minnesota Good Age! I’m delighted to be featuring the energetic


Armstrong Graphics GA 0416 12.indd 1

former Minneapolis mayor as our latest Cover Star and personality profile. At age 60, Rybak fits the age demographic of our magazine (age 50 and older). But there’s more: This month, Rybak’s political memoir — Pothole Confidential:

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My Life As Mayor of Minneapolis — will be released with a flurry of book-launch events in April and May.

Photo by Tracy Walsh tracywalshphoto.com

Though many of his constituents may assume he retired after he left office (and suffered a heart attack) in early 2014, Rybak’s actually working harder than ever, he said. Today he’s the executive director of Generation Next, a Minneapolis-based coalition devoted to reducing education achievement gaps in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He’s also serving as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee — during a presidential election year. “Political work to me is one part of a civic life,” he said. “I have always led a civic life, meaning sometimes political, sometimes volunteer, sometimes in public-oriented jobs, but always about Minneapolis.” Such words sound to me like those of a man who’s gearing up for a 2018 run for governor — never mind the timely release of his book. But Rybak dismissed that notion in his interview with Good Age, citing his confessional memoir. Regardless of his aspirations, Rybak is a good fit for this issue of Good Age for another reason: April is our annual Volunteering Issue, and Rybak’s Generation Next launched a new program in 2015 to recruit volunteers to take tutor training to help kids who are struggling in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools. Not your cup of tea? What about helping seniors stay in their homes longer? Tidy up a garden, change a light bulb or just provide some much-needed conversation by stepping up to help with Senior Community Services, touted in this issue’s Housing section. Maybe that’s your idea of “civic life?” Sarah Jackson, Editor

8 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Volume 35 / Issue 4 Publisher Janis Hall jhall@mngoodage.com Co-Publisher and Sales Manager Terry Gahan 612-436-4360 tgahan@mngoodage.com Editor Sarah Jackson 612-436-4385 editor@mngoodage.com Contributors Allison Bendickson, Carol Hall, Skip Johnson, Jessica Kohen, Rajean Moone, Dave Nimmer, Cali Owings, Lauren Peck, Dr. Michael Spilane, Carla Waldemar, Laura Waldvogel, Tracy Walsh, Terry John Zila Creative Director Dana Croatt Graphic Designers Valerie Moe Amanda Wadeson Client Services Zoe Gahan 612-436-4375 zgahan@mngoodage.com Lauren Walker 612-436-4383 lwalker@mngoodage.com Emily Schneeberger 612-436-4399 eschneeberger@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 Š 2016 Minnesota Premier Publications, Inc. Subscriptions are $12 per year.

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Good Start / My Turn / By Dave Nimmer ⊳⊳ Dave Nimmer practices Amazing Grace on his new keyboard.

uncluttered with too many words. The melodies are lovely and lingering and I got to thinking: Maybe I could learn to pick these out on a keyboard and sit in the privacy of my den and hold my own “service.” I mentioned this to a friend and one day awoke to find a box from Amazon on my doorstep with the morning paper. He’d been planning to buy a keyboard for his son’s birthday and decided to make it two. And I got one. At first I tried to follow the instructions on how to play the thing, using the small screen on the keyboard that shows you where to put your fingers for any of

Learning the piano, all over again →→It’s not like riding a bicycle; you do forget. But I’ve found great joy in making music

Those who claim that relearning, or picking up, an

the 90 songs in the Casio book. I couldn’t follow along; the images were too small and moved too quickly. So I decided to learn, again, how to read music, starting with the treble clef. OK, that’s middle C, and then it’s D, E, F, G, A, B and back to C. It took me about a week to get that straight and transferred to my right hand. Oh, I hit some clinkers at first, particularly when playing pieces with sharps or flats. Missing those little road

old skill is like riding a bike — you never forget how — are not living in my body or

signs sent many a pretty little melody of

dealing with my mind.

mine into the ditch.

After 60 years away from the keys, I’m trying to learn how to read music again and play the piano (in my case a keyboard). Let’s just say that after three months, not only am I not ready for a public performance on a concert stage, I’m not prepared for a private set in a barroom basement. But I’m kind of proud of my persistence, patience and, yes, perspiration, in pursuit

But I got better, noting that F sharp and C sharp were the most common and that old B flat hung right behind. So I got the right hand moving with some alacrity and assurance, but then I

of a skill set that allows me to play simple melodies and pick up old standards like

had the left hand to worry and wonder

Amazing Grace and the Kingston Trio’s It Takes a Worried Man.

about. I mean, what is a B on the treble

I got the notion to do this a year ago after attending monthly Taize Prayer sessions at the Basilica of St. Mary that involve singing repetitive, uncomplicated songs, 10 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

clef is a D on the bass clef. C on the treble is E on the bass, and on it goes.

I’ve managed to put both those clefs, and the hands that play them, together on a couple of simple pieces — Ubi Caritas and Calm Me, Lord. I’m spending about 45 minutes to an hour a night at this keyboard — starting, stopping, looking, searching and stretching. I don’t seem to have forgotten how far it is between octaves; it’s just that, at 75, my fingers don’t stretch so easily anymore. Sometimes, I have to smile as I struggle and sweat. But the reward is worth it. I’m learning something. I’m using my mind. I’m stimulating the synaptic connections somewhere in the back of my brain. And a doctor friend of mine tells me there’s evidence that such stimulation wards off early onset dementia. More than that, it’s nice to believe I can still learn something. While I’m practicing, I’m not watching television. Of course, I’m missing such enlightening features as Pawn Stars, The Bachelor, Keeping up with the Kardashians and Pit Bulls and Parolees. I do, however, find time for the CBS Evening News and Blue Bloods on Friday night. Most important of all, I’m making music. However simple the melody, it’s still music. And I am the guy with my fingers on the keys. Dave Nimmer has had a long career as a reporter, editor and professor. Send comments or questions to dnimmer@ mngoodage.com.

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Good Start / Memories / By Carol Hall We’ll tell you it’s for the camaraderie. The fun. The HealthPartners healthcare organization says there’s more to it than that. Although we don’t think of it that way, we’re promoting better emotional and mental health for ourselves: “Relationships can come and go over our lifetimes. They give us the sense of community we need at every age, but especially as we get older. Maintaining relationships can nourish your mind and soul, but they need care and feeding if they’re to stay healthy.” Keeping current, catching up, discussing the old days — yes, even telling the same old stories — it all

We’re social animals

There’s even some evidence that staying connected like this can lower blood pressure, and potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems,

→→Seniors clubs aren’t just fun, they’re also good for our health

Many hundreds of Minnesota women —

keeps your mind functioning.

some cancers, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and even Alzheimer’s disease. and at least

one great horned owl — are named Lois.

Social isolation (which can be a big problem during our cold Minnesota

The women have their own club, The Lois Club, with membership limited

winters) can have the opposite effect.

to women of that name. (The owl is an imprinted member of the University of

According to AARP The Magazine,

Minnesota Raptor Center’s education program.) Retired Northwest Airline pilots likewise have a club just for themselves.

isolation is a bigger problem for men than women: “Men, especially as they age,

It’s called the Retired Northwest Airlines Pilots Association or RNPA. (I’m an

tend to become solitary beasts, much less

adjunct member.)

likely to form deep lasting relationships

Both organizations, which consist mainly of senior citizens, hold annual conventions. They also meet locally. My one Lois friend, Lois Nedorosky, says the

than women are. That, researchers say, can be detri-

purpose of the meetings she attends in the Twin Cities is purely social: “We eat

mental to wellbeing and health. In fact,

lunch and visit.”

the lack of positive social relationships

The same is true of the pilots.

[in men] is comparable to smoking and

But what’s really going on here? Why do we — and all the other luncheon

alcohol consumption for increasing

groups and morning coffee klatches that have sprung up among seniors — get together like this? 12 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

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now being defunct. A great many Loises, likewise, have reached their 80s and 90s, the name having been extremely popular for baby girls in the 1920s and ’30s. And therein lies the rub of all senior organizations. But what does any of this have to do with Lois the Owl? Nothing, really. Except maybe The Lois Club would like to adopt her as their mascot. It would mean one new member! 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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Good Start / This Month in Minnesota History / By Jessica Kohen

Cricket, anyone? →→Immigrants have fueled our local passion for the sport, which blossomed in the 1970s

April, for many sports fans, means looking forward to the baseball season's opening day — April 11 this year. But there’s another game played with a bat and ball that’s growing in popularity in the U.S., particularly in Minnesota. Cricket is the second-most-popular sport played around the globe. (Soccer — known as football to the rest of the world — comes in at No. 1.) It may be surprising to learn that cricket has been played in the U.S. since before there was a U.S. British colonists popularized the game, making it one of the earliest organized team sports in American history. Cricket continued to grow in popularity throughout the mid-1800s. But it took a backseat during the Civil War when baseball was promoted as a uniquely American sport. A typical baseball game also lasted only a couple of hours, compared to a cricket match, which could take days. By the late 1880s, cricket was a professional sport worldwide, but it remained an amateur sport in America. By the 1920s, it had been completely eclipsed by baseball. In the mid-1970s, a condensed one-day version of cricket was introduced and the sport experienced a resurgence in the U.S. In Minnesota, recent immigrant groups have popularized the sport, which is flourishing with more than two dozen clubs in the state. Women’s teams and youth leagues also compete. Many players are Indian; others hail from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Caribbean. The Minnesota Cricket Association (MCA), formed in 1976, is the official organization for cricket in the state. In 1988, the Indian Students Association at the University of Minnesota and MCA invited India’s national cricket team to play matches in Minnesota. Cricket icons including world-champion players Sunil Gavaskar, Maninder Singh and M.A. Azharuddin, along with G.R. Vishwanath, Anshuman Gaekwad and other players signed a bat for Ketan Gada, a then-13-year-old cricket fan from Eden Prairie. “My son was so excited and thrilled to see the team and to get their autographs,” said Ram Gada, Ketan’s father. “Today this bat represents the history of immigrants in Minnesota. It shows how the sport’s popularity was growing in the state with the arrival of new fans every year. At the time, we never thought a world champion team would come to Minnesota, but they played in south Minneapolis!”

14 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age


South St. Paul HRA ⊳⊳ World champion cricket players who visited Minnesota in 1988 signed a bat for an Eden Prairie fan. The bat will be on display during Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, a Minnesota History Center exhibit opening April 30 in St. Paul. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

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Gada has loaned the bat to the local exhibit, Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, opening April 30 at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.


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Cricket tournaments are held every year worldwide with an international world cup competition held every four years. The next world cup tournament will be in England and Wales in 2019. Thanks to Minnesotans, fans can

The Minnesota Clinical Study Center is conducting a clinical research study using an investigational topical medication with Blue Light for actinic keratosis. To qualify you should have 4-8 AK’s on your face. Dr. Steven Kempers, a board certified dermatologist, can tell you if you have AK and if you qualify to participate in this study. Please call the Minnesota Clinical Study Center for an evaluation. All study related visits are provided at no cost.

follow players at home and across the world on ESPNcricinfo.com, the

For more information call:

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A British professor and Indian

7205 University Avenue NE, Fridley, MN 55432

students at the University of Minnesota founded the site in 1993. It was acquired by ESPN in 2007. Jessica Kohen is the media relations manager for the Minnesota Historical Society.

→→See the exhibit Learn more about cricket with the new exhibit — Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, opening April 30 at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul — and try your hand at the game with public programs offered throughout the summer. See mnhs.org.

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Good Health / House Call / By Michael Spilane

Cheap vascular screenings? →→You can probably skip them. Here’s what to do instead.

It’s very likely you’ve received mailers

Why not?

promoting tests that screen for vascular disease.

It’s not that the vascular screening tests are unable to find

The testing is usually performed at a convenient location

troubles that lurk silently in some people. The problem is

that has been rented for a testing day. The organizations

that the tests too often suggest a problem that proves not to

sponsoring the tests are reputable, the tests are easy and

be a problem when more sophisticated testing is performed,

safe, and the price is reasonable.

and the tests too often fail to detect problems that exist.

But should you participate?

What are the tests? The vascular screenings currently being packaged and

Because a significant number of false-positive results occur with vascular screening tests, additional tests are needed to confirm the presence of disease. Screening those without symptoms yields false positive

promoted to middle-aged and older adults typically include

results for too many people without significant disease who

three tests that use ultrasound diagnostic techniques:

are then subjected to additional tests that could do harm.

⊲⊲ a test that looks for obstructions in the large blood vessels in the neck (carotid arteries); ⊲⊲ a test that looks for obstructions in blood vessels going to the legs; ⊲⊲ and a test looking for abdominal aortic aneurysm

And if the tests miss a problem that actually exists, false reassurance is provided to the person being tested.

Steps you can take Another major problem with the tests is the difficulty in

(weakness and bulging of the wall of the big blood

treating disease if its existence is finally proven. Definitive

vessel leading from the heart to the legs).

treatment involves invasive surgical procedures with associ-

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is arguably the most authoritative of the agencies and medical societies that study the screening tests. This agency recommends you save your money — and not take the time for most vascular screening tests. The one exception made by this agency is screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm: It recommends screening for men (not women) between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked tobacco. Medicare will not pay for vascular screening tests with the exception of tests for abdominal aneurysm. And such tests are covered only for men between ages 65 and 75 who have smoked, and even then only if the tests are ordered as part of a “Welcome to Medicare” initial physical examination.

16 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

ated risks that too often are unacceptably high for people with no symptoms. Here’s my advice: ⊲⊲ If you have worrisome symptoms, see your physician. ⊲⊲ If you have no symptoms, don’t get the screening tests. ⊲⊲ Don’t smoke. ⊲⊲ Avoid dietary cholesterol, and be sure your physician monitors your blood cholesterol. ⊲⊲ Make sure your blood pressure is checked at least once every six months, and follow your physician’s advice if you’re told your blood pressure is too high. ⊲⊲ Get plenty of exercise. The more the better. ⊲⊲ If you’re overweight, get on a diet. ⊲⊲ Pray a lot. Dr. Michael Spilane, now retired, spent more than four decades practicing and teaching geriatric medicine in St. Paul. Send comments or questions to drspilane@mngoodage.com.

Good Health / Caregiving / By Rajean Moone

Families of choice →→Members of LGBT communities may face special caregiving challenges

The U.S. population is aging rapidly and becoming more diverse as the baby boomers age. The number of older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) is also projected to ⊳⊳ The 2016 Twin Cities Metro LGBT Aging Resource Guide features caregiver service providers that identify as being LGBT friendly. Download the guide at trainingtoserve.org.

increase along with the age wave. Unfortunately, many LGBT seniors face special challenges when it comes to caregiving. In 2012, a team of local researchers conducted a survey of 495 LGBT older adults. The results of the Twin Cities LGBT Aging Needs Assessment showed that Minnesota’s LGBT boomers and older adults are more likely to be caregivers, less likely to have caregivers, less likely to have children and more likely to live alone. Fewer than 1 in 5 adults surveyed said they believed they would receive the best possible services if a provider knew they were members of the LGBT community. Such fears can keep LGBT seniors from seeking services and can make their situations worse.

More than 75 percent of assessment respondents reported having a chosen family. While state and federal laws recognize relationships of

Many providers of aging services, however, are seeing

families of origin, relying on non-traditional caregivers from

this demographic and diversity shift as an opportunity to

chosen families may require legal planning including naming

expand people-centered approaches that look at families

individuals to make decisions in the event of incapacity —

in different ways:

powers of attorney, health-care directives and more.

Redefining family

Similarities, too

Families of origin, sometimes called biological families,

The recent assessment of older adults also showed that the

are families made up of people who are biologically related

LGBT community and the rest of the population actually may

to one another. Families-of-origin caregivers might be

have some things in common, too: Younger boomers and

daughters, sons, wives, husbands, etc.

Generation Xers had fewer children — who could be potential

While most survey respondents’ said their families would be accepting of their LGBT identity, 10 percent reported that their families of origin would not be accepting, which could complicate caregiving arrangements. Families of choice, meanwhile, sometimes called constructed families, are made up of people individuals choose. These may include blood relatives, as well as friends, neighbors and coworkers.

18 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

future caregivers — and therefore may also commonly rely on caregivers to whom they aren’t biologically related. The definition of a “family caregiver” is evolving rapidly as the aging population becomes more diverse. Rajean Moone is the executive director of Training to Serve of St. Paul. He has more than 15 years experience working as a planner and program coordinator of aging services.

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3/17/16 10:31/ AM Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 19

You can ascend the city pinnacle of Graz, Austria, via countless steps for a spectacular view of the red-tiled roofs below — or you can ascend via elevator within the mountain.

The Best City You’ve Never Heard Of Graz, Austria, offers one-of-a-kind attractions (modern and historic), plus a rich culture packed with culinary delights By Carla Waldemar


raz, Austria, is known as the City of Design

In my room at the former palace, also known as Palais

(according to UNESCO), the City of Culinary

Inzaghi, I found a crimson velvet settee and a four-poster

Delights (say the foodies) and the Green Heart

bed — with plush drapes to match.

of Austria (proclaim the locals).

It’s the second-largest city in German-speaking Austria, a

distant 275,000 souls to Vienna’s 1.8 million. And now its secret is out. While tourists flock to the Habsburgs’ stately Vienna and Salzburg’s Sound of Music, Graz lies under the radar (likely not for long). This quasi-Mediterranean city offers a whiff of Italy: Ital-

In the hotel’s sunny breakfast room, there was a deli spread to rival that of Dean & Deluca, along with all the cappuccino I could swallow. I started my tour with a visit to the Dom, famed for a fresco titled The Plagues of God. Beware, or He’ll send locusts. And Turks. Next I visited Stadtpfarrkirche, another place of worship just a few block away, circa 1439, featuring a glorious

ianate Baroque curls inhabit its many ornate edifices. And

Tintoretto altarpiece. Here an equally brilliant modern

a sense of vivace fills the city’s open-air market, though it’s

stained glass window depicts Christ, mocked by unbe-

pumpkinseed oil, not olive oil, that the vendors here sell.

lievers, including Hitler and Mussolini.

I stayed at Hotel zum Dom in Old Town: “Oh, it’s

Here and there around town, you might spy the tag

famous!” my taxi driver said with an air of respect. (It’s

of a past Habsburg-era Emperor, A-E-I-O-U, bragging

just a missal’s throw from the “Dom” itself, the Cathedral

(according to some interpretations) "Austria Est. Imperator

of 1438.)

of the Universe." Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 21

▲▲The Kunsthaus Graz art museum in Graz

Climbing Castle Hill

▲▲ A man-made mini-island known as Murinsel

Nearby, a museum of city history explains how Graz is

Today the city’s central fortress is gone, destroyed by Napole-

different from rivals Salzburg and Vienna. Farther afield, the

onic forces.

Joanneum Quarter features a cache of underground collec-

What remains is Schlossberg — a forested mountain that rises over the medieval town center, crisscrossed with walks from all sides. You can ascend to this city pinnacle via countless (I stopped after 200) steps, built by Russian POWs, for a spectacular view

tions below a concrete plaza. I favored the Neue museum with its arresting meander through Austria’s recent art history, from Impressionism to Realism and the postwar Avant Garde.

of the red-tiled roofs below — or you can ascend via elevator

Let’s eat!

within the mountain’s tunnel-turned-performance space.

Interested in those Culinary Delights?

Crowning the city’s so-called Castle Hill is actually a clock

A grand place to start is Glockenspiel Square. First direct

tower. (Napoleon was paid a ransom to spare the town’s

your eyes to the clock tower where, three times daily, a door

beloved symbol.)

opens and a figure of a farmer in lederhosen, hoisting a stein,

Peering down, across the tumbling river, you’ll spot what appears to be a beached blue glass whale. It’s actually the

dances around a dirndled lass, forever waving her hankie. After a click of the camera, aim for the door of Glockenbrau

beloved Friendly Alien, as townsfolk call their modern-art

below, a brewery-turned-eatery celebrating the state of Styria’s

museum of 2003.

comfort food like krausflerl (cabbage and bacon tossed with

Behind it, a once-dodgy neighborhood now harbors hipster

pasta snippets) and its famed breaded-chicken salad, delivered

shops, offering gotta-have jewelry, designer specs, artisan

by a weight-lifting champ with four arm-long steins of beer in

pottery and handbags of recycled webbing.

one fist, two platters in the other.

If you cross the river’s pedestrian bridge, which slices through a man-made mini-island (known as Murinsel) sporting a trendy café, you’ll find stylish Sackstrasse, an avenue anchored by K&O, Austria’s largest department store. Ride the escalator to Floor 6 to find an open-air café for a selfie overlooking those terracotta rooftops. Back on the street, you’ll find the city’s most-visited attraction, the

By the time everybody clinks a “Prost!” it will be time for another round. Cozy Altsteirische Schmankerlstube, near the armory, has been in business forever, enticing regulars with creamy garlic soup, roast pork with kraut and dumplings, wiener schnitzel — and, for dessert, a pumpkin seed ice parfait. Eckstein, near my hotel, offers modern takes on grandma’s

Landeszeughaus Armory (OK, it’s a guy thing), showcasing

classics, such as duck reimagined with oyster mushrooms,

four floors of old-time weapons, including swords, lances,

okra and smoked peppers; “crunchy leg” of suckling pig; and

muskets, pistols and helmets.

cabbage, spritzed with port wine and champagne.

22 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

▲▲A view o

Relax. P lay. Stay.

of Castle Hill (Schlossberg) clock tower

See the countryside To get to the source of all this local bounty, head to the Green Heart of Austria — the Thermenland countryside, emerald with forests, orchards and lilac blooms, past maypoles trailing silky ribbons.

At The Zotter chocolate factory, you can indulge your Inner Charlie on a multitaste tour, sampling by countries of origin, percent of cacao and degrees of roasting at more than 100 stations, including a hot chocolate bar. Then head on to Castle Riegersburg, perched on a volcanic mountaintop — a never-conquered 12th-century fortress whose moat, today, is filled with grazing pigs. It houses three museums — one on weaponry; another featuring the ornate medieval rooms of its wealthy owner; and finally, an expo of 16th-century witches. Our escapade ended at Weingut Krispel, where we sipped the winery’s fruity Rieslings and crisp Sauv Blancs at its May Day party, seduced by oompah bands and mountains of homey eats. Meet you there this May Day? Check out visitgraz.com to make it come true. Carla Waldemar is an award-winning food/ travel/arts writer who lives in Uptown. Chanhassen Family Dentistry GA 0416 S3.indd 1

3/17/16 5:08/PM Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 23

Good Living / Housing / By Allison Bendickson These services can help seniors remain in their own homes, and also can provide a respite for caregivers who may become exhausted from providing constant care and home maintenance for an older adult. Seniors and their loved ones can use Senior Community Services’ online HOME Shop to buy or gift housekeeping packages — such as $56 for two hours for cleaning (or $100 for four hours) — or handyman services for $68 for two hours of labor. Workers are screened to ensure seniors feel safe and confident about the services they receive. “Help with household chores and

HELPING AROUND THE HOUSE →→Senior Community Services offers handyman and cleaning services for reduced rates

Aging in place — staying in your own home as long as possible as you age — can come with challenges. Fortunately, older adults and caregivers can get help thanks to the Household & Outside Maintenance for Elderly program, also known as HOME. HOME is a Senior Community Services program available to Hennepin County residents age 60 and older who want to continue to live independently in their own homes. HOME relies on a network of local workers and volunteers who provide indoor and outdoor chore services at reduced rates, including: ⊲⊲ Housekeeping services, such as vacuuming, dusting, sweeping/mopping floors, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms and doing laundry. ⊲⊲ Handyman services, such as changing light bulbs, installing grab bars, fixing leaky faucets, repairing running toilets, installing new faucet and light fixtures, checking carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, changing furnace filters and hanging wall decorations and mirrors. 24 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

maintenance, as provided through the HOME program, often is the difference between a senior being able to remain in their own home and having to move to a more structured, and often more costly, senior care setting,” said Deb

→→Volunteer opportunities Senior Community Services is looking for volunteers to help with its Household & Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program, serving 29 communities in Hennepin County. Tasks include work outside (raking, weeding/gardening, shoveling, mowing, painting, cleaning) and inside (painting, cleaning, socializing). Work can be one-time or ongoing and can be done alone, with a partner or in a group. (Children must be age 7 or older.) Handyperson skills such as basic plumbing, electrical and carpentry are welcome. Please contact Jeanne Rasmussen at scsvolunteer@ seniorcommunity.org or call 952541-1019 for more information.

Taylor, CEO of Senior Community Services. “It’s one way we help reimagine aging for Minnesotans.” Only people age 60 and older who live in the Hennepin County are eligible. The service area includes the following cities: Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park,

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Senior Partners Care (SPC) is one of the best kept secrets in Minnesota. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, or will be starting soon, please keep reading. Senior Partners Care is not insurance. It is a community based program that enables Minnesota Medicare recipients to access the medical care they need. This program bridges the financial gap between their medical bills and their Medicare coverage. SPC has partnered with most of the major metropolitan area hospitals and hundreds of clinics and providers statewide. These healthcare providers (SPC Partners) have agreed to accept Medicare as full payment for Medicare covered expenses. They waive the Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

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senior centers in Hennepin and Wright counties, ⊲⊲ Senior outreach and caregiver services, which provide help managing complex care, ⊲⊲ CareNextion.org, a free website used to communicate and coordinate care, ⊲⊲ Senior Partners Care (SPC), which bridges the financial gap between seniors’ medical bills and Medicare coverage, and ⊲⊲ Medicare health insurance counseling. Allison Bendickson is a communications assistant with Minnetonka-based nonprofit Senior Community Services. To learn more about Senior Community Services — and order housekeeping or home maintenance services — visit seniorcommunity.org or call 952-746-4046. Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 25

Good Living / Finance / By Skip Johnson

CLOSING THE GENDER GAP →→Women make less, pay more and save less for retirement. Here’s how to take control and reverse the damage.

April 12, 2016, marks Equal Pay Day (as designated by the National

Always negotiate salary

Committee on Pay Equity). The date symbolizes how far into the year women have

The majority of women feel like they’re

to work to earn what men did in the previous year. According to the White House,

underpaid, but only 43 percent have

the median wage of a woman working full time year-round is about $39,600, only

asked for a raise. However, three out of

79 percent of a man’s median earnings.

four who asked for a raise got it.

On top of making less money, women are being charged more for the products they buy. A study of more than 800 items by the New York City Department of

Don’t be shy about asking for a raise.

Consumer Affairs found women are charged more than men 42 percent of the time

Learn to say no

for identical products.

A bleeding heart can be murder on a

This “pink tax” can be found on everything from toys to clothing to personal care

budget. Women will often fund their

products. Another study looking at service providers in California found that over a

children’s educations or help out a

lifetime, a woman will pay $1,300 more than a man for the same services.

family member before taking care of

So women are earning less and paying more. Not to mention, women work, on average, 12 fewer years than men do over the course of their careers, often because they take time off work to raise kids or take care of sick spouses or aging parents. It should come as no surprise then that women are falling behind when it comes

their own retirements. Women need to pay themselves first.

Homemakers, take control

to saving for retirement. The average 45-year-old woman has $20,000 less in retire-

Even if you don’t work outside the

ment savings compared to the average 45-year-old man.

home, it’s your retirement, too!

As a husband and father of three young girls, these statistics hit home for me

Take an active role in the planning

as I think about the future. But I believe women can close the gender gap. I advise

process. If you and your spouse file a

women to take a few steps to reverse the trend:

joint tax return, you can each open

Take inventory

an Individual Retirement Account, even if you have only a single source of

It’s important to know what you have and where it is. Write down all your account

income. As of 2015, you can contribute

information — investments, bank accounts and savings accounts.

up to $5,500 a year to an IRA.

Take inventory of all sources of current income, and talk to your spouse before it’s too late. I work with many women who don’t have information about their

If you’re age 50 or older, the contribution limit goes up to $6,500.

money after their spouse passes or after a divorce.

Save, save, save Women must save more than men do because they generally live longer. Wives live eight to 10 years longer than their husbands if they’re married when they’re the same age. A recent survey shows women are saving 7 percent of their salary, but I’d like to see that number even higher. I recommend dedicating 10 to 15 percent of your salary to your 401(k) or other retirement accounts. 26 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Skip Johnson is an advisor at Great Waters Financial, a financial-planning firm and Minnesota insurance agency in New Hope. Skip also offers investment advisory services through AdvisorNet Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor.

Good Living / In the Kitchen / By Terry John Zila

ITALIAN TREAT WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI WITH APRICOTS AND PISTACHIOS 8 ounces white chocolate 2 cups sifted unbleached flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ⅛ teaspoon salt 1 cup granulated sugar 8 ounces shelled whole salted pistachios 1 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced 4 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla

o →→Did you kn


plural Biscotti is the tto, a term form of bisco from the that originates coctus, Latin word bis e-cooked. meaning twic

⊲⊲Chop chocolate in a food processor. ⊲⊲Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

⊲⊲Fold plastic wrap over each strip to form two 15-inch-long, 3-inch-wide and ¾-inch-tall strips, squaring the ends.

⊲⊲Add about a cup of the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate and pulse until the mixture is fine and powdery.

⊲⊲Place dough strips on a cookie sheet and freeze for at least 3 hours or until you’re ready to bake.

⊲⊲Stir the processed mixture into the mixing bowl with the remaining dry ingredients. Then stir in in the pistachios and dried apricots.

⊲⊲Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

⊲⊲Whisk the eggs and the vanilla in a separate bowl until blended.

⊲⊲Remove dough from freezer and unwrap. Place each dough strip on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes.

⊲⊲Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, mixing until thoroughly moistened.

⊲⊲Remove from oven and, while holding the loaves with a towel, cut the loaves into ½-inch-wide biscotti. Place the biscotti pieces on unlined cookie sheets.

⊲⊲Stretch out two 20-inch lengths of plastic wrap on a work surface.

⊲⊲Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees and bake 40 minutes more.

⊲⊲Spoon the dough down the center of each sheet, forming a foot-long strip in the middle of each piece of plastic wrap.

⊲⊲Cool completely and serve.

Local chef Terry John Zila caters events, teaches cooking classes and crafts stunning cakes in the Twin Cities. Learn more at johnjeanjuancakes.com. Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 27

The pridemarching, crowd-surfing, Facebooking former mayor of Minneapolis. R.T. Rybak isn’t slowing down in the slightest at age 60 By Cali Owings

28 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

R.T. Rybak poses for a portrait at Midtown Global Market, an incubator for entrepreneurs in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. The internationally themed public market on Lake Street serves as one of the narrative touch points in Rybak’s new book, Pothole Confidential: My Life As Mayor of Minneapolis, which comes out April 13. Photo by Tracy Walsh / tracywalshphoto.com


to feel like a slog, he turned to the Netflix Rybak has always

political series House of Cards, starring

been impressed

Kevin Spacey as an unscrupulous career

by the kindness of


Minneapolis resi-

“I saw what great TV it was, but also

dents. Once, while

how outrageously inaccurate it portrayed

he was taking a walk

what I consider to be public service,”

during a particularly

Rybak said. “I wanted to put out some-

stressful period in the city’s struggle over youth violence, someone simply

thing that was real — and hopefully

walked to up to him and patted him on the back. Minneapolis constituents,

inspirational to people who want to do it

though compassionate, hold their leaders to a high standard, Rybak said,

for a living.”

adding: “But they always had my back.”

Rybak regrets not keeping a journal for his many years before, during and after office to help with his memoir, billed as

These days, those who catch Rybak buzzing around town assume the high-energy public figure — who once officiated 46 weddings in a marathon midnight ceremony after the state’s same-sex marriage law went into effect — has slowed down. “What’s it like to be retired?” is a question he’s often asked, and

“a political coming-of-age story and a behind-the-scenes look at the running of a great city.” Rybak did have one important, perhaps even better, historical record to jog his memory — 12 years of scrapbooks meticulously kept by his mother, Lorraine, who saved every article written

it’s hard for him, sometimes, to conceal the steam pouring out of

about her son (and who famously crowd surfed with him after

his ears.

Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election).

Today he’s executive director of Generation Next, a Minneap-

“My mother giving me 12 years of scrapbooks of everything —

olis-based coalition devoted to reducing education achievement gaps in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He’s also vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee (during a presidential election year no less). Rybak insists he’s working harder than ever. “The work I’m doing now is strangely similar to what I was doing before,” he said. “People draw this line around political work. Political work to me is one part of a civic life.” Now more than two years removed from his three terms in office, the 60-year-old is reflecting on his time at City Hall — and his road to get there — in his new book, Pothole Confidential: My Life As Mayor of Minneapolis.

Embedded at City Hall Writing isn’t a new skill for Rybak, who started his career as a journalist covering crime and urban development for the Star Tribune. Rather than copying the style of a typical political memoir for his book, Rybak chose to go with a tone more like that of a reporter “embedded” at City Hall for 12 years. In fact, Rybak said he didn’t read any political autobiographies while writing his book. Instead, when the long, hard work of writing his book started 30 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

▲▲Supporters carry then-mayor R.T. Rybak to Powderhorn Park at the conclusion of the 2010 May Day parade in Minneapolis. Photo by Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons

R.T. Rybak and knowing that her hand cut every one of those articles out — is something I will never forget,” he said, calling her record keeping an “act of love.” Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, calls Rybak’s memoir “a great read” in his praise snippet for the book: “This is a fascinating look into the personal and political life of one of the best big-city mayors in the U.S. R.T. Rybak, a leader of the American Progressive Movement, started out as a Nixon Republican and became a public servant known for his honesty and his willingness to tackle the really tough problems of urban America.”

Winning friends Longtime neighborhood activist and former city council member Don Samuels first met Rybak during a meeting organized to discuss quality-of-life issues in North Minneapolis. The successful toy designer and his wife, Sondra, had moved to the neighborhood — one of the city’s most troubled — in an effort to combat the flight of black, middle-class families from urban neighborhoods. Samuels said he and his neighbors didn’t feel too indulged by the mayor at the time, but the mayor had passed along his business card. Two weeks later, there was a riot in Samuels’ neighborhood after a child was caught in the crossfire of a raid on a problem property. Thrust into the spotlight by his neighbors, Samuels stood beside the mayor during a press conference after the riots. Shortly after, his neighbors began pressuring him to run for city council. Samuels remembered he had Rybak’s card. “OK, are you going to help me do this?” Samuels recalls asking. He was elected to the city council in 2003 without the DFL party nomination and Rybak was an ally during his time on the council. “We weren’t golfing,” Samuels said. “We were working on real satisfying stuff together — solving human problems.” Writing parts of the book proved challenging for Rybak as he watched the city wrestle with intense protests after the November 2015 death of Jamar Clark, a 24-yearold African-American who was shot by Minneapolis police. Rybak rewrote his chapter on police and public safety four times as the Clark events unfolded. “I didn’t want it to seem like I was giving advice from the sidelines,” Rybak said. He also wanted to explain the inequity in policing in America and why there’s so much anger. Samuels said investments made in the north side during Rybak’s tenure as mayor helped mitigate the local reaction to the national racial-equity climate. He pointed to the city’s more diverse police department, proactive police chiefs Tim Dolan and Janee Harteau, and Step-Up, a paid internship program for Minneapolis youth, including kids from the north side. Many young people in Minneapolis were helped by Step-Up at some point, 32 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

Attend a reading Pothole Confidential: My Life As Mayor of Minneapolis will be published by the University of Minnesota Press on April 13. Author R.T. Rybak will host the following book-launch events: →→April 13, 6–10 p.m. at First Avenue, Minneapolis →→April 25, 7–9 p.m. at Common Good Books, St. Paul →→May 3, 7–9 p.m. at SubText Books, St. Paul →→May 9, 6–8:30 p.m. at The Theater of Public Policy, Bryant Lake Bowl Minneapolis →→May 11, 7–9 p.m. at Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis →→May 21, 1–3 p.m. at the A-Mill Artists Lofts, Minneapolis, as part of Art-a-Whirl Learn more about the book, which costs $24.95, at upress.umn.edu or amazon.com.

Samuels said, which might be partly why the city isn’t seeing the same rampant violence some other metro areas have experienced. “When you are able to make commitments, you win friends,” said Samuels, who’s now a Minneapolis school board member. The Step-Up program, which Rybak started as part of a multi-faceted attempt to improve outcomes for kids, has created more than 20,000 internships since 2004.

Youth voices, opportunities Mariam DeMello first met Rybak during an annual visit and speech at Southwest High School. The 22-year-old Hamline-Mitchell

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DeMello interned in the mayor’s office through the Step-Up program the summer after she graduated from high school. She spent her days hearing constituent concerns and honing her conflict-resolution skills — and had a clear view into the workings of the city, including negotiations with the Minnesota Vikings over a new stadium downtown. During the heart of the controversy over whether the city should support a new stadium, Rybak and DeMello rode Nice Ride bikes to meet with Vikings leadership at the former Metrodome. Afterward, Rybak asked her if the stadium should be built. “You’re just out of high school and the mayor is interested in what you have to say,” she said. “That just goes to show how much R.T. cares about what people think.” DeMello, like many others, was against the stadium at the time. It’s one of the decisions Rybak said he most wanted to explain after “bruising” fights at the legislature and within the city council. Wells Fargo had expressed interest in building new office towers near the stadium site, but wanted to remain out of the stadium fray. Rybak had to bite his tongue daily at the Capitol while legislators told him the stadium wouldn’t attract new development. The decision was a tough one for Rybak, but he tried to use the situation to get “exceptional results for the city,” he said, including funding tools to pay for renovations at the Target Center, a new public park and more than $500 million in new development. Today, Rybak is focused on what he calls the city’s biggest issue — inequity and the

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R.T. Rybak Growing up middle class As a young Nixon supporter in the late 1960s, Rybak grew up with his sights set on what he believed to be the best job in the world — mayor of Minneapolis. He graduated in 1974 from Breck in Golden Valley, and from Boston College in 1978. His desire to hold the Minneapolis mayor’s seat, however, took a backseat with the births of his children, Charlie and Grace, who were 11 and 9 when Rybak ▲▲Generation Next, where R.T. Rybak serves as the executive director, works with schools to help close achievement gaps at local schools. Here he visits Northeast College Prep school in Minneapolis, which was named a 2014-15 Beating the Odds school by the Star Tribune. Photo courtesy of Generation Next

Volunteer opportunities Generation Next, a coalition dedicated to closing achievement gaps in Minneapolis and St. Paul, launched a campaign called Gen Next Reads in 2015 to recruit and formally train adult volunteers to tutor children through Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools. Executive Director R.T. Rybak believes formal tutor training can give Minnesota volunteers an edge when it comes to improving opportunities for kids from cradle to career. “We see people — who have so much to give — working with a child and not being given the training to know how to move them forward,” he said. “Compassion is phenomenal, but it’s not enough anymore.” Minnesotans who aren’t able to become tutors — but who want to help children read at home — can take the ABCs of Reading training, offered in partnership with the Minnesota Literacy Council. There are other ways to help, too. Community members are invited to become mentors to kids through a variety of local organizations or volunteer in other roles with Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools. Learn more at gennextmsp.org/getinvolved/gennextreads.

finally ran for the office in 2001. For the sake of his family, Rybak said he was ready to put aside, possibly forever, the one big thing he always wanted to do. “I was shocked at what an easy choice that was when confronted with the potential to be the kind of dad I wanted to be,” he said. Rybak’s father died when he was 10, leaving his mother to care for three children and run the family’s Phillipsneighborhood pharmacy on her own. During those years, Rybak, born Raymond Thomas Rybak Jr., was struck by the disparities among local families. “I could perceive myself to be poor when I was at school, where people had dramatically more than me; I could perceive myself to be rich when I was around my family’s store; and I could perceive myself to be middle class when

great divide in outcomes for children of color. Generation Next brings governments, foundations, companies, schools and nonprofits that are aiming to bridge the state’s nationally known achievement gaps together. What’s the biggest difference between his current role and his job as mayor? He’s not taken off task by city crises such as tornadoes and, well, potholes. “I can get a lot done if I don’t get distracted,” said Rybak, who was mayor during the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge.

I was in my neighborhood,” said Rybak, who grew up in Southwest Minneapolis. But Rybak couldn’t “accept what was really inequitable,” He said. “It just seemed so wrong. And so fixable.” Rybak’s decision to hold off on pursuing his dream job while his children were little led him to several mid-career positions that may seem scattered on a resume

34 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

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— publisher, Internet strategist and marketing consultant. But to him, it all made perfect sense as a part of an “organized, logical, civic life in Minneapolis.” “While being mayor was the one big thing I wanted to do, I have always led a civic life, meaning sometimes political, sometimes volunteer, sometimes in public-oriented jobs, but always about Minneapolis,” he said. Rybak’s wife, Megan O’Hara, meanwhile, has developed a civic-minded career of her own as a communications consultant for a variety of public, nonprofit and arts organizations over the years, most recently with Minneapolis-based Wilderness Inquiry. She, too, is featured in her husband’s book.

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one day seek, despite an unsuccessful DFL gubernatorial bid in 2010. (Both Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have been the subject of perennial gubernatorial speculation for the upcoming race in 2018.) About a year later, shortly after his mayoral term ended, Rybak suffered a heart attack

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dures and had six stents inserted as a result. Rybak said he experienced a remarkably speedy recovery and suffered no lasting heart damage. While Rybak doesn’t think he’ll ever retire from civic life, his next move is still undetermined: “It’s the first time in my life where I don’t know what’s next, but I know it’s going to be in Minnesota,” he said. “It’s going to involve civic work in some way.” During his term, Rybak often harnessed the power of social media, including occasionally poetic tweets. And he’s still at it today with energetic, opinionated posts multiple times a day on Facebook and Twitter. Some see Rybak’s forthcoming political memoir as a signal that he’s gearing up for another campaign, but he said his book might not do him any favors. “Do you think I would have said some of the things I said if I was trying to run for something?” he said. While his book is an inside look at his years at City Hall, he said it’s also an acknowledgement of the many “invisible people” — finance directors, community activists, youth — that help the city thrive. “Wouldn’t you expect to finish 12 years as mayor of a large city more cynical about the system?” he said. “I feel really positive about the way things work and even more positive about the way they can work.” Cali Owings is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and a frequent Good Age contributor. Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 35

Mark and Marion Marriage can change dramatically when one spouse retires. Here’s how to adjust. By Laura Waldvogel


hen we think of retirement, we usually think

ment affected their marriages. All had been married for more

about it in terms of money.

than 25 years, with one couple even approaching their 60th

Will we have enough to travel? Will we have enough

to spoil our grandkids? Will we have enough to help our children? And most important, will we have enough money to live out our lives the way we want to? When money changes because of retirement, other changes in the marriage happen without much consideration. I recently sat down with several couples to learn how retire36 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

wedding anniversary! To learn from the stories they shared, let’s consider the story of Mark and Marion. Mark and Marion have been married for 42 years and describe their marriage as “typical.” Mark worked a full-time, labor-intensive job during their marriage while Marion stayed home to raise their three children until she began working full time about 15 years ago.

Household tasks

The issue going on here isn’t just that Mark and Marion have

Throughout their marriage, Marion had taken care of most of the household tasks outside of paying the bills and yard work. Mark recently decided to retire and Marion continues to work full time. Do you think Mark will even out the responsibility of household tasks or will he continue to let Marion carry the brunt of the work along with working full time? If their marriage is truly typical, Mark won’t make an effort to take tasks off Marion’s plate. Ideally,

different concepts of free time, they also have an unhealthy

When one spouse is working and the other is retired, it can be hard to decide what to do during the time you have together. The value of time and how you spend it will change as obligations come and go.

balance of autonomy and togetherness. It’s OK for partners to want time away from each other — in fact it’s healthy for a marriage. You don’t want to get to the point where you think, “You were sitting in that chair when I left for work this morning!” or “Do you really have to go to the grocery store with me? Can’t I just go alone?” When one spouse is working and the other is retired, it can be hard to decide what to do during the time you have together. The value of time and how you spend it will change as obligations come and go — like how the obligation to work 40 hours a week goes away with retirement. For Marion, a free weekend on the calendar might mean a chance for some quiet time at home. But Mark, meanwhile, might be dreaming of an active weekend getaway.

Marion would communicate

How to handle changes

to Mark what he could help

The key to handling changes in marriage is communication.

with, and then Mark would step up and eventually enjoy taking on the new tasks. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Situations like this are difficult. There’s a working spouse,

For household chores, Mark might not realize how many household tasks Marion’s been doing for years. And Marion might not realize the desire Mark has for wanting to help. Communicating can help each spouse realize

Marion, who has done a particular chore a particular way for

what the other wants. Handling changes in leisure time requires

25, 30 or 40 years.

the same thing — communication. Unnecessary conflict can be

And then the newly retired Mark, with ample time on his

avoided by discussing how much time each person needs alone,

hands, tries to help. The problem is, Marion’s done this task for

how much time you can spend together and what you want to

so many years that a certain standard has developed.

do during shared time.

If Mark doesn’t do the task to that standard, this frustrates

Don’t be afraid to try a new chore or let go of something

Marion and leaves her asking, Do I do that task over so it’s

you’ve always secretly hated. (Folding laundry really is the worst!)

“right” or do I compromise my expectations so Mark feels good

You might even find your spouse likes doing it.

about helping?

Experiment with time to figure out a balance of being together and being apart. You might find the quality of time

Leisure time

together has increased. Just talk to your partner! You probably talked about how money will change with

Mark and Marion have a very diverse social landscape,

retirement, so I encourage you to talk about other changes in

including finding time for friends, family, volunteering,

your marriage, too.

community and church. Now that Mark is retired, he continues to participate in social activities with Marion, but he hasn’t found anything to call his own. He waits for Marion to get home from work before he does anything social. This drives Marion crazy! She loves seeing him more, but she also has no alone time.

And even if your marriage is nothing like Mark and Marion’s, the lesson is the same: Communicate. Laura Waldvogel is a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist (CPG) who works in Roseville. She’s a member of the Minnesota Gerontological Society’s board of directors.

Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 37


Can’t-Miss Calendar

April 23

Great Northern Union Chorus →→This 80-voice men’s barbershop and a cappella chorus — Twin Cities-based and internationally recognized — will present a line-up of new songs with high-impact harmonies, plus special guests, the national award-winning Totino-Grace Show Choir. When: 7 p.m. April 23 Where: The Ordway Center for Performing Arts, St. Paul Cost: $20, $30, $40, plus fees, with discounts for seniors and groups of 10 or more Info: gnusings.com/tickets

April 1

April 2

Aztec & Nahuatl Dance & Culture

A Scottish Ramble

→→Presented by COMPAS and Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue, this performance helps audience members learn the symbols of the Meso-American calendar, experience the rhythms and dazzling costumes of an ancient people and begin to understand the connections between ritual and daily life.

→→This popular celebration has moved from its traditional February date to April 2 to kick off Minnesota’s Tartan Week events. Events will include performances by dance groups from around the region, pipe bands, traditional Scottish music performances, cultural sessions and children’s activities, as well as food and merchandise vendors.

When: 10:30–11:15 a.m. April 1 Where: Burnhaven Library, Burnsville Cost: FREE. Advance registration is required. Please call 952-233-9590 to register. Info: compas.org 38 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

When: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. April 2 Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: $6 ($4 for ages 12 and younger) Info: scottishramble.org or landmarkcenter.org

April 7–17

April 15–17

Would You Harbor Me?


→→The Cantus choral ensemble’s latest performance gives voice to personal stories of crisis, homelessness and isolation — as well as resilience, belonging and community — with a universal message of hope and inspiration.

→→This 20th annual springtime celebration of the arts features live music, children’s activities and a juried art show, organized by the Plymouth Arts Council and the City of Plymouth.

When: April 7, 9, 10, 14, 17 Where: Venues in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, Stillwater and Wayzata Cost: $10–$35 Info: cantussings.org

April 7–23

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival →→This year, the festival — one of the longest-running in the nation — will celebrate its 35th year with more than 250 films representing 71 countries, all selected by The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. When: April 7–23 Where: Venues around the Twin Cities Cost: Single tickets are $13. Info: mspfilm.org

April 9

StoryFest 2016 →→This 16th-annual event — hosted by Story Arts of Minnesota — will feature 10 storytelling series, multiple stages and morning workshops, followed by an evening concert at 7:30 p.m. at Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis. When: 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 9 Where: City of Lakes Waldorf School, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets, sold at the door, are $10–$20 based on a sliding scale. Info: storyartsmn.org/storyfest-2016

April 10 and 24, May 15

Urban Expeditions →→Experience cultural events featuring music, dance, food, animals, crafts and more from each featured country. When: April 10 (Taiwan), April 24 (Turkey) and May 15 (Nigeria) Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: landmarkcenter.org

April 11

Twins Home Opener →→Minnesota’s Major League Baseball team takes on the Chicago White Sox. When: 3:10 p.m. April 11 Where: Target Field, Minneapolis Cost: $15–$100 Info: minnesota.twins.mlb.com

April 14

LeagueAires Annual Symposium →→Sponsored by the Suzanne Holmes Hodder Legacy Fund, this event was established in 2012 to offer educational events on the joy and healing power of music. Anne Basting, director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center on Age & Community, will be the keynote speaker with a talk, titled: Building Community through Creative Engagement — Radical Thoughts from the Frontlines of Aging. When: 7 p.m. April 14 Where: MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: macphail.org

When: April 15–17 Where: Plymouth Creek Center, Plymouth Cost: FREE Info: plymouthartscouncil.org

April 23

Hastings Area Bird Festival →→Celebrate the arrival of spring by learning about the region’s many bird species at this fourth-annual event. Highlights include classes such as Introduction to Birding and Raptors 101, bird-banding demonstrations and guided bird trips in the Hastings area. When: 8 a.m.–4 p.m. April 23 Where: Carpenter St. Croix Nature Center, Hastings Cost: $5 ($15 if you want to include a box lunch) Info: Call 651-437-4359 to reserve a spot. Learn more at tinyurl.com/ birding-hastings.

April 30 and May 1

Union Depot Train Days →→The Amtrak Exhibit Train will be on display — and open for free public tours — as part of this annual event. See what it was like to be a passenger almost 45 years ago and get a glimpse of what Amtrak is planning in the years ahead. Other event attractions include model trains, musical entertainment, memorabilia vendors and more. When: April 30 and May 1 Where: Union Depot, St. Paul Cost: Most activities are FREE. Info: uniondepot.org/traindays

Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour →→Discover two dozen local artists with a springtime tour of artists’ homes and studios in the Lake Minnetonka area. Works of art for sale will include pottery, paintings, glass, jewelry, wood, sculpture, fiber and more. When: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. April 30 and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. May 1 Where: Artists home studios in Minnetonka, Deephaven and Excelsior Cost: FREE Info: lakemtka-studiotour.com Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 39

Brain teasers Sudoku



























































































































































Break the code to reveal a quote from a famous person. Each letter represents another letter.































Source: Mahatma Gandhi Clue: G = H







































































Word Scramble Complete the following three six-letter words using each given letter once.

N B F D W J B .


A H G B F N .

___ ___ D ___ S T H ___ ___ ___ S T ___ ___ C ___ S T M





2. Peace Corps






1. Benjamin Franklin


3. Tennessee


Answers 40 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

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Answers Minnesota Good Age / April 2016 / 41


Crossword 67 Repairs with turf, as a lawn 68 Nail file material DOWN 1 Texter’s “Gimme a sec” 2 Lion in the night sky 3 Far from friendly 4 2005 horror sequel 5 Website with timed trivia quizzes 6 Calf-length dress 7 Zoo primates 8 Gourmet mushroom 9 YouTube annoyances 10 *Earth-sized collapsed stars 11 Makes less unruly 12 Scrub, as a launch 15 Outdoor, as cafes 17 Curiosity-launching gp. 20 __ of Reason 21 Memphis music festival street 22 Metal wrap giant 23 *Best female friends 25 “Around the Horn” channel 28 Lemon or lime 29 Roof edges 32 Film that introduced Buzz Lightyear ACROSS 1 Pure joy

39 Number associated with the ends of answers to the starred clues

6 Fairy tale bear

40 Pet gerbil’s home

10 Athletic org. founded by Billie Jean King

41 Simple

13 Sports channel summary

42 Rounded hammer end

14 Apple’s shuffle or touch

43 “Casablanca” actor Peter

15 Melville captain

44 Land surrounded by water

16 *Mozart and Robin, in their own way 18 Fancy airport ride 19 Poker declaration 20 Last word of many fairy tales 21 Fundamentals

46 “Star Trek” helmsman 48 Gave grub to 49 Fiesta food 52 Irish playwright Sean

34 List of dishes 36 Think alike 37 Emotionally demanding 39 Made haste 43 “I’m just so fortunate!” 45 Poet __-tzu 47 Script “L” feature 49 Tentative bite 50 Twistable cookies 51 “Bless you” prompter 53 Tea region of India 56 __ hog

54 Threepio’s pal

57 Chooses, with “for”

55 Swindlers

59 “Madam Secretary” network

58 Fortuneteller

60 Opposite of WSW

59 *Windy day ocean condition

61 Put on television

31 Like the accent in cliché

63 Canadian Conservative

62 For example

33 Loading dock access

64 Gravy vessel

35 Graceful bird

65 Craze

38 Echoic first name of Olympic hurdler Jones

66 Supergirl’s symbol

24 Recliner feature 26 “Xanadu” rock gp. 27 Not on time 30 Bird feeder supply

42 / April 2016 / Minnesota Good Age

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