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DECEMBER 2018

Caregiving

through the

holidays Toronto to

Vancouver — by rail! A Swiss

Christmas

Write on!

St. Paul children’s book author Marion Dane Bauer reflects on four decades of creativity


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Contents 16 SWISS MAGIC

Christmas celebrations in Switzerland come alive with understated elegance for two weeks in December.

DECEMBER

⊳⊳ Einsiedeln Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Switzerland, hosts an annual Christmas market.

GOOD START FROM THE EDITOR 6 Every great author has a story. But this one will really make you think.

MY TURN 8 Four days equated to 2,800 miles on our Canadian railway trip.

swiss-image.ch / Christof

MEMORIES 10 Advertising that pokes fun at itself — and life — is my favorite kind.

MINNESOTA HISTORY 12 See how our state's many astronauts helped make history in outer space.

GOOD HEALTH CAREGIVING

24

ON THE COVER St. Paul children’s book author Marion Dane Bauer reflects on four decades of creativity. Photos by Tracy Walsh

14 What happens to traditions when there’s a death or illness?

GOOD LIVING FINANCE 20 Tackling debt in retirement requires measured discipline.

HOUSING SPOTLIGHT 22 The Lodge offers small-scale assisted living in New Hope.

30 CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR BRAIN 32 TEASERS 4 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


FROM THE EDITOR Volume 37 / Issue 12 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

Ed Dykhuizen, Carol Hall, Skip Johnson Julie Kendrick, Jessica Kohen, Dave Nimmer Carla Waldemar, Tracy Walsh, Jenny West

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. To receive Good Age by mail, send a check for $18 with “Good Age subscription” in the memo.

6 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Permission to start BY SARAH JACKSON

F

ollow your bliss, they say. But few folks ever talk about figuring out what one’s “bliss” actually is. Sometimes it seems so hard to find, especially when you’re talking about a career path, a way to earn a living. It sounds too good to be true. But is that because we don’t know when to listen? Listening is hard. Often, it requires swimming Photo by Tracy Walsh • tracywalshphoto.com upstream, feeling utterly unsure or facing doubt, even from (sometimes especially from) loved ones. And fulfillment can take not months, but years. Marion Dane Bauer, when she realized what she wanted to do, heard the call. As a mother of young children, she began writing in little pockets of time when she “should have been cleaning the house.” When it came time to stop being a stay-at-home mom and get a job, she realized what she wanted — to be a paid professional writer! She didn’t want regrets. “I had a vision of myself on my deathbed, saying, ‘No one gave me time to write!’” So she made a five-year deal with her husband: “I told him, ‘I’ll treat it like a job, and if I’m not published by the deadline, I’ll go to work.’” Three and half years later, Bauer’s first book, Shelter from the Wind, was published, eventually followed by her Newbery Honor-winning book, On My Honor. Then she kept going for more than 40 years and is still publishing to this day at age 80, pursuing topics as lofty as the cosmos (no less) with her latest children’s book, The Stuff of Stars. Amazing! Her life hasn’t been easy, by any stretch, but it was that time in her life, among others during her early years, when she chose to follow her dream. I find it fascinating that she’s found joy in the process of writing, not just in the finished products, which for her includes 104 children’s books in all. “A lot of people want to have written,” she said. “They have a vision of a published book, and they think that’s what it’s all about. For me, it’s the daily process that really feeds me. It’s something I need.” Bauer suggests we can all find that certain bliss at any age. “If you haven’t had a chance to find what really feeds you yet, it’s not too late. Find it now,” she said. What is it for you? It reminds me of the Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day, that ends with the memorable line: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Is it what you’re doing when you should be cleaning the house? It might just be a matter of — as Bauer puts it — giving yourself real and honest “permission to start.” You might be afraid of failure, of doing it wrong, of not loving every single minute, of “what ifs.” But as a good friend of mine often asks: What if it’s great?


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O, Canada! T

rying to reprise a cross-country railroad journey I took as a 13-yearold kid — 65 years later — requires, I discovered, a lot more forbearance, patience and tolerance than I would’ve expected. The first trip was in 1953 with my parents and grandmother aboard the Santa Fe Super Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles. The second was this fall with my friend Lucinda Lamont — aboard The Canadian, a transcontinental passenger train operated by VIA Rail Canada — 2,800 miles from Toronto to Vancouver. Our trip took all of four days and nights. Cindy and I shared a compartment the size of a small bathroom, about 35 square feet. I climbed up a six-step ladder to get to the top bunk at night and gingerly, slowly, carefully crept down in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. One of us could brush our teeth, wash and dress

8 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Timothy Stevens / railpictures.net

MY TURN

BY DAVE NIMMER

Fine scenery, food, service

When we got back on the main track and picked up speed, the clickety-clack soon gave way to a rock ’n’ roll. while the other sat on a bunk. And every hour, it seemed, we were stopped on a siding to let a priority freight train rumble by. When we got back on the main track and picked up speed, the clickety-clack soon gave way to a rock ’n’ roll. None of this, however, derailed the trip. We were sustained by delicious meals in the dining car (complete with heavy silverware and white table cloths), a gracious staff, interesting passengers and a varied landscape.

The first morning we awoke to the lakes, rivers and boreal forest of northern Ontario, so close the branches brushed against the sides of the cars. We passed through small lumbering and rail towns of 2,000 to 3,000 people, and I could wonder what life might be like in the middle of January or February. Next came the prairies of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, more interesting than I imagined because of the rolling valleys of the Red, Assiniboine and Seine rivers. Wherever we rolled, the dining car was special. The entrees were delicately prepared, colorfully presented and carefully served. Rack of lamb one night, Alaskan halibut the next and thick French toast and Canadian maple syrup for breakfast. Servers balanced the plates on two arms in a lurching car — and never came close to a drop. I, meanwhile, had trouble standing on two feet.


⊳ The Canadian passenger train rounds a corner near scenic Jasper in Alberta, Canada, in the Rocky Mountains.

On the evening of the last supper, diners gave the chef an ovation as she came strolling through the car.

Passenger stories It was in the dining car where we met the strangers who would sit at our table and stick in our minds. An Australian husband and wife from Sydney talked lovingly about their children, their government-run health care and the law requiring all Australian citizens to vote in federal elections. A Canadian couple described their volunteer work in their church. I was particularly impressed with the husband’s 40-year successful battle with diabetes. (I’m a Type 2.) Neither of us had dessert. Then there was the Scotsman, now living in Newfoundland, who’d just finished Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House. Cindy and I were part of a global society on that train; the thought of isolating ourselves, and our country, seemed so out of touch. Obviously, this wasn’t the train trip of my youth. I spent that one trying to sleep in a coach chair, eating pickup meals. This time I had a bunk, a table, a personal toilet and a companion to share an intimate space. This time I neither fussed nor fidgeted. I simply looked and listened. Maybe the lesson is that the harder it gets to do what you used to do, the easier it becomes just to follow advice from The Beatles: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom: Let it be.”

2harvest.org

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. Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 9


MEMORIES

How to win at advertising BY CAROL HALL

W

hen the TV pitchman screams “Gold, Gold, Gold!” advertising a pawn shop, I press mute. When a hideous life-size bedbug appears onscreen promoting the services of a pestcontrol company, I change the channel. Why oh why are so many television commercials offensive? Why don’t advertisers create more fun spots, like the health insurance company’s “dancing man” that aired a few years ago? While seated in a doctor’s waiting room, this very ordinary-looking guy gets up and starts dancing slinky, “get down” style, his eyes closed as though sirened by the pipedin music. There he is, chunky, yet graceful, boogying all by himself across the waiting room floor. An older patient views him quizzically, while the office receptionist — wearing Minnesota winter attire of longsleeved Cuddle Duds under a short sleeved uniform — snaps her fingers and smiles. I found this commercial so funny that, ironically, I didn’t catch which insurance company sponsored it. Another priceless gem featured a regal black cat riding in the back seat of a shiny late-model sedan. The window is open, and a dog on the street is barking and leaping at the car. Cat glances at Dog with disdain, closes window, leaving frustrated Dog going ballistic as car glides away. Again, I don’t know what make of car was being advertised. Maybe that’s the answer: These commercials are so clever in and of themselves, you miss the advertiser. 10 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Meanwhile, I can’t get enough of print advertising. I read every catalog that hits my mailbox. There’s something about brightly colored cover artwork that draws me in. I especially like the versatile Mills Fleet Farm photos of candies and nuts — even those of chainsaws and ice houses. A clothing favorite is Duluth Trading Company. Their wacky sketches of men’s underwear and outrageous descriptions of same are pure entertainment — poking fun at the product.

I can’t get enough of print advertising. There’s something about brightly colored cover artwork that draws me in. By contrast, a catalog ad that I saved from the 1940s of the then-popular Lifebuoy Soap explains very seriously (using four paragraphs of text, a diagram of the human body and several photos): “Science now tells you what causes Nervous B.O. (nervous body odor) and no one is free from the workings of his nerves.” Really! It was the times! But as for television, I well remember the singular Reserve Mining commercial

from the 1950s for the Saturday night late show. Back in those early black-and-white days, a full-length vintage movie from the 1940s aired at 11 p.m., uninterrupted. The sponsor’s message came prior to the movie as a five-minute infomercial. It was delivered by a stern, serious-looking man who covered every aspect of the mining industry in North America! Brilliant! Bring it back! Speaking of infomercials: Brace yourself for a slew of them this month, just in time for Christmas shopping. The versatile K-Tel Veg-O-Matic and Ronco Pocket Fisherman are but a memory. But Chia Pet — for the gardener on your list — is still out there! The Clapper, too! Happy shopping, dear readers, and Merry Christmas! 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.


MINNESOTA HISTORY

Minnesota and the moon O

n Christmas Eve 1968, the world watched on television as the crew of Apollo 8 — Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders — read from the Book of Genesis while beaming images of Earth rising from behind the lunar surface. It was the second spaceflight mission to include a crew, and it was the first mission to orbit the moon. During a highly turbulent and violent year, the “Earthrise” images, as they came to be known, imparted hope to an unsettled nation and instantly became part of American iconography. Time magazine, in January 1969 named the Apollo 8 astronauts “Men of the Year”: “In the closing days of 1968, all mankind could exult in the vision of a new universe. For all its upheavals and frustrations, the year would be celebrated as the year in which men saw at firsthand their little earth entire, a remote, bluebrown sphere hovering like a migrant bird in the hostile night of space.”

Did you know?

Lunar module pilot William Anders, speaking with the Johnson Space Center Oral History Project in 1997, recalled the highlight of the mission: “Here was this orb, looking like a Christmas tree ornament, very fragile, not an infinite expanse of granite, and seemingly of a physical insignificance. And yet it was our home.” Hope defined all of the Apollo missions. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy famously addressed Congress, challenging the U.S. to land astronauts on the moon and return them home safely. In 1969, Apollo 11 would do just that. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface with Armstrong saying, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” The astronauts conducted scientific research and collected samples, including fragments of moon rocks to bring back to Earth.

BY JESSICA KOHEN

Minnesota received a lunar sample, along with every state, U.S. territory and foreign nation, as a goodwill gesture following the return of the Apollo 11 crew. Minnesota also received similar “goodwill moon rocks” from Apollo 17, which made the final lunar landing in December 1972. While the Apollo 17 lunar samples made it to the Minnesota Historical Society, the Apollo 11 samples went missing for years, tucked away in a storage area of the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul until they were uncovered in 2010. On Nov. 28, 2012, the Minnesota National Guard transferred the Apollo 11 lunar samples to the society.

Minnesota boasts numerous notable astronauts:

• Dale Gardner from Fairmont flew two missions aboard Challenger in 1983 and Discovery in 1984.

• Robert D. Cabana from Minne-

apolis is a veteran of four space shuttle flights, two on Discovery in 1990 and 1992, one on Columbia in 1994 and the last on Endeavour in 1998, which met up with the International Space Station.

• Duane G. Carey, born in St. Paul,

piloted the shuttle Columbia in

2002 on a mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.

• Karen L. Nyberg from Vining flew to the International Space Station on Discovery in 2008, and in 2013 she joined the Russian Soyuz mission to the International Space Station. • Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper from St. Paul flew on two shuttle missions aboard Atlantis in 2006 and Endeavour in 2008.

• George “Pinky” Nelson considers himself a Minnesotan even though he was born in Iowa. Nelson graduated from Willmar Senior High School in 1968, the year Apollo 8 first orbited the moon. He’s a veteran of three space flights: Challenger in 1984, Columbia in 1986 and Discovery in 1988. The Minnesota Historical Society holds in its collection Nelson’s spacesuit jacket from his Discovery mission.

• Robert “Bob” Gilruth was born in Nashwauk, grew up in Duluth and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He worked on hypersonic vehicles even before NASA was created in 1958, and by 1968 he was the director of the Manned Spacecraft Center (later renamed the Johnson Space Center) which oversaw the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.


▲ Astronaut George "Pinky" Nelson wore the above spacesuit jacket between 1983 and 1988. Visitors to The 1968 Exhibit — on display at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul through Jan. 21 — can relive the “Earthrise” reading in a recreated living room with a replica of the Apollo 8 command module (above); also on display are artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, including the "bubble" helmet and Omega wristwatch worn by astronaut Jim Lovell Jr. Crew member Bill Anders took this iconic Earthrise image (opposite) during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. Above photos courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society. Earthrise photo courtesy of NASA.

Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 13


CAREGIVING

Changing family traditions BY JENNY WEST

T

raditions are important, especially around holidays. They create memories and rituals that live on from generation to generation. Family traditions become the “it’s always been done this way” occasions — everyone knows what will happen, when it will occur, who will do what — revolving around a religious activity, feast, family outing or community event. What happens to traditions when there’s a death or illness or some other significant change? Unfortunately, “life” happens without warning. Grandma breaks her hip a week before Thanksgiving, and she’s always made the homemade stuffing. Family members relocate out-of-state

14 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

and no longer attend the holiday gatherings. Uncle Bob’s dementia has taken away his best-kept-secret ice-fishing location on the lake. Change happens — sometimes in ways that interfere with treasured rituals. But it’s OK for traditions to change. Whenever change meets tradition, there can be confusion, loss of roles, hurt feelings and uneasiness about how to adapt without the people who have always been present. Adjusting to different family traditions can also cause stress and worry. However, naming the changes and involving others in contributing new ideas can actually help the entire family creatively adapt traditions that will work for everyone.

Honor the past During the first holidays after someone has died, consider maintaining the lost loved one’s traditions in some way. Invite other family members to step up and share the honor by taking over the role of the deceased. After a death, the sadness people feel can lead to avoiding all references to the person and their role in family rituals. But it’s important to continue to share the good memories and past stories during family gatherings to help everyone grieve and process the loss. This time also allows discussion of what aspects of the tradition are important and why. Hearing everyone’s perspective will help define what the new family tradition might look like.


Here are some tips for moving things in a positive direction: ⊲⊲ PLAN AHEAD. It’s important to identify change when it occurs. If Aunt Rita passes away in the spring, begin to discuss who will take over her neverto-miss New Year’s soup. The more lead time there is, the more time people have to prepare themselves emotionally for this new role to honor the deceased. ⊲⊲ GATHER INPUT. It may surprise you to hear what’s actually important about the family tradition. Perhaps it’s a feeling that’s created or the singing that’s shared — and not the actual event. ⊲⊲ MAKE TIME TO TALK. Sit down with family members a few weeks before traditions are observed and talk about what’s meaningful to everyone involved. Sharing what it means to each person can help everyone understand the significance of the family tradition and connect with one another. Ask questions, and listen. Perhaps your young cousin may be ready to help Grandma with the stuffing this year. ⊲⊲ THINK OF CHANGE AS POSITIVE. View the new ideas or modifications as a positive opportunity to keep family traditions going. These opportunities can encourage different family members to become more involved in new ways, while still honoring past traditions. ⊲⊲ REMAIN FLEXIBLE. Sometimes changes will need to occur repeatedly until it feels right. Give yourself permission to modify and adjust as needed, making those family traditions more meaningful. Even fish change their swimming locations; it’s alright to find another spot to cast your line. Jenny West works at FamilyMeans in Caregiver Support & Aging Services. FamilyMeans is an active member of the Metropolitan Caregiver Service Collaborative (caregivercollaborative.org). Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 15


swiss-image.ch / Christof Schuerpf

TRAVEL

Christmastime in Lucerne, Switzerland; Lucerne is home to seven Christmas markets, including this one at Franziskanerplatz. 16 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age


A Swiss Christmas Switzerland’s charms abound year-round, but these cities positively sparkle during the holidays

swiss-image.ch / Jan Geerk

by Carla Waldemar

T

here were the usual security questions at the Zurich airport before flying home in December. (No, I hadn’t accepted packages from strangers.) Then the smiling official asked a new one: “What did you enjoy most in Switzerland?” Easy: The Christmas scene. Each town celebrates the season with fir trees lining sidewalks and decorating every square. Twinkle lights form festive canopies above the streets. Special concerts, cruises and light shows are on offer, augmenting the season’s culinary treats. Hotels leave St. Nick’s traditional gifts — nuts and tangerines — near your bed. Above all, each city boasts a jolly Christmas market, or five or six. Unlike here at home, store windows display pines and stars and baubles rather than cartoon-y elves and Santas. No canned Muzak spoils the scene. And things don’t get going right after Halloween. The celebration is kept to a few weeks in December. And it’s magical.

Basel Pinpointing the land where Switzerland meets Germany and France, the Old City in Basel (population 170,000) is spruced up (literally and figuratively) to celebrate the holidays, starting with Christmas markets on Marktplatz and Barfusserplatz, where 155 stalls — rustic log chalets — sell knitwear, leather goods, wooden toys, pewter Christmas figures, paper stars, candles, baubles, cards and calendars. And there’s food, too! Marzipan and nougat, cheesy raclette and fondue, special cookies, hot chocolate and mulled wine — the makings of a wintry meal while strolling. Or you can step inside a cabin to share tables with locals as you summon hearty spaetzle noodles to accompany a local beer. Look outside to see a three-tiered Christmas pyramid, with swirling life-size figures, including Mary dancing with her donkey. Munsterplatz welcomes skaters (rentals available) to its ice rink, while others are invited to make their own candles and

Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 17


decorate cookies while kids ride a miniature train. New last year, a Nativity trail links up 20 shops showcasing impressive stable scenes.

Lucerne In this city of 80,000, the famous lake refuses to freeze, but there’s an impressive ice rink where it laps the shore near the train station, illuminated by a Live on Ice show of swirling, giant snowflakes. Outside the beautiful Baroque Hofchurch, where an organ concert welcomes Advent, we spied St. Nick in his long red coat on his annual Father Christmas procession. Accompanied by his notoriously mischievous sidekick, Schmutzli, he parades amid a raucous following of clanking drums and bells, handing out nuts and tangerines to delighted kids. Nearby, aside the river, the Lucerne Theatre showcases an Advent calendar by opening a different window scene each evening. The cozy city hosts seven Christmas markets, some with themes such as artisan crafts or designer goods. Others, like the ebullient market aside Frauenkirche, feature a carousel and life-size Nativity scene amid the many stalls with alluring gifts and the ubiquitous mulled wine. A dining cruise aboard the newly launched MS Diamant showcases elaborate lighting displays decorating facades all along the harbor.

The Christmas market in Basel, Switzerland, features an enchanting tiered carousel.

18 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

swiss-image.ch / Andre Meier

Einsiedeln From Lucerne, it’s an hour’s train ride through the snow-clad pines of the pre-Alps to Einsiedeln (14,000 people) and its famous monastery, whose grand approach is second only to Rome’s St. Peter’s. The Hauptstrasse, connecting it to the railway station, hosts a Christmas market that explodes into the square itself. This breathtaking Baroque church


swiss-image.ch / Ivo Scholz

Christmastime glows on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, Switzerland.

climaxes in a chapel dedicated to the famed Black Madonna, dressed for success in gilded couture. Daily its monks offer Gregorian chants, and in summer, weekly organ concerts. The monastery’s Rococo library contains priceless tomes such as the illuminated parchment volume created right here in 950 A.D. Meanwhile, pilgrims of the athletic persuasion head here for its many ski resorts and snowshoe trails.

Engelberg Another hour-long train ride leads to Engelberg (3,700 folks), famed also for its ski slopes and its own glorious Baroque abbey. Affable Brother Benedikt, one of its 27 monks, joined us in a warming lunch of pea soup and pasta and before guiding us through another wondrous library, whose treasures include a volume from 850 A.D. Intricate inlaid wood is the handiwork of another talented brother. In the ornate white and gold chapel, where Mendelssohn once played the organ, Brother Benedikt awoke the keyboard for guests. The brothers also own the property’s cheese shop, where we were met by a horse-drawn sleigh for a tour of the snow-kissed valley beneath the slopes.

Zurich Switzerland’s biggest and buzziest city (population 400,000), excels in fostering the Christmas spirit, too. Christmas markets hug nearly every square in Old Town, the biggest and liveliest near the waterside Zurich Opera House. Even the railroad station is stuffed with myriad stalls of Christmas goods, punctuated by a sky-high tree glistening in crystal stars. The lights spanning classy Bahnhofstrasse wink bright as diamonds — thus its nickname, Lucy in the Sky. Nearby, a huge pine, dubbed The Singing Christmas Tree, hosts nightly choirs. The Swiss National Museum enters the spirit of the season with its facade enrobed in a light show. Enter the courtyard for more spellbinding illuminations and a tent offering mulled wine and hot chocolate. Can’t wait? Can’t blame you. Learn more at visit myswitzerland.com. 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 / December 2018 / 19


FINANCE

Debt in retirement BY SKIP JOHNSON

I

n the past, it was the norm to pay off all your debts before entering retirement, including your mortgage. Today, things aren’t the same. Many people are retiring with various types of debt such as mortgages, credit cards, car loans and student loans. And while every situation is different, I think it’s best to retire as debt free as possible or at least work toward reducing your debt as much as possible before your golden years. If you reach retirement and find you still have debt in your name, these strategies can help you get out of the red.

Prioritize payments. It’s important to understand that not all debt is created equal: There’s good debt and bad debt. Think of good debt by using the old adage, “It takes money to make money.” Good debt helps you generate income and increases your net worth. Conversely, bad debt is when you purchase depreciating assets such as cars. If it doesn’t go up in value or generate income, you should avoid going into debt to buy it. Bad debt can also carry high interest rates, as with credit cards, making it difficult to pay off quickly and resulting in paying far more than you originally borrowed. Paying off your debt can be overwhelming. But prioritizing the elimination of your “bad debt” first can help you climb out of the hole quicker. 20 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Create a budget. If you haven’t done so before, I strongly suggest creating a budget. You may be surprised to find areas where you can cut expenses. Start by taking a cold, hard look at what you have coming into your accounts versus what’s going out. This can be particularly important as you transition from a steady paycheck into retirement. Setting a reasonable goal for your monthly debt payments can help you create a plan for paying off your loans while also providing you with a timeline, so you can better understand when certain debts will be paid off. And while it may be obvious, at this stage of your life, you should avoid adding more debt to your balance sheet. A budget can go a long way in holding you accountable and can help you stick to a consistent repayment plan.

Consider a part-time job. By definition, retirement means not working anymore, so the idea of going back to work may not fill your heart with joy.

If it doesn’t go up in value or generate income, you should avoid going into debt to buy it. However, even a temporary part-time job can provide some additional income and make a big difference in how quickly you get out of debt. The beauty of encore careers is you can think outside the box. If you enjoyed your previous job, you can consult with your former employer. But you may also want to consider hanging out a shingle as a sole proprietor — or maybe you want to keep things simple and pick up a few hours at a local business that piques your interest such as a nursery, library or favorite retailer. Keep in mind that if you started claiming Social Security benefits before


your full retirement age, earning too much from a part-time job may reduce those benefits.

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Stop supporting your kids. It’s common for parents to help their adult children. According to a recent Merrill Lynch study, nearly 80 percent of parents with adult children between ages 18 and 35 provide financial support, spending an average of $6,600 per child per year. The study also found 7 out of 10 parents surveyed said they’ve put their kids’ financial needs ahead of their own need to save for retirement. While it may be a parent’s instinct to help their children, this can be a grave mistake as it can sacrifice your financial independence in retirement and keep you in debt even longer. Sit down with your children and come up with a plan for them to take control of their own finances so you can better focus on managing your own.

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Consult a financial advisor. An experienced, qualified financial professional can help you better understand how best to tackle your debt. It’s not easy to get your finances in order, but having a knowledgeable professional in your corner can help you achieve your financial goals and get you on the right path. Retiring with debt is far from ideal for many and it may be discouraging to find yourself buried in bills at this time in your life. However, with some proactive steps you can start significantly reducing your debt and eventually reach a point where you can celebrate being debt-free. Skip Johnson is an advisor and partner at Great Waters Financial, a financialplanning firm and insurance agency with locations in Minneapolis, Richfield, Minnetonka, White Bear Lake and Duluth. He appears regularly on Fox 9’s morning news show. Learn more at greatwatersfinancial.com.

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Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 21


HOUSING

Assisted living in New Hope BY SARAH JACKSON

A

ssisted living housing has a reputation for being offered only in large structures that feel more like facilities than true communities. Fortunately, many developers are working to change that model with smaller footprints. The latest entry into this category is The Lodge of New Hope, a 31-unit community tucked into a residential area just a block from the CVS at Winnetka Avenue and Medicine Lake Road. It’s a smaller, more intimate setting than you’d typically see in the assistedliving market, said housing manager Daniel Reinke, who added: “It’s much more conducive to building relationships and enjoying a variety of activities.” Managed by the not-for-profit Good Samaritan Society, The Lodge is attached to the society’s award-winning Ambassador 22 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

facility, a skilled nursing and rehab center that cares for individuals after hospitalization due to injury, illness or elective surgical procedures. Good Samaritan also offers in-home and outpatient services such as physical, occupational and speech therapies around the Twin Cities. The Lodge is the first community of its kind for the Good Samaritan Society in the metro area. Other Lodges are located in Taylor Falls, Howard Lake, Mountain Lake and Winthrop. Throughout Minnesota, the society offers a variety of services and housing options, including home health care, independent living, specialty care and skilled nursing. Marketing coordinator Mary Bunnell said the community was stylistically designed to be an “urban lodge —

nestled into a quiet neighborhood, yet conveniently close to shops, restaurants, entertainment and health care.” “There are no tennis courts, karaoke rooms or candy stores. And there are no long lines at the elevator or miles of floor space to navigate,” Bunnell said. “The focus is not on fancy amenities, but quality care, comfort and community.” Bunnell said the society — founded in 1922 as the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society — offers the “expertise and stability of a company that’s been caring for seniors for almost 100 years.” 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 ⊲ Scheduled activities (social, recreational, spiritual) ⊲ Barber shop/beauty salon ⊲ Exercise room ⊲ Library lounge ⊲ Two outdoor patios and a rooftop deck ⊲ Personal emergency response systems (pendants and wall units) ⊲ 24-hour staffing / health monitoring ⊲ Priority access to Good Samaritan Society’s adjacent nursing and rehab facility known as Ambassador.

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NUMBER OF UNITS: 31 apartments with 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom/2-bath options COST RANGE FOR A SINGLE RESIDENT: $3,800–

$4,500 per month (no entrance fees). Rent includes three meals a day plus snacks, cable TV and Internet, weekly housekeeping/linen changes, personal services and base-level health care. Additional care levels and costs are determined with a health assessment.

PROPERTY OWNER: The Com-

munity Asset Foundation and Development Group of Chaska owns The Lodge. It’s managed by the Good Samaritan Society, which is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and operates more than 200 locations in 24 states.

INFO: good-sam.com/

newhopelodge or 763-417-4625 Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 23


St. Paul author Marion Dane Bauer has been penning books professionally for 40 years. Her latest, The Stuff of Stars (below), features illustrations by Ekua Holmes (opposite). Photos by Tracy Walsh

Honoring her passion by Julie Kendrick

Local Newbery Honor-winning author Marion Dane Bauer has written 104 children’s books—and she’s still going strong.


W

hen Marion Dane Bauer’s youngest child started first grade, her then-husband suggested she might want to consider getting a job. She had another idea. “I had been writing in cracks of time — usually when I should have been cleaning the house,” she said. “I had a vision of myself on my deathbed, saying, ‘No one gave me time to write!’” Bauer asked him to support her for five years while she tried to launch a career as an author. “I told him, ‘I’ll treat it like a job, and if I’m not published by the deadline, I’ll go to work.’” Three and half years later, Bauer’s first book, Shelter from the Wind, was published. She published two more books, followed by her Newbery Honorwinning book, On My Honor.

Cyan Magenta Yellow

Cyan Magenta Yellow

And in a trillionth of a second . . . our universe was born.

stretched,

A cloud of gas

collided,

unfolded,

expanded . . .

unfurled,

expanded . . .

zigged,

expanded . . .

zagged,

Bits bumped, gathered, fused.

12

13

Then she kept going for more than 40 years. Today she’s 80, and she’s written 104 children’s books, released by many major publishers. Her latest title, the highly praised picture book, The Stuff of Stars, is available now in bookstores and online. And she’s not planning to stop anytime soon. The day we spoke, she’d been

working on a new novel about a 10-yearold boy and his imaginary dog. “The shifting relationship with the dog is giving me fits,” she said. “I’m revising it now. I’ve basically turned it inside out and started over again, but I’m convinced that I still want to hold onto that imaginary dog.” You can learn a lot about Bauer from that statement.

Cyan Magenta Yellow

Cyan Magenta Yellow

The stars burned and burned. They burned so long and so hot that some of them

EXPLODED, flinging stardust everywhere.

16

17

Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 25


A selection of Marion Dane Bauer’s published works.

She’s a prolific writer who doesn’t let one successful publication keep her from getting right to work on the next book. She holds herself to the high creative standards. And, perhaps most important of all, she’s willing to do the work — the mind-bending, sometime spirit-crushing daily battle with the blank screen — that is the trademark of so many writers referred to as “prolific.” For Bauer, it’s about being willing to find joy in the process, not just the finished product. “A lot of people want to have written,” she said. “They have a vision of a published book, and they think that’s what it’s all about. For me, it’s the daily process that really feeds me. It’s something I need.”

'Compassionate honesty' Alison McGhee, the New York Timesbestselling author of What I Leave Behind, first met Bauer as a fellow teacher at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. “What I most respect and honor about her is that she has been through what I think of as ‘the fire,’” McGhee said. “She’s experienced tremendous loss and grief, and she’s undergone transformative change as an individual. She realized in midlife who she really was and what path she needed to follow. And she’s done it all with a calm grace and compassionate honesty.” 26 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age Rileys Travel GA 1218 V3.indd 1

11/12/18 10:20 AM

As McGhee noted, Bauer has experienced personal tragedy. Her son, Peter Dane Bauer, died at age 42 of Lewy body dementia, a disease that usually affects older adults. Her marriage ended in divorce. But she seems to have emerged with a sunny outlook. Of her ex-husband, she said, “He gave me a 15-year foundation to develop my career, and I appreciate that. We talk on the phone and play Words with Friends. I’m friends with his wife, too.” She remains close with her son’s widow and children, Connor, Brannon and Cullen, who live near Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Her daughter, Beth-Alison Berggren, lives in Annandale and has three children, Barrett, Bailey and Chester. And she’s found a fulfilling relationship living with her partner, Barbara, in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. Bauer feels fortunate to be working in the Twin Cities. “Minnesota is a wonderful place for writers and readers, and one of the few areas that has such a strong community of support surrounding children’s literature,” she said. She points to the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota, considered to be one of the world’s great children’s literature archives.


“I have a sense the people who work with that collection created an atmosphere in which children’s literature was respected and appreciated,” she said.

Permission to start As much as she clearly loves writing, Bauer hasn’t lost sight of the art-commerce balance that’s sustained her over the years. “The process of writing serves my soul and it supports me,” she said. “Selling books is important for buying groceries.” So why did she choose the extremely competitive genre of children’s literature? “I think I’m like an awful lot of children’s writers, who were outsiders and isolated in their own childhoods,” Bauer said. “I think there’s a need to ‘fix it’ in a story and make things come out differently than they did in life.” She remembers a college fiction-writing class in which she penned a description of being 3 years old, standing on a hot, sunny sidewalk and stepping onto the “cool tickle” of the grass. “There was something about that description,” she said. “I knew it had touched someplace important in me. The experience of that one brief moment in a child’s life, not even an important one, guided me to understand what I would do when I finally gave myself permission to start.”

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Critical acclaim Bauer is especially excited about the publication of her 104th book, The Stuff of Stars, a 40-page picture book — 431 words long — about the Big Bang and the creation of the universe, including Earth. “It’s also about the creation of the child to whom the story is being read,” Bauer said. Released in September, the book has received positive reviews. Publisher’s Weekly said, “Bauer suggests that, just possibly, the power of creation and the power of love are not so different.” MN Zoo GA 1218 H4.indd 1

11/9/182018 11:26/AM Minnesota Good Age / December 27


Marion Dane Bauer’s latest work, The Stuff of Stars — a picture book geared toward ages 4 to 8 — was published in September amid critical acclaim.

If you haven’t had a chance to find what really feeds you yet, it’s not too late. Find it now. — Marion Dane Bauer

Read more! In addition to her latest release, The Stuff of Stars, Marion Dane Bauer recommends these other books from her repertoire of 104 titles: • On My Honor

(Newbery Honor Winner, 1986)

• What’s Your Story? A Young Person’s Guide to Writing Fiction (1992) • Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence (1994) • Little Dog Lost (2012) • Little Cat’s Luck (2016) • Winter Dance (2017) • Jump, Little Wood Ducks (2017)

28 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

Bauer’s motivation for writing the story came from her sense that things don’t seem to be going all that well on planet Earth. “I feel so strongly that we are living in a collapsing world,” she said. “As a children’s writer, it’s hard to know what to do with that feeling. The best approach, it seems to me, is one of awe, reverence and love toward the world around us. It’s the only solution I can think of.” Bauer’s agent, Rubin Pfeffer, talked about the journey of the book from manuscript to publication: “It left me breathless upon the first read and took me just five minutes — and six muffins — to sell on the spot to a publisher that very week. This isn’t just any picture book — it’s daring, controversial and unlike any picture book ever before published.” Pfeffer said he’s convinced that Bauer — yes, at age 80 — is as relevant as she's ever been. “Is relevance measured by still pushing the borders? If so, she’s relevant and

creative right now and going forward. If relevance is measured by new work being published and embraced by editors, reviewers, readers, teachers and parents, she’s relevant. And if relevance is measured by creativity, her latest rounds of books assure that.” Pfeffer said Bauer’s books will be her legacy. “She has written about timeless and universal experiences that are read and re-read,” Rubin said. Even more lasting than the words she’s written will be the relationships she’s built, he said, referencing “the vast number of writers she’s influenced either by her books, her teaching and mentoring or by the genuine friendships she’s been blessed to have with writers of three generations — and counting.”

More than words Bauer said her readers may be surprised to learn she doesn’t have much sway over the illustrations in her picture books.


“The editor chooses the illustrator, not the author,” she said, adding that editors these days usually consult with authors when bringing an artist on board. With The Stuff of Stars, Bauer’s editor proposed three different illustrators, but settled on 63-year-old Boston native Ekua Holmes, a Caldecott award winner who specializes in mixed media. “I checked them all out online and was instantly captivated by Holmes’ use of strong color and by her intriguing collages,” Bauer said. “She was my first choice.” The Stuff of Stars is a “very unusual” project for an artist, Bauer said. “When I write the text for a picture book, I’m always aware of opening doors for the illustrator, though I never try to imagine what the pictures will be. My imagination isn’t a visual one, so it’s not difficult for me to stay out of that territory. The challenge I handed Ekua, however, was immense. I didn’t just open doors. I presented her with a near vacuum. All that nothingness to illustrate!” Bauer saw the early sketches and heard the editor’s input on them. Throughout the process, though, Bauer mostly looked and listened. “I trusted both the artist and the editor to support the vision created by my words,” Bauer said. “And they couldn’t have done that better.” Over the years, Bauer’s worked with many illustrators — usually a different one with every book.  “Mostly I love what evolves,” she said. “The first time I see a picture book whole always feels like Christmas!” Only once did Bauer face dealing with illustrations she “truly hated.” Fortunately, she was able to buy the text back from the publisher and then sold it to another publisher who found a different illustrator.

Advice from a master What insight can Bauer offer all those people who want to have written? “Honor your own passion and honor what feels important to you,” Bauer said. “Don’t ask what practical use it is and don’t ask what anyone else thinks about it. Just reach for what feeds your own soul. People are desperate to publish, but if that’s why you’re writing, you won’t write anything worth reading. Step back and write something that feeds you.” In reflecting back on 80 years, Bauer feels fortunate. Of all her books, Bauer’s most prized work might not be her most well-known: Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence is a 1994 collection of stories she contributed to and edited, featuring noted authors for young adults, all writing candidly about growing up gay or lesbian, or with gay or lesbian parents or friends. “It is the book of mine I’m most proud of and that has probably done the most good in the world,” she said. “It wasn’t the first gay-and-lesbian themed young-adult book to be published, but it was one of the first to find a significant place on library shelves.”  Bauer is deeply grateful to enjoy a paying career as an author to this day. “I’ve been able to make my living doing what I most wanted to do, and a lot of people don’t get an opportunity to do that,” she said, adding one final bit of advice: “If you haven’t had a chance to find what really feeds you yet, it’s not too late. Find it now.” Julie Kendrick is a contributing writer for many local and national publications. She lives in Minneapolis. Follow her on Twitter @KendrickWorks.

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Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 / 29


father’s murder after receiving a letter from beyond the grave.

CAN’T-MISS CALENDAR DECEMBER

When: Through Dec. 16 Where: Theatre in the Round, Minneapolis Cost: $22; ages 62 and older pay $18 on Fridays and Sundays. Info: theatreintheround.org

NOV. 23–DEC. 30

Susie Hopper

A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS

WINTER LIGHTS

→ A walking tour of 14 themed vignettes circles the arboretum’s main buildings. Indoors, check out a 24-foot-tall live poinsettia tree, plus other displays.

When: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Where: Third floor of the Crowne Plaza Aire hotel in Bloomington. Cost: FREE Info: northwestairlineshistory.org or 952-876-8677

NORTHWEST AIRLINES HISTORY CENTER → View models of every aircraft NWA flew during its 82-year history, along with vintage stewardess uniforms, photos, books, advertising material, serving items, a workable 747 Second Officer’s panel, a wooden propeller from an airmail biplane — even the Chiclets gum for unpressurized flights — and more. You’ll also find a gift shop with unique aviation items.

GO BACK FOR MURDER → In this Agatha Christie-inspired production, Carla Crale becomes convinced her mother was wrongly convicted of her

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→ More than 70 Minnesota artists display their fashion, ceramics, home décor, candles and more. Guests can also partake in artist-designed participatory projects and hands-on experiences. When: Dec. 1 Where: Hennepin Made, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: craftcouncil.org

DEC. 4

KEN’YA BELIEVE KENYA → Dodge’s O.W.L.S. (Outwardly Wiser, Livelier Seniors) program explores Africa through stories of wildlife and culture. When: Dec. 4 Where: Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul

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When: Nov. 23–Dec. 30 Where: Alexander Ramsey House, St. Paul Cost: $10–$12 for adults and $8 for ages 5–17 Info: mnhs.org

DEC. 1

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings Nov. 23–Jan. 6, plus Dec. 26–27 Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska Cost: Free with gate admission of $15 for ages 16 and older, free for ages 15 and younger Info: arbwinter.umn.edu

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→ Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the holiday in 1875 on 60-minute guided tours that start every 15 minutes.

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

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Cost: $15 for the program and lunch or $5 for the program only Info: DodgeNatureCenter.org

DEC. 5

MINNESOTA MANDOLIN ORCHESTRA →→A 20-plus instrument ensemble will perform holiday classics. When: Noon–1 p.m. Dec. 5 Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: landmarkcenter.org

DEC. 14

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS →→The band’s famed holiday music is paired with multimedia effects in an intimate setting. When: Dec. 14 Where: Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis Cost: $48.50–$68.50 Info: hennepintheatretrust.org

DEC. 16

MINNESOTA BOYCHOIR →→Celebrate the season with holiday music both religious and secular. When: Dec. 16 and Jan. 6 Where: Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis (Dec. 16) and Landmark Center in St. Paul (Jan. 6) Cost: FREE Info: boychoir.org

DEC. 18–30

LES MISERABLES →→This new production of the world’s most popular musical arrives direct from Broadway after a two-and-a-half-year run. When: Dec. 18–30 Where: Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis Cost: $39–$199 Info: hennepintheatretrust.org

MORE ONLINE! mngoodage.com/cant-miss-calendar Aeon GA 1218 2-3page.indd 1

11/14/18 2:01/PM Minnesota Good Age / December 2018 31


Brain teasers SUDOKU

WORD SEARCH MINNESOTA AUTHORS

DICAMILLO ENGER ERDRICH FREEMAN HAMPL HASSLER HAUTMAN

INGALLS KEILLOR KRUEGER LANDVIK LEWIS LOVELACE OBRIEN

OLSON PIRSIG SANDFORD SCHULZ SINCLAIR WEAVER WILDER

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32 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

ANSWERS

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TRIVIA 1. Millions of Cats

Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald


HELP US BRING JOY TO ISOLATED SENIORS WITH YOUR GIFT!

TRIVIA LAND OF 10,000 WRITERS 1. One of the oldest American picture books still in print today was written and illustrated by New Ulm’s Wanda Gag in 1928. What’s it called? 2. What Minnesotan wrote Iron John: A Book about Men, the 1990 book credited with founding the mythopoetic men’s movement? 3. Which St. Paul author has written 104 children’s books, including the recently published The Stuff of Stars? Sources: penguinrandomhouse.com, goodreads.com, Minnesota Good Age (this issue!)

Gifts for Seniors provides donated gifts and lifeaffirming 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.

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GIFT IDEAS:

Feel free to use this list for shopping ideas! We only accept new, unwrapped gift items.

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

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

CROSSWORD

ANSWERS

CRYTPOGRAM I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it, on the inside.


Crossword

70 Earns after taxes 71 Doomed

DOWN

ACROSS

1 Identical 5 “Mountain” soft drinks 9 Burn the midnight oil at college 13 Urgent request 14 Forgo the church ceremony 16 Lo-cal 17 Concern after heavy rain 19 Inflated ones often clash 20 Kinda 21 Airport near Tel Aviv 22 Isn’t feeling up to par 23 Like G-rated movies 27 Natural soother 28 Salon jobs 29 Singer Jimmy or actor James 32 Litter member or user 34 Sewn connections 34 / December 2018 / Minnesota Good Age

38 Bruins legend 39 Shore dinner 42 “Not happenin’” 43 Pace for Paganini 45 Noon on a garden dial 46 Like Godiva 47 Choir voice 50 Tool for a duel 52 American Revolution leader 58 Woman’s name often spelled with its “e” 59 Progressive spokeswoman 60 Airport concern 62 Multi-platinum Diamond 63 Very loud, musically ... its symbol hints at four puzzle answers 66 Boarding site 67 Cosmologist Carl 68 Chicago commuter system, familiarly 69 Snow conveyance

1 Sun protection nos. 2 __ a sudden 3 Stiller’s partner 4 __ Kodak 5 Bit of OED info 6 Building add-on 7 Literary Virginia 8 Clues for a bloodhound 9 Detox diet 10 Unbending 11 Coral island 12 Having lots of loose ends 15 Vedder of Pearl Jam 18 Flag down, as a cab 24 Focuses of activity 25 Passing words? 26 Website for handmade art 29 Morse code unit 30 Palindromic “before” 31 Drew Brees’ asset 33 Texter’s gratitude 35 Gasteyer of “SNL” 36 Draw graffiti on, say 37 Noted seashell seller 39 Decide not to call, in poker 40 Feudal holding 41 Seacrest morning co-host 44 Like some den walls 46 Directives 48 Spats 49 Borrowed, as a library book 51 Predicted takeoff hrs. 52 Dracula’s canines 53 Tatum or Ryan 54 Bring together 55 New York’s Ausable Chasm, e.g. 56 Yale founder Yale 57 Budget noodle dish 61 Egg-white omelet’s lack 64 Bit of body ink 65 Shoo-__: easy winners


www.accracare.org

December 2018  
December 2018  
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