Zest - May 2022

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MAY 2022

nI side:

For the love of music

 You have questions,

The Minnesota Music Hall of Fame welcomes 2022 inductee Lester Schuft

 Polka was king in

the librarian has answers

 Litchfield Masons celebrate their sesquicentennial

Minnesota’s early years


You have questions, the librarian has answers Here are some useful facts about the library in a Frequently Asked Questions format. I hope you learn a little something you didn’t know before! How much does it cost to get a library card? A library card is free! It’s part of the public services available to you as a resident of Minnesota. Once you have a library card, it’s also free to check out anything in the library collection, both ebooks and physical items. If you had a library card and it’s lost, there is a $3 charge for a replacement card. What if I want to check out a book or DVD that my local library doesn’t have? You can request things



out, and you haven’t renewed it before, the library’s computer system will automatically renew it for you once, three days before its due date. If you are signed up for email updates about your account, you’ll be notified by email when those renewals happen and when you have items that will be due soon.

Does it cost money to order things from other libraries? No, the service is free to you as part of the interlibrary loan network in place in Minnesota. Our state is outstanding at providing access to library materials. For example, Litchfield Library gets two deliveries of those interlibrary loan materials each week.

I’m late returning a library item. How much will I be charged? There is a charge of 10 cents per day for late items, although there is a three-day grace period before those start being charged. Materials for children and teens no longer have late fees. If your item is a month overdue, you’ll get a bill for the replacement of that item. If that happens, once you return the item the charge will drop to a $3 late fee (or to nothing for materials from the kids’ section). If an item is damaged or lost, talk to library staff about how you can resolve that charge.


from other libraries in the Pioneerland Library System, which has a collection of about 620,000 physical items. If Pioneerland doesn’t have something, you can often request it from another library in Minnesota, using the MNLINK catalog. You can search both the Pioneerland and MNLINK catalogs online and request


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things yourself, or library staff can help you and place those requests. Note: I was able to secure a family history book that came to Hutchinson Public Library via the Maryland State Law Library. Pioneerland libraries will go the extra mile to help patrons locate materials. — Kay Johnson

How long can I keep a book? Most books are loaned for four weeks. Some bestsellers are limited to just two weeks while they’re new; you’ll recognize these by the sticker on the spine that says “14 day loan.” How long can I keep a DVD I’ve checked out? DVDs are now loaned for two weeks. Can I check out magazines? Yes, magazines can be checked out for two weeks. A book I checked out had a due date coming up soon, but now I found out that it’s not really due for a few more weeks. What happened? Automatic renewals! This is a brand-new service Pioneerland Library System is offering. If no one has a hold on an item that you have checked

Can I use my library card in other libraries? Yes, you can. Your Pioneerland library card will work in all libraries in the system. The system stretches from Graceville to Glencoe and from Canby to Dassel. If you want to use a different library system in Minnesota, you can do that, too. Bring your card to them, and they will help you register as a reciprocal borrower in their system. If you have more questions, stop in or call your local public library. — Beth Cronk is Meeker County librarian, overseeing all Pioneerland Library System libraries in the county, including Litchfield, Cosmos, Dassel and Grove City.


Cover 4 Story: Local musician Lester Schuft is inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame

6 In the News:

Litchfield’s Masonic lodge celebrates 150 years

9 Local History:

Polka was king during Minnesota’s early years

May 2022 Vol. 14 No. 3 PUBLISHED BY Hutchinson Leader 170 Shady Ridge Road N.W., Suite 100 Hutchinson, MN 55350 320-753-3635 Litchfield Independent Review P.O. Box 307, Litchfield, MN 55355 320-693-3266 GENERAL MANAGER Brent Schacherer: 320-753-3637 schacherer@hutchinsonleader.com NEWS Kay Johnson, features editor 320-753-3641 johnson@hutchinsonleader.com ADVERTISING Kevin True, advertising director 320-753-3648 true@hutchinsonleader.com Sales representatives  Ronda Kurtzweg: 320-753-3652,

kurtzweg@hutchinsonleader.com  Colleen Piechowski: 320-753-3652, piechowski@hutchinsonleader.com

SUBSCRIPTION OR ADDRESS CHANGE Toni Adams: 320-753-3657 circulation@crowrivermedia.com PRINTED BY Crow River Press 170 Shady Ridge Road N.W. Hutchinson, MN 55350

12 Money Matters: 13 Medicare:

Set boundaries for ‘boomerang’ kids

Does Medicare cover depression screenings?

14 Food & Fun:

Zest is a MediaNews Group publication. It is published monthly by the Hutchinson Leader and the Litchfield Independent Review newspapers. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of the general manager.

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For the love of music The Minnesota Music Hall of Fame welcomes 2022 inductee Lester Schuft


Lester Schuft celebrated his birthday in grand style in 2012 leading a sizzling four-hour jam session at the Hutchinson American Legion. Horn players included, from right, the birthday boy himself and Leo Fine. BY KAY JOHNSON johnson@hutchinsonleader.com


aking music is something Lester Schuft has done since he was a youngster growing

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up on a farm near Brownton. His dad played drums with local bands and young Lester followed in his footsteps, picking up a pair of drumsticks at age 7 and the trumpet three years later. Fast forward 74 years. Schuft was

recognized for his lifelong love of and commitment to music April 22 when he was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. “It means rewarding for all the years in my life and my making many

COVER STORY families happy with music,” Schuft said of the honor. Joining Schuft as this year’s inductees are Mollie Busta-Lange (Mollie B), Paul Diethelm, Jay Earnest Kalk/Church of Cash, Minnesota Brass and Moore B y F ou r. T h e lo n g t i m e Hutchinson resident is in stellar company, joining past recipients including Bob Dylan, Judy Garland and Garrison Keillor, as wel l a s lo c a l mu sici a n s Mike Shaw, Wally Pikal, Mike Glieden, Jerry Schuft, Jerry Kadlec, Bruce Bradley and Tom Ginkel. “I don’t know if there is any town that has produced more bands than Hutchinson and New Ulm,” he said. “I remember there were 22 bands booking out of New Ulm during 1950s and ’60s. I could spend 10 hours and talk music.” S chu f t i s t he f i r st t o say he’s lucky to be here and he readily admits he’s gone through a lot with his health. “Why does God keep me alive?” he asked. “Because he wanted to see me get this award. I spent 15 years dealing with heart issues. I had four bypasses, a pacemaker, a defibrillator and a valve replaced. I’m doing good. The only slight problem is my breathing. Breathing affects my ability to play. I have no trouble walking, but steps can be challenging.” S c h u f t ’s e n t h u s i a s m for li fe, music a nd fa mily makes up for any physical shortcoming. For more than 63 years, he has been the owner and operator of the Lester Schuft and The Country Dutchmen Band. The band continues to play today, although the mem-

About the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame The museum at 27 Broadway St. N., New Ulm, was established in 1987 to honor musicians, past and present, who have contributed significantly to the Minnesota music scene in all genres of music including classical, bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, waltzes, polka, and others. The first group of inductees was honored in 1989 and included: Paul W. “Doc” Evans, “Whoopee” John Wilfahrt, F. Melius Christiansen, Ralph “Rollie” Altmeyer,

bers have changed through the years. “Thirty-one members of the band have passed away,” he said. “ T hey were a l l great musicians and great friends.” During his tenure, he is proud to say he never fired anyone. “I only had three rules: no d ri n ki ng, no fooli ng around and no swearing,” he said. While he has made plenty of music through the years, Schuft always comes back to polkas. Among his favorites is the “Guido Polka” because he likes the rhythmic patterns and instrumentation. “It’s a really good polka,” he said. “Almost every musician knows it’s my favorite. I also like the ‘Nebraska Polka.’ It honors the state of Nebraska where I have a lot of followers. It has a tremendous beat.” Among his recent achievements is the release of a new CD titled “Classic Cars and Classic Songs” featuring a 12-piece band that includes his g randdaughter, Eavan McCormick. She is a sophomore at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, where she is majoring in instrumental music education. The CD

Boniface Gruenenfelder and a special recognition award was present to Christy Hengel. The inductees’ stories are told through photos, artifacts, instruments and uniforms. Visiting hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is $6. For more information, call 507-354-7305, email mmhf@newulmtel.net or visit mnmusichalloffame.org.

is available from Schuft or can be picked up at Dostal Electronics in downtown Hutchinson.

IN THE BEGINNING “I was a farm kid,” Schuft recalled. “I pitched a lot of manure.” Fortunately, that’s not all he did. He started playi ng d r u ms when he was 7 and followed it up with the trumpet in 1948. His first horn was purchased at t he Brow n a nd Meid l Music Store in New Ulm. The two bonded from the beginning. He played the instrument through grade school, high school and pep band at Brownton and later as a student at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he participated in the symphony band and pep band. He also used music to pay hi s way t h rou g h dent a l school at the University of Minnesota. When it comes to music achievements, Schuft has m a ny. A mon g t hem : He played at the Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen’s dance for many years. He’s made 16 records in a variety of formats including vinyl, 8-track tapes, cassettes, CDs and DVDs. He played for Hubert H. Humphrey when he ran for president. He was in

the pep band that played for the Minnesota North Stars hockey tea m. He pl ayed for more than 40 years on KEYC-TV Bandwagon show and RFDTV. He had his own Country Dutchmen show for 54 years, and he hosted Musicians Round-Up for 26 years, both on KDUZ Radio. He also owned Red Rose Records and was part owner of Little Crow Record Company in Hutchinson. The list goes on and on. L o ok i n g back, S chu f t s aid, he appre ci ates a l l the friendships he’s made through the years. Every once i n awhi le someone comes up to him and says, “You played at our wedding dance 50 years ago.” Schuft wishes he had written down the thousands of wedding dances he played. I f you think Schu ft is slowing down, you would be wrong. He continues to work at K DUZ/K A R P as an ad salesman, a job he started after he retired in 1969 from a 30-year career as a dentist. His best advice: Live by the three Fs: Faith, family and friends. “God helps me,” he said. “Certain relatives help me and I have friends who are close to me who I can talk to if I have a problem.”

MAY 2022 | ZEST 5


Local Masons celebrate 150 years For many, membership is like a family tradition BY BRENT SCHACHERER schacherer@hutchinsonleader.com


e a rly e ve r ywhere he goes, Jim Curry feels like he’s among family. On vacation in Hawaii several years ago, he ran into and chatted up a brother. Working as a member of a pit crew at a drag race in Topeka, Kansas? Another brother struck up a conversation with him. Such are the benefits of being a member of the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. “You know, it’s just really neat,” Curry said. “Almost anywhere you go, you’re gonna run into somebody, into a brother.” “Brot hers” a re fel low members of the F reemasons, or simply Masons, an international organization whose roots stretch back to the 13th century. While an international organization with an estimated 1.5 million members worldwide, the Masons are governed more locally, with a Grand Lodge of Minnesota being the parent of the local Golden Fleece Lodge based in Litchfield. Golden Fleece Lodge No. 89 and its current roster of 92 members is marking its 150th anniversary this year. Recognized with a mayor’s proclamation during a Litchfield City Council meet-

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Dave Lindberg and Jim Curry are among the 92 current members of the Masons Golden Fleece Lodge No. 89 in Litchfield. Both have served as Master of the Lodge, a position similar to a club president, during their time as members. For Lindberg, that’s 50 years, while Curry has been a member for 33 years. ing in January, local lodge members are planning other events throughout the year to celebrate the Golden Fleece Lodge’s contributions to Litchfield and surrounding area during the past century and a half. Movies and novels about the secretive nature of the Masons notwithstanding, the Golden Fleece Lodge has operated outside the public spotlight throughout its history. “The way it was always explained to me is that … the Masons are not a secret organization,” Curry said with a smile. “We’re an organization that has some secrets.” Not the deep, foreboding secrets that make great plot twists, but the kind that involve initiation and advancement in a club. What isn’t a secret is the

organization’s history and its members’ contributions to local — and larger — society. The Golden Fleece Lodge was chartered Jan. 11, 1872. Among its past members are some well-known names, including Dr. Noah Ripley, W.H. Greenleaf, B.B. Meeker, John Brandt, Frank Daggett, N.Y. Taylor and H.A. Jewett. In addition, local lodge member J.C. Braden rose to Grand Master of the Minnesota Masons. The local lodge, through its association wit h t he Grand Lodge of Minnesota, has made enormous impacts in the state’s medical programs. Masons i n Mi nnesot a raised $2.1 million between 1955 and 1966 to fund construction of Masonic Memorial Hospital, now known as the University of Minnesota

Masonic Cancer Center. Since then, Minnesota Masonic Charities has become the largest donor to the University of Minnesota, with more than $125 million given to cancer and children’s health research and outcome at the university, including a $ 35 million donation in 2020 that helped establish the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain. Closer to home, the Golden Fleece Lodge members hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year, including the Masonic pancake breakfast, Shrine french toast breakfast, Masonic onion sale, and bean bag board rental to support charitable organizations and efforts. Among donations are an annual scholarship program, a children’s identification program, local Boy Scouts troop,

IN THE NEWS Meeker County Dairy Association, Watercade, and angel dress program, in addition to contributions to Minnesota Masonic Charities, and to Masonic “brothers, widows and orphans in need.” It is those efforts that Curry and fellow member Dave Lindberg are most proud of when it comes to their Masonic participation. “There’s a lot of things in society that have Masonic connections or Masonic history,” Curry said. “The organization and individual Masons, we do so much good stuff.” Both Litchfield natives, Curry and Lindberg have served as masters — similar to presidents in other clubs — more than once since their initiations decades ago. Both attribute their involvement to a kind of family tradition. Curry’s grandfather was a 50-year Mason, his father was a Mason. His daughters


Golden Fleece Masonic Lodge No. 89 members posed with the mayor’s proclamation celebrating the lodge’s 150th anniversary. Masons pictured include, front row from left, Bill Hicks, Dave Lindberg, Josh Sorenson, Rick Beecroft; back, Jim Ellingson, Jim Curry, Kurt Gregorson, Bill Yungk, and Ed Cowley. both joined Job’s Daughters, an organization for relatives of Masons. In order to assist with the Job’s Daughters program, Curry needed to become a Master Mason, which he did. He’s been an

active member of the local lodge the past 33 years. Lindberg had a similar fa mi ly con nection to t he M a s on ic or der, h i s uncle being a member in Jamestown, North Dakota.

While working in Jamestown in 1970, he entered the order, and when he returned to Litchfield in the 1980s began to work through the “chairs,” 150 Years to 8

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150 YEARS continued from 7

or leadership positions, eventually reaching Master of the Lodge. They’ve seen the Golden Fleece Lodge go through cycles of growth and decline during their time, but say they’ve always remained committed to its survival — even if it means serving as the Master of the Lodge four times, as Curry has. “When the need arises, you step up to the plate,” Curry said. “Back in the days when we were having a real hard time with membership and stuff, Chuck Anderson, who just passed away, he and I would (agree), ‘OK, you take Master this year. I’ll take it next year.’ It went back and forth for a couple years, just to keep the lodge open.” G olden F le e c e L o d g e was the 89th chartered by

the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, which lists 351 lodges throughout its 169-year existence, according to Jim Ellingson, secretary of the Litchfield lodge. The local lodge exemplifies changes in the state organization through the years, he said, as lodges that previously existed in Paynesville, Dassel and Cokato all have merged with the Golden Fleece Lodge. Records kept by Golden Fleece Lodge show a roster of 217 deceased members going back to the early 1890s, Ellingson said. Also in the records is another illustration of the family lineages the organization promotes, with Jaren Winings of Litchfield being a fifth-generation Mason of the Golden Fleece Lodge, including his father, Brad, and grandfather, Ron, who are also current members. Many who are counted among the lodge’s current

members — including its oldest living member, Robert V. Anderson — no longer live in the area. But they maintain their membership in the local lodge, contributing to its fundraising activities. Anderson, who turned 100 in March and currently lives in Colorado, was elevated to a Master Mason on April 27, 1949, during a ceremony at Honolulu Lodge 409 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was following his father, John V. Anderson, who was elevated to a Master Mason on Feb. 28, 1919, in Litchfield. As Curry has experienced, whether actual blood relatives or Masonic “brothers,” the reach of the organization is wide. They recognize their Masonic relatives by the square-and-compass insignias — as in the encounters Curry described in Hawaii and Kansas. “You look at people’s hands, you look at lapels, you see if

they have the square and compass (on rings or pins),” Curry said. “If you see somebody with that, you can be assured that you could walk up to him and start talking to him. You are brothers right away.” The impact of those Masonic brothers and the various branch groups such as Shriners, Scottish Rite, York Rite, and associated groups like Job’s Daughters and Order of the Eastern Star is great. “We could go on for a while about our charitable side,” Curry said. “It’s a measurable sum” donated by the Golden Fleece Lodge to various local organizations,” Ellingson said. “We would like to, and probably will, as a local lodge do more. But I don’t think we’ve missed giving to the (Litchfield) Rescue Squad, food shelf or Toys for Tots. There are lot of things we’ve supported through the years.”

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Polka was king in Minnesota’s early years BY BRIAN HAINES Executive director of the McLeod County Museum


n the McLeod County History Museum, there’s a plaque on the wall near the entrance to the west wing that reads “No power on earth has the ability to move people like the spirit of music.” The quote was written by two Minnesota musicians, Vern and Alyce Steffel, donors of the west wing, and though they did not hail from McLeod County, their quote speaks volumes when it comes to this area’s history. McLeod County’s history of music began in 1855 when three brothers of the famed Hutchinson singers decided to lay their roots along the edge of the Big Woods. Their first night in the county was spent in Glencoe, and as you might guess, they gave a free concert to the residents there. The following day they set out for the site that would later bear their name where they no doubt literally sang praise to the land around them. Though the Hutchinson brothers were the first famous singers of the area, they were by no means the only musicians. Those early settlers came from all parts of Europe and the United States, bringing key facets of their culture and traditions along with them — music among them. Music was an important aspect of everyday life. Living on the frontier could be tough and monotonous. Settlers had none of the modern conveniences we enjoy today, so idle time was often spent playing and listening to music. Instruments on the frontier were basic. Since most settlers traveled by ox cart, their instruments had to be somewhat portable. A popular instrument at the time was the small push button concertina, an instrument commonly referred to as a “squeeze box.” It was lightweight, portable, and a key instrument in a style of music that was fast gaining popularity in parts of Europe and the United States — polka.


Chuck, Jason and Jacob Thiel — three generations — will be serving up polka music May 5 at the McLeod County History Museum’s first Whoopee Fest. Polka is said to have originated in Czechoslovakia where the term “pulka” was coined. According to legend, the word “pulka” means to “dance in half,” referring to the half tempo and half-step style of dance that accompanies the music. In Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas, where German, Bavarian and Czech immigrants arrived in droves, polka fast became the mainstream genre of music. Minnesota had become settled by 1900 and was changing fast. Over the next few decades, dance halls were constructed across the state. They needed musicians and musical groups to perform, and the “modern” polka band was born. They ranged from three people to 12 or more and typically consisted of drums; horns such as trumpets, trombones and tubas; woodwinds such as clarinets and saxophones; and of course the mainstay of polka music, the accordion or concertina. Music typically included polkas, waltzes and schottisches — each played with unique timing.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Minnesota bands like Whoopee John and the Six Fat Dutchmen became household names as radios broadcast their music in homes. It was at this same time that McLeod County saw its own rise of homegrown bands. A popular musician at the time was Jerry Dostal, who formed an eight-piece band in the early 1930s. The group frequented radio broadcasts all over Minnesota in the ’30s and even played in the Dakotas and Iowa. Another popular group was the Littfin Bros. Orchestra of Winsted. Local musicians regularly played in ballrooms and dance halls such as the Lake Marion Ballroom, Pla-Mor Ballroom, Archway Club, Stewart Community Hall and many more. Nationwide, polka began to lose popularity with the younger crowd in the 1950s and ’60s as rock ’n’ roll took over. Yet in McLeod County and other parts of the state, polka held onto its popularity. Local musicians such as Jerry Kadlec, a player in the original Polka to 10

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POLKA continued from 9

Whoopee John Band, did their part to entertain crowds. One popular McLeod County musician of the time was Brownton native Lester Schuft, who took his love for polka all over Minnesota. An original member of “Eddie’s Dance Band,” Schuft would go on to play in front of Hubert H. Humphrey, New Ulm Polka Days, the Big Joe Polka Show, and at the Metrodome prior to a Twins game. Another man with the same last name, Jerry Schuft, played in polka bands in the 1950s and carried his love of music with him for many years afterward. A Brownton native, Jerry played in several bands and was lucky enough to tour the Twin Cities ballroom circuit, as well as other regions of Minnesota. Another musician, Wally Pikal, literally jumped onto the scene and would go on to entertain America with his unique skill of playing two trumpets at once while bouncing on a pogo stick. He began his “Wally and the Dill Pickles Orchestra” in 1950. His act eventually received national attention and Pikal was booked on “The Tonight Show,” “The Mike Douglas Show,” “Bozo the Clown,” and “The Al Harrington Show.” Pikal eventually brought the act to the international stage in Czechoslovakia, where he played three trumpets while jumping on a pogo stick to the tune of “Beer Barrel Polka.” Polka music has faded some through the years, but musicians like

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Polka music has long been a part of Minnesota and McLeod County history. Local musician Wally Pikal went on to entertain America with his unique skill of playing multiple trumpets while bouncing on a pogo stick. He performed this unique act on “The Tonight Show” as well as other TV programs. Pictured is Wally playing with his band at the 2016 McLeod County Fair.


Among the displays in the Steffel Wing at the McLeod County Historical Museum is the Whoopee John Bandstand, which features Vern Steffel’s memorabilia collection of the nationally known polka band. Chuck Thiel, whose Jolly Ramblers have over a century’s worth of history, continue to entertain crowds with the style of music that is part of the

folk culture of Minnesota and McLeod County. To celebrate McLeod County’s tradition of “old-time” music, the History Museum is hosting

“Whoopee Fest,” a polka event on Thursday, May 5. Admission to the event is free. There will be live music played by Chuck Thiel, as well as German food and beer catered by The Blue Note from Winsted. In addition, there will be sausage made locally by the Brownton Meat Market (there will be a charge for the meal). Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the music will begin at 6 p.m. There will also be free Alpine-style hats for the first guests to show up. Lederhosen will be optional. — Brian Haines is executive director of the McLeod County Historical Society and Museum, 380 School Road N.W., Hutchinson. The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, call the museum at 320-5872109.


Set boundaries for ‘boomerang’ kids FINANCIAL FOCUS By Edward Jones


nce you’re an empty nester, you may start shifting your focus — and your financial resources — to your own retirement, while still preparing for the unexpected with sufficient insurance and an emergency fund. But here’s an event you might not have anticipated: your grown kids moving back home. How would this affect your life? Take comfort: You’re not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of “boomerang” kids. By July 2020, more than half of 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. were living with their parents, according to the Pew Research Center — the first time this had happened since the Great Depression. Grown children moving back home can present some challenges — one of which may be your own generosity.


Consider this: 71% of retirees are willing to offer financial support to their families even if it could jeopardize their own financial futures, according to the Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study. So, how do you balance the trade-off between providing support and staying on track toward your own goals? Ultimately, the choice is highly per-

sonal. You have to decide how much and what kind of help you’re willing to provide. Then, to achieve a happy balance, you may well need to set boundaries. By doing so, you communicate the limits of what you’re willing to do, which helps everyone involved know what’s expected, right up front. For example, you may want working children to contribute part of their salary for room and board at your home, or perhaps help out around the house in some way. Regardless of what boundaries you decide to set, it’s important to follow through with them. Setting these types of boundaries helps everyone. Your children, like virtually all young adults, want to be independent — and you want to enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned. — This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

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id you know if you have high blood pressure you are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease? H i g h blo o d pr e s su r e, also called hypertension, is the second leading cause of chronic kidney disease in the United States. About 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure may have chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. If your blood pressure gets too high, the blood vessels in your body — including those in your kidneys — may

become damaged. This damage makes it harder for the kidneys to filter blood and remove wastes and extra water from the body. Kidney disease can get worse over time, and if not treated it can lead to kidney failure. And while high blood pressure can lead to kidney disease, the reverse is also true: Kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure. Simple tests can tell you whether you have high blood pressure or kidney disease. Ask your health care professional if you have been tested for high blood pressure and kidney disease. Blood Pressure to 15


Does Medicare cover depression screenings? Dear Marci, Does Medicare cover depression screenings? I’ve read about how depression is more common in older adults, and I want to be sure I am not missing signs and symptoms. — Sara Dear Sara, Yes, Medicare Part B covers an annual depression screening. The annual depression screening includes a questionnaire that you complete yourself or with the help of your doctor. This questionnaire is designed to indicate if you are at risk or have symptoms of depression. If your results show that you may be at risk of depression, your provider will perform a thorough assessment and will refer you for follow-up mental health care if appropriate. Depression screenings should be conducted by your primary care provider or another trusted doctor to ensure that you are correctly diagnosed and treated. In most cases, you should receive your depression screening when you have a scheduled doctor’s office visit, often during your annual wellness visit. However, you can also ask your provider to screen you during a separate visit. You do not need to show signs or symptoms of depression to qualify for screening. However, the screening must take place in a primary care

setting, like a doctor’s office. This means Medicare will not cover your screening if it takes place in an emergency room, skilled nursing facility, or hospital. If you qualify, Original Medicare covers depression screenings at 100% of the Medicare-approved amount when you receive the service from a participating provider. This means you pay nothing (no deductible or coinsurance). Medicare Advantage Plans are re quired to cover depression screenings without applying deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance when you see an in-network provider and meet Medicare’s eligibility requirements for the service. Finally, if you are having thoughts of suicide or are concer ned that someone you know may be having those thoughts, in the United States you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, or go to SpeakingOfSuicide. com/resources for a list of additional resources. Remember that depression screenings are a healthy and important part of everyone’s preventive care! — Marci — For more information about Medicare, call the Senior Linkage Line at 800333-2433. Sponsored by the Minnesota Board on Aging and the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, its


For more information, call 800-333-4114.

trained specialists can help. ”Dear Marci” is a service of the Medicare Rights Center.

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Rhubarb’s versatility makes it great for recipes


his easy to follow rhubarb streusel bread is very versatile as you can make muffins with a streusel topping, a coffee cake in a bundt pan or a regular loaf or 4 mini loaves. Double the recipe for streusel if you like a thicker layer. The recipe is delicious and the bread can be made ahead as the flavors are better the second day. The bread also freezes well.

RHUBARB STREUSEL BREAD Bread ingredients: 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter softened 1/3 cup orange juice 2 large eggs 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 stalks (1-1/2 cups) fresh rhubarb cut into ¼ inch pieces Streusel ingredients: 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon butter, melted 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon Instructions: Heat oven to 350 degrees and flour 9 x 5 loaf pan; set aside. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add orange juice and eggs; beat at low speed just until mixed. (Mixture will be slightly curdled. ) Stir in flour, baking power, soda and salt; just until moistened. Gently stir in rhubarb. (Batter will be

14 ZEST | MAY 2022



thick.) Reserve 1-1/2 cups batter. Spread remaining butter into prepared pan. Combine all streusel ingredients in bowl; stir until resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle half of streusel over batter in pan, gently press into batter. Carefully spread reserved batter into pan; top with remaining streusel. Press streusel into batter. Bake 60-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Note: If you make muffins bake 23-25 minutes. 4 mini loaves take 45-50 minutes. Recipe makes 12 Servings. This recipe for rhubarb slush is simple to whip up, but you have to wait 24 hours for it to freeze. The mixture of strawberry and lemon is perfect for a flavorful, cool, refreshing, warm weather drink. It makes a big batch. If you want it kid friendly, use lemon-lime soda, and the adult version uses alcohol.

RHUBARB SLUSH Ingredients: 6 cups rhubarb, chopped


Rhubarb is a seasonal vegetable that is available during the spring of the year. It is most often used for sauce and desserts. 6 cups water 2-1/4 cups sugar 1 sma l l package st rawber r y Jell-O 1/3 cup lemon juice 12-ounces pink lemonade concentrate lemon-lime soda or alcohol Instructions: In a large pot on stove, mix together water and rhubarb. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes until softened. In a large ice cream pail, drain liquid from the pulp of the rhubarb using a strainer. Add the sugar, Jell-O, lemon juice and pink lemonade concentrate. Whisk together until combined. Cover and freeze overnight. Remove from freezer and stir to loosen. Place scoops in cup and pour desired amount of lemon lime soda or alcohol over top. Recipe makes 10 servings.


BLOOD PRESSURE continued from 12

Many people with kidney disease don’t know they have the disease until their kidneys begin to fail. Research suggests that fewer than 1 in 10 people who have kidney disease are aware they have the disease. This is because kidney disease often doesn’t have any symptoms early on. The good news is that you can help protect your kidneys by managing high blood pressure with healthy lifestyle habits. “Our research continues to uncover the complexities of the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease,” says Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney

Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. “And what we are finding supports the message that you can help protect your kidneys by managing high blood pressure with healthy lifestyle habits.” Adopting healthy lifestyle habits that help you manage your blood pressure will also help to keep your kidneys healthy. You can prevent or slow kidney disease progression by taking the following steps to lower your blood pressure:  Take medicines as prescribed. Blood pressure medicines often play a key role in lowering blood pressure.  Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or have obesity, reducing your weight may lower high blood pressure.  Select healthier food and beverage options. Follow a healthy eating plan that focuses on heart-healthy

foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats that are low in sodium.  Stop smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels, increases your risk for high blood pressure, and worsens problems related to high blood pressure. For help quitting, call 1-800-QUITNOW or go to Smokefree.gov.  Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can have an adverse effect on your blood pressure and metabolism. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.  Manage stress and make physical activity part of your routine. Healthy stress-reducing activities and regular physical activity can lower blood pressure. Try to get at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day. “You can manage your blood pressure and its complications through healthy lifestyle habits, which include exercise, following a healthy

eating plan and taking blood pressure medication as prescribed by your doctor,” says Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “It’s important to know your numbers because controlling or lowering your blood pressure can prevent or delay serious complications like kidney disease and heart disease.” For more information, visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website at niddk.nih.gov. Help is also available at:  Hutchinson Health Clinic: 320-234-3290, hutchinsonhealth.com  Glencoe Re gional Health Clinic: 320-864-3121, grhsonline.org  Meeker Memorial and Clinics: 320-693-3233, meekermemorial.org Source: North American Precis Network

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