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February 2021

Long-lasting love

Guegels share more than 69 years of marriage Robin Fish/Enterprise Bill and Ginny Guegel look forward to celebrating their 69-3/4 anniversary with family this summer. Waiting until their 70th may be tough, since travel is challenging at the time of year they were married – Dec. 21, 1951.

By Robin Fish rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com


fter what he described as a “whirlwind courtship,” lasting only about four months, Bill Guegel drove over to where Virginia Franks was living in St. Paul and told her, “Let’s get married tomorrow night.” So, they did. On Dec. 21, 1951, a couple of their friends went with them to Robbinsdale and witnessed their marriage before a justice of the peace. For a decision made so quickly, it has had long-lasting consequences. More than 69 years later, Bill and Ginny (as she is known to friends) are still married, living at the Summerfield Place Apartments in Park Rapids. They have four children, five grandchildren and five great-grandkids.

Making the connection

Both Bill and Ginny grew up in the Park Rapids area. An only child, Bill moved to

the area from St. Paul when he was 8 years old. For many years, his parents managed resorts on Lower Bottle Lake – first Hoosier Beach, and later moving to Home Bay Camp. His mother lived to be 100 years old. Meanwhile, Ginny was one of five sisters who grew up on a farm three miles south and one mile west of Park Rapids. Two of her younger sisters, LaMae James and Beverly Pearson, are also still living. They both went to Park Rapids High School, but they didn’t get together then; Ginny was a couple years older, graduating in 1943 while Bill finished in ‘47. Before they met, Bill worked as a fishing guide out of Fuller’s Tackle Shop in downtown Park Rapids, making $4 or $5 a day taking tourists fishing. “About four or five resorts would call me up, and I’d take them fishing,” he said. “At that time, most of these people didn’t have anything to fish with, maybe a rod. Of course, I had to

furnish an outboard motor and a boat and stuff like that.” About the time they met, in September 1951, he was getting ready to move back to St. Paul for a temporary job at a bakery run by some of his cousins, and she was doing office work in the part of St. Paul where, Bill said, “the big shots lived.” They met at a dance hall called Dodge Inn, about two miles outside Park Rapids. Asked what attracted him to Ginny, Bill said, “She was a good dancer.” Ginny doesn’t recall being swept off her feet. Asked what she thought upon meeting Bill, she said, “No fuss. No big deal.” Nevertheless, they started seeing each other regularly, right up to a week before Bill popped the question. From “let’s get married tomorrow” to nearly 70 years together – that was quite a decision. “A big one!” Ginny agreed. “I’d do it again. Yeah.”

LOVE: Page 8

Inside this issue... 2 Making gratitude a habit 3  A new year of blooms 4  Do I need to sign-up for Medicare if I’m still working? 6  Social Security Administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ for fraud

Fe bru a ry 2 02 1


Making gratitude a habit By Connie Troska Aging program developer/ marketing manager, Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging


ears ago, after a very traumatic life event, I wrote the following on a napkin: “See the glory in every day and then say, ‘thank you’” to remind myself that, even on the darkest of days, there is always something to be grateful for. It has been my motto ever since. In 2020, finding something every day to be thankful for seemed like a tough thing to do. But when you get in the habit of finding at least one thing, it changes your perspective. Maybe getting to the bathroom on time is all you’ve got for the day. Well then, be thankful for it. Even the little things can readjust our perspective. As we enter 2021, it is the perfect time to make gratitude a habit. Gratitude doesn’t have to be just about big things. Start with little things, and soon you will see that those little things add up. Gratitude is beneficial for your health, too. According to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., psychology professor, University of California, Davis, and author of “The Little Book of Gratitude,” “Gratitude is good medicine.” Emmons states, “Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dra-

matic and lasting effects in a person’s life. It can lower blood pressure and improve immune function. Grateful people engage in more exercise, have better dietary behaviors, are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol, and have higher rates of medication adherence.” Gratitude can also improve relationships. In a study published in the “Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology,” if you feel grateful toward your partner or other family members (and visa versa), it can improve your relationship by being more connected. So, for your physical health, mental health and your relationship health, there are simple things you can do to practice gratitude and make it a habit. Experts say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, so commit 21 days to practicing gratitude and see what happens! ► Write it down. Keeping a gratitude journal makes this quest to form a new habit intentional. Choose a time each day where you can sit, relax, and be mindful of being thankful. Write down small things. Write down big things. Write down everything in between! Or start small…write down one thing today and two things tomorrow, etc. Whichever way you decide to do it, just

start doing it. Also, make sure you can go back and read what you are grateful for. Whether it is in a journal or a gratitude jar, be sure to jot down the date too. Having the opportunity to go back and read your musings is an uplifting activity. ► Tell others that you are grateful for them. Want to make someone’s day? Let them know how grateful you are for them. Call them on the phone, write a note and mail it to them. Whichever way you decide to express yourself, remember, it is contagious; start a gratitude revolution! ► Use gratitude reminders. Whether it is a picture of someone you love, an inspiring quote, a reminder of a place you like to go. All of these things can help with your quest to make gratitude a habit. ► Notice nature. Our natural world is beautiful. Take the time to see it, smell it, and feel it. Use your senses to appreciate the nature around you.

► Turn off the news. While it is important to be informed, try to strike a balance. According to Graham Davey, Ph.D., in his article “The Psychological Effects of TV News,” published in “Psychology Today,” Davey stated, “the negative sensationalism in the news has been gradually increasing over the past 20 to 30 years. There is also an increasing tendency for news broadcasters to ‘emotionalize’ their news by emphasizing potential negative outcomes, no matter how low the negative outcome might be.” Negative news broadcasts can make you sadder, raise your blood pressure, and likely exacerbate your anxiety and worry. ► Volunteer. Find an organization where you can volunteer to help others. Research shows that just two to three hours per week has significant benefits for you. ► Practice being grateful at the same time every day. Until gratitude becomes

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a habit, set an alarm, put it on your calendar. Whatever you need to do, set aside the same time every day to focus on gratitude until it becomes a habit. Gratitude is a way of life that is intentional until it no longer needs to be intentional…it just becomes who you are. Once it has become a habit, your outlook on life shifts. Take the challenge for 21 days, be grateful, and see what happens. What do

you have to lose, except negativity? This article is made possible with Older Americans Act dollars from the Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging. Call the Senior LinkAge® One Stop Shop at 800-333-2433 to speak with an information specialist, or check out our website at MinnesotaHelp.info. MinnesotaHelp.info is an online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota find human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and other forms of help.



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February 2021




he phrase “new and improved” is so cliche, it’s often best left out of any marketing strategy. Some items, though, actually are new and improved, such as the yearly All-America Selections award-winning varieties of flowers and vegetables. Plant breeders are prolific, introducing scores of new items each year, featured in the front pages of every garden seed catalog. The All-America Selections organization selects the best of the best, taking the guesswork out of new flower and vegetable varieties. Since 1932, All-America Selections (AAS) volunteer judges across North America have tested new varieties, comparing them to the current best-in-class flowers and vegetables. If it’s sufficiently different or better, a new variety is awarded the coveted honor. All-America Selections’ familiar red, white and blue logo with the abbreviation AAS is often found in seed catalogs and on plant tags, denoting award-winning varieties. Here are the 2021 award winners, with key characteristics provided by judges. Celosia, Kelos Candela Pink: Judges loved the bright pink blooms that rose above foliage like tall, tapered candles. Unique, showy plumes of pink flowers kept their color all season, making a perfect

Growing Together

s m o o Bl


BY DON KINZLER Columnist filler plant to add height to large combination containers. With flower spikes reaching 24 to 30 inches, it’s great for mass plantings or general flower bed use. Like other Celosias, it loves heat and sun. As an added bonus, it works as a dried flower. It’s propagated vegetatively, rather than by seed, so shop garden centers for plants. Zinnia, Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor: A beautiful new bicolor addition to the popular Profusion series. Judges described the zinnia as gorgeous with a bold,

vibrant red center ring surrounded by golden-yellow outer petals. As the season progresses, the aging flowers morph into soft, beautiful shades of apricot, salmon and dusty rose, bringing a range of colors all from one variety. Bred with disease resistance, the low-growing, 12-inch plants are perfect for containers or flower bed edges, thriving in heat and sun. Available by seed or as plants from garden centers.

Leucanthemum Sweet Daisy Birdy. Photos courtesy of All-America Selections / Special to The Forum

BLOOMS: Page 4

Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor.

Squash Goldilocks.

Celosia Kelos® Candela Pink. Echalion Creme Brulee.

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Do I need to sign-up for Medicare if I’m still working? D ear Savvy Senior, I will turn 65 in a few months and plan to keep working for several more years. I have good health insurance from my employer now. Do I have to sign up for Medicare when I reach 65? ~ Looking Ahead Dear Looking, Whether you need to enroll in Medicare at 65 if you continue to work and have health insurance through your job depends on how large your employer is. The same rules apply if your health insurance comes from your spouse’s job. But first, let’s review the basics. Remember that original Medicare has two parts: Part A, which provides hospital coverage and is free for most people. And Part B, which covers doctor’s bills, lab tests and outpatient care. Part B also has a monthly premium, which is $148.50 for most beneficiaries in 2021, but is higher for individuals earning above $88,000. If you’re already receiving Social Security, you’ll automatically be enrolled in parts A and B when you turn 65, and you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail. It will include instructions to return it if you have work coverage that qualifies you for late enrollment. If you aren’t yet receiving Social Security, you will have to apply, which you can do online at SSA.gov/medicare. If you plan to continue working past the age of 65 and have health insurance from your job, your first step is to ask your benefits manager or human resources department how your employer insurance works with Medicare. In most cases, you should at least take Medicare Part A because it’s free.

BLOOMS From Page 3 Leucanthemum, Sweet Daisy Birdy: A perennial daisy, this variety has robust, long-lasting blooms and carefree longevity in gardens with good winter hardiness in zone 3. Cheery flowers are large, 5 inches in diameter and pure white in color, with a perky yellow center. Flowers appeared earlier in the season than comparison types and continued flowering all summer at a height of 24 inches. Leucanthemums are more commonly known as Shasta daisies, and this variety is vegetatively propagated instead of seed-grown, so look for plants at garden centers. Squash, Goldilocks: Judges were impressed with the vigorous plants, high yield, disease tolerance and rich nutty flavor of this squash. Bright orange fruits have a uniform shape and color, doubling as ornamental decorations before serving as a delightful dish. The orange acorn-type squashes are about 4 inches in diameter, born on plants that spread 4 to 5 feet. They can be direct-seeded into gardens or started early indoors two weeks before the outdoor planting date. Pepper, Pot-a-peno: A fun new jalapeno pepper with a compact habit, this is perfect for growing in containers and hanging baskets. Plentiful small, green jalapeno fruits have a traditional spicy zip. If fruits are left on the vine a few extra weeks, they ripen to red with a sweet, spicy flavor. A dense foliage canopy makes for an attractive addition to your

Are you turning 65? Call your local licensed Humana

The Savvy Senior BY JIM MILLER Columnist

(Note: If you’re funding a health savings account you may not want to take Part A because you can’t make contributions after you enroll). But to decide whether to take Part B or not will depend on the size of your employer.

Small employer

If your current employer has fewer than 20 employees, Medicare will be your primary insurer and you should enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period. This is a seven-month period that includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months after your 65th birthday. If you miss the seven-month sign-up window, you’ll have to wait until the next general enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31 with benefits beginning the following July 1. You’ll also incur a 10 percent penalty for each year you wait beyond your initial enrollment period, which will be tacked on to your monthly Part B premium.

Large employer

If your employer has 20 or more employees, your

patio or balcony garden. Seed is available, or look for plants at garden centers. Echalion, Creme Brulee: This is the first-ever shallot to win AAS designation. Easy-to-peel bulbs have a bright, coppery pink outer skin and a pretty rosy-purple interior with thick rings. Sweet bulbs have a slight citrusy flavor when eaten raw. When caramelized, the natural sugars are enhanced and do not leave overpowering aftertastes. Seed should be started indoors by March 1 or earlier for seedlings to transplant into the garden in May. If direct-seeded into gardens, bulbs might not

employer’s group health plan will be your primary insurer as long as you remain an active employee. If this is the case, you don’t need to enroll in Part B when you turn 65 if you’re satisfied with the coverage you are getting through your job. But if you do decide to enroll in Medicare, it will supplement your employer insurance by paying secondary on all of your claims. Once your employment or group health coverage ends, you will then have eight months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. This is known as the Special Enrollment Period.

Check drug coverage

You also need to verify your prescription drug coverage. Call your benefits manager or insurance company to find out if your employer’s prescription drug coverage is considered “creditable.” If it is, you don’t need to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If it isn’t, you should purchase a plan (see Medicare.gov/plan-compare) during your initial enrollment period or you’ll incur a premium penalty (1 percent of the average national premium for every month you don’t have coverage) if you enroll later. If you have more questions or need help, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see ShiptaCenter.org), which offers free Medicare counseling. Or call the Medicare Rights Center helpline at 800-333-4114. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070 or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

reach a decent size until the very late fall. Note about availability: New AAS winners are usually not found on in-store seed racks. Check locally owned garden centers for starter plants. For gardeners wishing to purchase seed or start their own transplants, the winners are available from companies including Burpee, Harris Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Jung Seed, Park Seed and Territorial Seed. Some online searching is usually necessary. Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, is the horticulturist with North Dakota State University Extension for Cass County. Readers can reach him at donald.kinzler@ndsu.edu.

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February 2021

Sarah Nasello / The Forum Sarah's oven-baked salmon with warm farro and roasted vegetable salad is a healthy, delicious and protein-packed dish to ease your diet into lighter fare without compromising flavor.

LOTS OF FLAVOR without the fat Oven-baked salmon is a nutritional powerhouse


e are easing ourselves back into a healthy eating regimen and slowly releasing ourselves of our cravings for carb-heavy foods like pasta, pizza and bread. In times like this, I turn to recipes that feature lean proteins, hearty whole grains and a variety of vegetables. This dish is flavorful, easy to prepare, low in fat and calories (under 600 per serving) and is a nutritional powerhouse. Whole grains are a natural choice for healthy eating, and farro is one of my family’s favorite pasta alternatives. This ancient grain is packed with protein and fiber, and a little goes a long way in promoting a sense of satisfied fullness. When combined with the salmon, sweet potato, mushrooms and spinach in this dish, a single serving can provide over 30 grams of protein, which is about half of the daily recommended allowance. There are three main elements to preparing this dish: the farro, the roasted components and the salad. Most of it can be done simultaneously in under an hour from start to finish. The first step is to cook the farro, and for added flavor I cook all my grains with a bay leaf in chicken or vegetable stock rather than water. The farro is served warm for this dish, but you can make it several days in advance and reheat it in the microwave before serving. As the farro cooks, you can prep the vegetables and salmon. The sweet potatoes and mushrooms are roasted first for about 15 minutes, and then the

Home with the Lost Italian BY SARAH & TONY NASELLO


salmon fillets are added and roasted with the vegetables until the salmon is cooked through. When ready, the salmon will release droplets of white fat and should appear opaque inside. Meanwhile, you can prep the honey-Dijon vinaigrette so that it is ready for the cooked components when they are done. This simple dressing is the perfect complement for the bold flavors of this dish, and consists of pantry staples like olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. I prepare the dressing in the same bowl Park Rapids Office I used for the vegeta618 1st St. E., Park Rapids Tuesdays 10 am - 3 pm, other times by appt. bles, and then add two BRIAN HILLESLAND, NBC-HIS large handfuls of baby National Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist spinach leaves and toss Toll - Free 1-800-631-4946 until well-coated. I let 218-631-4966 the spinach sit in the

dressing, and once the farro is ready I add it to the spinach immediately so that the heat can help the farro absorb the dressing and gently wilt the spinach leaves. When the salmon and vegetables come out of the oven, the veggies are tossed in the warm farro mixture along with one thinly sliced shallot. The flavors in this salad are wonderful — each mouthful is at once sweet, savory, fresh, crispy, creamy, crunchy and even meaty, thanks to the variety of mushrooms included. I pile the warm farro salad on each plate and top it with a fillet of roasted salmon for a simple dish that is filled with inviting color, bold flavor and delicious nutrition.

FLAVOR: Page 6

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Social Security Administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ for fraud W

e provide benefits to about one-fifth of the American population and help protect workers, children, people with disabilities and the elderly. One of our most important responsibilities is to protect the hard-earned money you pay into Social Security, which is why we have zero tolerance for fraud. We take fraud claims seriously and investigate them thoroughly. We respond quickly and decisively to prevent and detect fraud. For example, we monitor transactions to identify actions that demonstrate an intent to defraud the American people. We will continue to innovate and develop anti-fraud initiatives because any level of fraud is unacceptable. Along with our Office of the Inspector General (OIG), we continue to receive reports about fraudulent phone calls, text messages and emails. The callers falsely claim that they are government employees. Scammers play on emotions like fear to convince you to provide personal information or money in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards. Fraudsters also email fake documents to get you to comply with their demands. “I want every American to know that if a suspicious caller states there is a problem with their Social Security number or account, they should hang up and never give the caller money or personal information. People should then go online to

FLAVOR From Page 5 Oven-Baked Salmon with Warm Farro and Roasted Vegetable Salad

Farro ingredients: 1 cup farro 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, or water 1 bay leaf 1/4 tsp. kosher salt Roasted veggies and salmon ingredients: 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces 8 oz. assorted mushrooms, thickly sliced 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper 2 tsp. garlic, minced, divided (about 2 medium sized cloves or 1 large one) 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided 4 salmon fillets, 4 oz. each, skin removed Farro salad ingredients: 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. honey 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 3 cups baby spinach leaves (about 2 large handfuls) Cooked farro Roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup) Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, or coat with cooking spray. In medium saucepan, bring stock or water to a boil over high heat. Add farro, bay leaf and salt and bring back to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until farro is tender with just a little crunch, about 30 minutes. Drain the liquid and



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are citing “badge numbers” of law enforcement officers. Some request that people send email attachments containing personal information about an “investigation,” or text links to click on to “learn more” about a Social Security-related problem.


Assistant deputy commissioner, Social Security Administration report the scam call to Social Security,” said Commissioner Andrew Saul. You can report these scams to our Office of the Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov. Learn how to protect yourself and report any suspicious calls or emails right away. If you have been a victim of one of these scams, please do not be embarrassed. Instead, report the fraud to our Office of the Inspector General so we can stop these scammers and protect others. The Inspector General for Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, warns these scams may use sophisticated tactics to deceive them into providing sensitive information or money. OIG has recently received reports of telephone scammers using real Social Security and OIG officials’ names — many of which are publicly available on our websites or through an online search. Other common tactics to lend legitimacy to scams use immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days and reheat in microwave before serving, if desired. As the farro cooks, prepare the sweet potato, mushrooms and salmon. In a large bowl, toss sweet potato and mushrooms with olive oil, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt until well-combined. Spread vegetables onto prepared baking sheet in an even layer (save the bowl to use for salad). Roast for 8 minutes, then toss vegetables and continue cooking until almost tender, about 7-8 more minutes. Sprinkle remaining teaspoon of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt over each salmon fillet. When vegetables are ready, tuck each salmon fillet in among the mix and continue roasting until salmon is cooked through, about 7-9 minutes. The salmon will release droplets of white fat once it is cooked and the inside should be opaque. Salmon may be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Social Security will never:

► Suspend your Social Security number because someone else has used it in a crime. ► Threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee. ► Require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency or mailing cash. ► Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment. ► Send official letters or reports containing your personal information via email. “Don’t believe anyone who calls you unsolicited from a government agency and threatens you — just hang up,” Ennis said. “They may use real names or badge numbers to sound more official, but they are not. We will keep updating you as scam tactics evolve — because public awareness is the best weapon we have against them.” If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. If you receive a letter, text, call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account or payments, hang up or do not respond. As salmon bakes, prepare the farro salad. In bowl that was used for vegetables, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, Dijon and pepper until well-combined. Add spinach leaves and toss until well-coated. When the farro is still hot, place over spinach and let sit for a minute or 2 until the spinach begins to wilt, then toss to combine. When the salmon and vegetables are ready, transfer sweet potatoes and mushrooms to bowl with the farro mixture. Add shallots and toss until well-combined. Salad may be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 5 days. To serve, spoon a bed of farro salad onto each plate and top with a fillet of salmon. Serves four. “Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.

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February 2021

Take time to write down your

loved one’s memories


fter my dad passed away, Mom made a book about his life. It has been such a joy to have and share with our grandchildren. When Mom first moved into assisted living in 2016, I decided to see if she would like to share some of her memories so I could make a book, too. I am so glad I had those visits with Mom! She enjoyed sharing at times, but when she was experiencing some paranoia then her memories were of dark times and I felt so bad for her. As these years have passed, Mom is no longer able to bring up memories and often has a hard time putting thoughts into words. When I was in college, we were given an assignment to choose someone in your life to make a memory box for. Well, I chose both Mom and Dad and it has little pieces of paper with my childhood memories of Mom and Dad. When I visit now, I share those with Mom, she usually has no recollection of the memory, but finds great joy in hearing what a wonderful Mother she was and is. So, for this first column of 2021, I want to share just a few of Mom’s memories that she was able to share with me back in 2016. “I was born Oct. 16, 1933. I had brothers Erwin, Ray and Meb as well as sister Judy waiting to welcome me. By some miracle, Mom and Dad didn’t have any more babies for five years and then Alma was born. Two years later, Russell, and two years after Russell, Robert were born. “I loved my growing up years as long as Mom was home. I liked my brothers best. Ray had a bike and when he went into the service, he gave it to me. “I still see Mom sitting at the table making lunches for all 5 of us. She always had something good on the sandwiches and would add a cookie or something sweet. She was so good to us. Some kids at school had to have lard on their sandwiches. “I loved math. Miss Gorens would give me Bible verses to memorize when I had all my work done. I just loved her.” “My brothers were drafted when the war came, and my brother, Ray, was so lonesome. We wrote lots of letters. One day, my mom got a phone call that Ray had been killed. Dad came to the school and brought us home and then told us. That was

The Family Circle BY LAUREL HED Columnist

one of the hardest times. “I was able to go to high school in Thief River Falls and had to live in someone’s home. I would take care of their children and clean their home in exchange for staying there. “Following high school, I went on to teachers’ training and was assigned to a school by Goodridge. I taught all eight grades. That same year, I met Har-

land and he asked me to marry him. So that ended my plans to teach for 20 years. “Soon after we were married, I became pregnant with David. Two years later, Lynn was born. At eight months, Lynn passed away. It was a terrible time of feeling isolated and alone. A year later, Laurel was born and then our fourth baby was Peter.” I am thankful we have this peek into who our Mom was because, today, she sometimes can’t remember the names of her children. So please, take time to write down your loved one’s memories and take pictures. (Mom and I do selfies every time I visit.) You can never have these moments back so embrace and treasure them!

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8 LOVE From Page 1

Courting outdoors

“He said it was a whirlwind courtship,” their daughter, Lori Griess, said after a private chat with Bill. “He said he would take her hunting and fishing, and that’s how she got to know him, all those hunting and fishing trips.” After noticing her dancing ability, Lori said, “he decided that he had to see how she would do with the hunting and the fishing.” “I hadn’t done any (hunting),” said Ginny. “So, I borrowed a gun, bought a license to go deer hunting, and he takes me all through this swampy area southeast of there. I mean, I was walking, and he said, ‘Be careful, don’t fall.’ ‘Yes, honey, I’ll put the gun out this way if I fall.’” Fishing was another new experience for the farm girl, too. It apparently caught on, because fishing, golf, camping and traveling were among their favorite activities together as a couple and, later, a family. Another important thing they had in common was their faith. “I was baptized a Catholic,” said Bill. “Right after we got together, she got me into the Lutheran church and I started all over again.” “I didn’t argue about it at all,” said Ginny. “That was up to him. That was his decision to do.” Bill’s parents switched to Lutheran as well, and the couple brought up their children as members of St. Johns Lutheran. “I’ve had 70 years in that church,” said Bill. “And you had a lot of good friends in the church,” Lori reminded them. “You were close to the pastors. The support that you get from the church community was always important, too. Bill said the faith helped in a lot of ways. “It kept you from doing bad things too,” he said. “You didn’t have an excuse to not go to church in the morning,” Lori recalled. “Sorry! We went to church. Dad was an active usher, and mom was busy at church, and that was a very big part of our life. They made sure of that, both of them.”

Working and playing

Shortly after they married, Bill accepted

a job offer at the DNR Fisheries hatchery in Park Rapids, the start of a 34-year career from which he retired as fisheries manager. The alternator burned out on the newlyweds’ car when they were driving back to Park Rapids to start their new life together. “I had enough battery juice that I could get the lights on,” Bill recalled. “So, whenever we’d meet a car, we’d turn the lights on,” Ginny added with a laugh. “That’s the truth!” “I bet we didn’t meet five cars all the way to Wadena, and from Wadena north we didn’t meet anybody,” said Bill. They purchased a home on Lower Bottle Lake in 1959, which they still own – moving into town only a year ago last October, when their children became concerned about them getting snowed in during the winter. Other than a yearand-a-half when Bill was assigned to the fisheries office in Grand Rapids, they’ve spent their entire married life in the Park Rapids area. Life wasn’t all work and no play. The young family also took long trips together, including one five-week vacation in a 12-by-14foot tent, traveling to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons, across Colorado and Nebraska – where a tornado swept through their campsite. Later trips took them to the Gulf Coast of Texas and Florida, including a condo seven miles from Cape Canaveral, where they had front-row seats to view NASA launches.

Toll of the pandemic

These days, thanks to COVID-19, there isn’t as much play in their lives. “I think that’s what’s been really hard on them, how limited the activities are right now,” said Lori. Ginny lamented that residents of their apartment complex are discouraged from getting together. “Since the 13th of March, we have not had any coffee parties here,” she said. “We used to meet on Fridays. Somebody always brought something to eat, and you had coffee. There were sometimes 30 people back there, talking like they had never seen each other.” “There’s 60 units in here,” said Bill, “and you never see anybody, unless they’re going

down for the mail. … They never invite people over. We don’t do that. ‘Come in for a glass of wine?’ ‘No, we don’t have time.’ It’s a strange feeling.” The family has also been more cautious about attending church in person during the pandemic, while Bill has been experiencing medical issues lately. “I think with things opening up more, and if they can get the vaccine, then I will feel more comfortable with them going back to church,” said Lori. Ginny takes pride in the place settings she furnished for the building’s community room, saying that other residents enjoy them. “Most of the time I’ve gotten to do what I like to do,” she said. “I miss golf, though. Boy, do I miss golf!”

Advice for newbies

Asked what they would prescribe for young couples starting out in married life, Ginny said, “Probably patience,” and Bill agreed, “Yeah, don’t fight.” “And I would say, too, go to a church of your choice,” Ginny added. Lori said she learned a lot from seeing her parents’ relationship. “You have to be patient,” she echoed. “You have to give. It’s not always 50/50. It takes work. It sometimes would be too easy to just give up, but it’s worth the work.” Calling them good examples for her and her siblings – Randy died in 2018; Debbie

k s Ahe t

lives with her husband, Michael Proudfoot, in the Marshall Islands; and Michael died of a heart defect at the age of 3-and-a-half months – Lori added, “They never forgot an anniversary. They never forgot a birthday of each other’s. That was always important.” She recalled her parents enjoying a special steak dinner on their anniversary at Val Chatel – a fine-dining restaurant at a ski resort north of town – and giving each other wonderful gifts. She said her mom always made something special for dinner on Valentine’s Day, when they also exchanged cards. Her recollection of her parents’ relationship is more romantic than they like to admit. Asked how she feels about her partner and their almost 70-year marriage, Ginny said, “I feel that, with the way we have lived, we could continue to live together for a long time.” Prodded further, she added with a laugh, “He’s very understanding about my changes of life.” “She’s a good cook,” Bill volunteered, making everyone laugh. “A very good cook. We had a lot of fish fries.” He also called her “a good traveler,” adding, “We traveled well. I wish we had taken more pictures when we were traveling.” “We didn’t have time,” she pointed out. “You were driving.”


Pictured in August 1952, young Ginny and Bill Guegel had just started their long life together.

Among the Guegels' descendents are grandchildren Brandi, Brad and Bryan, with their parents Lori and Randy Griess.

Spots, Floaters, and Flashes of Light

r o t c o D

Murry D. Westberg, O.D.

100 Huntsinger Ave, Park Rapids 732-3389 107 6th St., Walker 547-3666 Murry D. Westberg, O.D. Jen Keller, O.D. R.W. Helm, O.D.

1-877-700-3389 www.prweyeclinic.com

What are floaters? The jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes is called the vitreous. Floaters are small, semi-transparent particles within the vitreous. They may appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands, or cobwebs. Since these particles are located inside your eyes, they will move as your eyes move, and will seem to dart away when you try to look directly at them. What causes floaters? During the development of your eyes, small pieces of protein or other matter can become trapped in the vitreous fluid. These particles are seen as floaters throughout your life. Aging can also cause floaters, as the vitreous fluid deteriorates over time. Certain injuries or eye diseases can also occasionally cause floaters. Will floaters harm my eyes? Most floaters are not harmful and rarely limit vision. However, these floaters can be indications of more serious problems such as a retinal detachment. If you see any sudden changes in floaters, experience an increase in floaters, or see flashes or sparks of light, you should see your optometrist for a dilated examination immediately. By looking at your eyes with special instruments, your optometrist can determine if what you are seeing is harmless, or if there is a more serious problem that requires treatment. Is there any way to get rid of floaters? A vitrectomy is a surgical procedure where the vitreous fluid (containing the floaters) is removed from the eye. This procedure has gotten more common than it was a few years ago. A vitrectomy may be indicated if your floaters are severely affecting your vision and have been stable for several months. If you have floaters that are having a negative effect on your vision, schedule an appointment and talk to us about your options!

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Generations - Feb. 21  

Generations - Feb. 21