__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

Generations Reflections by people 55 and over

January 2021

Avoid the

Back Ache this winter! Call us to help find your perfect home.

JALANNY RUPP

JASMINE VIKSE

JENNA VIKSE

320.894.4512

320.894.3862

320.796.1000

BROKER/AGENT

REALTOR®

ADMIN ASSISTANT

320-796-1000

JANE VIKSE

BROKER®/OWNER

320.979.0632


D2 | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

GENERATIONS 

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

Air and land worthy Sherman Schueler flew combat missions in Vietnam but a crippled jet and love of farming brought him back to earth BY SHERMAN SCHUELER

Willmar Junior College was brand new and its easy availability was a break. I was in the second graduating class and went grew up on a traditional family farm on to St. Cloud State earning a degree in north of Svea. Dairy was the main economics with a minor in accounting. income but we had pigs and chickens With the Vietnam War ramping up, too. My Dad, Oscar, came out of the a roommate who was a Naval Reservist Depression and Dust Bowl-era with a told me I should talk to a Navy recruitstrong work ethic. I was right in the mid- er. My love of operating machinery dle of eight children. enticed me to test Our mom, Irma, was for both the Navy a homemaker. One and Air Force to thing unique about enter their respecher is she insisted on tive pilot pipelines. seeing both sides of I had tested into an argument. the Navy Air proMaybe that’s gram but had not why I got the name committed when I Sherman Lee. While visited with the Air training in MeridForce recruiter. He ian, Mississippi, I told me if the Navy met a Marine from would accept me I the South. When he should accept, but if learned my Christian I didn’t get in their name was Sherman air program, the Air Lee, he said “From Force would be a now on, you’re Lee!” better choice since I loved operating it had more career the farm machinery. Sherm & Karen’s 50th wedding choices. I took my The summer before anniversary picture in June 2019. Navy physical in I started first grade I Minneapolis spring hauled a load of oats of my senior year and left for Pensacola, back to the farm with a small B Farmall. Florida, July of 1967. I’m sure I was a pain to my older brother, Jerome, because I was always pesterUpward bound ing him to let me drive the tractor. I was the last graduating eighth-grade The humidity at Pensacola was so bad I class from the Svea schoolhouse. In high felt I needed an air tank. school I maintained around a B- average People yelled at me as soon as I without much effort. I tested into the entered the INDOC building. I was naive accelerated classes but the teachers soon enough to think as a college grad I’d be realized I wasn’t willing to put in much appreciated. But the harassment lasted work, especially homework. the next week as they tore us down. It I remember meeting with a counselor felt like prison. following a battery of aptitude tests. A bright spot came the third day at Looking at my test results, he asked if I mail call. It was a letter from my former planned to go to college. I said I did not girlfriend at college. I had ended our because I was afraid I couldn’t make it. relationship because of the dangerous I had come to believe college was much missions I might be involved in because harder than high school, and anyways, I of Vietnam. Well, she’s now been my was more interested in farm work than wife for nearly 52 years. homework. He said my test results were Pilot training consisted of three phases. exceptional adding that “If you can’t First a fairly traditional piston airplane make it, who can?’ which was a modified Beech Bonanza.

I

as told to Rand Middleton

Photos courtesy of Schueler family

USS Shangri-La, Vietnam cruise July-December 1970. Sherm heads out to A-4 Skyhawk to fly bombing mission.

You don’t have to live with pain. Total joint replacement with a local, experienced team of orthopedic specialists. “If you think you need a knee replacement at some point, do it now while you’re still active.” -Roger I.

See Roger’s story at: CarrisHealth.com/orthopedics


GENERATIONS

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

Next was a straight wing jet trainer to introduce us to jet aviation, but still a very docile airplane to fly. The last phase was a swept wing aircraft with flight characteristics similar to high performance fleet aircraft. Because of Vietnam, after only 12 months, I was commissioned a First Lieutenant Junior Grade six months before getting my wings.

The Navy assigned me to fly the A-4 Skyhawk and sent me to Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. The Skyhawk is a light attack bomber designed so as to fit many on a carrier. By comparison to modern fighters, it had fewer electronics and no computers. It was the last of the “kick the tire light the fire” and go fly. (The durable Skyhawk had a top speed of 645 mph, a range of 2,000 miles and could carry 5 tons of bombs, the Sidewinder missile plus 20 mm cannons. It was known as “Heinemann’s Hot Rod” after its designer). After five months training during which time Karen and I were married, I was sent to join the USS John F. Kennedy on station in the Mediterranean. In July 1970, I was sent to the Tonkin Gulf to join VA-152 onboard the Shangri-La. I would end up flying 55 to 60 Photos courtesy of Schueler family sorties from the carrier Sherm’s family in 1952, Sherm is front row on left, 7 usually over the Ho Chi years old. Minh Trail (running

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | D3

from North Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia to South Vietnam). We got as low as 5,000 feet dropping our bombs. They shot at us with big guns but not the tracking surface-to-air missiles. (Senator John McCain III was flying an A-4 Skyhawk when he was downed over North Vietnam on Oct. 26, 1967, and spent over five years in various prison camps.) Night flying off the carrier is always high adrenaline, especially during the dark moon phase. The high transverse G’s experienced at launch would mildly uncage your head. On a dark, clear night there were just enough lights on the water from a few boats that the sky and the water looked the same. The plane is left just hanging in the air on the verge of stalling and you better be good at monitoring your instruments because for a few seconds your body senses are unreliable. My biggest fear would be to lose my altitude indicator on a night launch. Day

WE ARE HERE

USS Kennedy takes a 1969 maiden cruise in the Mediterranean Sea.

flying off the carrier in good weather would get routine. But I was surprised when we came off the carrier to land in Alameda, California, how relaxing it was to see several thousand feet of runway in front of me instead of 300 feet. Following two cruises, I was assigned stateside to VA-127 in Lemoore to an A-4 training squadron. Here I had a close call. I had just become an instructor and was out with my first student.

FOR YOU AT EVERY STAGE!

INDEPENDENT SENIOR LIVING

NOW HIRING

The Time of Your Life Begins Here

for Multiple Positions We believe you will find the Clara City Senior Living a fun and rewarding place to work. The Care Center offers a full array of benefits, competitive pay, and flexible scheduling. Stop in for an application or call Cindy 320-847-2221 at Clara City Senior Living for more details! Due to COVID-19, we are currently following the restrictions of no visitor or volunteer entry into the Care Center and Assisted Living. When the day comes and it becomes safe to open our doors we will have numerous volunteer opportunities such as: reading to residents, visiting, playing games or cards, assisting with bingo, giving rides, peeling potatoes with residents, sitting in on bible study, helping at picnics, special events, tending to gardens, helping with crafts or decorating, playing instruments. As a volunteer to our residents, you are counted on as one of their friends. The rewards are endless!

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Kris Nelson-Jensen, Activity Director at 320-847-7217.

1012 N Division St. Clara City 320-847-2221 www.claracityseniorliving.org

• Independent living units. • Emergency call system • Social and recreational activities along with full access to campus wide events • Noon meal and weekly housekeeping.

Apartments Available Now!

For a tour of our facility, or for more information, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Prairie Park Place

1100 Warrings Ave, Clara City • 320-847-3785

Assisted Living A Tradition in Caring

• • • • • • •

CAMPUS AMENITIES

Secure memory care areas On-site Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy services Large spaces for family gatherings Phone & cable access in each room Short-term Rehab Therapy Suites Assisted & Independent Living Activities offered, along with full access to campus wide events

Space Available Now! 200 Wachtler Ave, Clara City • 320-847-7208

CARE CENTER

• • • •

A Community of Compassion for Over 50 Years! Hosts individualized and campus wide activities Therapy suites to help you recover with all the comforts of home Physical and Occupational outpatient therapy with most insurances accepted • Assisted Living and Independent living attached to the Care Center • Beautiful outdoor courtyards For more information or to arrange a personal tour of our facility, please contact us today. 1012 N Division St. Clara City 320-847-2221 www.claracityseniorliving.org


GENERATIONS 

D4 | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

On our second training flight over a northern area of Los Angeles there was an explosion and the sound of the engine unwinding with very hot temperatures. We were at 24,000 feet and we started to glide east to get close to Edwards Air Force Base, an unpopulated area with long runways. At 10,000 feet we were lining up the runway when the controls quit. I told my student to eject. I pulled the alternate handle between my legs to follow him out of the cockpit. It was a wild ride. We landed in the hills to the east of the dry lake bed where the space shuttles sometimes landed. I was OK but the student broke a small bone in his ankle. Those emergency parachutes have a higher decent rate and it’s important to touch and roll to lessen the impact. After returning home to Minnesota and the farm I flew a couple of years for the Naval Reserves near Detroit before the Navy moved the squadron to Virginia.

ABOUT THIS SECTION:

Photos courtesy of Schueler family

Generations, formerly Prime Time, sections are published a few times throughout the year as a special section within the West Central Tribune.

Sherm pre-flights an ejection seat before flying mission, USS Shanghai-La.

opportunities had now materialized. While flying for Sun Country, my brothAfter my cruises, Karen and I spent a er Kevin and I expanded the dairy operyear and a half living in California. We ation to a 250-cow herd with a freestall noticed that residents worked a five-day barn, parlor and dairy crops. week then headed to the country, meanOur nutritionist held a masters in ing either the mountain or desert. sustainable farming from Iowa State. So in July 1972, we decided to go He served many of the organic dairies in back to the farm. We’d be living in the Minnesota so we became aware of the country while we worked. organic industry. The ag crisis of the ’80s was very In 2011, Schueler Farms left the dairy tough, but we survived. A big help industry and went into commercial was that I was able to fly again joinhay production. A side line to hay proing Sun Country Airlines in 1986. duction was to raise grass-fed beef. We There had been a glut of pilots when found a market for the beef at several we left active-duty Navy in 1973 but Minneapolis outlets. Dealing with these meat managers I got a rude awakening. Emma, a thirty-something meat manager Painting by Eric M. Swenson, at Eastside Food Coop, suggestWillmar High School, senior ed we attend the Grassfed year art project 1983; son of a Exchange in Rapid City, S.D. neighboring farm family. I expected to learn about feeding beef on grass without the use of corn. But there was so much more. This was the 10th anniversary of this group and their motto is “Healthy soils produce healthy crops which produce healthy food.” This is a grassroots organization which originated from ranchers who took overgrazed, essentially barren land in the west, and made it productive with good soil management.

Joystick to hoe handle

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

People age 55 and older are invited to write stories and submit pictures or other artwork for publication in these sections. We recognize that senior citizens have much knowledge and experience. What better way to share that with the community than by writing an article for publication? We invite all interested senior citizens to contribute articles. They may deal with serious issues, or tell human interest stories.

Karen and I found ourselves in a large group from all over the world. We ate with young farmers from New Zealand and visited with a New York Times reporter. But most impactful to my sense of a farm was a report by a University of Minnesota doctorate student. She studied several metrics from a conventional corn and soybean farm with that of a diversified organic farm. What stuck out was an analysis of a square-foot of soil from each farm in the lab. On the diversified farm she identified 117 living organisms and on the conventional farm she found 12. When I shared my experience with Emma, I realized this 30-year-old meat manager knew more about my soils than I did after 50 years of farming. I believe this is a message farmers need to recognize. On the drive home I had a premonition that 50 years from now chemicals will be used very sparingly in the industry. As a kid, I grew up on a farm that didn’t use chemicals, then farmed 50 years as chemicals became routine. Our challenge now is to see if we can successfully farm in this new paradigm. If we can do it profitably, maybe we can be an inspiration for young farmers in our area.  In 2019 Schueler Farms was recognized as Conservationists of the Year by the Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District.

Photos or other graphics may be included with the submission of your article to help illustrate the piece. If you need a photo returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Try to keep articles to within 500 words. Articles may be sent to: Generations, West Central Tribune, Box 839, Willmar, Minn. 56201; or emailed to news@wctrib.com with Generations in the subject line. Generations sections are currently published in January, April and October. For additional information, email news@wctrib.com.


West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

GENERATIONS

A strong sense of place

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | D5

Photo by John Kellen

Reflections off the pond behind the visitors center at Sibley State Park near New London. Symbolic of The Dakota name for Minnesota - Mni Sota Makoce or land where the waters reflect the sky.

BY JOHN KELLEN

P

Willmar

eople can become very attached to the places where they’re born and where they live out their lives. For some, that place is one and the same and they never venture far from home. For others, like myself, we scatter like leaves on the wind and end up in places throughout the country and the world. Having come into this world in Marshall and moving to Willmar the summer before entering first grade, this place in Kandiyohi County became the focal point of my formative years. Many fond memories have been conjured up over the past two years since moving back to Willmar to care for aging parents after an absence of 32 years. Although much has changed, much remains the same. My perception of place has evolved on a much deeper level given time to contemplate a lifetime of travel and subsequent homecoming.

In hindsight a lot has been taken for granted. The idyllic qualities of a life in a rural setting, growing up with so many freedoms and few worries other than making it home for supper on time, wax nostalgic. Given the current challenges we face with regards to public health, climate

Photo courtesy of John Kellen

Great Great Grandparents Nicolas Kellen, front row center, and Catherine Kellen, back row second from left, who immigrated to Caledonia, Minnesota, in 1867. My Great Grandfather William is sitting front row right.

Enjoy some of the best years of your life! Are you ready for the best combination of independence and worry-free living? Independence Place offers spacious one and two bedroom units. We allow you to enjoy some of the best years of your life...all at a reasonable price! At Independence Place, there is always a choice. If you’re interested in interactive and entertaining activities, play a game of cards with your neighbors, enjoy a movie night, come to our birthday parties or join us at morning coffee. We have something for everyone!

Senior Housing Cooperative 55+ CALL OR STOP BY FOR INFORMATION OR A TOUR

1400 Willmar Ave. SE • Willmar, MN • 320-222-8988 • www.ipwillmar.com


GENERATIONS 

D6 | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

change, civil unrest and economic inequities, the pressures people face have been mounting. Life is definitely more complex and can be stressful, yet I attempt to remain grounded and focus on being grateful for what we have rather than on what’s missing. That brings me back to a strong sense of place. This place we call home means different things to different people. As a fourth-generation immigrant from Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland and Germany my perspective is different from Indigenous peoples. My great-great-grandparents Nicolas and Catherine Kellen from Luxembourg first came to Minnesota in 1867 with their children and started farming five years after the Dakota Wars ended in this part of the country. Photo courtesy of John Kellen

This family photo features my Grandfather who I’m named after, John Kellen, and Grandmother Liz along with my father, Don, third from right taken on the family farm north of Madison. This photo was taken shortly before dad enlisted in the Navy at 17 years of age.

Please join the Good Neighbor Club for our upcoming activities and have some fun!

Good Neighbor Club ENJOYING LIFE AFTER 50!

BROOKDALE Once you’re here, BROOKDALE you’re home.here, Once you’re you’re home.

Looking forward and knowing that the vaccine will be in our arms soon - and based on CDC guidelines we are looking forward to having the wheels on the bus rolling by late spring and early summer. Our much-anticipated trip to Gerten’s is scheduled for MONDAY, MAY 17TH Million Dollar Quartet - The Old Log Theatre - Date to be determined AUGUST 11TH - Minnesota Twins vs Chicago White Sox AUGUST 12TH - Hamilton at the Orpheum Theatre Mystery Trip - Date to be determined SEPTEMBER 16TH Come From Away - at the Orpheum Theatre October - Duluth Date to be determined OCTOBER 20TH - Music Man - Chanhassen Dinner Theatre Our monthly casino trips will begin (we hope) late spring A travel show is being planned for our Nashville, TN holiday trip and Hawaii Cruise 2022. EXTENED TRIPS: Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons - JUNE 5TH -JUNE 11TH 7 Night Columbia Snake River Cruise - JULY 18 - JULY 26 Greek Isles, Croatia and Italy Cruise - SEPTEMBER 20TH - OCTOBER 4TH Activities That Enrich Your Lifestyle | Banking That Saves You Money

Need more information? Call Betty Marthaler

320-214-3009

Come discover the many comforts of our caring community. Come discover the many comforts ofknowing our caring community. When you join our family, you can feel secure that we’re here for you every step of the way. Whatever the future holds, our communities are When you join our family, you can feel secure knowing that we’re here for designed to care for your needs through all the stages of life. you every step of the way. Whatever the future holds, our communities are designed to Willmar care for your needs through For all the stages of life. Brookdale more information, Assisted Living Brookdale Willmar 1501 19th Avenue South West Assisted Living Willmar, Minnesota 56201 1501 19th Avenue South West Willmar, Minnesota 56201

call (320) 235-1024. For more information, call (320) 235-1024.

43440-Willmar SC

© 2017 Brookdale Senior Living Inc. All rights reserved. BROOKDALE SENIOR LIVING and BRINGING NEW LIFE TO SENIOR LIVING are registered trademarks of Brookdale Senior Living Inc.

43440-Willmar SC

© 2017 Brookdale Senior Living Inc. All rights reserved. BROOKDALE SENIOR LIVING and BRINGING NEW LIFE TO SENIOR LIVING are registered trademarks of Brookdale Senior Living Inc.

Bringing New Life to Senior Living®

brookdale.com


West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

Interestingly, we were never taught this aspect of local history in school other than a brief footnote. It’s only later as an adult interested in history that I’m learning more about local places, events and names from a new perspective. Kandiyohi, for example, means “Where Buffalo fish abound.” Imagining what life must have been like for Indigenous peoples before Europeans came to this place gives me pause. My father did extensive genealogy research on his side of our family and we were fortunate enough to visit our ancestor’s homes, farms and villages in Luxembourg. That experience was profound and left me with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

GENERATIONS What must it have been like to live during those times and to leave your homeland for foreign soil? Conversely, just as there are two sides to a coin there are other stories of this place and different viewpoints. It is not my intent to litigate the past, rather to examine what this place means not only to me and my family, but what it might mean to Indigenous people as well as to more recent immigrant groups that make up our community. As a photographer and a writer, my more recent exploration of Minnesota has impacted me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | D7

The intense beauty, the familiar sites and discovering much of what was often overlooked in my youth has given me a newfound appreciation for this place. Connecting with community and physical space here in Willmar and surrounding towns is molding me into a new being shaped by ancient – as well as contemporary – wisdom. From the “Dakota Wicohan” or way of life, their worldview of “Mni Sota Makoce”— which translates to land where the waters reflect the sky is “Mitakuye Oyasin” or we are all related. This includes not only people but all living things as well as the land, sky and water. Personally, I find the Indigenous connection to nature resonates with my sensibilities and the more I learn about my relationship to this place I call home, the more I wonder how to be a good neighbor to all who share this space. Both past and present experiences have led to developing a strong sense of place here in West Central Minnesota – and for that I am extremely grateful. 

Photo by John Kellen

Sunset Reflections off of Lake Andrew west of New London in September 2020.

Nationally Recognized, Regionally Preferred Joint Replacement

Don’t Let Joint Pain Keep You From Doing the Things You Love

Heartland Orthopedic Specialists’ team approach, advanced techniques, superior quality measures, and positive outcomes are just some of the reasons we’ve been recognized nationally and remain the region’s most preferred orthopedic providers.

320-214-7355

In Willmar • HeartlandOrthopedics.com Back, Neck & Spine | Hand to Shoulder | Joint Replacement Hip & Knee | Foot & Ankle | Sports Medicine


D8 | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

GENERATIONS 

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

Coping with COVID-19 BY MARY PEDERSON Willmar

M

y husband died at the end of October 2019 from many lung issues. I was not even able to hold his hand at the time of his death. I wanted to so badly, but he couldn’t be touched when he was trying to regain his breathing pattern. He never did, and he died before the ambulance arrived. Then COVID-19 hit in March of 2020. The isolation coupled with the grieving was really tough. I will have had MS for 41 years this coming March. I am blessed to get around with a walker. We didn’t have a pastor during 2018-2020, but we did have a wonderful interim pastor. One day he quoted a verse from “The Message.” It was so meaningful and my spirit just took a leap. I went home that Sunday, vowing to read “The Message” through from cover to cover in a year. I started reading “The Message” at the end of September 2020. Well, it’s going on four months now and I have read the New Testament and am currently in Proverbs in the Old Testament.

I find myself reading this translation of the Bible morning, noon and night. I easily cover eight to 10 chapters a day. I can’t put it down. Written in the language we use today, I have gained so much insight. The author, Eugene Peterson, has one healthy vocabulary. I stop every time I don’t know the exact meaning of a word, look it up in my dictionary and write the definition in the Bible. I want the best definition for the clearest understanding. I re-read passages I don’t understand. I am by no means rushing through reading this Bible. I just can’t and don’t want to put it down. The hours and days have gone by quickly. I feel that I am being so spiritually blessed. What better way to spend these lonely days, than to spend time alone with the Lord! I have spent a lot of time in prayer. There has been great need for prayer as friends, neighbors, relatives and so many others have come down with COVID-19. Here we are entering 2021 and a safe and effective vaccine available to all is on the horizon — answered prayer. Where has the time gone? 

Short Term Care

Glen Oaks offers comprehensive medical and rehabilitation services for patients discharged from the hospital who no longer need hospital care, but still require an additional inpatient stay. This unit serves as a bridge returning you to your home and is designed to focus on your individualized therapy program.

Call us today if you have any questions! (320) 354-2231 • www.glenoaksslc.com

The service that treats you like family!

601 4th St. SW Willmar, MN | www.compassionatecareofmn.com

Providing non-medical service for older adults in the comfort of their home. Bathing/Dressing Hair Care/Grooming Companionship Medication/Exercise Reminders Meal Preparation/Shopping Laundry/Light Housekeeping Transportation/Errands Medical Appointment Escort Overnight, Respite Care & 24/7 Service Other “Just-For-You” Services

Free In-Home Consultation

Call 320-231-9868

At COMPASSIONATE COTTAGE I and II, we provide 24-hour Customized Living Services in a safe and nurturing environment for older adults. The Cottages have private bedroom bathroom suites in a beautiful home setting. • Personal Care by Trained and • Medication Management Caring Staff • Home-Cooked Meals • Registered Nurse On-Call 24 • Housekeeping/Laundry Hours • Activities and so much more!

1000 Cottonwood Dr. NE & 1506 Upper Trentwood Circle NE, Willmar, MN www.compassionatecottage.com 320-235-2775


GENERATIONS

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

Photo courtesy of Terry Shaw

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | D9

Contemplating when My life has been good, and still is for me But, my brother struggled, and died at 33. My dad, from whom I wished I’d learned more, was also too young, and passed at 44. Another brother, who worked hard to survive, never made it past 55. Then came sis, with a life lacking kicks, She checked out at age 66. So, when explaining my arrival at the pearly gate, I had told my remaining sib: I’ll take 77, she can have 88! Paul Higdem, age 71, and getting nervous. By Paul Higdem Willmar

6 WAYS TO PREVENT FALLS AROUND THE HOUSE

Pandemic play helps break the monotony BY TERRY SHAW

P

Willmar

uzzles, paint by numbers, crosswords and various games are some of the many ways seniors have filled their days during the pandemic. A few summers ago, my wife and I were visiting her brother and his wife. They asked us if we would like to play a game of Rummikub with them. We had never heard of the game but told them we would try it, loving games ourselves. We enjoyed the game, and, sometime later, we were browsing a garage sale, when my wife noticed the game for sale. So, we bought it, played a few games by ourselves, and then we taught it to some friends, who liked the game also. Last March, when the pandemic hit and we were asked to remain indoors, we decided to play one game every day to break up the monotony. Pretty soon we were playing a game every morning, walking our dog, eating noon dinner,

then playing a game in the afternoon, and then walking our dog again. Each game consisted of four “hands” and lasted for about an hour and a half. We thought we were exercising both our minds and bodies each day, between the game and the dog. Rummikub is basically rummy using four double sets of colored numbered tiles instead of cards. After you “meld” 30 points, you can play on anybody’s tiles that have already been played, and “steal” tiles if you can leave the required three tiles or more. It takes a lot of concentration and memorization, so it’s a perfect game for seniors who believe that mind exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Two things bothered us about the game, one being the turning over and mixing of all the 106 tiles after each “hand.” I decided to take a black nylon bag I had and just put the tiles in it, shake the bag up, and draw new tiles from it. One problem solved.

The other bothersome thing was, especially with four players, trying to keep in mind all the different sets in front of each player after he or she played them. You had a run of blue, say, and a set of three like numbers, others might have similar sets, which you could use or “steal” from, if you could just keep all the different combinations in mind. So, my wife and I went to Menards and bought some small white construction trim boards, which were lightweight, being foamed filled, and we used Menards’ table saw in its warehouse, (which anyone can do) to cut them to the right lengths. We took the boards home, and I took colored magic markers and drew tile lines and numbers on them. It really made the game easier to play. By the end of the year, my wife and I had played 364 games She had beat me 187 games to 177. We started a new “record sheet” after the new year began. I lead her eight games to six. 

Despite all of the potential hazards around a house — from electrical issues to fire hazards to carbon monoxide — the National Home Security Alliance says that falls are the leading cause of death due to home accidents. Falls are responsible for one-third of all home-related fatalities. Although seniors are the group most affected by falls, these types of accidents can affect anyone. A broken bone may be a minor inconvenience for young people, but fractures are more serious for the elderly. As a result, seniors must take measures to protect themselves against falls. These steps can minimize risk at home. 1. Remove tripping hazards. Examine rooms and hallways for potential hazards, such as slippery throw rugs, floorboards that stick up, loose carpeting, or furniture that blocks walking paths. Remedy these hazards as soon as possible. Address loose floorboards and/or place non-slip materials beneath rugs. 2. Install grab bars or railings. Install grab bars in certain locations for extra stability or where someone may need leverage getting up from a seated position. They are particularly helpful near toilets and bathtubs and in stairways and hallways. 3. Stick to sensible shoes. Sensible shoes fit properly and have sturdy, non-skid soles. Avoid walking around in slippers or even in stocking feet, which are much more slippery. 4. Store items within reach. Store items that are used frequently, such as dishes, in easily accessible cabinets and other locations. This prevents having to climb or reach for them. 5. Install more lighting. Poor visibility can contribute to falls. Lighting in hallways, stairways, bathrooms, and bedrooms — even if it is a small night light — can be enough to light the way. 6. Reinforce your home’s exterior. Falls do not only occur inside. Inspect the perimeter of a property for uneven turf, holes or cracked or uneven patches of walkways. Make sure lighting is working at entryways, and check that exterior handrails are secure. Falls can cause serious injury or death, particularly for aging men and women. Simple fixes around the house can make things more secure and reduce the risk for falls.

Metro Creative Connections


D10 | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Baby Boomers BY TERRY SHAW

M

Willmar

y generation has been called the “Baby Boomers” because we were a part of the post-World War II “boom” of babies born from 1946 to 1964. The years of my childhood were innocent, trustful and without fears. No fears, that is, except for the “Duck and Cover” drills in our schools instructing us what to do if there was a nuclear attack from the Russians.

GENERATIONS  We were to “duck” under our desks and “cover” our heads, I presume so that our charred lifeless bodies could be found under the desk instead of sitting in it. What other reason could there be? But movie monsters, snakes, spiders and the bogeyman were much more terrifying to us than the threat of any commies’ bombs. Baby Boomers respected their parents and their teachers. We went to church every Sunday, tried our best in school, and dressed up for both. We didn’t expect an allowance for doing our chores around the house, but didn’t turn one down. Two gifts at Christmas (one being clothes) were enough to satisfy us, and a perfect day was one that included a 10¢ bottle of soda pop.

Our heroes were rock and roll singers, movie stars, Davy Crockett, and our teachers. Our toys could include something as simple as a long wooden stick, coupled with our imagination. Blue jeans were the “uniform of the day,” mostly in the summer. It took a while before Boomers were allowed to wear them to school. Either way, shirts had to be worn and tucked in. Dress slacks were for Sunday church and school. The Boomers’ youth was an innocent time, but it was also an exciting time. So many new things happened. Baby Boomers were there for the births of so many wonderful things, such as the birth of Rock and Roll. We were there for the birth of the space program, with the launching of Sputnik, and, because of it, an increase in the Cold War. And we were there for the birth of the peace movement and civil rights. We were there for the beginnings of such things as drive-in movies, canned soft drinks, color television, Barbie dolls, microwave ovens, satellites, stereo records, portable transistor radios, 3-D movies, Kmart, Walmart, Disneyland and McDonald’s. Our biggest medical fears were polio and cavities, both which were taken care of during our childhood. Everyone got inoculated for smallpox, measles, and the like, and I don’t remember any

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

Photo courtesy of Terry Shaw, shown in the photo with his dog. parent saying, “Not my kid!” Most of us Boomer boys had a paper route when we were young. We earned about $3 a week and we saved a majority of our pay, under the “guidance” of our parents. There are a lot of reasons our parents’ generation was called “The Greatest Generation” by authors and politicians. The lessons they learned about saving money and care in spending, while in their teens in the Depression and in their early 20s during WWII, were passed on to our generation, their children, the Baby Boomers. 

How to help aging adults adapt to technology

C

hildren, adolescents and young adults likely cannot imagine a life without modern technology. Technology may have pervaded every part of life in the 21st century, but it wasn’t so long ago that phones were still attached to walls and people had to watch their favorite shows and films exclusively on televisions instead of having the option to watch them on devices like smartphones and tablets. The transition to life in the age of technology went smoothly for most segments of the population, but some aging adults have had a more difficult time making the adjustment. That difficulty was apparent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, when

public health agencies like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged aging adults to limit interactions with people outside their homes. Such recommendations forced many seniors to communicate with their families exclusively over the phone or via video conferencing apps like Zoom. If seniors have had a hard time adapting to technology, their families can try these strategies to make that transition go more smoothly. Go over product manuals with seniors. The senior caregiving experts at Home Care Assistance note that older

TECHNOLOGY: Page 11


GENERATIONS

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

TECHNOLOGY From Page 10

adults are less likely to learn through experimentation than they are by reading instructions in the manual. When helping seniors learn to use new devices, go over the owner’s manual with them as you set up the device. Mark important pages in the manual so seniors know where to go for quick answers if they experience any issues logging in or using certain apps. Look for senior-specific devices and guidebooks. Seniors make up an enormous segment of the population, and tech companies have long since recognized that there’s a market for products designed specifically for aging men and women. When shopping for devices for seniors, look for those that have

been designed to help them overcome issues that have proven problematic for aging adults in the past. Devices that feature touchscreens with large menus, easily accessible navigation tools and simplified features can help seniors as they learn to use new technology. Be patient. Some seniors are excited by the prospect of learning to use new technology, while others may be hesitant. Patience is essential when working with an aging loved one who’s intimidated by technology. Take the time to explain apps and features and don’t take it for granted that seniors will know how to use a device or recognize what a device can do. Today’s seniors may not have grown up with technology at their fingertips, but they can still learn to use devices to their advantage. Metro Creative Connections

HOW OLDER DRIVERS CAN APPROACH VEHICLE MAINTENANCE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the winter of 2019-20 required people of all ages and backgrounds to make changes in their daily lives. Elderly men and women were among the groups the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified as high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. That forced people 65 years and older to be especially cautious when engaging in otherwise normal activities, including having their vehicles serviced. In recognition of the threat posed by COVID-19, many auto dealerships and service shops implemented changes to their operations to ensure the safety of their employees and their customers, including those in high-risk groups. Seniors can take additional measures to ensure they stay safe while having their vehicles serviced. ► Inquire about safety measures. Before

booking vehicle maintenance appointments, seniors should call the dealership or body shop to determine what’s being done to keep everyone safe. Many such businesses quickly implemented new safety protocols so they should be ready and willing to share this information over the phone. Look for specific information about sanitization practices. Are vehicle interiors being sprayed with disinfectant before and after maintenance appointments? Are employees wearing masks each day? Are

employees being checked for COVID-19 symptoms before each shift? These are some of the simple yet effective measures many dealerships and body shops are taking to ensure the safety of their customers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | D11

Copperleaf Senior Living Community provides assisted living services, memory care services, and care suites living options to seniors. Our residents are provided with 24-hour staff, on-site nursing staff, Emergency Response System and much more.

“We are so Thankfu l for Copperleaf. Grea t place to live, we are well taken care of.” - Anitra Loe

1550 1st Street N | Willmar, MN 56201 320-222-5000 | copperleaf@vistaprairie.org

► Ask about pickup service. Some com-

munities that have reopened are encouraging high-risk segments of the population to adhere to stay-at-home measures. Elderly men and women are still vulnerable to COVID-19 even if the number of reported cases in their towns has decreased. Pickup service, in which a service shop employee will come pick up and then drop off a customer’s car once the work is done, can be a great way for elderly drivers to have their vehicles serviced without going out in public. Even if pickup is not policy, ask if it’s possible and request that your vehicle be disinfected upon being returned. If pickup is not an option, ask a younger friend or family member to drive your car in for maintenance in your place.

► Only visit safe facilities. Elderly drivers who must visit a dealership or body shop in person should confirm that waiting rooms feature socially distant seating. If possible, drop the car off and then go for a walk or find somewhere safe off the premises to read a book or listen to music while the work is being done.

Elderly drivers who need to have their vehicles serviced can take certain steps to stay safe in the era of social distancing.

Metro Creative Connections

Senior Transportation Program • Uses volunteer drivers who use their personal vehicle to transport seniors to various appointments; medical, hair, dental, shopping, etc. up to 3 times per week. • Available Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm to residents of Kandiyohi, Renville & Meeker counties who are at least 60 years of age and register with Central Community Transit. • The Fare/Cost is based on your income in the form of Cost-Share Contributions. • This Program will provide transportation in Kandiyohi, Renville, and Meeker counties as well as outside the service area. Hours may vary slightly for medical purposes or long distance trips.

Interested in being a Volunteer Driver… Flexible hours customized to your schedule Local, short and long distance travel Mileage reimbursement Making a difference for individuals in your community!

Call us today for all your transportation needs Volunteer Driver Programs

Public Bus Transportation

Willmar Office (320) 235-8413 Olivia Office (320) 523-3589 Litchfield Office (320) 693-2718

Willmar Office (320) 214-7433 Olivia Office (320) 523-3589 Litchfield Office (320) 693-7794

Connecting Communities Together www.cctbus.org


GENERATIONS 

D12 | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

West Central Tribune - Willmar, Minn.

YOUR NEWS. YOUR WAY.

Generations Reflections by people 55 and over

October 2020

NOW IS THE TIME TO DOWNSIZE.

JALANNY RUPP JANE VIKSE JASMINE VIKSE BROKER/AGENT 320.894.4512

IN PRINT

ONLINE

BROKER®/OWNER 320.979.0632

REALTOR® 320.894.3862

GIVE US A CALL!

Call us today 320-796-1000

ON-THE-GO

To subscribe 320-235-1150 or wctrib.com/subscribe To advertise in our next Generations section contact Christie at csteffel@wctrib.com or 320-214-4317

Profile for West Central Tribune

Generations January 2021 updated  

Reflections by people 55 and over; generational publication published by the West Central Tribune

Generations January 2021 updated  

Reflections by people 55 and over; generational publication published by the West Central Tribune

Advertisement