July 2020
Health & Wellness Program
 Legacy Writing
Two-Session Online Workshop
Mondays, July 20 & 27, 6:30–8:30 PM

Please join us in July for the inaugural Health and Wellness Program sponsored by the Caring Collaborative and facilitated by Karen West on Legacy Writing.  This is a two-session online program open to both members and non-members.  

Karen first suggested in April that it would be a good time to do some legacy writing based on what was happening with Covid-19, but now she believes it would also be good to do some legacy writing about the protests and community response. In Karen’s words, “When I think of legacy writing, I think mostly about personal legacy, but sometimes what is going on historically is also very important.  

Karen has been inspired by a quote from Joan Chittister’s book  The Gift of Years : “What we are inclined to forget is that each of us leaves a legacy, whether we mean to, whether we want to or not. Our legacies are the quality of the lives we leave behind. What we have been will be stamped on the hearts of those who survive us for years to come. The only question is, will we cultivate that living   legacy as carefully as bankers and tax collectors and lawyers do the material wills that distribute nothing but stocks and bonds and insurance policies and savings accounts which might disappear with the legal fees they generate?” (Chittister, 216)

Another relevant quote is from Daniel Taylor’s book  Creating a Spiritual Legacy : “The gerontologist James Birren observes, ‘We have large cemeteries to collect our bones, but what do we have to collect our stories?’ Other people can bury you. Other people can divide up your property. But only you can tell your stories.” (Taylor, 13)

Karen believes that her training with Rachel Freed provided the most compelling impact on how Karen teaches legacy writing. She learned from Rachel not only how to teach people to write legacy letters but even more importantly when it would be especially meaningful to do legacy writing.

Come to the online workshop and learn from Karen how to write all kinds of legacy letters for all kinds of occasions and people.

Cost: Members $10 and Non-Members $15.
Get Connected In Person
Small Group Events
AUGUST – various dates

How about we try something new and different for the last month of summer?  We would like to try meeting in person in small groups of 4 or so. The concept is for several people to open their decks or porches to others with the ground rules of wearing masks and physically distancing. It would be understood that the events will be held outdoors and bathrooms may not be available. Ideally the hosts will be located throughout the cities so no one must travel far and more people can participate. The times and dates will be decided amongst the participants of each group. For those who are uncomfortable meeting in person, we can still have a Zoom option. Hopefully a smaller group will make spontaneous conversation easier on the Zoom platform.

If you would like to host, please contact bj by July 15 at  lazydazee@gmail.com . The list of hosts and locations will be in the August newsletter and you can sign up to attend whichever one you want to attend. If you would rather attend or HOST a Zoom meeting instead, please let bj know so that can be arranged.
Online WELCOME Orientation
for New Members
July 17, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Central Time

This webinar happens every month and is a great opportunity to “get to know TTN”. This webinar is led by Susan Collins, TTN Executive Director.

Location:  Online Webinar
Contact:  Jennifer Monahan at  info@thetransitionnetwork.org
Women Weaving Words Garden Party
Saturday, August 29, 11:00 AM

This garden party, hosted by Terri Evans at her home in St. Michael, will feature several guests and focus on the idea of WOMEN and STORY! Please join us for a day of women sharing and writing stories, for food and wine, for community, and more. This event is for members only, and registration is limited to 30. The cost for this event is $20.

We are elated to be joined by three featured guests for this event:

  • World class jazz vocalist and songwriter, Nancy Harms! Check out her recently released album, “She,” and her official website: http://www.nancyharms.com/.

  • Local actress, Sue Scott! Listen to the latest episode of “The Island of Discarded Women,” the podcast that she created, and her official website: https://www.suescottetc.com/

  • Local author and comedian, Lorna Landvik! Take a look at her latest book, Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes), and her official website: https://www.lornalandvik.com/

Also, for this event we hope to work with “ and now she rises ” ( https://andnowsherises.org/ ), a local non-profit working to change the narratives of victims of domestic abuse, by asking attendees to donate bras for the women whom this organization serves. More to come on this. 

Please join us for a day of women sharing and writing stories, for food and wine, for community, and more.

Women in Transition Workshop
Saturday, September 26
This highly interactive workshop defines what it means to be in transition, and helps you explore your own transitions through small group discussion. Provocative questions stimulate conversation to expand your horizons and energize and support you on your journey.
This 4-hour signature TTN program has been presented to TTN chapters from coast to coast. It was offered in Minneapolis/St. Paul in October, 2018. Prior attendees have offered this about the workshop:

  • “Loved the action steps, applicable exercises. Much value in a short workshop.”

  • “It’s a great workshop to learn about yourself, to meet interesting women and to connect.”
Winter Quarterly Program
Active Aging: Discover What’s Next for You 
with Keynote Speaker, Joy Loverde
Rescheduled to Winter 2021

Due to the uncertainty of the Covid19 pandemic and since Joy must travel from Chicago, we have decided to postpone this program until early 2021.  Stay tuned for new date.   

Join to hear from best-selling author and national aging advocate Joy Loverde as she shares smart strategies for living your best life now and in the future. Participants will learn about the significance of the longevity revolution and aging well, along with key issues to consider, how to plan ahead, and more! Highlights of the discussion will include:

  • Obstacles to Aging in Place
  • Preparing for Solo Aging 
  • Essential Questions to Ask
  • Power of Self-Talk

Joy will reveal clear, practical, and relevant suggestions for you to build your own unique life plan for aging well.

If you have questions, please email Jill at:   j ill.goski@gmail.com

Register now to save your seat!  

Have you discovered anything that has felt “freeing” or thanks to Julie’s suggestion - liberating! - during this quarantine? That was the question we had pondered and shared at the June Get Connected Zoom event. 11 women expressed themselves during the hour and a half meeting on Monday, June 8. Of course, there were other topics to explore since a lot had happened since our May meeting. It is always interesting to hear other’s perspectives and to learn more about each other’s experiences!
White Privilege
Submitted by Karen West

I learned what white privilege is in the 1980’s when I taught a class called “Multicultural Literature” with Charlie Sugnet, an English professor from the U of M, an activist, and my partner in starting the College-in-the-Schools program, a program where Twin Cities’ high school students earn college credit for these classes that they take in their high schools. Reading and teaching black literature had been a passion of mine since my senior year in college when I came across the book “Native Son” by Richard Wright in a book store. Because Charlie shared this passion, together we were able to transform the English literature curriculum. High schools are still teaching some of the books we first taught in this program.
I was raised in a wealthy, conservative suburb of Detroit, Michigan called Bloomfield Hills. The only black people I ever saw were waiters at Oakland Hills Country Club and, of course, our maid. I hated it and I couldn’t wait to move on. I thought that many of the people I grew up with were, at least to some extent, racist, but I definitely was not.

When I graduated from college, I moved to St. Paul, and over the years, I thought I was fighting racism by teaching black literature, but that was a long time ago. So, when these protests began, I, like so many other people, decided to read the book “White Fragility.” Reading this book affected me as strongly as reading “Native Son,” did when I was young.  I abruptly realized that I had become complacent about racism. I only have one close friend who is black, and Ike and I only rarely talk about race. I have never seen him as that different from my white friends. Until now.

On the day that George Floyd was killed, Ike went into intensive care with Covid-19. And because Ike is the only person I know who has it, I abruptly realized that I shouldn’t see him as being like my other close friends; Ike’s black, and that makes a difference.
When I read the words “We must continue to ask how our racism manifests, not if,” I realized, for the first time in my life, that I am a racist. Quite an awakening.

Do you have something you want to share with TTN MSP members? If so, please forward to Jill and Cyndy for inclusion in future newsletter at jill.goski@gmail.com  and  clnelson03@gmail.com .
Submitted by Tracey Baker

The Caring Collaborative Committee has been meeting for almost a year, exploring the possibility of creating a Caring Collaborative in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter. We began reaching out to other TTN chapters with Caring Collaboratives. Recently we reconnected with leaders from the New York City and Long Island chapters in lively Zoom sessions where we learned more about how their Caring Collaborative initiatives formed, developed, and evolved to serve the needs of their members. Carol Lioz of the Long Island chapter and Barbara Alpern, Barbara Stahura and Sally Dougan from the New York Chapter were generous in sharing educational meeting topics as well as their documentation on organizational structure and training. We also had the opportunity to meet last fall with Janet Mandelstam from the San Francisco Caring Collaborative when she was visiting the Twin Cities. We were planning to connect with chapter members and share information at the Joy Loverde presentation, which was originally scheduled for late April.  

Covid-19 forced the postponement of that plan and has also prompted us to re-examine our original model of service, information exchange, and education. The service concept of rides to medical appointments and in-person visits has changed for now to a more virtual connection model. In May we offered two online meetings with members to connect. We were pleased at the interest and attendance and were encouraged that members see value in the chapter providing programming around health topics, including mental health. On July 20 and 27, we will be offering our first Health and Wellness Program, a two-session online workshop on Legacy Writing facilitated by Karen West. See the chapter events page for more information and to register.  

We are looking to implement a pilot project with timing contingent on community conditions. We welcome feedback, ideas, and expressions of interest in this initiative. Contact Jill at  jill.goski@gmail.com
Transition Peer Groups
Submitted by Barbara O’Sullivan
We are officially in the Summer Season. We may not be doing our usual summer activities, but we have the beautiful summer weather to enjoy the outdoors. Our transition peer groups continue to meet monthly using Zoom. Currently there are three peer groups:  two daytime groups located in the east and west metro area and an evening east metro group. All groups welcome new members.

If you are not a member of a peer group now may be a good time to join, especially if you have fewer activities on your summer schedule. Even though we are physically distancing, we can still be connected and not in social isolation. Peer groups offer an opportunity to share ideas and information. Peer groups focus on mutual support and encouragement in an environment of confidentiality, compassion and respect. Peer groups offer a fresh diversity of perspectives and discussions and conversations that can challenge us mentally. And we all have a chance to form new relationships.

We continue to explore opportunities to add new peer groups either geographically or by topic. Examples of topics can range from work/life balance, accountability groups to get meaningful things done, health and well-being or any idea you may have.

If you are interested in joining an existing peer group or starting a new one, please contact me and I will get you connected. I can be reached by email (address below) and will be happy to set up a time to talk. I look forward to hearing from you.

If you have questions, please contact Barbara O’Sullivan at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com .
Submitted by Sylvia Mohn

The Life Animated TPG met on June 11 via Zoom to discuss the topic of compartmentalization. Discussion was led by Pam. 

Compartmentalism puts things, or emotions and feelings, in a box and sets them aside temporarily. It's putting your feelings where they belong:  for example, one box for virus, one box for injustice/riots, one box for family concerns, one box for emotional challenges. Using the technique of compartmentalization is a way to free up the mind and cope with conflicting issues. Everything swirling in one tornado of worry, concern, procrastination, sadness, work, children, parents can be spun out into more manageable parts.

By saying "I just can't think about that right now" you can focus on immediate concerns so you won't be overwhelmed. A positive way to compartmentalize would be to set a time limit, "that's all the time I can allow for this right now, I will find a way of coping or a solution but won't be right now." It's a self-preservation and survival tactic for things that need to be addressed. You can come back to the problem when you're better able to deal with it. Sometimes you have to put things on hold, you just have to get through the day.

Discussion included ways members have dealt with worries and concerns, when they've been able to compartmentalize or not. Coping strategies included insomnia, worrying over worst-case scenarios that didn't happen, feeling a need to be in control but realizing it was also important to try to let go and take things as they come. Meditation, emptying your mind and being in the moment. Punching a tree (ouch).

Our next meeting is  Thursday, July 9 , at 10:00 AM via Zoom. Julie will lead a discussion about staycations and things of interest in the cities.

Please contact Eleni Skevas at   eskevs@yahoo.com  if you are interested in joining this group. 

Submitted by Barbara O’Sullivan

Our Living with Purpose Transition Peer Group met June 25 using Zoom. As part of our check in we talked about what brings us "awe" in this beautiful season. We all have been enjoying nature and venturing out more during this time of COVID with more social connection. Our discussion focused on the highlights of the past six months and how our lives have changed since January. We talked about new habits we have developed, some good and some we want to let go of. Using the quote from Deepak Chopra: "The world is offering us a reset. We have two choices: revert to old habits and views or evolve with new expectations for ourselves and others", we identified the things in our life that are most important. The importance of family and friends and leading a more simplified life were at the top of our lists. Also, some of us continue to work and being home brings attention to the need to plan for retirement and lifestyle change. And we all have something we miss from before isolation.

Our July meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 from 6:30-8:00 PM. Our topic will be white privilege and anti-racism. We will identify resources and share with the group something we read or viewed and how it impacted us. We recognize this is just a start on the continuum of lifelong learning. New members are always welcome. Stay well and happy. 

For more information or questions, contact Barbara at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com .

Submitted by Ginny Jacobson

At our June meeting, via Zoom, the West Metro TPG had planned to discuss something positive we had learned during the pandemic. With the killing of George Floyd in police custody and the protests that followed, we quickly changed course. Many of us had ideas for organizations to which we can make donations, but we also spoke of not knowing how to help. One member of our group said that she was heartened when she saw a long line of cars waiting to deliver groceries to a distribution center. We were encouraged that the protests are multi-racial this time.

As white women, we decided that we need to educate ourselves about racism in our culture. At our  Monday,   July 6,  meeting, we will be discussing a paper, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh. We'll also be exploring the wealth of information on the National Museum of African American History & Culture website, particularly the section about antiracism. 

We are open to new members! We meet the first Monday of the month from 1:00-3:00 PM. We are currently meeting via Zoom.

For more information or questions, contact Barbara at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com .

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
New Summer SIG looking for interested participants
Submitted by Julie Efta

Nine TTN members have agreed to share and open their showstopper and/or show linger gardens to all members for safe mini staycation adventures and social connection outside.

You can still add your unique garden to the list for August, September and/or October. Contact Julie by July 17!

Please contact Julie for the list of "open" gardens which includes details for each host/location. You can then contact the host and arrange a time to visit.

A new private Facebook group is also being planned to share photos and experiences.

Honorary co-chairs are the other awesome 8 volunteer hosts! Thank you!

Questions? Contact Julie at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com
ON BEING SIG – New SIG looking for interested participants
Submitted by Julie Efta

Krista Tippett is a local award-winning journalist who hosts “On Being”, an interview show/podcast about spiritual and moral aspects of human life.

Our new SIG will meet via Zoom on the third Monday of each month from 1:00-2:30 PM to discuss a pre-selected show of the month.  This SIG will NOT begin with a general check in. Members are asked to listen to the one hour selected show prior to our meeting and discussion. Hope you can join us. Let us know if you are interested, but the time does not work for you.

Monday, July 20 : Gregory Orr, Lyric poet and educator.

Monday, August 17 : topic is racism. Specific show will be chosen at July meeting.

To join this SIG and to receive your Zoom invite, please email Julie at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com  or Ginny at  Ginnyjacobson3@gmail.com .
Submitted by JeNell Jacobson

The Art Appreciation SIG met June 10 with 12 women participating on Zoom. Our meeting began with individual check-in’s followed by Terri Evans taking us on an artistic slide show journey that generated lots of discussion. The first slides focused on artistic murals of memorials for George Floyd followed by photos of creative art projects produced by our members. The comments revealed we all have a lot more to express about our art making aspirations and art appreciation experiences from our youth to adulthood!

Our  Wednesday, July 8,  meeting at 1:00 PM   will again be on Zoom and feature another slide show of diverse artistic projects of our members produced by Terri Evans. Our aim in viewing our art is to inspire and encourage each other to express our inner artist vision and art appreciation. All TTN members are welcome to join us!  After you RSVP to  Tracey  (address below), you will receive a Zoom invitation and instructions.

If you are interested in participating or want to be on our contact list, contact Tracey Baker at   tracey.baker@gmail.com  or JeNell Jacobson at   jenell@jacobson.org .
Submitted by Robin Getman
If you can  bear  the thought of adding  one more  on-line event to your semi-quarantined life, check out  Cardzmania!  at  https://www.cardzmania.com/games .It’s a free online resource for playing cards with other card-playing enthusiasts.

Go to the website, create your free account, and you will be provided an ID to share with others. Cut and paste your (ridiculously long) ID and email your ID with a few days and times you might like to play a game of Spades or Hearts with Robin (Cards SIG host).

For more information, contact Robin at  RGetman220@aol.com
Submitted by Eleni Skevas

Ten of us met by Zoom on June 4 to discuss  The Dutch House  by Ann Patchett, a book which is essentially a fairy tale complete with a wicked stepmother, a clueless father and two abandoned and mistreated children who triumph over the stepmother in the end. Well, there’s a bit more to the book than its similarities to a fairy tale but that’s the gist of it. Julie led the discussion and described it as “a psychological page-turner that explored class issues and the meaning of home as well as parenting and patriarchy”.

We were joined briefly by Cyndy’s 2-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte. Thank you, Cyndy, for introducing us to her. She, as well as other grandkids and pets, are welcome to join us (provided the mute function is used judiciously) at our next Zoom meeting on  Thursday, July 2,  at 10:00 AM.   We’ll be discussing  American Dirt,  a 2020 novel by Jeanine Cummins. Cummins is white and has written a story of a mother and child’s harrowing journey to and entry into the United States. Many Latinx writers have denounced the book because of “what they see as Cummins’ appropriation and marketing of a story that isn’t hers to a mainstream (largely white) audience”. ( CNN)  The book group chose the book explicitly because they want to discuss the question of “who gets to tell whose story”. The book has been called “A Grapes of Wrath for our times”. If you want to join the discussion, please contact Eleni Skevas at the address below.

We meet on the first Thursday of the month from 10:00 AM–Noon.

Question?  Contact Eleni Skevas at eskevs@yahoo.com
Submitted by Beth Stockinger

Our Tuesday Book Group read Brene Brown's book  Daring Greatly . The book inspired great conversation and sharing about vulnerability, shame, and authenticity. Brown's research on vulnerability, her self-awareness, her humor, and her willingness to "dare greatly" was meaningful. We learned more about each other as we discussed our own experiences, and we checked in about how we were coping during these difficult times.

What is next?

Tuesday, July 14,  at 6:30 PM -  How Democracies Die   by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. During this meeting we will review our book list and choose future readings.

Tuesday, August 11,  at 6:30 PM  The Dutch House   by Ann Patchett

We are interested in having additional TTN members join our group. We meet the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

To learn more about the group contact Beth Stockinger at  alberstock@aol.com  or Grace Bartholet at  gbartholet@gmail.com .
Submitted by Kathleen Peterson

If only Zoom had an "Aroma" feature along with Audio and Video! The women in attendance at the June 12 Exploring Food SIG conjured up some wonderful grilling ideas for these warm summer days. We might have enjoyed the aromas of grilled fruits and vegetables, Greek chicken and roasted vegetables with balsamic glaze, grilled shrimp Po-boys, smoked pulled pork among others. The members hope to take advantage of Farmers Markets, CSAs, trying new foods, new greens, eating less meat, and growing and eating more veggies this summer. We look forward to when we can safely gather together to cook and try new dishes. We finished by beginning a good discussion of vegetarianism, which leads us to our July meeting facilitated by Ginny Jacobson, an experienced vegetarian.

Here are the details: 
Date:  Friday, July 10
Time: 1:00-2:30 PM via Zoom
Topic: Discussion of vegetarian food options and how to incorporate more plant-based cooking into our repertoires.

Those who plan to attend are invited to submit a vegetarian recipe (that you have made or hope to make) from any culture. Those recipes will be compiled into a document and shared prior to the meeting. Please send them to Chris DiPietro at  cmdjp2@gmail.com  by July 2nd. Please join us even if you are unable to send a recipe.

Those who respond to Chris about attending will receive a Zoom meeting Invitation within a week before the meeting date. We look forward to "seeing" all of you!

If you have any questions about this SIG, please contact Kathleen Peterson at  kathleenpeterson614@gmail.com
Submitted by Cyndy Nelson

Ten of us participated in a zoom meeting on June 16. We did a touch base which focused on something financial you have done since the pandemic started. Women shared that they have been saving money, purchasing stock, redirecting money set aside for travel to RV purchase/home items/savings, or spending on home improvements/remodels/maintenance (since we are spending more time at home), and purchasing newspaper subscriptions to get news. Debbie suggested that credit cards should be called "debt cards" as that is a more accurate name.

Our topic was Financial Security Blankets. We structured our discussion into things we can and cannot influence/control. Things we can control included monitor/reduce discretionary spending (including waiting 24 hours before you hit buy on your online purchase), do it yourself vs hiring, and paying off/refinance mortgage. Things we cannot control included economy, potential increased taxes, potential reduction in Social Security benefits, and increased costs of products.

Debbie provided list of seven podcasts your wallet will love:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/29/arts/podcasts-money-virus.html?searchResultPosition=1

Our July meeting is  Tuesday, July 21,  6:30-8:00 PM via Zoom. Our topic is Scams - how to identify and prevent; bring articles, examples or helpful tips.

Our August meeting is  Tuesday,   August 18 , 6:30-8:00 PM via Zoom. Our topic is End of Life Planning including inventory/beneficiaries of assets (including financial and belongings) and pre-planning related to burial/cremation and memorial services.

The purpose of this group is to increase our personal financial literacy. The knowledge of members about financial topics varies from beginner to more experienced. Our topics will be selected based on what individual members are interested in. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM. New members are welcome. Come and give it a try.

Please email Cyndy at  clnelson03@gmail.com if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for topics, or have questions.
"PAR-TEE-ON" – Mini Golf SIG
Submitted by Jean Forrey

Four of our members decided to venture out to an actual mini golf course ( http://bigstoneminigolf.com/ ) on a windy Wednesday in June.  Masks were a requirement and we were able to socially and physically distance with ease. Terri got a hole in one and Jean decided to aim for the highest score. Grace and Julie helped round out the fun foursome and we all agreed it was an enjoyable evening.

Five of us Zoomed on Monday, June 22 ,  and talked about a wide range of subjects. There were a couple of videos of DIY golf holes, a picture of a homemade course, and a New York Times article about building your own mini golf course. Lots of laughter ensued. We also shared some comedic references as a counterbalance to all the bad news and COVID weariness.

As expected, there is a range of comfort levels when it comes to actual golfing. It was decided we will try it on  Tuesday, July 21,  at 10:00 AM (opening time) at Lilli Putt https://www.lilliputt.net/mini-golf/ in Coon Rapids.  All are welcome to meet us there!

If you are interested in joining us, please contact Jan Weller at  janisweller@gmail.com  or Jean Forrey at  jean.4e@gmail.com
Submitted by Robin Getman

Sadly, most local theaters have cancelled the remainder of the 2020 season and are waiting to determine whether they will plan and announce a 2021 season. If you’re interested in supporting the arts during these challenging times, here are two resources to get you started:

In the meantime, please join our private TTN Theater SIG Facebook group: 

  1. Search “TTN Theater MSP” on Facebook, or insert this link to access the private group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ttntheatermsp/ 
  2. Not a member of the private FB group yet? Simply request to join the group. The group administrator will receive notification of your request, accept your request, and, you’re in!

Got questions? Need help? Contact Robin Getman at  RGetman220@aol.com
Submitted by Marilynne Roberts
All TTN members are invited to the next Zoom meeting of the Travel SIG on  Thursday, July 30,  6:30-8:00 PM, to discover "Paris Beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre". Lane Rosenthal, founder and owner of  Paris Off Script , will share the hidden magic of her favorite city, Paris. As a self-described “Paris whisperer,” and drawing from the idea of what separates travel from tourism, Lane will share her unique approach to Paris. Whether you have been to the City of Light many times, or never, there are stories to discover, secrets that Paris holds close. Lane lives regularly between two continents. Her blog is extremely thoughtful and well-written. Learn more about Lane and find her blog at https://www.parisoffscript.com/. 

RSVP to  mkrobertsmn@gmail.com  and Zoom information will be sent to you before the meeting.
Our May Travel SIG guest was a Road Scholar Ambassador. Knowing most of us cannot travel any time soon, Road Scholar provided this list of resources to entertain ourselves from home: 
A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources!

Please email Marilynne at  mkrobertsmn@gmail.com , Debra Dorgan at  debra.dorgan@gmail.com  or Julie Efta at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com  if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for events, or have questions.
Submitted by Chris DiPietro

This SIG gives us the opportunity to explore and/or introduce others to new locations in the metro area. Our hikes last about 60-90 minutes and we walk at a moderately brisk and steady pace. All are welcome to join us as we walk and talk. We sometimes end our hikes with a stop at a local establishment for a coffee/drink/ice cream.

On June 18, five members of the group braved a few raindrops and gathered at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for a socially-distanced walk. The group enjoyed seeing the sights of the fairgrounds which are difficult to notice during the busy fair. For example, there are a number of statues, many carved out of tree trunks, which are placed around the fairgrounds. We saw a statue of a farmer contemplating the clouds and one of an artist with palette in hand, ready to create. We also enjoyed seeing a number of colorful metal statues and even snapped a picture with one! (See below.) We shared stories about the fair - both likes and dislikes. We were all happy to see each other in person and grateful that, with a few adjustments, the nature of Urban Hiking SIG activities allows us to do so while following the current safety guidelines.

Our July hike is scheduled for  Wednesday, July 15 , from 4:00-5:00 PM. (Rain date Thursday, July 16, same time.) We plan to hike the boulevard median on Summit Ave. in St. Paul, starting at Fairview Ave. and walk to the WWI monument where Summit Ave. meets the Mississippi river and back. We’ll likely take a short side excursion to some of the sites on pollinator path on the University of St. Thomas campus.

If you’d like to join the hike in July, contact Chris DiPietro, the Urban Hiking SIG’s coordinator.

Questions? Please contact Chris at  cmdjp2@gmail.com .
Submitted by Julie Efta

Our next scheduled meeting is  Friday, July 3 . We hope to meet outdoors and in person at a safe distance. This is a closed group.

Questions? Please contact Julie Efta at teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com .