Stories & Journeys



I have recently been made aware that TMC Publications CO, which includes the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger, Southwest Connector, and Midway Como Frogtown Monitor, received 20 awards at the recently completed Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention. That's eight for the Messenger, nine for the Connector, and three for the Monitor. This is a big deal in many ways for TMC Publications. In reflecting on this 20 awards, I became aware that Stories and Journeys is awarded every time you and I pick up a paper or go online to experience being readers of the Messenger or Connector.
So, if you have read this far, you along with me, have taken the plunge into the river (flow) of life experiences that is Stories and Journeys.

I admit that I have showed up to street dancing on Fridays at 36th and Bde Mka Ska three times. I admit that those are not the only times I have broken out in dance. It happened while I was watching the recently completed Grammys on the eve of my upcoming cervical spine surgery. It happened when Smokey Robinson broke out in his rendition of "Tears of a Clown." Granted, I have to dance with my spine stenosis in mind – which means my moves are limited. The fact is I never know when or where I'm going to break out in dance.

If all goes according to plan my surgery will have happened Feb.15 and by the time of my March column writing week I will be at home healing. As a result of this surgery I hope to be awarded the ability to do more dance moves. For me, dance is movement in space within my limits. I hope to have a few less limits so I can do more moves where ever I break out in dance.
The essence of spine surgery for me is captured in the following words: Cervical/neck fusion disks C4-C7.
As I anticipate my surgery, I have been revisiting my personal philosophy of health that has evolved over time. The fact that I am consenting to my surgery tells me I believe there is a role for Western medicine while being open to what I call 'alternative healing modalities.' So, as part of my post surgery healing, I could use the services of a certified healing touch practitioner (CHTP) who makes house calls if there is such a person. I look forward to resuming physical therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy.
This is my holistic/integrative health (sprituality and healing) approach in play. Do you, dear reader, have a personal philosophy of health that informs your life? Mine includes adequate rest and sleep, nutrition and exercise, and stress management. Tell yourself, tell others or better yet tell me at

Lakewood Cemetery in south Uptown. Paperwork signed and paid for services. Check. Bradshaw Funeral Services on Minnehaha Ave. Paperwork signed and paid for services. Check. Courtney Law Office services engaged for legal representation where it comes to creating and implementing my estate plan. Check. All next up is to write my obituary and committal service.
Then there is the back up plan and that's where the Longfellow-Seward Healthy Seniors" SOLOS" Resource Group comes into play. Briefly, it is made up of the growing portion of the population 60+ individuals who, in my case, cannot always or choose not to rely on family to help them navigate life events and make health decisions. However, in the interest of full disclosure, since the death of my brother, my sister-in-law is very involved with my navigating life events and health decisions along with others. More on the back up plan in another column.
As I write, I am aware that I am about to entrust my body, mind and spirit to a team of other people. I am about to put my trust in the skilled hands of another human being who is Dr. Christopher Martin. I have no idea what my life will be like on the other side of surgery. My hope is that there will be less to no constant pain and discomfort. I hope and pray that I will be able to write again – that we, dear reader, have awarded Stories and Journeys every time you and I pick up a print edition or log on to read the Messenger and Connector. And for that I am eternally grateful.
In gratitude.


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