Stories & journeys

Three kinds of trust in my life

This column revolves around three kinds of trust. There is the Donald L. Hammen Trust. There is what I call the Stories and Journeys Readership Trust, as well as the Elder Voices (Telling Our Stories, Sharing Our Journeys) Trust.
I have taken a big step in my journey toward life completion. I now have an estate plan. It includes the Donald L. Hammen Trust and a will. I have a power of attorney, my sister-in-law, and a health care directive with my sister-in-law as my primary agent. She is a Messenger reader in Iowa. Not long ago, I wasn’t sure I had an estate. Christine Courtney of Courtney Law Office assured me that I have an estate. Apparently the fact that I own property qualifies me. She did the research and created the legal documents which myself and my sister-in-law signed recently. There is a part in the Donald L. Hammen Trust where I list to whom I want my assets, such as they are, to be distributed. I have included TMC Publications CO. My reasons might seem obvious given that I am grateful that TMC Publications publishes Stories and Journeys in the Messenger and Connector. That aside, dear reader, have you thought about including TMC Publications CO in your estate plan? 
Trust me. If you have read this far you have taken the plunge into the river(flow) of life experiences that is Stories and Journeys.
OK. I made up this trust. Allow me to explain.
Trust me. This is for real. It’s May 25, 2023. I am at the monthly meeting of the Minneapolis Regional Retirees Council (MRRC) AFL-CIO at the United Labor Center. President Leif Grina is facilitating a group discussion around the theme, “Culture Trumps Politics.” He invites us to share what  our daily life experiences reveal about how we are perceived  as elders/retirees vs. how we are portrayed in the culture via marketing ads and other media. I offer that, from my perspective, we are invisible as we exist in the dominant culture. I go on to say it depends on cultural context in which one is an elder. For example, I perceive Native American cultures recognizing and embracing being an elder.
So, dear reader, what daily life experiences have revealed how you are perceived as a elder/retiree? Tell yourself, tell others or tell me at
Next,  seemingly out of nowhere, Louise Sundin, part of the MRRC leadership and southwest Minneapolis resident, suggests that I tell everyone about the column I write. I’m stunned! I say,” How do you know about the column?” She says,” I read it!” As in the Southwest Connector.
 Internally, I felt like I  had just been found out. I take the mic from President Grina. I vaguely remember saying that the column is called Stories and Journeys. It appears in two south Minneapolis neighborhood newspapers, the Messenger and Connector, published by TMC Publications. I remember saying that the current column is headlined, “Goodbye, Vic Rosenthal, and thank you.” Many people in MRRC knew Vic. Beyond that I was just rambling hoping I could figure out a way to stop talking.
President Grina gave me that opportunity to stop talking when he tapped me on the shoulder as if to suggest it was time to give him the mic, which I did with a feeling of relief, so that the next person could speak.
The second week of every month I manage to settle down to write Stories and Journeys. When I send it to Tesha M. Christensen for editing and publication, I have always trusted that someone besides Tesha and myself reads the column. Occasionally – like now – a reader reveals themself to me. I trust there is readership of Stories and Journeys. Sometimes you reveal yourself as in the case of Louise.
Once again, I made up this trust. Allow me to explain. This is a reboot of Elder Voices that last met in February of 2019.
First gathering will be Friday, July 28 in Greater Longfellow at Turtle Bread (4205-34th St.), 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Location, date and time for southwest Elder Voices is under consideration. I intend to be there. I trust some of you will join me. Meeting notifications will appear in this column for now. I trust I’ll see some of you at Turtle Bread. A lot has happened since February 2019.
In gratitude. 


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