During their 70-year marriage and then some, Shirley and Ken have trusted each other in their most important decisions. They placed their trust in their daughter three years ago when they moved into Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows in North Mankato, MN. Now 92, they look back on a life raising two girls and two boys, who have reciprocated with 14 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, one of whom just entered college.
Most of Shirley and Ken’s working lives were spent operating a fourth-generation dairy farm in Nicollet County, where they milked 50 cows, raised chickens, and tended a variety of crops. Shirley says she particularly enjoyed raising 1,000 chickens and working in the fields. When it was time to slow down and hand over the farm to younger operators they decided to move to an apartment, where they lived for 12 years. Then came the decision to seek out assisted living.
“We decided to move ourselves,” Shirley says, “then our daughter started looking around and she thought this sounded good." That was four months before the pandemic struck. While they stayed in touch by phone, Ken and Shirley agree it was a difficult time not seeing their family.
In hindsight, they’re happy they made the move when they did, including giving up their car, which they were still driving when they moved to Monarch Meadows.
Now, visiting is back in full swing. And when there’s no active COVID-19 outbreak to stifle, the community offers a well subscribed menu of activities from outings to the ever-popular bingo, Shirley’s favorite. Ken says he likes everything about the regular exercise program that Monarch Meadows provides, “It’s helping me with my balance,” he says.
The ultimate in trust for Ken and Shirley is their faith in God. Shirley describes her faith as part of her purpose now, “We’re supposed to talk about it to other people,” she says, “that the Lord is good.”
Thanks, Shirley and Ken for living your purpose, through trust.
Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows offers 87 one-and-two-bedroom assisted living apartments and 11 care suites. We also provide two respite suites, for short-term care when home caregivers need a break. Call (507) 933-4681 to book a tour.