May/June 2022 White Bear Lake

A year ago, I was in the midst of great change. With my gaze set on an open road, I left the familiarity of life in the Pacific Northwest for a monthlong road trip through the Southwest. My passion for new people and places was reignited on endless mountain highways and nights spent sleeping in my SUV on empty desert roads. Though, as the days went on, it became clear that I was ready to put down roots.

And when I returned home, it was not to the northwest but my hometown nestled in the St. Croix River Valley, where I decided to settle down with my partner, October, and our cat, Aster. I don’t plan to stop traveling any time soon, but there’s nothing better than cultivating a life beside family and friends. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do both.

In this issue, we’re welcoming back summer adventures, making memories with family and cultivating our ideal homes and gardens. This month, writer Staci Perry Mergenthal talks with Oneka Elementary teacher Amy Corner about a gardening program that encourages kids to explore and understand their food system (page 12). On their discoveries, she says, “It’s ... [nature’s] miracles that inspires the kids, piques their curiosity and helps them ask questions.”

Also in White Bear Lake Magazine this month, writer Dan Amundson speaks with Narrow Road Van Conversions owner Erik Lokken about how his company helps people of all ages experience the country in new ways (page 20). And on page 14, I chat with Sally Mueller of Womaness about how her beauty brand helps women feel empowered and supported through menopause.

Whether you’re looking forward to days with family on the lake or road trips across the country, make sure to soak in every moment spent with those you love. It’s times like these that we’ll always remember.

Happy travels,-Zoe Deal

Read the Digital Edition

Read the May/June 2022 White Bear Lake Magazine Digital Edition

A year ago, I was in the midst of great change. With my gaze set on an open road, I left the familiarity of life in the Pacific Northwest for a monthlong road trip through the Southwest.

An Evening Paddle

For over 25 years, Debbie Hartmann has pursued her passion for wildlife and nature through photography.

Head to the Market

Since its humble beginnings three decades ago, Marketfest has established itself as one of White Bear Lake’s most popular annual events with fun and entertainment for all ages.

Adorned Homes

A White Bear Lake boutique interior design company is taking a new approach to full-service home offerings. The passion project of longtime area resident Katie Kurtz, Adorned Homes encompasses all things real estate, remodeling and furnishings.

The Open Road

Picture this. You drive up a dusty gravel road, traveling through tall evergreens.


After a warm mid-summer afternoon spent picking dandelions in their yard, the two eldest Torrez boys, ages 3 and 5, raced through the backdoor, a bounty of blooms in hand.


The secret is out. Menopause exists. And though it’s yet another taboo that women tend to keep to themselves—when 6,000 women enter a four-to-six-year relationship with menopause each day, it’s not a topic that should be kept in the shadows.

Growing Little Gardeners

There are few things more heartwarming than watching a child engage with nature. And, at schools across the White Bear Lake area, teachers have incorporated learning gardens into curriculum, encouraging students to discover connections between food systems and nature in a digestible way.

Bootleg Season

Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff of the bootleg season. Bootlegs are Minnesota’s version of a Mint Julep/Mojito (favored by the Kentucky Derby crowd) and one of our state’s best kept summer cocktail secrets. 


Last summer my husband built me a new garden, complete with raised beds, storage for supplies and a gate to keep out the “neighbors,” AKA deer and bunnies.

Gardening and Getaways

When that final patch of snow melts on the north side of the house and brightly patterned pansy planters arrive at the supermarket, you know spring has arrived and it’s time to venture out to your local garden center.

Learning  to Live and Love through Tragedy

Eleanor Oliphant is definitely not fine. As a result of a difficult upbringing steeped in tragedy, Eleanor creates a safe life for herself with strict routines while avoiding most social interactions and living in the shadows.

New Possibilities

While the White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA) building was closed during the pandemic, its operations were definitely not.