Aging Well November 9th

Times are tough. But if you want some free cash, just follow me though the U-scan check out at Fred Meyer and inspect the change dispenser after I leave. More times than I care to admit, I have provided $20 jackpot to an unsuspecting soul who happened to be following this forgetful mind.

But if you have similar experiences or just have a curious mind, you will want to attend the “Jump Start Aging Brains” presentation at Hawks Ridge Retirement Community in Hood River from 1:30 – 3:00 on November 17. The featured speaker will be Roger Anunsen, who has spoken nationally including several Aging in America conferences and the 1st Global Conference on Aging at the University of Oxford in 2009. He also has been a Brain Wellness program consultant for AARP, GenCare and Oregon Retired Educators. Roger will discuss the latest research and findings about memory and aging brains and how you can maintain your brain health so you can continue to live an active and vibrant life. You can find more information about Roger Anunsen at

And as a preview and for those who may not be able to travel to Hood River, Roger will also be speaking at a “Brain Health Roundtable” at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center on the same day, November 17th, from 9:30 – 11:00. These two presentations in the Gorge are made possible by the Oregon Retired Educators’ Association.

Meals-on-Wheels lost one of its regulars: Charlene Morrison. Most every day the taxi would drop her off at the Center around 11:00, so she could visit with friends before lunch and help fill the ice pitchers. And after lunch when most everyone else had left, the taxi would come by to take her home. Charlene lived independently but was supported by the whole community. And since she did not have any family in Oregon, Denise Patton, director of Meals-on-Wheels, has arranged a memorial service for Charlene on Thursday the 11th at 1:30 PM with Jim Hazlet officiating. My wife and I have decided make a donation in Charlene’s name to Meals-on-Wheels which was such an important part of Charlene’s life. And The Dalles Taxi, which Charlene often used, has generously paid for a head stone, Charlene did not have the advantages many of us take for granted, but she was a good person and will be missed.

Starting November 15th – and continuing through December 31st – you may add, drop or switch your prescription drug coverage. During that same period, if your current Medicare Advantage plan is leaving the area, you may change to a new Medicare Advantage plan or return to Original Medicare. (In 2011, there will be three Medicare Advantage plans available in Wasco County: Clear One, ODS and Regence.)To help answer any remaining Medicare questions, the Center has invited back Jeff Eagan for the 11:00 lecture on Tuesday November 16th. Jeff has worked in the Medicare Insurance business for years and will help you better understand your Medicare options.

Music is alive and well at the Center. Next Tuesday on the 16th the Cherry Park Band will be playing and tonight Truman will croon a few tunes for your listening and dancing enjoyment. The music starts at 7:00 and there is no charge but donations are appreciated. And whether you are in pajamas and flip flops or a tuxedo and spats, everybody is welcome.

Don’t forget to attend the Veteran’s Day Parade to honor the “Past, Present and Future Members of the Military” this Thursday the 11th. It will begin at 11:00 starting at 6th and Weber and continue through downtown. And following the parade will be a Community Potluck Lunch at The Dalles Armory. And Meals-on-Wheels will be open on Veteran’s Day to recognize the Veteran’s during lunch, but will be closed on Friday the 12th. But the Center will be open on both Thursday and Friday.

The U.S. Senator – and at the time “I Like Ike” Eisenhower’s vice-presidential running mate – who gave the famous Checkers speech was Richard Nixon. And of the four entries, the winner of a free breakfast was Jerry Taylor. But enough politics and scandal, let’s escape back to show business. This week’s “Remember When” question is “What Grammy award winning artist, also nominated for an Academy Award for Best supporting Actor, co-wrote and performed the hit song “Splish Splash?” E- mail, call 541-296-4788 or write it on back of a poster for the 1961 movie “Come September”.

Well that was another busy signal on the switchboard of life. Until we meet again, as you ask yourself, “What the heck was he thinking?” remember, what makes us different, also makes us human.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” Douglas Adams

Aging Well November 2nd

I confess. I am a procrastinator. I know Mae West said “He who hesitates is last.” And American writer, Don Marquis wrote “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”, but didn’t Mark Twain say “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow”?

But there comes a time when you realize there may not be many more “days after tomorrows”. And you decide it is time to take charge; grab the bull by its horns – if only you could find your misplaced glasses to see the bull. (Some of you may have the urge to add a comment here, but I will hold my pen.)

To take control you need to decide what you want – what are your goals? It may be losing weight, visiting family, moving more, sending emails or just climbing 20 steps without stopping. You decide. But “someday isn’t another day of the week”. How do you move from “want it” to “done that”?

By creating an action plan: dividing your long term goal into doable weekly short term action steps. Remember the adage? “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The book “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” lists the following characteristics of a successful action plan. Is it something YOU want to do; are the steps reasonable (something that can be accomplished in a week; are they specific behaviors (losing weight is not a behavior; not eating after dinner is; does the plan answer the questions: What? How much? When? How often? And are you confident you can fulfill the entire plan.
Now that you have sliced your goal into smaller doable bites, start eating. Along the way you may need to make some adjustments – a little more salt here, another vegetable there. And finally, as you accomplish each step reward yourself: a pat on the back or maybe an after dinner glass of wine?

Two musical favorites are returning to the Center this month. Truman’s Country Gold, Silver and Bronze – he plays them all – will be the headliner for next Tuesday night on the 9th. And tonight the Strawberry Mountain band will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure. The price is right – if your pockets are bare, but donations are appreciated. Music starts at 7:00 pm and everybody is welcome – whether you have two left “foots” or one.

You may have noticed the new look on the Center’s corner at 10th and Cherry Heights. Thanks to Jack and Alvena Smith who generously coordinated and paid for the landscaping, replacing my feeble attempt from last year, the corner now looks as nice as the Center’s neighbors

The Center’s November 9th Tuesday Lecture at 11:00 will feature Lynette Black, 4-H Extension Faculty, discussing the exciting opportunities 4-H and its many volunteers offer our youth so they can “learn, grow, and work together as catalysts for positive change”.

Last week I forgot to mention the Center’s second Tech Talk scheduled for this Wednesday the 3rd at 1:00 pm. Josh Price will demonstrate how to set up and use Skype – the most popular free software program that allows you to make phone and video calls over the Internet. It is a great way to see and talk to family and friends – and all you need is a computer and a webcam for the video calls.

The Center still has seats available for what has become an annual trip to Portland for the 1:30 matinee performance of the “Singing Christmas Tree” on Sunday November 28th. Call or stop by the Center to pay (only $65 including transportation) and select your seats.

I heard several touching stories of how families reacted to the Cuban Missile Crisis that almost brought the United States and Russia to a nuclear showdown in October of 1962. Fortunately for all, cooler heads prevailed. And of the seven correct entries the winner of a free breakfast was Jo Ann von Borstel. Since it is Election Day, let’s go with one more political history question. What person, at the time a U.S. Senator, gave a half hour television address defending himself against alleged improprieties and stating, regardless of what anyone said, he was going to keep one gift: his children’s dog named Checkers? E- mail, call 541-296-4788 or write it on back of a 1952 Presidential campaign poster.

Well, that is another night looking for the silver lining in all the wrong jackets. Until we meet again, in life there are always ups and downs or as John Lampe reminded me “sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug”.