Aging Well April 26th

Well when you read this column I will be relaxing on the beach soaking up the rays under warm blue skies, with a pink lemonade in one hand snuggled next to my wife watching families frolic in the waves. Oops! Wrong video clip. Actually I will probably be in my room watching out the window a cold rain falling on the English Bay in that Canadian metropolis to our north – Vancouver BC. Not bad – but not quite the warm sunny vacation I was dreaming of. But Lucille, I am not complaining. It is a few days away from home; converting dollars into loonies, visiting a few sites my wife and I have never seen before and a catching up on my ever expanding “to read” list which I never seem to have time for at home. (But it reminds me of my Florida vacations during high school when I would pack all my homework assignments with honorable intentions – but never even cracking a book; instead enjoying the sandy beaches instead. I will see how successful I am at this stage in my life.)

But since I need to write this column early before I leave town, I thought I would again offer some brain teasers to tickle your fancy and remind you how smart and quick you are – but just always proves the opposite for me. You can hear more of these at the Center’s Brain fitness class which is every Monday from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. And the answers but not the questions will be hidden in next week’s column.

1.) Two boys are identical in appearance and have the same parents. One was born five minutes after the other. These two boys are not twins. How is this possible?
2.) In the dead if winter you are in a house with only one match. There is a gas lamp, a fireplace, and a wood stove. Which would you light first?
3.) Before Mount Everest was discovered what was the tallest mountain on earth?
4.) Melissa’s mother has seven kids. Their names are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. What is the seventh kid’s name?
5.) If there are two ducks ahead of a duck, and two ducks behind a duck and one duck in the middle, how many ducks are there?

It may not turn warm any time soon, but soon it will be the “lusty month of May” – that I can guarantee. And the Center still has “Riverdance” tickets for the 1:00 Sunday matinee on May 29th at the Keller Auditorium in Portland. It is Memorial Day weekend so you will still have an extra day to recuperate from the high energy performance. The cost is only $70 for orchestral level seats and comfortable transportation.

Nu-2-U Shoppe is holding its “once in a while” half price sale for a whole week starting tomorrow May 4th through Tuesday May 10th. Betty and Martha says there are too many clothes that have overstayed their welcome and need to find a better place to stay – which could just be your friendly closet. The clothes are priced at ridiculously low prices and now they are half price. That’s a real deal! Martha will assist you every weekday from 10:00 – 1:30 when the store is officially open but if you can’t make those hours the Center will be glad to open up the store for your convenience anytime before 4:00 PM.

It is that time of the year to get out in the yard and get down and dirty – if a cold wind isn’t blowing. So it is timely that the Center’s 11:00 am Tuesday Lecture on May 3rd will feature MCMC Volunteer Horticulture Therapist and Master Gardener, Bicki Shaver discussing the many healing opportunities gardening and nature provide our mind, body and spirit! Learn more about the many lifelong benefits of gardening.

Tonight at the Center The Dufur Boys from Dufur will be strumming a few tunes for your dancing and listening enjoyment. And on Tuesday May 3rd Andre and the Strawberry Mountain Band will be back to get you out of your La-Z-Boy and on the dance floor. The music starts at 7:00; everyone is invited and donations are always appreciated.

There were many folks who had stored in the crevices the memory of Francis Gary Powers who piloted the U-2 plane that was shot down over Russia in 1960 (including Betty Richmond whose name was drawn for a free Saturday Breakfast.) But this week it is back to the fine literature of my youth. Well sort of. Archie Comics published comic books featuring stories of five high school friends: Archie, Reggie, Veronica and Betty and Archie’s best friend the easy going but lazy and slightly nonconformist friend Forsythe Pendleton Jones III. What was the nickname for Archie’s best friend? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the inside cover of a 1941 Riverdale Highs School Yearbook.

Well, it’s been another week walking along the bay while skipping past the rain drops. Until we meet again always look on the bright side. As anonymous once said “There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I’m sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.”

Aging Well April 19th

It’s hard to imagine there are young people who get depressed about turning thirty. They must feel they have experienced all of life’s gifts and all that’s left is an unpleasant gradual downhill slide! But for me turning thirty wasn’t a big deal (now fifty was a different story – when my knees started dating Dr. John Scwartz and I realized my body wasn’t going to last forever). But it was an unexpected slap across the face when I was asked how old my son was and realized he will be turning thirty in the not too distant future! And like a child yanking on his daddy’s shirtsleeve, I cried “How did that happen? But after being reassured by several friends at the Center who have – not just kids, but grandkids – turning thirty, I guess even this life’s benchmark is no big deal either.

But as we get older and wiser or a little slower and a lot crazier, it is helpful and comforting to share thoughts and experiences about the reality of getting older; and how to personally grow while making the most of the years ahead.

To that end Lucille Torgerson is once again starting her “Let’s Talk” series on this coming Friday April 22nd from 10:30 – 12:00 and continuing for four Fridays. To initiate the discussions, Lucille will reference three books (which you don’t have to read, although you may want to later): “From Age-ing to Sage-ing” by Zalman Schachter- Shalomi, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” by Karen Armstrong and “The Gifts of Years” by Joan Chittister. “Let’s Talk” is open to anyone and everyone, men and women, introverts and extraverts and will offer a chance to share stories and experiences, joys and frustrations as we embrace this journey of living gracefully during the next chapter of our lives.

A quick plug for Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Pizza Feed at Spookys this Wednesday from 5 PM – 8 PM. Tickets for adults are $11, kids (7-12) $6, kids (6 & under) $3. The menu includes pizza, pasta and salad (drinks sold separately). And if you want to do yourself and The Dalles community some good, Habitat is always looking for volunteers for the Restore Store and their building projects. For more information you can call 541-296-8817 or the Restore Store at 541-296-4486.

Tonight at the Center, Truman will be performing his “Country Gold”. And next Tuesday the Dufur Boys from Dufur will be back kicking it up for your listening and dancing enjoyment. And if you haven’t enjoyed the Tuesday Night music for a while, now is the time – the sun is staying up past 8:00 and the weather is at least warmer. The music starts at 7:00 and donations are appreciated to keep the music flowing like a creek on a warm spring day.

It is going to be May pretty soon – that I can guarantee – and we still have “Riverdance” tickets for the 1:00 Sunday matinee on May 29th at the Keller Auditorium in Portland. It is Memorial Day weekend so you will still have an extra day to recuperate from the high energy performance. The cost is only $70 for orchestral level seats and transportation. Call the Center at 541-296-4788 for more information.

The magazine full of technological gadgets and the latest in home and automotive innovations that I read as a child – and is still published – was Popular Mechanics. (And the winner of a free breakfast is Marilyn Sarsfield.) But I also received not one but two answers for Heathkits. You may remember these do-it-yourself kits which included all the parts you needed to assemble electronic gadgets from radios to computers.

But this week it is “P” for politics – and international intrigue. It was on May 1st, 1960 when a U-2 American spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union and the circumstances of the incident were initially denied by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This week’s “Remember When” question is who was the pilot of the spy plane? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of an aerial photograph of ICBM sites in and around Sverdlovsk, Russia.

Well, it’s been another week watching the hills turn green. Until we meet again – there are three types of people in the world: those who see the glass half full, those who see it half empty and those want to know who stole their water.

“Sometimes when I get up in the morning, I feel very peculiar. I feel like I’ve just got to bite a cat! I feel like if I don’t bite a cat before sundown, I’ll go crazy! But then I just take a deep breath and forget about it. That’s what is known as real maturity.” Snoopy

Aging Well April 12th

One of life’s more astute philosophers, Charlie Brown, once mused “Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, ‘Why me?’”, then a voice answers “Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.”

You may also find yourself wondering, “Why me?” Why does it have to be so painful to start moving in the morning? Why does it have to be so hard to breathe after climbing the stairs? Why couldn’t I have chosen different parents with a better gene pool? You may wish your chronic medical condition could be cured and it would all just go away. But you know it probably won’t. And yet you still have dreams and there is much you want to do.

A way to live better with a chronic condition is to take charge – by learning how to better manage your symptoms and medications so you can move to the point where your life isn’t controlled by your condition but you are in charge of your life.

For those who would like to learn more, the next “Living Well Workshop” starts tomorrow – Wednesday April 13th. (If that is too short of notice, there will be additional workshops later.) It is held once a week for six weeks on Wednesdays from 1:30 – 4:00 PM at the Center. This workshop “provides tools for living a healthy life with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, asthma and heart disease. Through weekly sessions, the workshop provides support for continuing normal daily activities and dealing with the emotions that chronic conditions may bring about.” To help provide a little incentive, which never hurts, you will receive a free resource book and a $25 grocery gift certificate if you complete the workshop. To register call the Area Agency on Aging – quickly – at 541-298-4101 ext 219 or if you want to be the rebel just drop by and see if there is room.

For the 11:00 am Tuesday Lecture Series at the Center on April 19th, Dan Durow was to be the speaker but because of events beyond his professional control – he won’t be able to make it. The Center has rescheduled his “enthralling, mesmerizing, galvanizing and just outright interesting” lecture for Tuesday May 17th. So you are going to have to wait a little longer to learn more about the exciting plans for our fair city, The Dalles, Oregon. “But who is going to take his place?” you may ask. “I don’t know” I may answer. But I am sure I will find another “enthralling, mesmerizing, galvanizing and just outright interesting” speaker.

Tonight at the Center John Martin and Friends will be performing and next Tuesday on the 19th it will be Truman Boler playing your country favorites. But it won’t be quite the same. Last Thursday one-of-a-kind Carl Kramer who “lived to dance and danced to live” passed away. Just last month friends made sure Carl celebrated his 103rd birthday with dancing to music provided by Truman – one of Carl’s favorite musicians. And on Wednesday Truman stopped in to see Carl and sang a few of Carl’s favorites knowing it might be the last time. It seemed like Carl knew it was time to move on to a better place. But we will all miss him – his artistry, his independence and his love of dancing.

I only received one correct answer to last week’s question thanks to Don McAllister (this week’s breakfast winner) but I ran into a lot of folks who had an intimate and scholarly experience with these study guides call CliffsNotes while scrambling to pass their literature exams. (But I won’t name names of my fellow Rotarians!)

This week I will again use my mother’s acronym for conversational ideas – HELP, but instead of L for Literature, this week it is H for Hobbies. When I was a kid, I often read this magazine tantalized by the latest news on automotive and technological advancements and do-it-yourself projects (In 1961 it included a do-it-yourself aluminum cottage for less than $1000. I wonder if any of those are still standing!) First published in 1902 what was the name of this popular magazine? (And if you want to go down memory lane you can find most of the back editions on the Internet through Google book search.) E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of the plans for a 1961 prototype of a futuristic two way TV Intercom allowing you to watch your kids in another room.

Well, it’s been another week hanging on to the kite of life on a blustery day trying to keep my feet on the ground. Until we meet again – although we can’t do as much as we once did, we can often do more than we think we can.

“I never made a mistake in my life. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.” Lucy Van Pelt from the comic strip Peanuts

Wednesday (13) Beef Stroganoff over Noodles
Thursday (14) Chicken Breast in Alfredo Sauce
Friday (15) Salisbury Steak
Monday (18) Meatloaf
Tuesday (19) BIRTHDAY DINNER Pork Chops with Gravy

AGING WELL April 5th

Life is all about adjusting, and adapting. And I am working on adjusting and adapting to this early date for the Cherry Festival. It took me a while to realize that with Easter so late this year – about as late as it can be – the Chamber had to find an alternative date. So this year we have an opportunity to enjoy all the festivities, just a little earlier.

But the great unknown is always the weather. It can be iffy whenever the Cherry Festival is held, so let’s hope for blue skies, comfortable temperature and no wind (it’s tough when the wind is blowing so hard you have to spread yourself across the display table trying to keep the brochures from flying away like kites at the beach). But no matter when – there will be plenty of ways to get into that “Cherry Groove” – from Friday night’s “It’s the Pits” Lip Sync contest to Saturday night’s “Cherry Stomp” at the Civic featuring the Hit Machine. And thanks to Bob Wagenblast, I already have my ticket for the Shriners’ Oyster Feed at St. Mary’s Parish Center on Friday night.

Like most of the town, the Center we will be bustling with activity starting off Saturday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 with the Cherry Festival Breakfast sponsored by the Center’s neighbor – Cherry Heights Retirement Community. The menu includes country-fine fried potatoes, eggs of your choice, biscuits, bacon, and fruit as well as the regular beverages. The cost is $6.50 for the general public, $5.50 for members and $3.50 for children under twelve – and that doesn’t mean maturity level.

And there is more. For all the politicos who have time to break away from the downtown activities, Senator Jeff Merkley will be at the Center at 2:00 for a Town-hall meeting to hear your concerns and answer your questions. And later in the evening if you would rather play bingo instead of dancing to the “Hit Machine”, Saturday Night Bingo starts at 6:00 with the doors opening by 5:00. So come down and have some fun, support the Center and maybe take home a few bucks.

For the 11:00 am Tuesday Lecture Series, the Center has scheduled two enthralling, mesmerizing, galvanizing and just outright interesting lectures – one exploring the past and the other looking towards the future. On April 12th, Jerry Tanquist will discuss “Train Wrecks and Other Rail Mishaps in Wasco County” with photos and fascinating stories. And then on Tuesday the 19th, Dan Durow, Community Development Director for the City of The Dalles, will be discussing future plans for The Dalles particularly focusing on the downtown area. It is easy to forget the many changes that have occurred in The Dalles over the last decade and it will be exciting to hear the possibilities for the next decade.

Tonight at the Center the Strawberry Mountain Band will be kicking it up – so you can get down – for a evening of dancing. And next Tuesday on the 12th, Martin and Friends will be playing for your listening and dancing pleasure. The music starts at 7:00 and everyone is invited. And while the music is free, donations are always appreciated.

Many folks remembered Ronald Reagan as the host of Death Valley Days during the ‘64 and ‘65 seasons including Talie Kingsbury whose name was drawn for a free Cherry Festival breakfast. But to generate this week’s “Remember When” question I had to go back to my mom’s advice. In high school, I was the strong, silent type minus the strong – especially when any girl was within shouting distance. And when I needed help thinking of something to say that would impress my date, my mom suggested the acronym HELP: Hobbies, Entertainment, Literature, and Politics. Well, you can tell right there, I wasn’t the most exciting fish in the frying pan. But her advice has finally helped – even if it is some fifty years later. So for the letter “L” as in literature, what was the name for those yellow and black covered student study guides that were not recommended but were commonly used in high school and college? (In several classes that was as close as I got to literature!) E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of that long lost essay explaining the obtuse relationship between Captain Ahab and Moby Dick.

Well, it’s been another week tugging at the house curtain – waiting for the show to begin. Until we meet again – for each and every day take time to put a cherry on top. It’s the groovy thing to do!

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’” Charlie Brown