Aging Well June 19th

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were taking a walk one fine June day in The Dalles. One remarked to the other, “Windy, ain’t it?” “No,” the second man replied, “It’s Thursday.” And the third man chimed in, “So am I. Let’s have a coke.”

Does that joke sound too real to anyone besides me? Over the last few years, I have found myself increasingly asking friends to repeat themselves; telling my kids to please “e-nun-ci-ate”, and while watching television constantly annoying my wife with “What did they say?” (Thank goodness for closed captioning.)

But hearing loss is a serious condition – reducing your ability to communicate and consequently affecting your confidence and independence. Unfortunately, hearing loss can become permanent when the tiny hairs in your ears which deliver sound to your brain are damaged from the most common culprits: loud work environments, attending too many Rolling Stones concerts and from changes occurring with that chronic condition you can’t avoid – aging.

Untreated, hearing problems can get worse. But there are several possible treatments to improve your everyday functioning: hearing aids, telephone amplifiers, cochlear implants, special training, certain medicines, surgery and sign language (for those with severe hearing loss). If you are starting to notice hearing loss, don’t wait to check with a hearing professional.
But for some of us, it may be too little too late. And if someday, you and I are having a conversation, and I just smile and nod looking a little goofy, you may want to repeat yourself, because those will be the telltale signs I didn’t have a clue what you were saying.

If you haven’t started your spring cleaning, now is the time, because the Center is accepting donations for its annual Rummage Sale starting Thursday June 28th and continuing through Saturday June 30th. And since the Center is a non-profit, your donations are tax-deductible.

If, as some suggest, dance is a shortcut to happiness, tonight you can find out by dancing to Truman’s Country Gold. And next Tuesday on the 26th, the Jazz Generations will be playing the big band sounds for your listening and dancing enjoyment. The music starts at 7:00, everyone’s invited, and donations are suggested. And in between on Sunday the 24th, the Center will take its turn to host the Pie and Jam Social from 2:00 – 5:00.

I would like to thank Dean Dollarhide, a local agent for State Farm Insurance, for coming through at the last minute (I have to get better organized!) to sponsor last Saturday’s breakfast at the Center. Besides Dean, the Center appreciates the many other local businesses sponsoring the breakfasts over the past year including Mill Creek Point, Flagstone, Cherry Heights Retirement Community, Hearts of Gold, and The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center. These businesses are among the many supporting not only the Center but many other community organizations, so don’t forget to shop local first. And if you would like to sponsor one of our Saturday Breakfasts or become a business sponsor, give us a call and will find a place for you.

Okay, this is your last reminder about the “Remember When” Team Trivia night this Friday from 7:00 – 8:30 PM. And remember the secret of team trivia is you only need one really, really smart person and then you just ride their intellectual coattails.

The 1941 film based in part on newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and considered by many to be the greatest film of all time is Citizen Kane. (And the winner of a free Cowboy Breakfast on July 21st is Sandy Goforth.), There aren’t many memories as powerful or tragic as the assassination of President Kennedy. I can still visualize the images from the amateur video recording of President Kennedy’s motorcade passing through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. For this week’s “Remember When” question “What was the name of that silent, color motion sequence that captured President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963?” Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or include it with a Model 414 PD Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series movie camera.

Well, it has been another week, trying to keep my body moving in the direction my head wants to go. Until we meet again, there are times when you just have to go with the flow, because as they say in Arabic “The wind does not blow at the ship’s desire.”

“Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.” T. S. Eliot

Aging Well June 12th

As we age, we should always try to keep moving since any exercise or physical activity helps improve our health and well-being. And what better way to move than to dance! Over the years I have mentioned the benefits of social dancing because as that wise sage “anonymous” once said “dancing makes us kinder and happier, more likely to love and be loved and less likely to go out and hang ourselves.”
But don’t take my word for it. Dr. Jonathan Skinner who studied the effects of social dancing among older adults found that “social dancing leads to a continued engagement with life – past, present, and future”, “contributes to the longevity of the dancers, giving them something to enjoy and focus upon – to live for” and “alleviates social isolation and quite literally helps take away the aches and pains associated with older age.”

In The Dalles there are many opportunities to dance: the Cherry Park Grange, the Civic and here at the Center on Tuesday nights (Martin and Friends are playing tonight and Truman on the 19th.) If you would like more information about dances or lessons, you can call Bill and Neva Reid (541-296-1570) or Steve Hudson (541-993-3540).

On Saturday, June 16th is the Arthur Higgins Memorial Art Auction supporting local charities including Mosier Valley Seniors and Pioneer Potlatch. Between 10:00 and 1:00 you can view Arthur’s remaining legacy sculptures, kinetic garden art, prints and some paintings with the auction starting at 1:15. Admission is a $5 donation and earns a raffle ticket for a selected piece. The auction is at the Oak Run Studio at 888 Marsh Cut Off Road – drive 3.5 miles east of Mosier on Highway 30 and turn right on Marsh Cut Off Road. There is limited parking so carpooling is recommended. For more information contact Kathy Long at 541-478-2910.

It is that time again – your chance to meet old friends and make new ones at the Center’s Saturday Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 AM on the 16th. The menu will include flapjacks, scrambled eggs, sausage and fruit plus the regular array of morning beverages – all for $5.00. As Jack always said, “Food tastes better when someone else cooks it.”

Also at the Center on the 16th, is Old Fashioned Bingo – a chance to play bingo just as you did when you were a kid. In fact bring your kids or grandkids for an hour of fun starting at 3:00 – and the Center will even provide root beer floats. The cost is $3.00 a card or two for $5.00 and the prizes are enough to make it fun: $5.00 for the winners of the first 9 games and $25.00 for winning the final blackout.

A Soul Portrait Workshop with author Sally McBain will be held at the Center on Tuesdays July 3rd and 10th from 10:30 till noon. Join Sally to create your own Soul Portrait which can enhance family communication about the future, serve as a memory aid, and personalize your legacy. You will need to sign up at the Center and purchase the book which is available at either Klindts or the Center.

Your local United Way, which supports many local human service programs including Meals-on-Wheels, is raising funds in partnership with Burgerville. On Monday, June 18th between 5:00 and 8:00 PM, Burgerville is kindly donating to United Way 10% of all sales and an additional 25 cents for strawberry desserts. Take that special person out to dinner, because as Jack always said, “Food tastes better when…” – hold it. I think I’ve already said that – but you get the idea.

Many folks answered Jack Nicklaus, but it was Arnold Palmer along with “Arnie’s Army” that was credited with helping to establish golf as a compelling television event. (Winning a free Saturday breakfast is Alex Currie.)

This week’s “Remember When” question returns to the Golden Age of Hollywood. What 1941 film is based in part on newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and is considered by many to be the greatest film of all time. Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of Hearst’s little ranch in San Simeon, California. (And don’t forget the Center’s second “Remember When” Team Trivia Night, Friday June 22nd from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.)

Well, it has been another week, looking over my shoulder for whatever is trying to catch me. Until we meet again, don’t try to ignore it, but work through it – and then move on.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Buddha

Aging Well June 5th

To live long and prosperous – that is our wish. Yet we are constantly reminded if death isn’t just around the corner, it is in the neighborhood. And we start to identify with Bill Crosby: “Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries.” So we struggle and learn to live with loss.

Last month, Ann Kister, Community Care Liaison with Providence Hospice of the Gorge, presented Seven Strategies: Coping with the Death of a Loved One. The strategies included 1) Reflect on how your loss is unique, 2) Identify your grieving style, 3) Access the available support, 4) Nurture yourself, 5) Become aware of your thoughts, 6) Find ways to honor your loved one, and 7) Explore how this event is redefining you. If you want more information, handouts from the presentation are available at the Center. But let me quickly highlight three of the strategies.

“Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be…” – from “Please Understand me,” by David Keirsaey and Marilyn Bates.

We are all unique – one-of-a-kind. And we approach grief in our own personal ways. There is no right or wrong. But acknowledge that the feelings exist and find your own way to cope – whether it is by talking with others, praying, journaling, reading, gardening, or knitting.

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep stepping.” Chinese Proverb

Grief is not a onetime event. You don’t know how long it will last and what it will be like. There will be ups and downs affecting all aspects of your world – creating uncertainty and questions. Find support whether it is close friends or one of the many grief support groups in the area.

“Grieving is about relearning how to be ourselves and to live meaningfully again, carrying the pain of missing those we mourn… It is also often about personal growth, living in fuller appreciation of what we previously took for granted, and embracing enduring meanings.” Thomas Attig

A death of a loved one affects us in many personal ways. But at some time, when you are ready, explore how the loss is redefining who you are, your dreams for the future and how you can create a new sense of normalcy.

As we age, we will experience the loss of loved ones. We will cope and move on. And as Thomas Attig points out we will meet the most difficult challenge “making the transition from loving in presence to loving in separation.”

Recently, I have received unsolicited text messages, one claiming I had “won” a $1000 gift certificate from Best Buy. And several emails from two friends asking me to check out a crazy video on an attached website (their contact lists had been hijacked). But delete them. They are examples of “phishing” – an attempt to direct you to a fake website that may contain malware and viruses designed to infect your phone or computer and steal personal information. So always beware. And for those of you, who haven’t fallen to the lure of electronic communication, see what you are missing!

Tonight at the Center, the Strawberry Mountain Band will be playing their “get up out of your seat” country music. Then next Tuesday on the 12th, Martin and Friends will be performing for your listening and dancing pleasure. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and you’ll be home before the lights go out. Everybody is welcome and donations are suggested.

More folks than I expected knew “Film Noir” was the name of the film style combining crime dramas with dark, stylized imagery. (And the randomly selected winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is JoAnn Brace.) But instead of watching a crime drama, you can watch a golf tournament practically every weekend on one of the major TV networks. But it wasn’t always that way. For this week’s “Remember When” question which player – who won his first championship at the 1958 Masters – is credited with helping to establish golf as a compelling television event? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or include it with a membership in the Bay Hill Country Club and Lodge, in Orlando, Florida.

Well, it has been another week, trying to shake the butter from the cream. Until we meet again, as Dr, Seuss advised “Just be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.