This is the seventh year I have had the opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year. When I started writing this column, I had no idea what the next eight years would bring, but over those years attending state and national conferences, listening to the Center’s Tuesday lectures, preparing for this column, and particularly listening to the amazing “elders” at the Center, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. Yet, I still feel like a rookie, knowing there is much more to learn about how to live gracefully with courage, compassion and understanding.

But I am often reminded that this journey is not about getting older or even about living longer. It is about taking care of ourselves so we can live the rest of our lives to their fullest. To welcome in the new year, here are a few insights I have discovered over the last eight years that guide me in my continuing life’s journey, so I can try to fulfill the familiar adage, “It is not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years.”
1. What is good for your heart is good for your brain.
2. Learn something new without worrying how good you’ll be.
3. First steps to improve your memory: focus and pay attention.
4. Most things don’t really matter, but a few really do.
5. The goal is not to get faster, but to keep from slowing down.
6. Getting older beats the alternative, but it is hard work.
 7. Accept what you can’t control – and then adapt.
8. Live in the now.
9. Know what you want and let others know – particularly your adult children.
10. Dream as if you will live forever and live as if you will die tomorrow.
11. Age is in your attitude.
12. Avoid the five S’s: Sugar, Salt, Seconds, Soda and Shortening.
13. Add color to your meals i.e. eat vegetables!
14. Isolation kills. Stay connected.
15. Keep moving – at least 30 minutes a day.
16. Breathe from your belly.
17. See the world with virgin eyes and you’ll find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
18. Relationships are more important than things (although I do have an unhealthy relationship with my iPhone).
 19. Grey hair is cool.
 20. And as Carl Kramer once said, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out and before you know it, you are 100 years old.

Meals-on Wheels and the Center will be breaking with tradition and will be open on New Year’s Day but closed on the 2nd. And since Thursday is Meals-on-Wheels’ Bingo night, they are going to celebrate the first day of the year with another Bingo Bash. There will be great prizes – plus you can enjoy a free Hot Turkey Sandwich dinner starting at 5:00.

 Last week were you able to identify the three missing consonants? They were m, p and r. To finish out the year, see if you can identify the three consonants I have removed this week.

or te irt Tueday Nigh Muic and Dance o 2015, Andre, K.C. and Tom, and woever ele tey can pick up along te way, will be playing there entertaining brand of county muic on January 6th tarting at 7:00 PM. Everyone I invited rom grandkid to grandms and grandpa. Donation or the band and the Center are always appreciated.

 The name of the popular toy that could travel down a flight of stairs, end over end and stop upright was the Slinky. (And the winner of a Saturday breakfast in April is Dayle Nagle.)

 At the end of every year, we are inundated with the top ten lists: best movies, best albums, best books, best dressed, best undressed and more. And although I was more interested in sports (Johnny Unitas and Oscar Robertson) than reading, the more literate readers of this column may know this week’s “Remember When” question. What was the name of the critically acclaimed Cold War spy novel, which during 1964 was at the top of the New York Times’ best seller list for 34 weeks? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with the identity of Control, the head of Circus.

Well, it’s been another week, as I look forward to seeing what surprises come my way. Until we meet again, an Irish toast to the new year, “May you never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten”.

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal Borland

Aging Well December 23rd 2014

Now that the children have grown and left the stable, Christmas is much quieter. I no longer have to worry about buying the Christmas tree that will leave pine needles sprinkled like fairy dust along its path to the living room – the artificial tree works just fine. Or worry about the right presents to buy – cash seems to be the preference. The only worries this year are what to pack and how soon to leave for the airport. Because even though my wife has told me a winter vacation in Arizona would be cheating (you have to suffer through the winter), it is okay to spend four days in sunny San Diego visiting our children. I’m just thankful they aren’t going to school in Buffalo.

Since there isn’t much to announce, now that Christmas has almost arrived, and a good joke is a gift that can keep on giving, I want to share this one sent to me by Virgil Choate. While so many jokes about “old” folks are stereotypical about the conditions many of us experience: loss of hearing, frailty, and something else I can’t remember, this one points out why you don’t want to mess with us “old” folks with our years of life experiences. You may have heard it before, but it is worth enjoying again.
A lawyer and a senior are sitting next to each other on a long flight. The lawyer is thinking that seniors are so dumb that he could get one over on them easily. So, the lawyer asks if the senior would like to play a fun game.
The senior is tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists, saying that the game is a lot of fun.
“I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me only $5.00. Then, you ask me one, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500.00,” he says.
This catches the senior’s attention and, to keep the lawyer quiet, he agrees to play the game with him.
The lawyer asks the first question. “What’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon?”
“The senior doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his pocket, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.
Now, it’s the senior’s turn. He asks the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?”
The lawyer uses his laptop to search all references and he can’t find it on the Internet.
He sends E-mails to all the smart friends he knows; and all to no avail. After an hour of searching, he finally gives up.
He wakes the senior and hands him $500.00. The senior pockets the $500.00 and goes right back to sleep. The lawyer is going nuts now, not knowing the answer.
He wakes the senior up again and asks, “Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four??”
The senior reaches into his pocket, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep. 
Were you able to identify the three missing consonants in last week’s Tuesday Night music announcement? They were the first three consonants of the alphabet. But this week, I am upping the ante and removing three random consonants. Can you identify them?
Duing the holidays any activities at the Cente have been cancelled but not Tuesday Night usic, because soe folks just gotta dance. On Tuesday Decebe 30th, the Dufu Boys will be laying fro 7:00 – 9:00 .The doos oen at 6:00 and donations ae always aeciated.
The powdered drink that become popular when it was used by John Glenn in the early manned space flights was TANG. (And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast in April is Virginia McClain.)

This week’s “Remember When” question is about a toy most all of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s played with. What was the name of the popular toy, invented in 1943, that can travel down a flight of stairs, end over end and land upright? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a 1999 postage stamp that honored this toy.

Well, it’s been another week, remembering to count my blessings before I go to sleep. Until we meet again, may all of you have a safe and joyous Christmas when we celebrate peace on earth and goodwill towards all people.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou

aging Well December 16th 2014

I’m not fond of these winter doldrums in The Dalles: grey overcast skies with a few days of sunshine, just to tease us that better days are ahead. And although I may not like them, I find these gloomy days are necessary, because without them I wouldn’t really appreciate the warm t-shirt days with blue skies. And isn’t that the way it is in our daily lives? All the challenges and difficulties, the missteps and losses, remind us not to take for granted the simple joys and comforts we can experience every precious day.
I’ve mentioned it once already, but in case you didn’t write it on your calendar, from 8:00 AM until 9:30 on Saturday, December 20th, is the Center’s December Breakfast sponsored by The Springs at Mill Creek. The menu includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit and a hot beverage to keep you warm – all for $5.00 or $4.00 for Center members. Bring along some friends and meet some new ones. It will also be your last chance to purchase your tickets for the quilt, hand stitched by the Center quilters, that will be raffled off at 9:00 AM.
If you enjoy homemade baked goodies, Meals-on-Wheels is having their annual Bake Sale on Thursday from 11:00 – 1:00. You can buy all kinds of tasty treats while helping the good work of Meals-on-Wheels.
Although we may never know who Susan was or why she was so lazy, Meals-on-Wheels is looking for some Lazy Susans if you have one lying around the house (which would be expected of a Lazy Susan). With the new five foot round tables, the folks who eat regularly at the Center (they know where you can always find a good nutritious meal that is gentle on the pocketbook), found it difficult to pass the coffee and the other condiments. And being an industrious lot, they came up a solution: a Lazy Susan for each of the round tables. But there are 15 tables and so far only 2 Lazy Susans have been donated. So bring in a lazy Susan and enjoy a nice meal for a $3.75 donation if you have reached that magic age of sixty.
The Center’s Loan Closet is used daily and depends on individual donations of medical equipment. Right now, we are generously supplied with rollators which is unusual. (I learned rollator is the correct name for the walkers that have the four wheels, a seat and hand brakes). We also have a supply of absorbent undergarments, (I was going to say for loan, but we don’t really want them back) as well as several hospital beds. But at this time, we are in need of shower seats and bed rails.
Were you able to read last week’s music announcement without the vowels? It wasn’t easy, but this time I will keep the vowels but remove two consonants. See if you can tell which consonants are left out and what the announcement says.  
eause of the winter weather, it may e diffiult to get outside to ike, run or walk, ut you an always find a warm plae to dane. And on Tuesday nights that place is the enter where the Highline Express will e performing from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. The ost is only a donation to keep the musi playing and everyone is welome. Also on Sunday the 21st, the Jammers will take their turn playing at the enter from 2:00 – 5:00. Admission is free ut there will e pie and ie ream for sale.
The “Giant Killers” were the 1967 OSU Football team. (The winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on December 20th is Dan Erickson: a true beaver believer who remembers QB Steve Preece and Earthquake Enyart.)
Until I left home for college, I thought you could only cut cheese with a wired utensil; and I seldom tasted butter. Velveeta and margarine were the staples around my house, as well as this orange flavored powdered drink. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the drink created in 1959 but didn’t become popular until it was used by John Glenn in the early manned space flights? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a box of Pop Rocks and a container of Cool Whip.
Well, it’s been another week, working my way towards imperfection. Until we meet again, when everything seems overwhelming, stop, take a deep belly breath and remember – all things shall pass.

“My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.” Billy Connolly

Aging Well December 9th 2014

Many of you may still be planning a walk along the streets of Barcelona, or a relaxing cruise along the Rhine. Or maybe a trip to Branson, Missouri or Nashville, Tennessee.  You’re still fit and have the financial means to travel even though getting crammed in an airplane, like cows in a slaughterhouse, is not something anyone looks forward to.
But if you are one who finds as much comfort and satisfaction from just staying closer to home and tending the garden, visiting with friends at your regular coffee spot, or watching old black and white cowboy movies on the television, you are not alone.
According to an August 19th article written by Ron Lieber for the New York Times and sent to me by Bill Noonan, the kinds of experiences that bring us happiness changes over time. Leiber cites the research by Amit Bhattacharjee and Cassie Mogilner who wrote in The Journal of Consumer Research that as people grow older, the happiness they receive from the ordinary, everyday experiences increases.  And eventually the happiness potential of ordinary activities eventually grows equal to that of the extraordinary or uncommon experiences.
I still remember my once-in-a-lifetime experiences: the beauty and terror of driving a rented Alfa Romeo along the 1 ½ lane country roads through the highlands of Scotland; visiting the cultural museums and historical sights on Jeju Island off the southern coast of Korea. And closer to home, climbing Mt. Hood and thinking, once is enough!
As I grow older, I find that the more common experiences such as cooking or reading, can be just as rewarding and satisfying. Which is good – and timely. Because as I continue to pay off the parent loans for my children’s education and the credit card debt – which paid for the trips mentioned above, I may be able to afford only the simple everyday experiences.
The Mid-Columbia Health Foundation’s Festival of Trees (an event where you find out it is okay to dress up in The Dalles) was a packed ballroom even with the Oregon Ducks football game televised at the same time. And for the second year, the Center’s Yoga Class entered a tree with the theme “Steppin Out” in honor of all the active older adults who contribute time, talent and energy to support the community. Thanks to Santa’s helpers who made it possible: Judy Reid, Diana Compton, Donna Gooch, Laurie Fadness and Jan Holt with technical assistance from Tim Willis at the Habitat ReStore
Who needs vowels anyway? They are only five and sometimes six of the letters of the alphabet. See if you really need them as you try to read this week’s reminder for the Center’s Tuesday Night music.  
W wll mss Trmn nw tht h hs mvd nd wll b strmmng hs gtr n th bg cty f Prtlnd. nstd t fll hs rglr spt n th 16th, th Smc Bys wll b plyng fr yr dncng nd lstnng plsr. vryn s wlcm. Th msc strts t 7:00 nd th drs pn t 6:00. Dntns r pprctd fr bth th bnd, t’s nt chp t drv n frm Gldndl, nd t hlp py th ht bll
Not all the spaghetti you through against the wall sticks, and last week’s question was an example. But it was a reminder that fifty years ago a gallon of gas may have cost only thirty cents and a postage stamp five, a family was only earning $6569 – an eighth of what an average family makes today. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on December 20th is Sandy Goforth.)
With the University of Oregon going to the Rose Bowl and Marcus Mariota being considered for the Heisman Trophy, it’s time to talk football – but about that other university along I-5. So for the beaver lovers, this “Remember When” question is for you. During what year did the OSU football team, which wasn’t expected to do much, finish the season winning six straight games including beating second-ranked Purdue (which I remember because I was attending Purdue at the time), tied second-ranked UCLA, beat top ranked USC, the University of Oregon and became known as the “Giant Killers”? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with an autographed picture of the “Great Pumpkin”.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep my back to the wall and my feet to the fire. Until we meet again, if you don’t know the words to the song, you can always hum.

“There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.” Josh Billings

Aging Well December 2nd 2014

I’ve been thinking (and I know, don’t believe everything your mind tells you) but I have being reading Being Mortalwritten by Atul Gawande, practicing surgeon and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. In this thought provoking book, he reminds us that contrary to popular culture and marketing hype, we will not live forever. And unfortunately most of us are not prepared to deal with this eventuality. As we age and gradually decline, we may be able to slow the process by being mentally engaged, staying physically active and eating right. But like the rubber on a car’s tires, we eventually wear out. As Jim Holston reminds me “This is as good as it gets!”
But there is good news. Atul Gawande also highlights the research of Laura Carnesten a professor of psychology at Stanford University. Her work has shown as we acknowledge our own mortality, it changes our perspective on life.
She has found when people feel they will live forever, or too busy to consider their eventual fate, they seek new friends and relationships, try new experiences, and take chances. Because if it doesn’t work out, well, there is always tomorrow.
But when people realize that death is an eventuality they can’t escape, it is in our genes, their perspective changes. People start to see their priorities more clearly, take less notice of trivial matters, are more appreciative, and live more in the “now”. Life gets better and they are happier.
And isn’t that ironic? As we ride this downward trajectory of aging, we generally are happier. What was thought to be so important during the “productive” years is no longer, while friendships and living in the present are. It is like seeing the world with sharper glasses and thinking, wow, even with all the challenges of personal losses and physical ailments, life is pretty good.
If you want to discuss more about how our outlook on life changes as we age, join me for the 11:00 Tuesday Lecture at the Center on December 9th when we will watch a video presentations by both Laura Carstensen and Atul Gawande.
Since the Center’s Saturday Breakfasts took a hiatus for several months, I wanted to give you an early notice that Saturday Breakfast will be back on December 22ndfor the traditional Christmas Breakfast sponsored once again by The Springs at Mill Creek. You can enjoy a traditional breakfast of pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs, and we’ll see whether Santa makes an appearance this year.
The Center quilters have been creating beautiful quilts in support of the Center since the mid-80’s raising thousands of dollars. But you may not know that the Center quilters can also be hired to repair worn or unfinished quilts if you have that special quilt you want mended. You can find the quilters downstairs at the Center every Monday from 10:00 to 3:00 where they still patiently hand stitch their quilts. And this month you can purchase raffle tickets for two of their quilts which are on display at the Center.
It’s been a while since I have tried to scramble your grey cells by mixing up the Center’s music announcement. See what you can decipher this week.
Fro teh Centre’s Tsuedya Ngiht msiuc no Demcereb 9th, Mriatn and Frindes will eb prefmriong. Adn unlses teh swno flals or teh rain zfreees, the msicu strsat ta 7:00 nad is oerv by 9:00. Eveyreno is wolecme and dionosatn aer aywlas apatpicred.
The actress, comedienne and musical performer who starred in several movie musicals as well as her own television specials in the 60’s and 70’s was Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber, I mean, Mitzi Gaynor. And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th is Alex Currie.)
This week’s “Remember When question is not a quote or of local significance, but a multiple choice question about the good old days. In 2013 the median family income was $51,939. What was the median family income fifty years ago in 1964? (a) Between $5,000 and $7,000, (b) between $7,000 and $9,000, or (c) between $9,000 and $11,000. E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a roll of u-lick-em 5 cent postage stamps and a gallon of 30 cent gas.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to find my way back in the dark. Until we meet again, as Roger Rosenblatt wrote in his book Rules for Aging, “Just because the person criticized you is an idiot, doesn’t make him wrong”.
Every time I think that I’m getting old, and gradually going to the grave, something else happens. ~ Lillian Carter

Aging Well November 25th 2014

With Thanksgiving becoming another shopping holiday: Black Friday morphing into Black Thursday, I have begun to appreciate the perspective that comes from having lived these many years. I no longer feel I need to participate in the mad rush of finding the best deals of the pre-pre-holiday sales – although I really could use some tube socks! Instead I have found the tide has shifted and instead of wanting more stuff, I’m trying to give away what I don’t need – and there is plenty of it.
I have also learned to appreciate all of life’s little things: those special nights when I don’t have to get up at 3:00 in the morning, or when that I was wearing a long sweater when I forgot to “zip up”. I’m thankful my best friend, who can be real difficult at times, hasn’t divorced me yet. And I am particularly grateful to be alive and kicking providing so many opportunities to laugh at my own imperfections.
When I take the time to appreciate and savor every moment of each day, knowing that in a flash my life could turn upside down, I have found I don’t really need anymore “things”. As long as I have friends and family, a roof over my head and food in the cupboard, I’m doing just fine. I hope you have found all you really need and I wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving.
During the winter months of early sunsets and cold temperatures, the Center is adjusting the winter hours for Saturday Night Bingo. Beginning December 6thSaturday Night Bingo will start two hours earlier at 4:00 PM and the doors will open at 2:00 for the early birds. The Thursday Night Bingo will continue at their regular time of 6:00 PM.
Most of you should have received a mailing asking you to become a member of the Mid-Columbia Senior Center. Now I know many of you may have been “confused” by such a request because, to paraphrase Bernard Baruch, you are at least fifteen years from being “old”. But while you may not be “old”, and even though you haven’t been “new” for some time, we still would like you to become a member. By joining the Center you are contributing to the health of the whole community, because while the center’s focus is supporting older adults, the Center is really a community center – open five and often six days a week. There are no age restrictions for any of the activities including the medical equipment loan closet, AARP Tax Aide, Tuesday Night Music, Bingo or any of the classes. So whether you are old, new or someplace in between, please consider becoming a member today.
After the Thanksgiving holiday, don’t forget the Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Christmas Bazaar on December 6th from 10:00 – 2:00 PM in the basement of the United Church of Christ Congregational Church. There will be local craft vendors, but even better, there will be delicious baked-goods for sale and their world famous homemade soup lunch.
For the Center’s Tuesday Night music on December 2nd, Andre, K.C. and Tom will be performing. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciate to feed the band and keep the heat on.
Many folks had fond memories of the Dobre Deli – the delicatessen that opened in 1977 and was located on 4th street between the CAP Office and the Williams Building. (And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th is Virgil Choate who remembers it was also common meeting place for The Dalles Windbaggers in their bright yellow sports jackets.)
The inspiration for this week’s “Remember When” question, came from a friend of mine who named her new pup after this actress, comedienne and musical performer. Who starred in several movie musicals including Nellie in South Pacific as well as starred in several of her own television specials in the 60’s and 70’s?  E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail with the lyrics to “I’m’ Going to Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”.
Well, it’s been another week, thankful that the rain was not snow. Until we meet again, as overheard at the Center, “There is no shame in being old, but it can be a real bother”.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

Aging Well November 18th 2014

I certainly expect snow and below freezing temperatures in The Dalles, but this latest wintry blast came so early, I kept thinking Christmas must be only a two weeks away. And I haven’t even stuffed the Turkey for Thanksgiving yet! Oh, well.
But now that we have had this first taste of winter, here are several reminders about how to manage two of winter’s challenges.
Inside – keep warm. You don’t have to be climbing Mt. Hood to get hypothermia particularly if have a health problem that keeps your blood from flowing normally such as diabetes. Set your heat at 68 degrees or higher; and to save on heating bills, close off the rooms you are not using. Dress in loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothes for warmth. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers and even a cap or hat. Although it might not be very sexy, but who’s really looking, wear long johns under your pajamas; and use extra covers.
Outside – watch the ice. More than 1.6 million older Americans go to the emergency room each year for fall-related injuries. You can reduce your chances of falling by wearing sensible footwear with low heels, good support and non-skid soles. (I know several friends who have purchased ice-grippers to attach to their shoes.)  Stick to cleared sidewalks and roads. Hold on to handrails on stairs – which is a good idea any time. And use a cane or walker, or your walking stick or even a ski pole, if necessary to help maintain balance.
And stay connected with others. Check up on your friends and neighbors and have them check up on you. Be vigilant during these cold and icy wintry days to avoid any unwanted surprises. And if you need assistance, don’t be too proud to ask.
When to close the Center because of the weather is a difficult decision. But the Center has decided to pass the buck and follow the lead of School District 21. If the school district is closed, the Center will be closed; and if there is a two hour delay, the Center’s morning classes will be cancelled. The Center will notify the radio stations of any closures or cancellations, post the information on the Center’s website (, and update the message on the Center’s answering machine.  
And occasionally the predictions will be wrong, The Portland School District was an example last week when they closed for a snow day and, contrary to the weather forecast, it didn’t snow! It can be a little embarrassing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you don’t seize up at the thought of preparing income taxes, enjoy fiddling with numbers, and decoding things like tax rules…this volunteer opportunity might be for you! The AARP Tax Aide program, a collaboration between AARP, The Mid-Columbia Community Action Program and the Center, is in need of volunteers. For over 35 years in the Gorge, the AARP Tax-Aide program has been operating with volunteers to prepare taxes for older adults and low-to-moderate income persons, free of charge. To be a volunteer, there is some required training and a minimum of four hours per week is requested. But there is tremendous support – no one is expected to know it all. If you’re interested, call Ronell Currie at 541-478-3461.
For the Tuesday Night music at the Center on November 25th, the Highline Express will be performing. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
The name of the television variety show that aired on CBS from 1969–1971, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, and featured such colorful characters as Grandpa Jones, Stringbean, the Gossip Girls and Samuel B. Sternwheeler was Hee-Haw. (And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th is Alice Mattox.)
But it’s back to The Dalles for this week’s “Remember When” question – this time from 34 years ago. What was the name of the delicatessen which opened in 1977 in the commercial building on the corner of 4th and Washington, and because of its location, was a popular hangout for students and staff from Treat Oak Community College and attorneys plying their trade at the courthouse? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a box of pastries from Zorba the Buddha Bakery.
Well, it’s been another week, trying not to babble more than my fair share. Until we meet again, keep the long johns on and the covers pulled up tight.
“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” Woody Allen

Aging Well November 11th 2014

I have come to realize that it isn’t my memory I should be worrying about. I haven’t forgotten my social security number or the combination to my locker. I still know where I live. And give me five minutes and ten deep breathes and I can remember most anyone’s name.

But now I find myself more easily distracted. I can be walking to another room to find a book and along the way I see the cat throwing up (which is pretty disgusting) and I forget what I was looking for. And when I’m distracted and not paying attention, who knows what I‘m doing. I use to be able to put the cheese away in the refrigerator while discussing some important topic with my wife – no problem. But now I find the cheese in the freezer! And I’m wondering how it got there.

But apparently, I am not the only one. Research has shown that as we get older, starting as early as thirty, we are more easily distracted. That’s one reason why for most of us, it becomes more difficult to drive on busy and unfamiliar streets with all the new distracting sights and sounds.

So I am continually learning to slow down and pay attention. That way I can both appreciate the moment – and avoid any more embarrassing situations. Now if I can just find my pen.

The craft fairs and bazaars have begun. And the granddaddy of them all, the St. Peter’s Holiday Bazaar, will be held on November 22ndfrom 9:00 – 4:00 at the St. Mary’s Academy. And on the same day, the Center will be holding its first winter bazaar from 9:00 – 3:00. Call the Center to rent a table and if you are a Center member a table is free. So whether after or before the St. Peter’s Holiday Bazaar, stop by the Center to start you holiday shopping.

After Thanksgiving, on December 6th, Habitat for Humanity will be holding their Annual Christmas Bazaar (with their famous selection of delicious soups), downstairs at the United Congregational Church from 10:00 – 2:00 PM. And if you are interested in displaying your crafts and wares, call Becky Bailey at 541-980-9015.

On Tuesday the 18th, Truman will be playing his Country Gold at the Center from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

Because of the Zumba Gold Class downstairs and the AARP Smart Driver class upstairs, there will not be a lecture next Tuesday. (And although the November Smart Driver class is full, there is still room in the December class which will be the last class Dennis Davis teaches. After seven years he’s  looking for another itch to scratch.)

Back by popular demand, Mosier Voices from the Past will be performed at the Mosier School on November 15. You will see eight direct descendants become their ancestors telling stories from the early days of Mosier. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $20 for VIP Seats which includes a drink at the Rack & Cloth. The show starts at 7:00, but make sure you arrive early because the doors will be closed at 7:00 for filming. Find more information at

It was Senator Wayne Morse who served as a U.S. Senator from Oregon for 24 years during which time he was a Republican (1944 – 1952), Independent (1952 – 1955) and Democrat (1955 – 1968). (And for pointing out correctly that Senator Morse served only 24 years, Bill Van Nice is the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th.)

I would ask another “Remember When” question about The Dalles but having moved here in 1979, I’m still just a newcomer. But if you have any memories of The Dalles in the 60’s and 70’s that I could use, send them my way.

But for this week, what was the name of the television variety show aired on CBS-TV from 1969–1971 (before going into syndication) and featured country music and humor from the fictional rural Kornfield Kounty? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a greasy hamburger from Lulu’s Truck Stop.

Well, it’s been another week, waiting to see what surprises the cold weather brings. Until we meet again, it’s been said “Sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station”.

“A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.”  Nikki Giovanni

Aging Well November 4th 2014

You receive a call from your grandson. He is in trouble in a foreign country and he needs your help, now! He sounds desperate and you want to help, so you send him a Western Union money order. And you never hear from him again or see your money.
You have probably heard of this scam known as the “Grandparent Scam”. It has been around for years and is just one variation of the imposter scams that deceive thousands of folks every year. And as I learned from The Dalles Police Chief Jay Waterbury, who just last Friday received a call from a person who had lost $1500 from such a scam, it can happen in The Dalles.
But there are several things you should do if you ever receive such a call.
Don’t unknowing provided important information by the way you answer the call. For example, if the caller states, “It’s your granddaughter.” Don’t reveal your granddaughter’s name. Reply by asking which one and most likely they will then hang up.
Always be skeptical. Ask questions only the grandchild would know. Get in touch with your grandchild or check with family members to confirm their location. Do whatever you can to confirm the information you were told.
Never send money unless you have verified that your relative is really in trouble. If a caller asks for your bank account number or urges you to send money via Western Union or MoneyGram there is an excellent chance the call is a scam.
And if you use Facebook, keep it private by updating your privacy settings. Scammers often make their stories more believable by searching for personal information on Facebook,
Unfortunately if you are a victim of such a scam, as Jay Waterbury can tell you, there is very little the local law enforcement agencies can do. Even so you should immediately report such incidents to local law enforcement agencies and the state Attorney General’s Office.
Meals-on-Wheels will be closed on Monday instead of the 11th so their dedicated staff can have a day off. And on Veterans Day, in honor of the Veterans who served our country, dinner will be free for everyone sixty and over. Dinner will be served at noon and will include turkey and dressing, green bean casserole, buttered roll, carrot salad and pumpkin pie.
If you agree with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” you will want to make sure your next Tuesday is not lost by dancing to the music of Martin and Friends at the Center from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
And one last reminder for NW vocalist Nehemiah Brown’s last 2014 performance at the Center on Friday night November 7th. Thanks to the sponsorship by Flagstone Senior Living the cost is still only $3.00 per person. Music starts at 7:00 and ends by 9:00.
At the Tuesday Lecture on the 11th, you will have a chance to take an eighteen minute trip through the history of the universe – all 13.8 billion years! I will be showing a fascinating video presentation by David Christian called “Big History” which “examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future”.

I found conflicting answers as to the coldest year and month in The Dalles, although every source agreed that 1949-1950 was a very cold winter. But Jerry Phillips remembers January, 1950 when it reached a -25 in The Dalles. He told me the Columbia was so frozen that the ferry couldn’t operate (which made a long trip to Dallesport), a sternwheeler was frozen in a canal; and when the ice did finally break up it was like icebergs flowing down the Columbia. (And for such a good memory, Jerry is the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th.)
Since today is Election Day, this week’s “Remember When” is about Oregon politics. Who served as a U.S. Senator from Oregon for 30 years during which time he was a Republican, Independent and Democrat and whose motto was “principles above politics”? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a copy of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Well, it’s been another week trying to keep all my marbles which seems more difficult every day. Until we meet again, and after finishing yet another bitter election season, it might be timely to remember “Everyone has a piece of the truth”.

“Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.” Phyllis Diller

Aging Well October 28th 2014

It is said laughter is the best medicine.  And although it is not a cure for major depression, according to the Mayo Clinic website, laughter can improve your mood, relieve stress and pain, and increase personal satisfaction while stimulating your heart, lungs and muscles and improving your immune system. Not bad for a couple of knock-knock jokes!
In addition to your favorite knock-knock joke, there are many other ways you can tickle your funny bone: spend time with folks who laugh, share your best jokes; read the funny pages or watch your favorite comedies. (Classic film comedies such as “Singing in the Rain”, “My Girl Friday” or “Some Like it Hot” are several of my favorites.)
Children laugh an average of 400 times a day while adults laugh just 25 times. Have you found you inner child and laughed today? If you haven’t here is a joke that will hopefully at least make you smile. It plays on a common stereotype but turns it upside down showing how clever an old codger can be.
A police car pulls up in front of grandma Bessie’s house, and Grandpa Morris gets out. The polite policeman explained that this elderly gentleman said that he was lost in the park and couldn’t find his way home.
“Oh Morris”, said grandma, “You’ve been going to that park for over 30 years! How could you get lost?”
Leaning close to grandma, so that the policeman couldn’t hear, Morris whispered, “I wasn’t lost. I was just too tired to walk home.”
For the second in the series of 1 ½ hour Creative Arts classes, Debra Jones recruited “Master Gardener” Lynn Jones, the Lawn & Garden Manager from True Value, to teach the class on November 4th using Spring Bulbs. You will have fun using your imagination to make a one-of-a-kind gift you can take home. All the supplies will be provided for a cost of only $2.00 per person, but the class is limited to only 10 people. Call the Center to sign up.
And following the dripping paint brush, we find ourselves at The Dalles Art Association and Gallery which is gearing up for its 57th Annual Art Auction – 6:00 PM on November 1st at the Civic Auditorium. Over sixty pieces of fine art have been donated to the auction by many well-known, regional artists which you can bid on – I mean, the fine art pieces, not the artists. (Although that would be interesting.)
If you haven’t already, you should stop by the Center to see the new tables purchased for Meals-on-Wheels though the dogged efforts of Donnamae Grannemann and friends. It gives the dining room a more open café feel, although many of us are still having to adjust.
And if you don’t visit the Center for lunch before the 11th, you should drop in on Veterans Day for a free dinner provided by Meals-on-Wheels for everyone over 60 in honor of our Veterans. The dinner will include turkey and dressing, green bean casserole, buttered roll, carrot salad and pumpkin pie.
It’s hard to believe, but by next Tuesday, it will already be November – the month when times doesn’t stand still but retreats by one hour on November 2nd. But it is also Tuesday Night music at the Center and returning to the top of the batting order will be Andre, K.C. and Tom. Music starts at 7:00 PM
And speaking of music. Nehemiah Brown will be making his last appearance at the Center for 2014 on Friday, November 7th. He’ll perform from 7:00 to 9:00 and the cost is $3.00 per person.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t that long ago, which could be the reason why so many still remember the Shamrock Lounge – an Irish named restaurant, serving Chinese food and where country musicians performed. (And from all the entries the winner of a free Saturday breakfast is Larry Thompson. But he’ll have to wait until the next Saturday breakfast on December 20th.)
This week’s “Remember When” question is not about a place in The Dalles, but a time. During what year, and month if you can remember, was the lowest recorded temperature in The Dalles? And for bonus points include any memories from that record cold winter. E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a hooded thermal mountain jacket.
Well, it’s been another week learning to skate on thin ice with a fifty pound backpack. Until we meet again, as the famous sage “”anonymous” once said “Falling short of perfection is a process that just never stops.”
“I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.” – Rudyard Kipling