Aging Well in the Gorge June 21st

You may have heard that the Center’s UpLifting Elevator Project was awarded $50,000 by City of The Dalles and Wasco County as one of the Google Immediate Impact Projects. And now you may be asking what does that mean for the Elevator Project? It is definitely good news. And with the hundreds of donations from all of you plus the foundation and local grants, the Center has secured almost $360,000 for the project. Sadly, the $360,000 would have been enough four years ago, but with increasing costs, the Center is still short of funds. (It confirms a basic truism: the more time it takes, the more the project will cost.)
To bridge the funding gap, the Center has applied to the Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT), the largest foundation in Oregon, for the remaining funds to complete the project. We expected to hear in mid-July if the Center made the first cut, but because of the enormous number of applications MMT has received, they need additional time to review all of the requests. In the meantime, we are still accepting donations knowing there will always be unexpected costs. 
Since we are very close to acquiring the necessary funding, the Center has decided to initiate the planning process to install the elevator. The first step is to meet with construction firms to review the current design to see if there are any practical ways to reduce the total cost of the project. From those conversations, a final design will be decided with opportunities for Center members and the community to comment, before the final design is ultimately approved by the MCSC board. With approval of the final design, the building permits can be acquired so the Center will be ready to start construction once all the funding is secured.
It is exciting to know that with your help, and the local support of The City of The Dalles, Wasco County, Northern Wasco County PUD, MCMC and Northwest Farm Credit Services, we are close enough to start transitioning from a dream to reality. And soon those who have difficulty walking, will no longer need to take the exterior stairs to the Center’s activities downstairs.
Do you ever feel that different parts of your body are competing for your attention? I mean if I make an appointment with my cardiologist, my ears start bothering me so I have to see my ENT doctor. Of course my skin doesn’t want to be ignored, so I make my annual appointment with my dermatologist; and my eyes demand their annual check-up. And I won’t mention how jealous my knees and lungs can get. It’s to the point where every month I have an appointment to see a specialist for some part of my body. Can’t they just get along! Sorry about the distraction. I just had to vent.
The Center’s annual rummage sale is this Saturday, June 25th from 8:00 – 2:00 PM in the basement. This year we have a particularly good selection of items including home furnishings, furniture, kitchen items, knick-knacks as well as clothes.
Every Tuesday night at the Center there is live music for your dancing and listening enjoyment, and during the summer months you don’t have to worry about driving home in the dark. Next Tuesday on the 28th, Andre and Friends will be performing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are always appreciated.
The answer to last week’s question was Tab Hunter: one of the top romantic leads in the late fifties who costarred in the 1955’s World War II drama “Battle Cry”.
This week’s “Remember When” question is about a movie released in 1968 that became a landmark, science fiction classic – about exploration of the unknown. What was the name of this masterpiece that many considered (including myself when I first saw it) bewildering, boring, and slow-moving, and contained more spectacular imagery and special effects than verbal dialogue? And for bonus points what was the name of the computer that was the brains of the space journey to Jupiter? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a recording of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra.
Well, it’s been another week enjoying the cool mornings in June. Until we meet again, a smile is the best way to say hello.

“There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.” Robert Brault

Aging Well in the Gorge June 14th

Most of you have probably heard the quote, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. But for those of us who are curious about whether we are getting old, I found this list of “scientifically validated” indicators of old age. See how you compare with my answers below..
1.      You fall asleep watching TV or reading the paper. No, but at 3:00 I do start nodding off.
2.      You become forgetful. No, because I can’t recall the last time I forgot something.
3.      You groan when getting up from a chair or out of bed. No, but for some reason my wife thinks I do. 
4.     You say ‘back in my day’. No, I say “back in the good old days”.
5.     You have an afternoon nap. No, they are “power naps” – and millennials take them too!
6.     You don’t know the names of current celebrities. I do – if they are over 65.
7.     You have a low tolerance for teenagers. No. I find teenagers great. Maybe because it brings back fond memories of my youth without actually having to relive them.
8.     You only listen to music from your youth. No. I listen to contemporary music that sounds like music from my youth.
Half way through and looking good. I feel like doing fifty pushups!
9.      You choose places to eat because they play quiet music. Yes, because I want to hear who I am talking with – which isn’t easy with hearing aids.
10.     Choosing to meet friends for lunch or dinner rather than a night out for drinks. Yes. I need to be in bed by 9:00.
11.     Wear slippers all the time. No. I can’t ever remember to put them on.
12.     You spend weekends or holidays in garden centers. No. I try to stay out of the garden – that’s my wife’s domain – thankfully.
13.     Gardening is a hobby. No. See above
14.     You forget where your glasses are. No. I always find them on my head.
15.     You choose clothes for comfort rather than style. Yes, because who am I trying to impress.
16.     You get a haircut to ‘suit your age’. No, because I’m still figuring out what my age is.
So how did you do? Did you do better than my 13 out of 16 “no” answers? If so let’s go out and celebrate – but please, not too long.
If you have thought about taking classes at Columbia Gorge Community College and hanging with the twenty and thirtysomethings, are you aware that adults 65 or older are eligible for a 50 percent tuition discount on many credit and non-credit classes? To find out which classes are eligible and all the details call (541) 506-6057. Classes start June 20th.
When was the last time you actually looked at the Oregon Driver’s manual? It’s probably been a while. A way to understand the new “rules of the road” and to learn more about safe and smart driving is by attending an AARP Smart Driver class at the Center on Monday, June 20th and Tuesday, June 21st from 8:45 am to 12:05 pm both days. The cost is $20 or $15 for AARP members.  Call (541) 296-4788 to sign up. 
Every Tuesday night at the Center there is live music for your dancing and listening enjoyment, and on June 21st, the Simcoe Boys will be performing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are always appreciated.
Considered the most intimidating fighter of the time, Sonny Liston was the fighter Mohammad Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) defeated in 1964 for the boxing World Heavyweight Championship.
This week’s “Remember When” question is about one of the top romantic leads in the late fifties. Who was the top grossing actor for Warner Brothers from 1955 – 1959 co-starring as the young Marine Danny in the 1955’s World War II drama “Battle Cry”; and also co-starring in films with Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren, and Debbie Reynolds? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a 45 record of the 1956 number one hit song “Young Love”.
Well, it’s been another week watching the sun slip away each night. Until we meet again, there is always an answer – some are just not meant for us to find.

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” Robert Brault

Aging Well in the Gorge June 7th 2016

Did you grow up where the summers were hot and humid: without air conditioning; sleeping uncovered and spread out as if you were going to be frisked by a city cop; where you emptied the dehumidifier every morning; and when you got out of the car, the back of your shirt was drenched with sweat? We may not have liked it, but we found ways to stay cool and lived to tell about it!

But we’re older now and summer heat can cause major health problems particularly dehydration. The Oregon Department of Human Services cautions, “Not getting enough fluids each day can take a tremendous toll on every aspect of bodily functions, including possible changes in memory, vision, and kidney and heart function.” This is especially true for older adults because the percentage of a person’s weight in water changes significantly as we age. Consequently, any decrease in fluid consumption can cause proportionately more dehydration.

But according to the American Red Cross, heat related problems can be prevented by “staying cool, hydrated and informed”.

Stay cool.
If you do need to go outside during extreme heat conditions, early morning or later evening are the best times. Avoid sun exposure between 11 am – 5 pm. Wear light-weight, light-colored and loose fitting clothes that cover your skin. Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Slow down – additional activity can put extra strain on the heart. And ice packs and cool showers are still a nice relief from the heat – just as they were when we were younger.
Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of fluids regardless of your level of activity even if you are not thirsty – and enough to have to urinate every four hours. (I wish I could last four hours!) Remember not all fluids are beneficial – avoid sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic drinks.

Stay informed and connected with family, friends and neighbors.
During any heat advisory, it is a good idea to check in on your friends and have them check in on you. A broken air conditioner can be a life threatening situation.

Know the signs of heat stroke: high body temperature (104 F or higher); altered mental state or behavior; changes in sweating; nausea or vomiting; flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, and headaches. If you notice any of these symptoms call 911.

The heat should be taken seriously. It is the number one weather related killer causing more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes, lightening and floods combined. By staying cool, hydrated and informed, you can avoid serious heat related illnesses. And in six months we’ll be longing for the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Betty Harlan was manager of The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels until she retired, but she didn’t go far. These days you can still find her volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels. To celebrate the 30+ years she has contributed to Meals-on-Wheels, there will be a Birthday Party for Betty on June 14th during the noon meal. (I’m not sure whether she is turning 48 or 84.) There is a beach theme so you can dress appropriately if you wish, but please – no bikinis.

Every Tuesday night at the Center there is music for your dancing and listening enjoyment. But for June 14th, I have to juggle the line-up so at this time I am not sure who will be playing. But I promise there will be someone – so you can dance the night away. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are always appreciated.

Bob Dylan’s first big hit that he recorded in the summer of 1965 was “Like a Rolling Stone”. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Bill Van Nice.)

With the death of Mohammed Ali, it brought back memories of February, 1964 when the fast talking, quick footed Cassius Clay shocked the world of boxing by winning the World Heavyweight Championship. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was the fighter he beat – considered the most intimidating fighter of the time? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with picture of this boxer knocking out heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in the first round.

Well, it’s been another week looking for the bread in the oven. Until we meet again, we don’t always say what we mean – or mean what we say.

“The willingness to share does not make one charitable; it makes one free.” ― Robert Brault

Aging Well in the Gorge May 31st

Senior Living May 31st 2016
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow older. You grow older because you stop laughing.” Michael Pritchard
At the Center we often talk about the importance of humor and laughter. Dr. Steve Allen, Jr., son of the talk show host and comedian, said “Laughing, especially at yourself is the most powerful stress-releaser we have.” It not only reduces the body’s negative reaction to stress, it helps prevent such stress from occurring in the first place.
Humor is particularly helpful as we age, because it acknowledges the incongruities and absurdities of life and reminds us that we are all in this together. We all deal with the struggles and challenges of aging and yet here we are still alive and kicking – or at least moving. As Bob Newhart said, “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”  
The best laugh is always on ourselves. Elsa Maxwell, 75, declared, “Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.” Or as Robert Fulton puts it “It is a matter of laughing with ourselves, not at ourselves.” Can you remember the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? And what makes you smile or laugh?
A sense of humor is very personal. You can be offended while others find a joke amusing. I have watched several standup comedians on Netflix, and for some I couldn’t make it past the first ten minutes because it was such poor taste and too embarrassing – especially watching it with my wife. Yet the audience thought it was hilarious. Am I getting old?  
But here is one of Elt Fadness’s “Ole and Lena” stories – for us who still remember drive-ins.
Ole and Lena were at the drive-in movie. Ole says, “Say Lena, you wanna get in the back seat?” Lena says, “Naw, Ole, I’d just as soon stay up here with you.”
Have you ever left a store and can’t remember where you parked your car? Many boomers have resorted to strapping bicycles or kayaks on their car roofs so their cars would be easy to spot. (And you were envious thinking they were just enjoying the great outdoors!) But since not all of us can afford a mountain bike or kayak, the Center will soon be selling large colorful plastic balls to attach to the end of your car’s antenna. Never again will you have waste time remembering where your car is – it will just be under the bright red plastic ball. But we will only be selling a few. We don’t want you to walk out of Fred Meyer and see a whole field of plastic balls and still not know which car is yours.
At the Center’s Tuesday Lecture at 11:00 on June 7th, Tria Bullard from Google will demonstrate how to use Google Apps on your computer – so you can connect with friends and family, organize your photos and files, and even make calls for free. You’ll explore Gmail, Google Docs, and Hangouts. And if you don’t have a Gmail account, Tria will walk you through the process of getting one. The class is open to anyone with basic computer skills.
Every Tuesday night at the Center there is live music for your dancing and listening enjoyment, and on June 7th, Andre, KC and Tom will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and, donations are always appreciated.
The actor-singer who sang “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the Indy 500 from 1972 until 2014 was Jim Nabors. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Jim Ayers – and Ruth Radcliff who I forgot to mention last week.) 
This week’s “Remember When” question is about the musical icon Bob Dylan who turned 75 last week. It doesn’t seem that long ago in the summer of 1965 when I was vacationing with my family in Los Angeles and on the radio heard this singer called Bob Dylan which I, from Middle America, had never heard of. But in September of that year he recorded his first hit song that was over six minutes long and reached #2? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a small clump of green moss.
Well, it’s been another week trying to keep my hat from blowing off. Until we meet again, as Lord Byron once said, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”