Aging Well in the Gorge April 25th 2017

It was a busy weekend with The Dalles Chamber of Commerce putting on three days of Cherry Festival fun. But now it is time for the chamber crew to get a little rest and the rest of us back to drawing board figuring out how to make the best of each day.
And speaking of days ahead, there are several events scheduled at the Center for the month of May
Starting off the month to commemorate May as National Osteoporosis Month, Erin Haines, Certified Physician’s Assistant at Cascade Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center will explain how to keep your bones healthy and how to avoid Osteoporosis at the Center on May 3rd from 11:00 – 12:00.
SoulCollage lead by Clyde Santa will continue on May 8th and 22nd starting at 10:00.SoulColage is a process for learning more about yourself and help you with life’s questions and transitions by creating cards with personal meaning.
The Center will once again host the Relay for Life Parking Lot Sale on Saturday May 13th from 8:00 – 3:00 PM.
And if you ever heard the song “Art, what is it good for. Absolutely, everything!” Maybe that isn’t the song, but it is a good point. And you can learn more Arts and Visual Perception at the Center on May 30th 1:30 PM. This colorful and entertaining 90-minute presentation explores the nature of seeing through art with instructor Kerry Cobb, Executive Director at the Columbia Center for the Arts. Using art as a platform, you’ll discover ways to sharpen your awareness and be more observant of your environment, and learn ways to interact more enjoyably with art. Participants will also be challenged with some fun interactive activities. You might be able to walk away with “virgin” eyes.
I would like to offer several more classes this summer or in the fall. I’m looking for instructors for several classes such as Smartphone Photography; Writing Your Life Story or “What was it like back your day, grandma?”; and to facilitate a group on How to Create Your Next Life (curriculum provided by Life Reimagined.). These are short commitments, and if you are interested in any of these subjects call or email me and I will help get a class started.
Many folks have been asking about the Center. This last week we made some visible progress by framing in the lounge and then sheet rocking both the lounge and Nu-2-U Shop. A door, paint and new flooring, and presto in about three weeks the lounge and Nu-2-U shop just might be open again.
I recently read in the New York Times about a new study that was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience where researchers looked at the effects of different types of exercise on the functioning of an older person’s brain.
the researchers randomly divided the volunteers into several groups. One began a supervised program of brisk walking for an hour three times a week. Another started a regimen of supervised gentle stretching and balance training three times a week, and the third group practiced increasingly difficult country dances three times a week for an hour.
What some might consider surprising, but encouraging having fun learning country dances with friends showed the greatest benefit suggesting that engaging in activities that involve moving and socializing might help slow down aging effects on the brain.
The Shades of Country will be back again for Tuesday Night Music at the Center and their getting into their country groove and sounding good. Music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated to feed the band and keep the lights on.
The name of the CBS show hosted by Garry Moore that was a take-off of What’s My Line?, but instead of celebrity panelists trying to determine a contestant’s occupation, the panel tries to guess the contestant’s secret was I’ve Got A Secret.(I didn’t receive any answers last week. We’ll see if this week’s question tickles your fancy.)
For this month I’ve asked questions about a western, a comedy and a game show from the 50’s and 60’s. To finish the month of April, this week’s “Remember When” question is about a popular but controversial variety show. What was the name of the comedy and variety television show that aired on CBS from 1967 to 1969, appealed to the younger generation at the time, and its socially relevant humor pushed the boundaries of television satire creating regular conflicts with the CBS censors?
Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with the sounds of Classical Gas.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember what day it is. Until we meet again, whether you have the energy or not, give it your best shot.

“I intend to live forever. So far, so good.” Demetri Martin

Aging Well in the Gorge April 18th 2017

You can’t be bored this coming weekend, because its “Once Upon a Cherry” time! Thanks to the Dalles Chamber of Commerce, there will be plenty to do uring this year’s Cherry Festival including spotting your friends in the Gorge’s biggest parade starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday. But before the parade, come by the Center and enjoy a good old fashioned breakfast sponsored by our neighbors, Cherry Heights Living. Breakfast incudes pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit and juice or coffee, all for $6.00 and $3.00 if you are 12 or younger. Breakfast is served starting at 7:30 so you can have time to eat before the 8:00 coronation of this year’s King Bing and Queen Anne: Chuck Sandoz and his sister, Mary Leighton.
As with Dan and Kay Erickson, and Dennis and Shannon Morgan, the previous year’s royalty, Chuck Sandoz and Mary Leighton represent what is best about The Dalles by contributing to the economic health of the area while also giving back to the community. Congratulations to Chuck and Mary!
And if you want to have fun AND a chance to win some cash, stop by the Center for Saturday Night Bingo where over $1200 is paid out every night. (Last Saturday, a lucky winner took home $1000 – and that was in addition to the over $1000 paid out to other winners during the evening.) Bingo starts at 6:00, but new players are encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Minimum buy-in is $10.
I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up – and I know, I had better hurry because time is running out. But even though you may have figured that out long ago, you may still be on life’s journey of trying to better understand yourself, whether it is accepting who you are with all the complexity of being human; working through losses you have experienced over time; or acknowledging and honoring the contributions you have made.
One way to understand and express who you are is by of creating your own SoulCollage facilitated by Clyde Santa. SoulCollage is described as a process for accessing your intuition and creating cards with deep personal meaning that will help you with life’s questions and transitions.
Last month in the Chronicle, you may have read about the SoulCollage workshop Clyde held at the Library. But if you missed the workshop, Clyde will be offering it once again at the Center on Tuesday April 24th, May 8th and 22nd. It’s preferred that you attend all three sessions of the workshop, but it’s not required. The workshop is open to all ages, with all materials provided and no art experience necessary. And for you folks who avoid anything “artsy”, I’ll say it again. NO ART EXPERIENCE necessary! The workshop is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.
If you thought last week’s music announcement was too easy to read, I’m stepping it up a notch. See if your billions of grey cells can figure out this week’s music announcement.
Siht gnimoc Yadseut thgin ereht lliw TON eb cisum ta eht Retnec. I ma llits gnikool rof rehtona dnab ot llif ni rof eht htruof Yadseut tols. Os fi uoy nac daer siht dna yalp ratiug ta eht emas emit, llac em dna ew’ll ees fi ew nac enil uoy pu rof a gig (taht’s naicisum gnals – I kniht) ta eht Retnec.
The name of the television show about the adventures of widow Lily Ruskin, played by Spring Byington, that aired on CBS from 1954 to 1959 was December Bride. (Answers were received from Margaret McBride, Virginia McClain, and the randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Delores Schrader, who wishes we still had television shows like it.)
Sticking with television during the 50’s and 60’s, this week’s “Remember When” question is about game shows. What was the name of the CBS show that was a take-off of What’s My Line?, but instead of celebrity panelists trying to determine a contestant’s occupation, the panel tries to determine something that is unusual about the contestant? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with autographed pictures of the original host and panelists: Garry Moore, Bill Cullen, Henry Morgan, Faye Emerson and Jayne Meadows.
Well, it’s been another week, hoping for a dry, pleasant weekend. Until we meet again, I’ll see you at the Cherry Festival.  

“The art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” Havelock Ellis

Aging Well in the Gorge April 11th 2017

It is often said, “Nothing remains constant except change itself.” But why do we resist change particularly as older adults who have a reputation of being stick-in-the muds, averse to any kind of change?
According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the Harvard Business School, there are many reasons why people of all ages resist change. See if any of these reasons feel familiar.
First, change often creates uncertainty – often interrupting our routines which we find comforting because we know what to expect. Every morning I have my regular routine for eating breakfast and taking my pills.  But when I go on vacation, the routine changes, and it is difficult to adjust.
Second, change creates concerns about our own competence. Take technology. There is always some new “latest and greatest” software update to learn. And you just figured out the previous version!
Third, change creates more work – which takes time and energy. Although you may have the time, do you have the energy? With the kids moved out, it is time for my wife and I to move to a smaller house, but I always reconsider when I think of all the work it would take.
Fourth, a loss of control. If you decide what to change, that’s okay, you’re in control. But when the change happens to you that is another story. And that seems to happen more often when you get older, as your family, friends or doctors start telling you where you should live, when you can drive and what you should eat.
But change is inevitable. And embracing change even with all the reasons to resist: more uncertainty, feelings of incompetence, more work and loss of control, change can help you continue to live a full and productive life. And having seen all the tremendous changes over your lifetime from types of television sets to personal cancer treatments, would you really want to go back to those “golden” years? Okay, maybe you don’t have to answer that question!  
After this past terrible, horrible, no good winter, more folks have decided to get their bodies moving by attending the Center’s movement and exercise classes. The classes are affordable and all you have to do to join the fun is show up. The classes include: Tai Chi on Tuesdays from 1:15 – 2:00 taught by Corliss Marsh, Line and Folk Dancing on Thursdays from 10:15 – 11:30 taught by Jacquie Hashizume, Strong Women on Tuesdays and Thursdays taught by Sally Forester, and Zumba Gold on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 – 11:30 taught by Marsha Morrison. Also, Debra Lutje teaches two classes: Chair Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15- 10:30 and Strength Yoga on Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:30.
Besides helping your brain by exercising, you can also challenge your brain by reading this week’s Saturday Night music announcement – backwards. And you don’t even have to get out of your chair.
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In the television series, Gunsmoke, the name of the woman who was the owner of the Long Branch Saloon and with whom Matt Dillion had a close personal relationship was Miss Kitty. (Answers were received from Vicki Sallee, Alice Mattox, Johnie Douglas, Jim Ayres and the randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Don Smith.)
Sticking to television during the 50’s and 60’s, this week’s “Remember When” question is not about a western but a television sitcom (which I don’t remember because I was more interested in Saturday morning cartoons) that aired on CBS from 1954 to 1959.  But if your memory is better, what was the name of the television show about the adventures of widow Lily Ruskin played by Spring Byington, that for first four seasons followed I Love Lucy? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of next-door neighbor Pete Porter played by Harry Morgan, who in 1960 starred in his own show Pete and Gladys.
Well, it’s been another week, sorting through all my spring clothes. Until we meet again, I know it’s spring because the ants have returned to the kitchen counter.  

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher

Aging Well in the Gorge April 4th 2017

A friend from southern Wasco County once told me there are three stages in life: a time when you do what you are told, a time when you do what you think you should do and the final stage: when you can do what you really want to do.
During your retirement years, you have the time to start doing what you want to do: travel more, reconnect with past hobbies or start new ones, or just spend more time with the grandkids.
But among all those competing interests, I would encourage you to find time to volunteer, not because it is something you should do, but because it can be as rewarding and fun as any cruise to the Caribbean.
You have probably heard why you should volunteer: chance to make new friends, keeps you mentally sharp, or just gets you out of the house. The evidence is clear that volunteering is good for your health and well-being.
Nonetheless, what do you want to do?
Recently, there have been several excellent articles in the Chronicle about volunteering. At the Center, we have lost three volunteers. For them volunteering was not a “should do”, but a desire to do something they truly enjoyed, whether it was teaching a dance class, tending the rose garden or helping at the front desk.
So, if you decide that volunteering is something you want to do, how do find the right place? Here are a few tips that could help in your search.
1.) Look for a group that deals with a subject which you strongly care about. Could it be politics, arts, or mentoring young people?
2.) Consider your special talents and look for a volunteer opportunity which can utilize them. Have you managed projects? Do you enjoy meeting strangers? 
3.) Or if you are tired of doing the same old thing, find a volunteer opportunity where you have a chance to develop new skills. 
4.) Think outside the box! There are probably community groups looking for volunteers you haven’t even thought of. 
5.) When you find an organization, check it out by requesting an interview to make sure it matches your interest and skills. 
6.) Find the volunteer activity that fits your schedule. Is it seasonal so you can still winter in Arizona? Is it a short term or long term commitment? 
7.) Start by volunteering with friends. It can help make the transition into a new volunteer position more comfortable. 
8.) Don’t wait to be asked. Find a place to volunteer and go for it!
Sometimes we are too modest, but everyone has skills and abilities that non-profit organizations need. And I know, if you want to volunteer, there is a place for you.
A fascinating free workshop will be presented at The Dalles Public Library on Thursday, April 7th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. SoulCollage offers you a chance to create a card with personal meaning while building intuition and wisdom. And it is simple, easy and fun. All materials are provided and absolutely no art experience is necessary. It is free but donations are gratefully appreciated.
As a reminder, Betty Harlan’s Celebration of Life will be held at the Mid-Columbia Senior on Saturday April 8th from 11:00 – 3:00. Lunch will be provided and donations to Meals-on-Wheels will be accepted.
Performing for the Center’s Tuesday Night Music on April 10thwill be Martin and Friends. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated.
The brand of small die-cast toys first introduced by Lesney Products in the 1950’s and were designed for the co-owner’s daughter because her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox were, you guessed it, Matchbox Toys. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Virginia McClain.)
For this month’s “Remember When” questions, the focus is television from the 50’s and 60’s starting with the western which became a hit genre in a large part due to the success of the long running television series, Gunsmoke – one of the first adult westerns. In that television series, what was the name of the woman with whom Matt Dillion had a close personal relationship, although the two never married? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of the Long Branch Saloon.
Well, it’s been another week, grateful for every passing day. Until we meet again, sometimes if you want to get from one shore to another, you have to build your own boat.