Aging Well in the Gorge September 25th 2019

Several years ago, to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, One Community Health created Gorge Happiness Month. Since then Gorge Happiness Month has grown – forming its own non-profit with the support of over a hundred businesses, organizations and local governments.
Gorge Happiness Month is based on the idea that even though fifty percent of our happiness is genetic, and ten percent is environmental, we can affect the remaining forty percent by including these three habits into our daily routine.
Gratitude: Find time each day to list three things for which you are thankful: your morning walk with friends, a beautiful sunrise or a surprise visit by your grandchildren. It doesn’t matter whether it is simple or grand. It’s the act of gratitude that counts.
Acts of kindness: This can be as easy as smiling at a cashier, saying thank you to a co-worker, or picking up trash during your walk. And if you don’t already, find a way to volunteer. Meals-on-Wheels is always looking for new drivers.
Moments of Silence: Sit silently for just five minutes each day – which means no distractions: TV, computer, radio, and cell phone. Keep your eyes closed if you want or just look at one thing about three feet in front of you. Observe the thoughts in your head, the sounds you hear around you or other sensations that come and go. If your mind wanders – just notice it and come back to observing and listening.  
During the month of October there are activities scheduled and a calendar of suggested daily actions designed to help you be happier and make our community healthier. For example, on the first day of October why not thank the first person you see; and then on the 2nd compliment a stranger.
No matter your situation, try incorporating into your daily routine the three habits for happiness: Gratitude, Act of Kindness and Moment of Silence and see if you don’t feel happier. You can find the latest at their website by searching gorge happiness month.
In October the Center will be starting a series of creative arts classes thanks to the partnership with the Columbia Center for the Arts. The classes will be led by several regional artists including Kristyn Fix who does Poetry, Creative Writing, and Haikus; Abigail Agersea who is an artist working with pen and ink and drawing florals;
Danielle Forsyth who is a glass artist; and Ruth Barnes a fiber artist working with yarn to knit or crochet. Once I finalize the dates and times, I will share them next week and on the Center’s website.
Now that it is beginning to cool off, it is a great time to start the Zumba Gold class at the Center taught by Marsha Morrison. Zumba Gold introduces easy-to-follow Zumba choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion and coordination. The benefits are many: cardiovascular, muscular conditioning, flexibility and balance! And since the Center is a Silver and Fit member, PacificSource and Moda Medicare Advantage plans will pay for the Zumba Gold classes you attend. There is no membership fee. Just sign in when you come. And if you aren’t enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, the cost is only $3 per class.
The “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” jingle first introduced in the early 60’s advertised Alka Seltzer. And “Oh, what a relief it is” that Julie Carter, Barbara Cadwell, Jim and Betsy Ayres, Cheri Brent, and Laura Comini answered the question correctly as well as Becky Roberts the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
When I was in grade school, I didn’t enjoy reading except for this mystery series created by American publisher Edward Stratemeyer and ghostwritten by many under the name of Frank W. Dixon. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this mystery series first published in 1927 that revolved around two teenage boys acting as amateur detectives? And for bonus points what was the name of the series for girls also published by Stratemeyer and ghostwritten under the name of Carolyn Keene?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the first edition of The Great Airport Mystery published in 1930.  
Well, it’s been another week, trying to connect the dots that are always moving. Until we meet again, when life gets difficult, relax and take a deep breath – or maybe two.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life, and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Aging Well in the Gorge September 18th 2019

What time is it? No, it’s not Howdy Doody time, but time for the start of the inevitable flu season. And since seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, the Center is again offering flu shots in cooperation with Rite-Aid on Wednesday, September 25th from 10:00 until 2:00. You can call the Center to reserve one of the 5-minute time slots or you can just drop in.
The flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu and avoid becoming one of the over 200,000 Americans who are hospitalized with the flu every year. For the vaccine to be the most effective, the flu vaccines are updated before each flu season to protect you against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. But even in a well-matched year, the flu vaccine is only 60 to 90 percent effective.
Therefore, you should take these additional steps to help protect yourself from the flu and other viruses.
1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water and use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren’t available. 2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible. 3. Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area. 4. Sneeze into your elbow not your hands. 5. Practice good health habits:  get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet and manage your stress – which are also the basics for good heart and brain health.
If you do start experiencing flu symptoms, seek medical advice quickly to determine if you need treatment with antiviral drugs since they should be administered early.
But how do you know if you have the flu or just a cold? It is hard to tell because colds and flu share many symptoms: fever (but not always), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue; and some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. But the primary difference is that cold symptoms are generally milder than the symptoms of flu.
And no, you can’t get the flu from a flu shot. But after receiving you flu vaccination, you could develop flu-like symptoms: low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches. There are several possible reasons. You may have a cold and not the flu. You may have caught the flu during the two weeks before the flu shot took effect. Or the flu virus you picked up is not one of the influenza viruses used for the vaccine.
The flu vaccine will not totally eliminate the possibility of the flu, but it will lower your risks. And that’s a big deal now that we are older. Some ailments we once thought were just inconvenient can have serious health implications.
Since I am writing about preventive vaccines, don’t forget to get your Shingles vaccine especially now that the newer more effective vaccine is available. And make sure you are up to date with your pneumococcal vaccination since one of the flu-related complications that can cause death is pneumococcal pneumonia.
The name of the sport that was popular in the late 50’s and 60’s (and is experiencing a revival with our own Gorge Roller Girls); consisted of two teams that included jammers, blockers and a pivot for two minute periods called “jams”; and competed on an oval track was Roller Derby. I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Barbara Cadwell, Julie Carter (who remembers her mom cheering on the Bay Area Bombers), and several other who told me the correct answer, but I failed to write down their names. And this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Rhonda Spies whose grandmother took her to see Roller Derby live at the Armory in Salem.  
There were many memorable TV jingles introduced in the 50’s and 60’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, the TV jingle first introduced in the early 60’s that went “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” advertised what product? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of “The Red Rubber Ball” sung by The Cyrkle whose band member Tom Dawes wrote the jingle.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to stay awake at 3:00 pm. Until we meet again,
do you ever feel you can recall more of what happened in your dreams than what happened last week?
“We are on earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you different.” Kurt Vonnegut, writer

Aging Well in the Gorge September 11th 2019

At every stage of life there are challenges. (Thankfully we don’t have to worry about pimples anymore!) But there is always something to laugh about – although it is often hard to find jokes and anecdotes about older adults that don’t reinforce negative stereotypes.
But as I was surfing the Internet looking for a topic for this week’s column, I came across an article by Greg Daugherty on the Next Avenue website where he interviewed Andy Landorf and John Colquhoun the creators of a new comic strip titled “The New 60”. They both had worked for the same advertising agency and started the comic after the agency was bought and started downsizing. In the comic, they poke fun at themselves and the everyday experiences they and their sixty-something friends encounter.
As Landorf explains, “I think in general we’re trying to look at the universality of what it means to be at this stage of life — what’s alike about all of us, as opposed to what’s different.
And Colquhoun adds, “So it’s not all ‘Gee, we’re getting old, our bodies don’t work like they used to.’ We wanted it to be more upbeat about the possibilities, what you can do now that the kids are out of the house and you have some time and you can travel. Or you’re reaching the end of one career and possibly starting another. We had one of our characters looking into a new franchise we invented called Pizza on a Stick.”
Landorf and Colquhoun show you can reinvent yourself at any age by following your passions whether it is growing a fantastic vegetable garden, making walking sticks or creating a comic strip. They believe it is easier today than ever to start your own thing; and if you have a passion you want to explore, go for it.
You can find their comics at or on Facebook; and enjoy a few laughs we can all relate to.
If you interested in changing jobs are looking for a new one, AARP is offering a Flexible Work Online Expo where you can explore the possibilities of flexible work options such as telework, seasonal, part-time and more. The online expo is Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 11:00 – 2:00 pm PST. You can learn more and register by googling “flexible work online expo”.
Before you call, the Center is working with RiteAid to schedule a Flu Shot clinic at the Center. I should know a date by next week.
Last week, I forgot to mention the Mid-Columbia Community Concert Association’s (MCCCA) 2019-2020 season and their first performance by the Alley Cats last Friday. But you can still purchase a season pass for the four remaining concerts. In addition, you can purchase tickets for the always popular “Dancing with The Gorge Stars” which is their fundraiser and not included in the season pass. MCCCA has been around since 1937 and is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization which has brought outstanding, on-stage entertainment to the Mid-Columbia area at affordable prices. For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website at
Tom Graff is back! He has been traveling during the month of August but is now once again singing on Thursdays from 11:00 – 12:00 before the Meals-on-Wheels dinner. Stop by and enjoy some good old country music.
On November 29, 1948 this sport debuted on television and during the late 1950s and 1960s was broadcast on several networks becoming so popular the Bay Bombers sold out arenas from coast to coast. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this sport that consisted of two teams competing on an oval track and each fielding five members that included jammers, blockers and a pivot for two minute periods called “jams”? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a photograph of the Gorge’s own amateur women’s team.
I knew last week’s question would be tough since it was about local lore. But the Mosier swimming hole popular during the 60’s and 70’s was called by many “16 Hole” although Ruth Radcliff remembered it as the “Pocket”. I did receive correct answers from Cheri Brent and Tammy Berthold who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
Well, it’s been another week, swinging from limb to limb. Until we meet again,
I know I’m getting older when the hardest part of my swim workout is taking off my swimsuit while standing in the shower!
“It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.” Warren Buffett

Aging in the Gorge September 4th 2019

September 4th 2019
When we were children, play was our vocation: pick-up basketball games, playing Monopoly or charades. We did it purely for the enjoyment and amusement without any other reason. But we grew up, started working or raising a family and play took a back seat.
Now that most of us have retired we would think there would be more time to just play. But we may not have the energy of a ten year old. Let me correct that. We don’t have the energy of a ten-year old – as we are reminded when we spend time with our young grandchildren or great grandchildren.
But we still need to find time to play – doing something just for the fun of it for all the social, physical and mental benefits. It could be Pickle Ball, planting a garden or playing pinochle. (I’ll skip the pickup basketball games. I’m not sure I could even get the ball to the hoop.)
So, the saying “Play – Rest – Repeat” is advice we should consider no matter our age. Because as George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Every non-profit has those special volunteers who put in the extra time and are always there. I want to take a moment to acknowledge two of the Center’s super volunteers. At the Center’s annual meeting in July, we presented for the first time The Betty Harlan Memorial Volunteer of the Year award named after Betty Harlan who gave so much of her time both professionally and as a volunteer to the Center and particularly The Dalles Meals on Wheels. This year Betty Dahlberg and Martha Williams received the award for recognition of their many, many years running the Center’s Nu-2-U shop which meant being there every weekday from 10:00 – 2:30 during the stores operating hours. That is truly a monumental commitment. Thank-you Betty and Martha!
Thanks for everyone for their donations and returned medical equipment because our cupboard is now full. We have all the popular items to loan: shower seats, transfer benches, commodes, walkers, rollators, and crutches.
One last reminder for those who enjoy good music. Nehemiah Brown will be performing, possibly for his last time, at the Center on Friday September 6thfrom 11:30 – 1:30 during the Meals-on-Wheels lunch which starts at 12:00. There is no cost thanks to the sponsorship by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center, but you are encouraged to enjoy a delicious lunch for a donation of $4.00 if you are sixty and over or $6.00 for everyone else.
A couple of the many events occurring in the next several weeks are the annual community gathering for the Kiwanis Steak Feed from 5:00 – 7:00 on Thursday September 5that Sorosis Park. It’s such a tradition, I don’t think I need to say any more.
And Flagstone is having a “Spark of Creativity” event on September 14that 2:00 PM to help celebrate National Assisted Living Week. This is an opportunity for anyone in the community to share their hidden or not so hidden talents which could be painting, writing, singing or whatever creative endeavor you enjoy. If you have a specific talent to share, call Karees at 541-35-4949.
Those who two weeks ago answered correctly Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello were Cheri Brent, Dale Roberts, Michael Carrico, Barbara Cadwell, Delores Schrader, and Julie Carter winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
And from last week, the bestselling recording during the summer of 1963 was “Fingertips Pt 2” sung by thirteen year old Little Stevie Wonder. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Delores Schrader, and Lana Tepfer this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
This question came from Michael Carrico for all the Gorge natives. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the nickname for the swimming hole in Mosier where young people swam during the 60’s and early 70’s to find a reprieve from the summer heat? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a picture of yourself in a bathing suit back in the day when many of us used baby oil instead of sunscreen and never heard of skin cancer.
Well, it’s been another week, and another doctor poking my body. Until we meet again,
there will be times when you’ll feel down, but just know you will bounce back.
“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep stepping.” Chinese Proverb