Aging in the Gorge February 16th 2022

We all experience aches and pains, right? It just goes with living a long life. But there are times when the pain should not be ignored, and you should seek medical attention.  

In her 2020 article for AARP “10 Pain Symptoms You Should Never Ignore, Michelle Crouch shares the advice of several doctors about which pains you should seek immediate care. I’m not including the reasons why but let’s just say theyre not good. If you want to read the whole article you can visit 


The first thing to keep in mind is any new or unexplained pain should be checked out by a doctor even if it’s not severe. But some pains are more serious and should be evaluated immediately. 


1. Pain with loss of function such as when you injure your leg and can’t move it.  


2. Eye pain that comes out of nowhere 


3. Any type of chest pain because a heart attack isn’t always a sudden, crushing pain. It can be more like a dull pressure or a heaviness. Other signs of a heart attack are vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, or shortness of breath while doing ordinary activities.  


4. Pain in one or both arms, your jaw, or between your shoulder blades are lesser-known symptoms of a heart attack and are more likely to affect women. 


5. The worst headache of your life. A headache is particularly worrisome if accompanied by neck stiffness, weakness, vision change, or occurs after hitting your head if you are taking a blood thinner. 


6. Severe abdominal pain particularly a new pain that doesn’t go away or keeps getting worse or is associated with vomiting, swelling, or a fever.  


7. Increasing calf or thigh pain, especially if in just one leg, after a prolonged period of inactivity, even if it’s not severe. It may feel like a muscle cramp and is often accompanied by leg swelling or redness.  


8. Pain from a minor wound (especially one that is red and swollen) that keeps getting worse over a few days can be a sign of a serious infection. 


9. Pain after a procedure or injection can occasionally cause infection or bleeding. If you experience persistent pain or loss of function, call your provider right away. 


10. Pain with a high fever can be your body fighting a dangerous infection. It’s especially important to seek treatment quickly if the pain is in your mouth, throat, or neck; in your lower or upper back; associated with an area of tender, inflamed skin; or is at or around a surgical site.  


You know your body and which pains are normal. But for those new and unexplained ones, don’t ignore them thinking you are tough and want to show your independence, or you don’t want to bother your doctor or worry your children. You don’t want to spend time in a hospital bed wondering “I should of ”. 


The name of the ghost who unintentionally scared almost everyone he met was Casper the Friendly Ghost. I received correct answers from Chuck Rice, Lucile Stephens, Doug Nelson, Barbara Cadwell, Keith and Marlene Clymer, Pat Evenson-Brady, Margo Dameier, Gene Uczen, Linda Frizzell, Tammara Tippel, Donna Mollett, Julie Carter, Rose Schulz, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Rebecca Abrams whose last name I misspelled last week but hopefully not this time! 


The Beatles have been back in the news with the 2021 release of the nearly eight-hour-long docuseries Get Back. It features in-studio footage shot in early 1969 that covers the making of the Beatles’ twelfth and final studio album. For this week’s “Remember When Question”, what was the name of this album released on May 8th, 1970 almost a month after the Beatles broke up? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a picture of Yoko Ono and John Lennon in bed on their wedding day.  


Well, it’s been another week, trying to play the long game which isn’t so long anymore. 

Until we meet again, I’ve found I don’t forget things, I just remember them at the wrong times.  


Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before. The “Come up and see me some time Mae West 


Aging Well in the Gorge February 9th 2022

 Taking my advice, I’ve started the long-neglected task of “decluttering” and while doing so I’ve found old pictures in closets, drawers, and banker boxes stored in a basement corner – photos I haven’t looked at for years! What do I do with all of them? How do I downsize my photo collection? For those of you who may find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few ideas I’ve discovered.

Pace yourself. It’s a big job. Spend one to two hours at a time – and I’ve found it takes longer than I thought as I recall stories with each photo.

Get started. Gather all your photos and find a comfortable place to sit where you have room to sort photos and can leave them out for a few weeks. The dining room table? Or the floor in a seldom-used room if you don’t mind getting up off the floor – which I do mind!.

Now the hard part. How do you organize your photos? You can sort in chronological order: a timeline of your family history; by theme: all your family Christmas photos; or sort by person: a particular family member. Use whatever method makes sense to you.

That was the hard part. But here is the really hard part: deciding what to keep.

It is suggested you sort your photos into three subcategories.

1.) Discard pile. All the duplicates and multiple pictures of the same scene. (How many pictures of the garden do you really need?)

2.) The top 10%: These are the photos you’d frame or put in an album. A special memory, a special place, or just a photo artistically well done.

3.) Everything Else: They’re photos you don’t feel strongly about but don’t want to throw away either. Box them up, label them, and don’t give them another thought. Most likely over time, as happens with many stored items hidden in the basement, you’ll lose any real attachment to them.

You’ve finished the hard parts, now how do you want to store them? There are several options.

1.) Shoebox-size boxes for 4×6 photos and manila folders for larger pictures.

2.) Acid-Free” or “Archival Quality” photo albums of similar height that can fit nicely on a shelf.

3.) Digitize your photos. You can use a high-quality printer to scan your “10%” photos or use one of the many online companies that digitize photos for a price such as ScanMyPhotos and Legacybox.

One advantage is they are easier to share including those embarrassing photos of your siblings – or yourself. (The photo of my six-year-old self sitting on the bathroom toilet pretending to read the newspaper – which my sister gleefully shared with her high school girlfriends. No wonder I didn’t date much!)

Another advantage of digital photos is you can create one-of-a-kind photo products. The online company Shutterfly will use your digitized photos to produce personalized gifts such as mugs, framed prints, T-shirts, and even jigsaw puzzles.

Organizing your decades-old photos can be as overwhelming as decluttering your house, but it’s worth it. When I can no longer hold their hands, my children and grandchildren can sort through old photos and share stories of friends, family, and Papa Scott.

The United States president who first replaced Vice President Spiro Agnew and nine months later became President when Richard Nixon resigned was President Gerald Ford from the University of Michigan. I received correct answers from Sam Bilyeu, Barbara Cadwell, Gene Uczen, Rhonda Spies, Donna Mollett, Mike McFarlane, Rebecca Adams, Ruth Radcliffe, Margo Dameier, Pat Evenson-Brady, and Stephen Woolpert, whom I almost forgot, and is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

First published in comics form in 1949, this popular comic character would unintentionally scare everyone while trying to find a friend. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this friendly ghost? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a picture of the ghostly trio: Fatso, Fusso, and Lazo.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep an open mind without losing it. Until we meet again, take time each day to enjoy the pleasure of dreaming.

“The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.” Will Rogers

Aging in the Gorge February 2nd 2022

 Taxes. What can you say? People have been complaining about them since they were first established in Egypt around 3000 B.C. But without the income tax, we wouldn’t have critical services for millions of older adults: meal programs, senior housing, transportation, and particularly longterm and inhome care services (which can be expensive!) all of which help older adults live with dignity and as independently as possible. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. 

But paying your income taxes can be complicated. Albert Einstein felt the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. And that was in the 1940s! 


But there is help. 


Many of you may use an accountant, but if your returns are not complicated there are several other options. 


1) Software programs. There are several programs such as TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer which will guide you step by step and then file your tax return electronically. But they do cost. 


2) Free help from the IRS. If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, you can log on to the website and click on “File Your Taxes for Free”. There you’ll find “Free File” where you can complete and file your income tax return using many of the brand-name tax-preparation-and-filing software.   


3) AARP Gorge TaxAide. Another free option. If you don’t feel comfortable going online, Gorge TaxAide, primarily for lowincome and elderly, will complete and file your tax return electronically.  


They will have five sites open beginning February 14: Hood River Public Library, Mondays 2 – 5 PM; Hood River Valley Adult Center, Thursdays 2 – 5 PM; Tygh Valley, Thursdays 9 – 12 PM; The Mid-Columbia Senior Center, Fridays 3 – 6 PM; White Salmon, Senior Services, Tuesdays 9 – 12 AM. Potentially additional times will be added. 


All tax preparation will be by appointment onlyno dropins. To request an appointment, email including your name and contact information and your preferred tax preparation site. Requests for specific times will be considered but are not guaranteed 


At your appointment, you will drop off your tax information and meet briefly with a certified tax preparer When your tax return is completed, you will be contacted to schedule a brief meeting to pick up a copy of your tax return and sign your consent form to allow Gorge TaxAide to file your return electronically.  


As F. J. Raymond said, “Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.” So, this year try to file your taxes early and electronically to receive your tax refund as soon as possible. 


During our lives weve all learned many and sometimes many painful lessons. In this month’s “Through the Eyes of An Elder” Bruce Bolme shares his life research and the lessons he has learned.  


The 1958 novelty song “Beep, Beep” sung by the Playmates describes a Cadillac being passed at 120 mph by a Nash Rambler as the driver yells out, “Hey, buddy, how can I get this car out of second gear”. I received correct answers from Sam Bilyeu, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Doug Nelson, Rebecca Adams, Barbara Miller, Gene Uczen, Rose Schulz, Donna Mollett, Diana Weston, Dave Lutgens, Keith and Marlene Clymer, and Linda Frizzell who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.  

Polarization and conflict are not new to American politics as was demonstrated during the 1960s and ’70s. This week’s “Remember When” question takes us back to those days. For two years the United States’ president and vice president were not elected by the people in a general election. Who was this U.S. President that served from August of 1974 through January of 1977? And for bonus points, who were the two politicians he replaced? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a No. 48 football Jersey from the University of Michigan. 

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find the energy to do what I want to do. Until we meet again, find the bright side in what you “need to do. 


“People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.” — Unknown