Aging Well in the Gorge ~ March 1st, 2023

When March arrives, I expect winter to be over. Okay, as my wife reminded me, winter doesn’t officially end until March 18th, but I’m talking unofficially or maybe more accurately wishfully. But it looks like this year my wish has not come true – with the ten-day forecast predicting daytime highs not getting above the mid-forties.

But soon, maybe not around the corner but at least not far down the road, spring will arrive, and the once dormant yard and garden will burst out of their hibernation waiting for some tender loving care. But that’s my wife’s love.

For myself, it’s time to start taking walks again: to get out of the house and explore the town I’ve lived in for over forty years and rediscover the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures I’ve ignored because I was just too busy or in a rush.

And this spring, I’ve found some help! Several weeks ago, Scott Stephenson, director of The Dalles Art Center, spoke at The Dalles Rotary, and during his presentation, he demonstrated a fascinating app you can use on your smartphone. It’s called OtoCast. The beauty of the app is it shows the location, photos, and a brief description of various sites in The Dalles or Hood River. It’s like a walking tour guide in your pocket – and it doesn’t cost a thing! On the app, you can find different historical sites featured in “Altogether The Dalles” a city-wide art collaboration. In Hood River, you can find twenty-five pieces of public art from the “Art of Community” artistic collaboration which turns ordinary spaces into community landmarks.

You can download OtoCast at Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Then while taking a walk and enjoying the fresh spring air, you can also enjoy the unique treasures in The Dalles and Hood River.

I’ve written about how the Powerful Tools for Caregivers class can help caregivers take care of themselves by reducing stress, improving self-confidence, better communicating their feelings, making tough decisions, and locating helpful resources so they can care for others.

But there can’t be any Powerful Tools for Caregivers without class leaders.

If you are a Washington resident and want to lead a Powerful Tools for Caregivers class, there is a virtual training over Zoom on April 3rd through the 7th from 1pm to 4pm. There’s no cost but space is limited so you need to register soon by emailing And you’ll find it also beneficial because as John C. Maxwell said, “You never really know something until you teach it to someone else.”

This month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder” is beautifully written by Susan Hess sharing her conversations with five women living in two cultures; working to preserve their traditional culture and language for future generations.

Brain Tease: Farmer Smith owns three pink pigs, four brown pigs, and one black pig. How many of Smith’s pigs can say that it is the same color as another pig on Smith’s farm?

The one-time teen idol who performed at the Shamrock in The Dalles five months before his tragic death was Ricky Nelson. I received correct answers from Emmitt Sampson, Sandy Haechrel, Diana Weston, Anna O’Donnell, Steve Woolpert – who I missed last week, Donna Mollet, Doug Nelson, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Deborah Medina, Katherine Schlick Noe, Bruce Johnson, Jess Birge, Pat Evenson-Brady who will send you a copy of the “Travelin Man” if you ask nicely, and Nancy Higgins who saw him at the Oregon State Fair in 1978 and is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

This type of bed was invented in the late 1960s, was a rage in the 1970s, and in the mid-1980s was 22% of all bedding purchases. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this innovative and supportive bed that was supposed to offer a sound night’s sleep, but for some it just made them seasick? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send your answer with your favorite story of owning this type of bed.

Well, it’s been another week, thinking too much about this and not enough about that. Until we meet again, if you are going to leap before you look be prepared for a wild ride down.

“Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush.” — Doug Larson

Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through

Friday unless otherwise noted.

Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River

Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center

(541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)

For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office

(509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior

Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: None. Pigs don’t talk.