Aging Well April 17th

While temporarily sidelined; awkwardly moving about on my crutches like a new born foal, friends ask how I am doing: Any pain? Are things getting better? And I appreciate their concern, but I am a little embarrassed – because I’ve had it easy. There hasn’t been any real discomfort and it is temporary – only six more weeks!
For at the same time, I know too many people who are quietly, without notice or fanfare, carrying a much heavier burden – either physically or emotionally. Some are suffering daily from back pain without an easy medical answer – and yet they get up every morning and keep moving. There are others who are carrying for a loved one, 24/7, and they get up every morning and keep giving. And there are folks who have been diagnosed with a life threatening condition and still get up every morning and keep laughing.

Some of you might think knowing these folks would be depressing – a vivid reminder of a future when “if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work”. But for me, they are my real heroes. They are reach-out-and-hug examples of how to live with whatever problem is thrown your way. And how you learn to just deal with it – both the good and the bad – without self-pity and bitterness, but with graciousness and quiet perseverance. Unknowingly, they have taught me, although problems never go away – they just change, there is no need to hide under the covers when each day is a gift of friendships, memories and new adventures.

Do I remind you of a community event the day before – when it may be too late, because you already made plans? Or do I remind you three week in advance and give you a chance to forget? Since I haven’t a clue to the answer, I’ll do both.

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 18th, The Dalles Area Habitat for Humanity is having their annual Pizza Feed at Spookys. It’s from 5:00 – 8:00 and the cost is $12 for those between 13 and 100. (I guess for any of you out there over 100 – it’s free!) And then on Saturday, May 5th, at Calvary Baptist, the Wasco County Pioneers will have their Annual Wasco County Pioneer Association meeting with lunch starting at 11:30. Membership is $12.50 for a family or $10.00 for an individual and is open to anyone interested in Wasco County history.

The Center’s Old Fashioned Bingo is back for another month on Saturday April 21st. All ages are welcome, parents, grandparents and grandkids, to play bingo as we did when we were kids. We use the old fashioned hard cards which are $3 a piece or two for $5. And to make it interesting, there are small $5.00 cash prizes for the first nine games and $25 for the last blackout. This family affair starts at 3:00 at lasts for a tad over an hour.

This month’s Saturday Breakfast sponsored by Cherry Heights Retirement Community would normally be held this Saturday. But during the month of April we hop on the Cherry Festival train and serve breakfast on the morning of the parade. So don’t stop by the Center this Saturday, unless you want to play cribbage at 9:00, and I’ll see on the 28th serving breakfast at the Center between 8:00 – 10:00 am.

Tonight at the Center, Truman will be playing his smooth Country Gold and next Tuesday the Strawberry Mountain Band will be roughing it up with more country and western. The music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.

“Hey, Culligan Man!” was the person housewives called to soften their hard water. (And the winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast on April 28th is Jenny Gardner.)
May is Older Americans Month and the theme is “Never Too Old to Play”. And to celebrate, the Center will host a Team Trivia Night on a Friday in May. But one of the trivia questions for that night is this week’s “Remember When” question. What Pulitzer-Prize winning book, published in 1939, was written about Depression-era migrant workers who traveled from farm to farm to pick crops? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or Fed Ex it to the Center with the album “Okie from Muskogee”.

Well, it has been another week pushing the envelope up the mountain slope. Until we meet again, as the British government told their citizens during WW II “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

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