Aging Well August 18

Am I nuts or do I feel “autumn” is in the air? Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

But soon it will be autumn and because either I use to teach or was a student too long, autumn always reminds me of starting anew: new clothes, new classes, and meeting new and old friends.

Although we no longer need to go to school – we no longer need a piece of paper for our career advancement – we can continue learning. And it is such a kick to learn something new: a new language (Japanese anyone?), creative writing or how about another try at algebra? But it can also be a simpler task we learn: using chop sticks, creating formulas on an excel spreadsheet or learning to play the Wii. The educator Mortimer Adler once said “The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.”

There are so many avenues to discover new information and gain new insights: from the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and The Dalles Art Center to the History Channel on cable TV; from Columbia Gorge Community College and the Planetree Health Resource Center to your church’s bible study or reading the Economist – or just opening your eyes as if you were a new born child.

The Center can be another source for your life exploration. You can choose from the “tried and true” classes including the Seniorcise, Yoga, Tap and Clogging and the AARP Driver Safety Class, and activities such as Pinochle, Bridge, and the Quilters. In September, the Center will resume the Next Chapter Lecture series, the Computer Basics Class and the popular Computer Help Lab; plus Tai Chi with Corliss Marsh as well as “Yes, You can Draw!” with Nancy Russell. And this is just a sample of the many classes and activities the Center offers.

But every year we want to add new opportunities. We will start offering a weekly “Computer How-To” discussion group to share our knowledge about various topics – from how to download pictures to how to use social networks such as Facebook. We will also start a Brain Fitness class to help keep our brains stimulated while replacing those cobwebs upstairs with snappy neurons.

And if there is any knowledge, skill or hobby you would like to share with others – and you don’t have to have a degree – give the Center a call. We can make something happen.

A couple of quick reminders. Meals on Wheels will be assisting the local firemen’s MDA Sunday Brunch fundraiser at the Center this coming Sunday, August 23rd from 10:00 – 1:00. Enjoy fine food for a good cause. And then stay a little longer and listen and dance to the Jammers at the Center’s Pie and Jam Social from 2 – 5pm.

Tonight at the Center, the Hardshell Harmony will be performing there jaw-dropping, toe-tapping bluegrass sounds. And next week the Jazz Generations will be back to play their big band sounds. Everybody is welcome and the music is free, but since nothing else is, donations are greatly appreciated.

The winner of last week’s “Remember When” question was Alex Currie, with a little help from his son, who called in the correct answer, WC Fields. We now switch to a new category “Current Events – from the Past” for one free breakfast on Saturday September 19th. The question is “What famous disaster occurred at Lakehurst Naval Air Station on Thursday, May 6th, 1937”? Call 296-4788 or email to

Until we meet again, remember what your teacher always use to tell you, “Pay attention!”

“No matter how one may think himself accomplished, when he sets out to learn a new language, science, or the bicycle, he has entered a new realm as truly as if he were a child newly born into the world.” Francis Willard author of “How I learned to Ride the Bicycle”

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