Aging Well August 19th 2014

Have you had to move from a place that was your home for many years? Rita and I are considering selling our house where we have lived twenty eight years. The children have moved away, and it is just too darn big. (My perfect size for a house is one small enough, I only needed to plug in the vacuum cleaner once.)
But you may have had other reasons for moving: too many stairs, you no longer want to drive so far to the store, or you may have the will but no longer the energy to care for five acres of trees and grass.
But even knowing the benefits of moving, it will be hard to move. It is where Rita and I have raised our children, built the basketball hoop in the driveway – in my failed attempt to raise the next Bill Walton. It is where I read to my children every night; and where my parents stayed in the downstairs apartment. It is a repository of personal memories I don’t want to forget.
But I don’t remember feeling this way when I left home after high school. Even with the fear and anxiety, I was looking ahead to the exciting opportunities: college, a career and the chance to make something of myself. But now as I look ahead, this could be one of my last moves. And I can see it as another signal of decline and the loss of independence. Or I can see it as a new adventure; an opportunity for greater freedom, fewer responsibilities and more time to discover new possibilities and new friends.
At least that is what I will be telling myself when Rita and I eventually sell the house. It may be the end of one chapter of wonderful memories I will always cherish. But it will also be the beginning of another chapter, yet to be written.
The Center is now accepting reservations to see Kinky Boots, the 2013 Tony award winner for best musical, on Thursday, October 2nd at the 2:00 matinee performance at the Keller Auditorium in Portland. There is only room for 20, and five tickets have already been reserved. The cost is $75 which includes transportation.
Health insurance, whether provided by an insurance company or the government, is complicated and often frustrating. Fortunately, in the case of Medicare, there are dedicated SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) volunteers who offer unbiased help for older adults trying to navigate the Medicare waters.
But this valuable service is only available if there are trained volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a SHIBA volunteer, now is the time, because there is a two day training at the Center scheduled from 9:00 – 4:00 on August 26th and 27th sponsored by the local Area Agency on Aging. The deadline to register for the training has passed, but if you are interested, I will go out on a slippery limb to ask you to call Mary at 541-298-4101 and register for the training. And you don’t have to worry about lunch – it is provided.
Last week’s two missing vowels, C,D, have returned from the music store, so there is now peace and harmony in the alphabet. But now that everyone is home, I’m not sure who will be playing at the Center next Tuesday night. Hopefully we will have someone lined up, so you can enjoy another evening of dancing and listening to music performed by local musicians.
The name of the tough, wise cracking and hard drinking private detective in the Big Sleep is Philip Marlowe. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Alex Currie.)
This week’s “Remember When” question is about a comic strip character who was the central figure of one of the longest running comic strips, and was the inspiration for a 1923 hit song, which if I told you the title would give the answer away. But in 1934 he met Snuffy Smith in the mountains of North Carolina and by 1954 his character was eliminated from the comic strip except for occasional cameos. Who was this mustached, henpecked, cigar-chomping, comic strip character wearing gloves and a top hat? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of his beloved race horse Spark Plug.

Well, it’s been another week trying to stay in the game without losing my shirt. Until we meet again, as my ninety-nine year old Aunt Mo told me, “You have to work at getting old”.

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” Maya Angelou

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