Aging Well August 23rd

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

You may be familiar with these last six lines from the heroic poem “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It was my son’s favorite poem during his youthful days because it encapsulated the romantic belief that at all costs – you never give up.

And Isn’t that the national ideal we try to live up to? – under all adversity, against impossible odds, we cannot accept defeat. We will scale any mountain, navigate any whitewater and overcome any challenge because as our parents always told us “where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

But as we grow older most of us learn there are limits to what we can do, what can be done. We may no longer be able to drive a car safely, or walk without assistance, or be able to stay in our home. And we won’t live forever.

There is a reality that can’t be denied, a time when we must accept, and with courage and imagination adapt to what is real and unavoidable. And no longer complain about the direction of the wind and instead choosing to adjust the sails and move forward.

And to move forward with new understanding and grace; with purpose and strength and not yield to self pity and self delusion that often damages relationships with family and friends. And that may be the toughest struggle – to accept and adapt to the new reality – even though your heart is “Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will/To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

You know it is the end of summer when the days are hot but mornings are cool, the alarm clock sounds off and it is now dark, and the summer series of activities are coming to an end. On Saturday the 27th will be the final “Celebrating Local History” presentation for the summer featuring Gerald Richmond discussing the Civic Auditorium and its complex and fascinating history. This series is presented by the Wasco County Historical Society and will begin at 2:00 PM at the Rorick House located at 300 W 13th street – which is open from 12:00 – 4:00 for the remaining summer weekends. And also in the neighborhood at the Fort Dalles Museum will be the last free “Fourth Sunday at the Fort” featuring Rich and Connie Dunnington playing “folk guitar favorites” including violin/guitar music from the 1800’s. The free concert is from 4:00 – 6:00 PM on Sunday August 28th at the Fort Dalles Museum on the corner of 500 West 15th and Garrison.

Tonight the Jazz Generations will be-bopping their way through a lush meadow of popular big band hits. And next week on the fifth Tuesday of the month, the Dufur Boys will be passing time showing you how to have a good time dancing and listening to country favorites. It doesn’t matter if you arrive early or late but the music does start at 7:00. Everyone and their great-grandmother are invited and donations are graciously accepted.

The “televised nursery school of the air” where Mrs. Francis rang her school bell calling every preschooler of the 50’s to their spot in front of the television set was the “Ding Dong School”. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast or for those who can’t get up that early – ten raffle tickets for the beautiful hand stitched quilt was Debbie Larson.) This week’s “Remember When” question goes back only forty six years ago to August 22nd when this band, at the height of their popularity, flew into Portland to perform two shows at Memorial Coliseum – each before 20,000 screaming fans. What was the name of this quartet? (And if you have proof you attended the concert, bring it to the September 17th “back to school” breakfast – sponsored by the rock and rolling TDHS class of 1963 -and receive a free breakfast.) E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a $6.00 main floor ticket for August 22nd show.

Well it has been another week, still trying to decide what I am going to be when I grow up. Until we meet again, don’t overlook the little things of life and always keep your shoe laces tied.

“The world is full of cactus, but we don’t have to sit on them.” Will Foley

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