Aging Well December 11th 2012

During the regular chit chat with my sister over the Thanksgiving holiday (you know – football, the weather, latest aches and pains) my sister threw me a curve and asked “What have you learned from having worked at the Senior Center for almost six years now?” It caught me off guard and what immediately came to mind was the only fact I learned from the lecture on continence – you should wait long enough so that every time you – the how should I say this gently – use the bathroom, it should last at least ten seconds. (So guys if you see me in the restroom counting to ten, now you know why.)

Fortunately I kept that thought to myself and instead offered more sagely advice reflecting my years of wisdom and experience: “Stay socially connected and keep moving”. Good advice, right? But after several days of reflection, I should have answered “To age well you need to learn to accept and adapt”.

As we age, we experience changes we never thought would happen to us – uncooperative bodies, memory lapses and personal losses.  But it is important to accept “the way it is” – this new and often challenging reality. But accepting is not the same as “giving up” – if you identify ways to adapt. For instance, if it is getting difficult to drive, avoid complicated intersections; if you can’t read because of poor vision, listen to books on tape; and if you have lost close friends, meet new ones.

Although we may wish we could just take off our shoes, kick back and relax at this stage of our lives, we know it isn’t that easy. But the good news is that with effort, creativity and perseverance, we can accept and adapt – and make the remaining years of our lives both purposeful and rewarding.

Hot cakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage or bacon is the menu for the Center’s Christmas Breakfast sponsored by the same folks as last year, but with a new name this year- “The Springs at Mill Creek”. They are bringing along Santa, gifts and holiday entertainment with “Harmony of the Gorge”. This is your chance to get into the holiday spirit and while enjoying a delicious Saturday breakfast.

If you appreciate the art, cultural and historical non-profits, you only have three weeks to donate to your nonprofit of choice and to the Oregon Cultural Trust in order to receive a matching tax credit. All you have to do is make a donation to any of Oregon’s arts, heritage and humanities non-profits including twenty-two in Wasco and Sherman County (listed at; make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust; and then claim your entire contribution to the Cultural Trust as a tax credit. The Oregon Cultural Trust is an innovative public-private fundraising and grant making program that funds the local Wasco Cultural Trust Coalition which annually distributes $500 to $1000 grants to area schools and non-profits.

The Center’s Nu-2-U Shop is overflowing with used clothes of all kinds. So Betty and Martha are having their End-of-the-Year Bag Sale on Thursday and Friday (13th and 14th). And for both days the store will be open from 10:00 – 3:00 PM.

Tonight at the Center, Martin and Friends will be playing the last Tuesday Night performance in 2012. But like bed bugs in a cheap hotel, the music will be back on January 8th starting at 7:00 PM.

The 1948 – 1957 television show that used puppets to appeal to the children but was watched more by adults was “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”. (And the winner of a Christmas Breakfast is Herm Neuberger.) For this week’s “Remember When” question, I may be repeating myself since I can’t remember if I’ve asked this question before. (But then I imagine you can’t remember either!) So possibly for the second time, what comedy duo had their own show on both radio and television that included imaginary off the wall interviews with recurring characters such as Wally Ballou, Biff Burns, Arthur Sturdley, Webley Webster, and the McBeeBee twins. E-mail your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a tape of the radio soap opera “Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife”.

Well, it has been another week, remembering the past while imagining the future. Until we meet again, celebrate the years remaining because, to paraphrase Robert Frost, the afternoon knows the joys what the morning never suspected.

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
Yoko Ono

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