Aging Well December 3rd 2013

Sometimes, don’t you just wish things were different? Thoughts wouldn’t disappear like a magician’s assistant; the body could still scale tall mountains; and old friends would still be there – sitting next to you at church or during lunch at the Center.

There are days when it is a struggle just to keep moving and your head above water. And when that happens it is easy to focus on what we don’t have (and during this season we are bombarded with all the material things we don’t have) instead of what we do – and can get stuck riding a downward spiral into the sticky goop of self-pity.

But in the book Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Every Day of Your Life by M.J. Ryan, a book recently loaned to me by Ron Nelson, Ryan shares her thoughts and understanding of how gratitude can make us better aware of all the wonders we experience and remind us of the bountiful harvest before us and the amazing miracle of life.

By expressing our gratitude for what we have and making it a daily habit, we can live a more positive and meaningful life and have the strength to address our worries and change what is broken.

As Meister Eckhart once said “If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you’ that would suffice.”

And for those of you who thought you missed last Tuesday’s Lecture by Joyce Powell Morin on the Healing Power of Gratitude and Optimism, you didn’t. I had to postpone the presentation, but it has been rescheduled for January 28th.

And speaking of the 11:00 Tuesday Lectures at the Center, the next speaker on December 10th will be Dick LaFever sharing his moving and powerful story of forgiveness and his faith that’s given him strength during the painful times in his life. Whether you have heard his message or not, I would encourage you to attend this presentation.

Pinochle is a popular card game: it is challenging involving teamwork and skill, but easy enough to learn. And what better way to get together with others, stretch your cranium (and if you know the right places – enjoy some great homemade snacks) while having fun. There are many places to play Pinochle including at the Center on Thursday afternoons starting at 1:00 and Friday nights starting at 6:00 – and like all the activities at the Center, they are open to everyone.

But if you want to learn how to play Pinochle or brush up on your skills, starting December 3rd on every Tuesday from 1 – 3 PM at the Eagles, there will be free instruction on how to play the game. It is open to everyone – you don’t have to be a member of the Eagles. For more information contact Gayla Hill at 541-993-0873.

Are you tired of having to read all the mixed up letters for the Center’s music announcement and just want it to be simple and clear? Sorry, no can do. You see, I’m only thinking of you – and how “easy” is really not good for your brain health – or much of a challenge. But you say you have enough challenges – like just getting out of the chair!  Okay, in the Christmas spirit, I will only scramble some of the words in this week’s music announcement. Now are you happy?

On Tuesday igevnen, Emderbec 10th ta the Rnecte, Martin adn Friends iwll eb lgyinap curntyo favorites. Rsodo open ta 6:00, hte usmci starts ta 7:00, and donations aer radpatpeiec. And no matter how cldo ti is outside, Byab ti’s wamr dnseii.

The answers to last week’s “Remember When” questions were Tom Mix, the original cowboy actor, and his horse Tony. (The winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on December 21st is Jim Ayers.)

And during the month of December I will ask questions from Christmases past – including this one about the No. 1 song in December 1952. What was the name of this Christmas oldie recorded by Jimmy Boyd, when he was only 13 years old, describing what a little boy saw when he walked downstairs on Christmas Eve. E-mail your question to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a bushel full of Phoradendron serotinum that I can hang in the bedroom doorway.

Well, it has been another week raking away the leaves that somehow keep reappearing.
Until we meet again, as we experience the challenges of aging don’t forget all the things that don’t need fixing.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Thornton Wilder

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