Aging Well December 7th

Change – not that jingle jangle left in your pants pockets or at the bottom of your purse – is one of the constant expressions of life that we depend on, but often a curse as we get older. But adapting to change – the pleasant surprises and the unwanted and unexpected challenges – is a key to aging well. If you haven’t yet encountered any of those curve balls thrown your way, you are fortunate. But I am sure (as I am that Oregon will win the national football championship) you will encounter an event or time that will test you during this next chapter of your life.

But change should not to be feared. In Connie Goldman’s book “The Ageless Spirit” she shares with the reader her conversations with celebrities and friends on the challenges and rewards of aging. One conversation was with Art Linkletter who passed away last May at the age of ninety-seven and who wrote the book “Old Age is Not for Sissies”. He addresses the need to embrace change and its opportunities. “I like to think that every day some experience or some new acquaintance or some new challenge is going to change my life. There’s always one hill higher with a better view, something waiting to be learned I never knew. So till my days are over my prayer is, ‘Never fill my cup, let me go on growing up.” Change can be difficult. It can illuminate our losses and our fears. But change can also be a gift of new beginnings and new opportunities – if we can adapt. As W.R. Inge, English author and Anglican priest, wrote We must cut our coat according to our cloth, and adapt ourselves to changing circumstances.

On the weekend of the 18th and 19th, we have two culinary treats seasoned with good friends and buttered with some good fun for your pre Christmas enjoyment. On Saturday the 18th from 8:00 – 10:00 AM, Mill Creek Point is sponsoring the Center’s Saturday Breakfast. They have always added a good helping of holiday flair to the breakfast with carolers, gifts – and I believe Roxie had enough pull to persuade old St. Nick to take time off and join everyone for breakfast.

And then on Sunday the 19th, Home at Last is having a Bone Soup Feed and Silent Auction from noon till 4:00 PM at the Center. Meals-on-Wheels is offering their kitchen and assistance to help with this worthy event. Home at Last has partnered with Meals-on-Wheels by providing food for the pets of the folks who have their meals delivered so they don’t have to choose between feeding themselves or their four legged companion.

And who’s playing at the Center you ask? Andre and the Strawberry Mountain Band will be playing tonight. And next week the “Sugar Daddies” will raise the heat on the 14th. The fire starts at 7:00 and lasts until the last flame disappears at 9:00. Everybody is welcome and it’s free, although donations are always gladly accepted.

Only one answer, that I know of, came across my desk – from Ron Sutherland whose favorite Christmas song was “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus” by the singing Hoosier, John Cougar Mellencamp. The original recording by Jimmy Boyd reached #1 on the Billboard Charts in 1952.

This week’s “Remember When” question is about the movie “A Christmas Story” based on the short stories of the American humorist Jean Shepherd. And even though it was first released in 1983, this Christmas classic takes place in Hammond, Indiana (Shepherd’s home town) in the 1940’s. Most of you know the plot: Ralphie wants a BB gun for Christmas, but the question is – what kind of BB gun did Ralphie want? E-mail, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the inside cover of Jean Shepherd’s 1966 book “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”

And before I forget – which would be ironic – I promised I would mention the other three components of Brain Health that Roger Anunsen described in his Brain Health presentations. Besides physical exercise, mental exercise and socialization, the other three are good nutrition, sufficient sleep and stress reduction.

So until me meet again, don’t forget to eat well, sleep tight (don’t let the bedbugs bite), and above all else “Don’t Panic!”

“If you feel you are doing as much at seventy as you did when you were twenty, you must have not been doing much at twenty.”

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