Aging Well December 8 2009

Is it going to snow? How cold is it going to get? And why do Portlanders whine when the temperature gets below thirty – as if it’s really cold? And why do we complain when it gets below twenty as if it is really, really cold? Some believe the Scandinavians – who know a little about cold weather – have the secret to happiness. They have the good sense to know that it can always get worse!

But as we enter this winter season, it becomes more difficult to get out and about for many folks. I know when it is cold and blustery outside, my first thought is to watch a good movie with a cup of hot chocolate inside. And who wants to drive in the snow or ice with the chance of getting stuck. Or after dark when the eyes just don’t adjust as well as they use to.

But although this hunkering down at home may reduce certain risks, it can be harmful if it creates greater social isolation. We as human beings need a social network – however limited – to keep active and engaged, to provide help when needed and to know that someone cares. Some of these connections are provided by neighbors, church congregations and Meals-on-Wheels, but we can do more to help folks who are more isolated during the winter months. On the horizon there are some exciting possibilities including electronic communication: emails and video conferencing, but that technology is too new and too intimidating for many.

But this winter, the Center wants to be a resource for you. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can get you in touch with Marilyn Buchannan and the Friendly Visitor program at the Area Agency on Aging, Scout Troop #395 – they have shoveled snow on an hours notice, or other appropriate agencies and volunteers. So if you need any help this winter, give the Center a call at 296-4788.

The music will continue nonstop through the month of December, because sometimes you just gotta get out there and shake a few tail feathers – with what tail feathers we have left. Tonight the Cherry Park Band will be playing their crowd pleasing favorites and next Tuesday the Sugar Daddies will be back. These bands are so hot, when they play we have to turn on the air conditioner – even in December. The music and dancing starts at 7:00 and the cost is absolutely nothing, although we do appreciate any donations to keep the doors open and the bands happy.

Last week, I forgot to mention the answer to the question, who sang “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. It was Dinah Shore and Alex Currie was the winner. This week’s winner of another free breakfast was Marilyn Ciranny who still remembers Xavier Cugat, the conductor who was known for holding a Chihuahua in one arm while conducting with the other – and still had time to marry the flamboyant and provocative Charo.

In the fifties, as with Dinah Shore’s show, it was common for companies to sponsor the whole show. One particular sports show my father use to watch every Friday night on NBC was the Cavalcade of Sports from Madison Square Gardens featuring all the great boxers of the time. The sponsoring company even had a popular theme song: “Look Sharp, Be Sharp March”. What was the name of the company? To enter the drawing email the correct answer to, call 296-4788 or drop it off at the Center by 5:00 on Wednesday.

Start planning for this month’s Saturday Breakfast on December 19th sponsored by Mill Creek Point with special entertainment and other goodies. Last year’s special December breakfast was canceled because of snow, but the folks at Mill Creek Point have promised the weather on the 19th will be so warm and balmy, Santa will be wearing shorts and flip flops!

Well it looks like it may be one of those “Baby, it’s cold outside” weeks. So until we meet again, keep your hands and heart warm this holiday season.

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