Aging Well in the Gorge April 4th 2017

A friend from southern Wasco County once told me there are three stages in life: a time when you do what you are told, a time when you do what you think you should do and the final stage: when you can do what you really want to do.
During your retirement years, you have the time to start doing what you want to do: travel more, reconnect with past hobbies or start new ones, or just spend more time with the grandkids.
But among all those competing interests, I would encourage you to find time to volunteer, not because it is something you should do, but because it can be as rewarding and fun as any cruise to the Caribbean.
You have probably heard why you should volunteer: chance to make new friends, keeps you mentally sharp, or just gets you out of the house. The evidence is clear that volunteering is good for your health and well-being.
Nonetheless, what do you want to do?
Recently, there have been several excellent articles in the Chronicle about volunteering. At the Center, we have lost three volunteers. For them volunteering was not a “should do”, but a desire to do something they truly enjoyed, whether it was teaching a dance class, tending the rose garden or helping at the front desk.
So, if you decide that volunteering is something you want to do, how do find the right place? Here are a few tips that could help in your search.
1.) Look for a group that deals with a subject which you strongly care about. Could it be politics, arts, or mentoring young people?
2.) Consider your special talents and look for a volunteer opportunity which can utilize them. Have you managed projects? Do you enjoy meeting strangers? 
3.) Or if you are tired of doing the same old thing, find a volunteer opportunity where you have a chance to develop new skills. 
4.) Think outside the box! There are probably community groups looking for volunteers you haven’t even thought of. 
5.) When you find an organization, check it out by requesting an interview to make sure it matches your interest and skills. 
6.) Find the volunteer activity that fits your schedule. Is it seasonal so you can still winter in Arizona? Is it a short term or long term commitment? 
7.) Start by volunteering with friends. It can help make the transition into a new volunteer position more comfortable. 
8.) Don’t wait to be asked. Find a place to volunteer and go for it!
Sometimes we are too modest, but everyone has skills and abilities that non-profit organizations need. And I know, if you want to volunteer, there is a place for you.
A fascinating free workshop will be presented at The Dalles Public Library on Thursday, April 7th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. SoulCollage offers you a chance to create a card with personal meaning while building intuition and wisdom. And it is simple, easy and fun. All materials are provided and absolutely no art experience is necessary. It is free but donations are gratefully appreciated.
As a reminder, Betty Harlan’s Celebration of Life will be held at the Mid-Columbia Senior on Saturday April 8th from 11:00 – 3:00. Lunch will be provided and donations to Meals-on-Wheels will be accepted.
Performing for the Center’s Tuesday Night Music on April 10thwill be Martin and Friends. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated.
The brand of small die-cast toys first introduced by Lesney Products in the 1950’s and were designed for the co-owner’s daughter because her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox were, you guessed it, Matchbox Toys. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Virginia McClain.)
For this month’s “Remember When” questions, the focus is television from the 50’s and 60’s starting with the western which became a hit genre in a large part due to the success of the long running television series, Gunsmoke – one of the first adult westerns. In that television series, what was the name of the woman with whom Matt Dillion had a close personal relationship, although the two never married? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of the Long Branch Saloon.
Well, it’s been another week, grateful for every passing day. Until we meet again, sometimes if you want to get from one shore to another, you have to build your own boat.   

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