Aging Well in the Gorge August 28th 2019

As you read this, my wife and I are in Montreal for a family reunion/vacation. My idea of a vacation is doing nothing, hanging out at coffee shops drinking Chai Tea Lattes and shooting the breeze (Do people say that anymore? Shooting the breeze.) But my sister, who has lived most of her life in the Washington DC area (although we grew up in Indianapolis and she and her husband have moved back to Indy), wanted to go someplace more exciting! So we’ll be visiting Montreal and Quebec City which my wife and I don’t mind because Montreal will be the closest we’ll ever get to Paris. My sister is learning French so she can better appreciate the culture since Montreal is the second largest primarily French speaking city in the world. I have difficulty pronouncing English words so I’m skipping that effort. Except I have learned one phrase that might come in handy, “Où sont les toilettes?” which translates to “Where is the toilet?”
So I’ve decided to punt this week and use that age old trick of repeating part of a previous column from 2014 where I shared the insights I had learned over the years as Director of the Center. Some are original but most I have gather from others, James Dean and Adeline Knorr for example, and I hope you will find some of them useful as we share this journey of life.
1. What is good for your heart is good for your brain.
2. Learn something new without worrying how good you’ll be.
3. First steps to improve your memory: focus and pay attention.
4. Most things don’t really matter, but a few really do.
5. The goal is not to get faster, but to keep from slowing down.
6. Getting older beats the alternative, but it is hard work.
7. Accept what you can’t control – and then adapt.
8. Live in the now.
9. Know what you want and let others know – particularly your adult children.
10. “Dream as if you will live forever and live as if you will die tomorrow.” James Dean
11. Age is in your attitude.
12. “Avoid the five S’s: Sugar, Salt, Seconds, Soda and Shortening.” Adeline Knorr
13. Add color to your meals i.e. eat vegetables!
14. Isolation kills. Stay connected.
15. Keep moving – at least 30 minutes a day.
16. Breathe from your belly.
17. See the world with virgin eyes and you’ll find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
18. Relationships are more important than things (although I do have an unhealthy relationship with my iPhone).
 19. Grey hair is cool.
 20. And as the late Carl Kramer once said, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out and before you know it, you are 100 years old.
Looking back, now that I’m 71 compared to when I was a young whipper snapper at 66, I wouldn’t change anything on the list. But there are two more insights I would add: “Denial is not a good strategy” and “Play – Rest – Repeat” which I will discuss in future columns. But what is exciting is knowing there is still more to discover about living healthy with courage, compassion and purpose.
Nehemiah Brown will be back one more time singing at the Center during the Meals-on-Wheels lunch on September 6th starting at 11:30. Unfortunately this may be his last performance since he and Carol will be moving to Arizona.
The names of the two stars of the first five beach party movies produced in the 1960’s were Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Since I am enjoying the coffee shops and shooting the breeze in Montreal, I’ll mention everyone with correct answers next week.
Now that we’re near the end of another summer, I thought I’d see if you remember this bestselling recording of the summer of ‘63. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who at the age of 13 recorded live the summer hit “Fingertips Pt 2” and went on to be one of the best-selling musicians of all time? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop the answer off at the Center with a Hohner Chromonica 280/64 Harmonica.
Well, it’s been another week, filed away in the file drawer. Until we meet again, enjoy a beautiful Labor Day remembering all those who labored to make this country what it is today.
“For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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