Aging Well in the Gorge December 13th 2016

Winter is the season when all schoolchildren become weathermen, trying to predict whether there will be enough snow to close school so they can sleep in before going outside to build snow men. (Do kids still play in the snow anymore – or do they just assemble snowmen on their computer screens?)

Well, last Friday was one of those days kids dream about. But at my age, snow days just don’t quite have the same excitement. Certainly, there is still the anticipation, but now it is: How much snow am I going to have to shovel? Will the car make it out of the parking spot? Will I fall flat on my face walking across the parking lot?

But snow is no surprise and we do adjust – often just staying inside and out of trouble. So while snuggled up on the Lazyboy recliner, why not catch up on the best Christmas movies from the 40’s and 50’s. We use to have to check TV Guide to see if our favorite movies were showing on TV – if at all. But now you can watch them anytime over the Internet using streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, or Amazon (although you usually have to pay).

So where do you start? Here are nine movies from the 40’s and 50’s, including their leading actors, ranked in the top 25 best Christmas movies by the movie review website “Rotten Tomatoes”.

#24 – The Bishop’s Wife, 1948 – Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young.
#18 – A Christmas Carol, 1951 – Alastair Sim and Kathleen Harrison.
#13 – The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, 1944, -Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, and William Demarest. #6 – The Apartment, 1960 – Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray.
#5 – Stalag 17, 1953 – William Holden, Peter Graves, and Robert Strauss.
#4 – Holiday Inn, 1941 – Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
#3 – The Shop Around the Corner, 1940 – Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart.
#2 – Miracle on 34th Street, 1947 – Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, and Natalie Wood.
#1 – It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946 – Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore.

If I missed your favorite Christmas movie, email me and I will mention it next week.

Everyone’s invited to the Center’s annual Holiday Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 AM on Saturday, December 17th, sponsored by Dennis Morgan – Copper West Realtors and Dean Dollarhide – State Farm Insurance. And this year we’re trying something new: offering all-you-can-eat pancakes. In addition, the menu includes scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and coffee or juice all for $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for children 12 and under.

Meals-on-Wheels is serving a special Christmas Dinner on December 20th instead of their usual birthday dinner. And to have time to prepare, the dinner will be served at 2:00 instead of noon – so you still have time to drive home before dark. But because there is only room to seat 125 people, you will need to sign up ahead of time. There is a signup sheet at the Center or you can call Meals-on-Wheel at 541-298-8333.

Because of the Meals-on-Wheels Christmas party, there will not be music at the Center Tuesday night, December 20th. But if you can wait til after Christmas, you’ll find Country Road playing on the 27th.

Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. # 9 – Telling stories about the “good old days”. Although it is sobering to think that these may be the “good old days” for a future generation.

The name of the television show that featured a boy with a propeller beanie and a Sea-Sick Sea Serpent was Beany and Cecil. (This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Jerry Phillips and Tina Castanares.)

The Christmas classic, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is the third most performed Christmas song of this century. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who sang the song when it was introduced in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the 2014 hit version sung by the English singer-songwriter Sam Smith.

Well, it’s been another week, tangled up in all my loose ends. Until we meet again, snow is nature’s reminder to slowdown.

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner

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