Aging Well in the Gorge December 14th, 2022

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

You may be familiar with these last six lines from the heroic poem “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It was my son’s favorite poem during his youthful days because it encapsulated the romantic belief that at all costs – you never give up.

Isn’t that the national ideal we try to live up to? Under all adversity, against impossible odds, we cannot accept defeat. We will scale any mountain, navigate any whitewater and overcome any challenge because as our parents always told us “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

But as we grow older, we learn there are limits to what we can do. We may no longer be able to drive a car safely, walk without assistance, or be able to stay in our homes. And we won’t live forever.

There is a reality that can’t be denied, a time when we must accept, and adapt to what is real and unavoidable with courage and imagination. And no longer complain about the direction of the wind and instead choose to adjust the sails and move forward.

And we should move forward with new understanding and grace; with purpose and strength; and not yield to self-pity and self-delusion that often damages our health as well as relationships with family and friends. That may be the toughest struggle – to accept and adapt to the new reality.  To modify the words of Tennyson, even though we are made weak by time and fate we can still be strong in will and can strive, seek, find – and adapt.

Isn’t it supposed to snow only during the winter which doesn’t begin until the 21st !? But now with our first dose of snow and ice, it’s time for my annual reminder that if you must go outside on these icy days, don’t forget to “walk like a penguin”! What does that mean? So you can skip the National Geographic special about penguins, it means pointing your feet out slightly; bending your knees and keeping them loose; extending your arms out to your side and hands out of your pockets; taking short steps or waddling. And it might also help to dress in your formal black and white attire to remind yourself to stay focused.

Brain Tease: This is a logic puzzle where you solve the puzzle by elimination – which I can’t do without pencil and paper.

Four sisters, Sara, Ophelia, Nora, and Dawn were each born in a different one of the months September, October, November, and December.
“This is terrible,” said Ophelia one day. “None of us have an initial that matches the initial of her birth month.”
“I don’t mind at all,” replied the girl who was born in September.
“That’s easy for you to say,” said Nora. “It would at least be cool if the initial of my birth month was a vowel, but no.”
In which month was each girl born?

In the Disney adaptation, the comical and wisecracking character appointed by the Blue Fairy to serve as Pinocchio’s official conscience was Jiminy Cricket.  I received correct answers from Tina Castanares, Doug Nelson, Rhonda Spies, Donna Mollet, Debora Medina, Kim Birge, Pat Evenson-Brady, Lana Tepfer, Keith Clymer, and Emmett Sampson this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

In 1982 there were a series of poisoning deaths in the Chicago metropolitan area resulting from drug tampering. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the over-the-counter capsules that had been laced with potassium cyanide and led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter medicines? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a bottle I can use for my arthritis.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping one eye on the sky and the other on the temperature. Until we meet again, the winter is made to remind us to slow down.

“Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there.” A.A. Milne, Writer

Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through

Friday unless otherwise noted.

Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River

Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center

(541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)

For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office

(509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior

Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: Sara was born in October, Ophelia was born in November, Nora was born in December, and Dawn was born in September.

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