Aging Well in the Gorge December 16 2015

The holidays are a time when families often get together. And whether you are a parent or the adult child, it is a good opportunity to spend some quality time sharing your hopes, concerns and fears. They are tough conversations and they don’t happen often enough.
One reason, often lingering in the background, is the uneasiness created by the conflicting interests of safety and independence. We want safety for our loved ones, but want independence for ourselves. Before parents were concerned about their children’s safety: how late should they stay out at night, and the children were craving the independence of driving. And now the adult children are concerned about their parent’s safety: should they give up the car keys, while the parents are clinging to their own independence.
Make time to have those tough conversations. It will be worth it. And knowing that your children aren’t telling you what to do, but are worried about your safety; or as the adult child, knowing that your parents aren’t being unreasonable, but value their own independence which they see gradually slipping away, you not only may survive these conversations, but actually create a stronger and more supportive relationship. 
During the year if you have donated to a qualifying cultural non-profit, don’t forget to make a donation in the same amount to the Oregon Cultural Trust, because for your donation to the Cultural Trust, you’ll receive a 100% state tax credit, up to $500 per individual and $1000 per household. 
Locally, there are twenty-two qualifying cultural organizations in Wasco County including the Cascade Singers, Civic Auditorium, Dufur Historical Society, The Original Courthouse, Fort Dalles Museum, The Dalles Theater Company, St. Peters Landmark, The Dalles Art Association, The Dalles Wasco County Library Foundation, The Town and Country Players in Maupin, Wasco County Historical Society, and Wonderworks – as well as the Sherman County Historical Society in Sherman County.
But why donate to the Oregon Cultural Trust? Besides making possible cultural projects throughout Oregon, the Oregon Cultural Trust funds the Wasco County Cultural Coalition which awards six to ten grants each year including the Center’s Creative Arts Program. It’s a good deal and with the tax credit, it doesn’t cost you a penny!
You are invited to the Center’s Holiday Breakfast this Saturday, December 19thsponsored by Columbia Basin Care. From 8:00 until 9:30, the kitchen crew will be serving pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and juice – still for only $5.00 per person, $4.00 for Center members and $3.00 for children 12 and under. There will be a quilt raffle drawing, a chance to win several door prizes and of course Santa who is taking a day off from the North Pole.
One of the enemies of memory are distractions: taking our focus away from what we are trying to remember. Unfortunately, as we age, we generally have more difficulty ignoring distracting information. For this week’s music announcement, see how easily distracted you are by trying to read only the italicized words while ignoring the others.
For the Tuesday Night Music Gorge Winds Concert Band and Dance Cascade Singers at the Center on December 22nd, Country Handel’s Messiah Roads will be performing. Silent Night And don’t forget, for the Christmas Eve church services winter months, (although stockings winter doesn’t begin Bing Crosby until December 21st), Saturday Breakfast the band starts playing Alamo Bowl at 6:30 PM. Everyone Merry Christmas is welcome whether Happy New Year you’re tall, short, wide or thin, and donations Peace on Earth are always appreciated.
The best-selling single of all time sung by Bing Crosby in the film Holiday Inn was “White Christmas”. (The winner of a free quilt raffle ticket is Lucille Stephens.)
Continuing the Christmas theme, this week’s “Remember When” question is about a game that if you were a child in the 50’s you may have received as a Christmas present. What was the name of the game, first launched in1948 and sold millions in its first years, whose object was to be the first to build a three-dimensional bug-like object from a variety of plastic body parts? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with the 1949 original game manufactured by W. H. Schaper Mfg. Co. Inc.
Well, it’s been another week trying to remember “this” while not being distracted by “that”. Until we meet again, don’t forget to smell the pine needles.
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” Calvin Coolidge

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