Aging Well in the Gorge December 2nd 2020

In her insightful “Through the Eyes of an Elder” article Amy Mallett describes the importance of Senior Centers and other meal sites through her conversations with Donna Gray-Davis, a volunteer and member of the Hood River Valley Adult Center.

As Amy points out, meals sites, whether they are five days a week or just one, help older adults meet their social needs: sharing stories and laughing at old jokes; and their nutritional needs: providing one third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances in each meal. For many, meal sites are a lifeline to a healthy and independent life. 

Meal sites are also important since preparing a healthy meal at home is not always easy. Many of you may enjoy cooking at home, trying new recipes ( is a great site for quick and healthy recipes), but it is not everyone’s cup tea. And how often have I had to struggle opening a jar of spaghetti sauce or an “easy to open” package of shredded cheese. (Where’s the scissors?!) 

Besides a healthy meal, meal sites offer a variety of dishes you most likely would not prepare on your own: Beef Stroganoff, Turkey Tetrazzini or Lasagna. (I will ignore the occasional serving of brussels sprouts which I feel should be a crime!)

Even though meal sites are closed, you can still pick up a meal or have one delivered. And during the pandemic, ANYONE sixty and older can receive a home delivered meal. For each meal site there is a suggested donation – but there is no obligation.

For your health and well-being, the following Centers offer meals five days a week. 

Hood River Valley Adult Center – To sign up for Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. They deliver to Hood River, Pine Grove, Odell, Parkdale, and Cascade Locks. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM. And for only $25 a year you can become a member and receive the daily menu by phone. 

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home delivered meals. If you call before 10:30 AM, you can pick up a meal at noon at the front door of the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center – Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM to order a meal for that day. Leave a message with the number of meals you need and the names of each person. Pick them up at noon in front of the Center. If you’d like to have the monthly menu emailed to you, please email You can also find the menu on the Sherman County website and taped to the Center’s front door.

Next week I will mention all the other valuable meal sites in the Gorge that provide meals once or twice a week.

Since last week I have learned about several more Christmas events in the Gorge. This Friday, December 4th in downtown Stevenson, the annual “Christmas in the Gorge” kicks off with a static “Starlight Parade” at the fairgrounds from 6:00 – 7:30 (drive through the displays in your vehicle). And through Sunday, December 6th there are other community events, business open houses, Nativity displays, and more. Information on Facebook at

Also, on December 4th through the 6th, Carson celebrates “Christmas in Carson” which includes a traditional tree lighting with Santa, business open houses and other holiday festivities. More information at (

The American artist famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post including Freedom from Want was Norman Rockwell. I received correct answers from Mary Haas, Tim Annala, Sandy Haechrel, Kim Birge, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Tina Castanares, Patty Burnet, Linda Frizzell, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Barbara Cadwell who shared with me a quote by Norman Rockwell about his painting “Freedom from Want”. “Our cook cooked it, I painted it and we ate it. That’s the first time I’ve eaten the model!”

During your high school literature class, you probably read “The Gift of the Magi” a short story that tells of a young husband and wife buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with little money. For this week’s Christmas “Remember When” question, who was the author, known for his surprise endings, that wrote this classic short story first published in 1905? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a copy of “The Ransom of Red Chief”.

Well, it’s been another week trying to keep it safe. Until we meet again, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I hope it doesn’t get darker before we get there.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ―Pablo Picasso

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