Aging Well in the Gorge December 4th 2019

November 19th Sesame Street celebrated it’s fiftieth year on PBS. For my preschool children, Sesame Street was their daily ritual – and one Christmas I even bought my son a three foot tall stuffed Big Bird. (I was also a fan of Big Bird!) But what does that have to do with aging?
I wouldn’t have had a clue until I read “5 Sesame Street Lessons We Need Again As Adults” by Bryce Kirchoff found on the Next Avenue website. So what are these five lessons that can also apply to us old-schoolers?
1. Put Down the Ducky if You Want to Play the Saxophone.
When Muppet Ernie wants to play the saxophone, he learns he must first put down his rubber ducky. If you want to try something new: attending a new exercise class, learning to play the ukulele or reconnecting with an old friend, you often must put down the things that hold you back such as your fears of embarrassment or rejection. 
2. A Sense of Adventure Never Gets Old.
Remember when you were young building forts, playing make believe? As an adult, a sense of adventure may be key to a more rewarding life whether it’s cooking a new meal or learning to ski. (I’ll pass – unless it’s warmer than 50 degrees.) You can be adventurous at any age.
3. Friends Matter.
As an adult, it turns out that friends may actually be lifesavers. Those friendships can encourage healthier behaviors, ward off depression, boost self-esteem and provide support when most needed. As shown on Sesame Street – friends make life better.
4. Celebrate Yourself.
Do you ever wish you could climb into a dryer for ten minutes and come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?  We are often our own worst critic – losing confidence in ourselves to the point of self-paralysis. On Sesame Street children are good at celebrating themselves. Maybe this time we should follow their example.
5. When All Else Fails, Dance. Not everything will go as expected. With the good we can also get our fair share of the bad: an unexpected expense, a difficult diagnosis, or loss of a close friend. So, for the final lesson, sometimes you just have to put it all aside, turn up the music, and just dance, dance, dance.
The Center recently received several donated model plane kits with more coming. I remember gluing together the small plastic pieces of a ’57 Chevy and the smell of the model glue stuck to my fingers. I would like to start a model making club at the Center sometime in February after the winter weather passes. If you are a model enthusiast or just interested, call the Center or email me at
There may be snow on the ground, but this coming February would you like to learn more about plants and gardening? If so, consider becoming an OSU Master Gardener. No gardening experience is necessary, but rather the desire to learn and to garden. And a basic understanding of plants is also helpful. The 2020 Master Gardener training is on Wednesdays from 9:00 – 4:00 pm starting February 19th continuing through April 1st, but you need to register by December 12th. For more information contact Michelle Sager at 541-296-5494 or
The answer to last week’s question was “elbows”. I received correct answers from Jess and Kim Birge, Rhonda Spies, Michael Carrico, Louise Woodersen – and Lana Tepfer , Cathy Wilson and Karl Vercouteren who remember the old saying (which I never heard before) “Mabel, Mabel young and able. Get those elbows off the table”. And my apologies to Dale Roberts who called last week to enter the correct answer for his wife Becky.
What was your favorite Christmas toy: a Lionel toy train, Raggedy Ann doll, Radio Flyer wagon, or the Candy Land game?  For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name for the children’s toy consisting of square-notched small cylindrical wooden objects used to build small forts and buildings? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of John Lloyd Wright, the second son of the well-known architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who invented this toy around 1916.
Commandment #10 for growing older, “#10 – “Lately, you’ve noticed people your age are so much older than you.”
Well, it’s been another week, trying to ask more questions – since I already know what I know. Until we meet again, keep your light burning bright during these overcast days of winter.

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