Aging Well in the Gorge December 6th 2016

“Baby, it’s getting cold outside” may be crossing your mind this week as the temperatures drop below freezing for the first time this season. But it also means those winter goblins may be trolling your neighborhood: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. These are common symptoms for the flu and the common cold – although the cold symptoms are usually milder and more likely to include a runny or stuffy nose, while the flu symptoms are more intense and can lead to serious health problems.
But how do you keep these annoying neighbors from dropping in and ruining your day?
The most effective way, besides getting your flu vaccine or hiding in the closet all winter, is to practice these six tips.
1. Avoid close contact. No more making out in front of the fireplace on those romantic winter evenings! Okay, maybe you can if she doesn’t have a runny nose or cough.
2. Stay home when you are sick. As I use to tell my students, it’s good to share everything, except your germs.
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow – not your hands. You can also wear a facemask to protect others. How about a left-over Halloween mask? That would get people’s attention.
4. Wash your hands often. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand soap. Just washing my hands every time I use the bathroom, I’ll be washing my hands often enough.
5. Avoid spreading germs by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching something contaminated. My fingernails grow a lot longer during the winter months.
6. Take care of yourself as you should all year long: get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
There are over one hundred viruses that can cause the common cold. By following these suggestions, you can help make this winter “the most wonderful time of the year”.
Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. # 8 – Sleep late or get up early.  As you get older, you start to enter that third chapter of life when instead having to do what you’re told to do, or what you feel you should do, you can now do what you want to do.   
Because the AARP Smart Driver class has been moved ahead a week to December 12th and 13th, (You still can sign up by calling the Center) there will not be a 11:00 Lecture next Tuesday. 
It’s been a while since I’ve challenged your grey cells by mixing up the Center’s music announcement. So let’s again have a little fun. But I’ll keep it easy – well, as easy as walking backwards.
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It wasn’t Clarabell, the clown who appeared on the Howdy Doody Show, but Bozo the clown that was pictured on the front of a 46-inch-high inflatable punching bag. (This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Maxine Parker, Tina Castanares, Jerry Phillips, and Sandy and Bob Haechrel.) 
Now that it’s colder, I’ve started wearing a knitted cap to keep my hair depleted head warm. It looks like a stocking cap but doesn’t cover my ears, and several folks commented about my “beanie”. I hadn’t thought of it as a beanie, but it reminded me of a Saturday morning animated cartoon series on ABC. So for this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the television show that featured a boy with a propeller beanie and a Sea-Sick Sea Serpent? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the original “Captain Huffenpuff’s Hiding Box”.
Well, it’s been another week, when I knew I should have written it down. Until we meet again, there are numerous fancy definitions of successful aging, but it can be as simple as just waking up in the morning and touching your feet to the floor.

“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for, I don’t know.” John Foster Hall

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