Aging Well in the Gorge ~ December 6th, 2023

How old do you see yourself? Ten years younger? Twenty years younger? Or have you lost touch with reality and see yourself 40 years younger?

Every time I try to pick up something – which includes myself – off the floor, I know I’m not the same person I once was. And yet in my mind, I’m often “writing checks my body can’t cash”. But is that really a problem, seeing myself as that younger person I once was?

In her Jun 20, 2023 article for Forbes Magazine “In Denial About Aging? Making Bad Decisions? You’re Not Alone”, Sara Zeff Geber believes many of us in our 60s, 70s, and 80s still believe we are the same person we once were. And by denying our age many of us are blind to or at least ignore the changes in our bodies and the need to modify our lifestyles, thus making life unnecessarily more difficult.

For example, when I go to The Dalles Athletic Club I must remind myself I am not exercising the body I once had, or even the body I think I have, but the body I do have which I have learned to accept – so I can walk out of the gym without my wife’s help!

To help make appropriate decisions, Sara Zeff Geber suggests you consider these four questions.

1.) How will your current house work for you if you or your partner encounter mobility issues, permanent or temporary? In other words, how “accessible and adaptable” is your current house?

2.) What aches and pains or other changes (vision, hearing, etc.) are you starting to experience that you are ignoring?

3.) What changes are you noticing in your partner or a friend that they are ignoring or refusing to discuss?

4.) Are there some changes you have been contemplating, but continue to postpone for one reason or another?

I don’t need to tell you we are all aging. But there is a difference between smart aging: staying socially engaged, exercising, eating well, and accepting change and adapting; and not-so-smart aging: denying the changes that have occurred and making poor lifestyle decisions.

While we strive to embrace the “art” of aging gracefully, Sharon Johnson, Director of Age-Friendly Innovators, believes, it also means fully embracing the inevitable changes that occur with aging; seeing our “older self” to make smart decisions so we can live well now and into the future.

Brain Tease. Since it’s that time of the year, I thought I would continue providing more teases with a Christmas theme.

1.) What do you call an old snowman? 2.) How many presents can Santa fit in an empty sack? 3.) What goes “Oh, oh, oh?”

The name of the line of trading stamps founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson which you could collect and paste into collector books to redeem for different products was S&H Green Stamps. (I seem to recall a competing brand of stamps, but I can’t remember what they were. Anyone know?) I received correct answers from Barb (Blair) Weiford, Jay Waterbury, Donna Mollet, Judy Kiser, Doug Nelson, Rhonda Spies, Dave Lutgens, Rose Schulz, Eva Summers, Jess Birge, Pat Evenson-Brady, and Millie Baumgartner who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Linda Frizzell.

While in grade school, I looked forward to my teacher distributing this 4-8 page weekly children’s newspaper to discuss in class or read for homework. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this weekly educational newspaper first published in 1928 that described current events in the United States and around the world – and that an estimated two-thirds of American adults grew up reading in grade school? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or send it with the edition that includes a chat with Alan “A-Okay” Shepard, Jr. the first American in space.

Well, it’s been another week, bundling up to go outside even when the temperature is in the forties! Until we meet again, remember if plan A doesn’t work there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.

“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” Phyllis Diller

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; Mt. Hood Townhall (541-308-5997) – Tuesdays; 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), and in Skamania County call Senior Services (509-427-3990).

Answers: 1.)  Water. 2.) Only one — after that, it’s not empty anymore! 3.) Santa walking backward.

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