Aging Well in the Gorge February 20th 2019

Help me with this question. What does “old” look like?
Here’s the reason I’m asking. I take a diuretic and for me one of the side effects is dry mouth. And because of my dry mouth, I apparently make strange mouth contortions to moisten my mouth. It hasn’t been a problem until the other day when my wife told me to stop because, as she put it so eloquently, ”IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE AN OLD MAN!” Now what does that mean? Some toothless old guy gumming his saliva?
I’ve mentioned how I must keep up a certain appearance for my children to protect myself from their loving concern. But my wife? She has lived with me long enough to know I’m no spring chicken – not even an autumn rooster.
But this whole episode begs the question, what should I look like at 71? What should anyone look like when they grow older?
Should I dye my hair? Pump iron for two hours a day? Purchase the latest anti-aging creams?
The model and actress Lauren Hutton once said “We have to be able to grow up. Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.”
I’ve decided I’m not going worry about how old I look. I’ll display my medals with pride knowing I am what I am. And if my grey hair, balding scalp and wrinkled skin (and strange mouth contortions) is the price to pay for a long and wonderful life, I’ll take it any time.
You only have a few days left to purchase raffle tickets for the Chicken Coop. The drawing will be held at the Center this Friday, February 22nd during the Chicken Dinner and Auction – the Center’s major fundraiser for the year. Tickets are $10 or three for $25.  
If you’re soon turning 65, (and congratulations, you made it this far!), you probably have questions about enrolling in Medicare. As in any health insurance program, it’s complicated and can be confusing and frustrating.
You have a seven-month window to enroll called the Initial Enrollment Period which begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. You can go to to learn more about how to enroll.
But if you’re like me and find it more comfortable to talk to someone face-to-face, there are SHIBA (State Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) volunteers to help you through the Medicare maze. To schedule an appointment, call the local SHIBA line at 541-288-8341 or the Center at 541-296-4788. A SHIBA counselor should return your call within 48 hours.
The Center’s Loan Closet of durable medical equipment has been enlarged, organized and cleaned thanks to the help of Joyce Browne, Karen Miller and Sue Arguelles. It is one of the Center’s most popular programs, but it depends on a constant supply of donated used medical equipment. The Center currently has plenty of walkers, both two wheel and four-wheel, but is short of commodes, shower benches and toilet seat risers. You can drop off any donated items at the Center, and if the Center is closed just leave them at the front door. I haven’t yet seen any thieves running down the street with a toilet seat riser under their arm.
The title of Jacqueline Susann’s first novel published in 1966 which received poor reviews but was the biggest selling novel that year was Valley of the Dolls. I received correct answers from Vicki Sallee, Jerry Phillips, Cheri Brent, Lana Tepfer, Deloris Schrader and Lorna Elliott this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket.
We’ll stick with literature for two more weeks. In 1966 Truman Capote, wrote one of greatest true crime books ever written establishing a new literary form: the “nonfiction novel”. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the title of the book that detailed the 1959 murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family in the small farming community. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a picture of the Finney County Courthouse in Garden City Kansas.
Well, it’s been another week wishing spring would grab my snow shovel and store it away for another year.  Until we meet again, there is no wrong time to start living the life you want to live.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”  Walt Whitman

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