Aging Well in the Gorge February 9th 2016

Sunday will be Valentine’s day – a day to celebrate love and romance with a box of fine chocolates, or a bouquet of flowers from Sigman’s or maybe a candlelight dinner at home with a glass of wine.

My wife and I have celebrated Valentine’s Day as a married couple for over forty years. And as with most older adults, we feel our marriage has improved and these later years have been some of the happiest years of our lives. Part of the reason is I have learned the secrets of a happy marriage: put down the toilet seat, (apparently it looks gross to women), put the cap back on the toothpaste; and answer any request from your wife with a gentle “As you wish my dear”. (But I have still been able to maintain a certain level of cave man aesthetic which I am sure she has come to lovingly appreciate.)

But then as life often happens, your spouse passes away, leaving only memories and pictures of all the special times. It is a tremendous adjustment and changes your world – even more than when you had your first child. But you learn to adapt, and life continues. And then one day, after you have learned to accept the solitude, you unexpectedly find a second love, a companion, someone to share new stories and adventures with.

It may be someone you knew from church, or an old friend from your school days you accidently found on Facebook. And you decide to remarry, or just live together or be friends with benefits. And surprisingly, you find you have never been happier in your life.

It happens to many. And Valentine’s Day reminds us when love is lost, it doesn’t mean all is lost forever – because it is never too late to find a little romance one more time.

A big thank-you to Dave Griffith Motors for sponsoring the Center’s successful Southern Fried Chicken Dinner. It would not have been possible without Griffith Motors and all the volunteers including the Red Hat ladies (Pat Lucas promised to bring me a red hat to wear next year); the donated desserts from Petite Provence and Shari’s Restaurant; Debra Jones and Donna Baldwin for arranging the center pieces for the tables; Andre Lemoreaux, KC Kortge and Sheryl Doty for the music; Denise Patton, Rick Leibowitz and the kitchen volunteers for preparing the food; and to Joan Silver for leading the charge. And last but not least, thank-you to all the folks who attended the dinner so the Center can continue to provide opportunities and supports for older adults.

There is still room in next week’s AARP Smart Driver class on Monday and Tuesday (February 15th and 16th) from 8:45 to 12:05. The cost is $20 and $15 for AARP members. You need to bring your driver’s license and a pencil. You will learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques and how to operate your vehicle more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment. And with completion of the class, you should be able to receive a discount on your auto insurance.

Consequently, there will not be a 11:00 Tuesday lecture, but on the 23rd, Tracy Dugick, MCMC Registered Dietician, will discuss how to eat healthy while on special diets.

At the Center on February 16th starting at 6:30 PM, the Simcoe Boys will drive all the way from Goldendale to perform for your dancing and listening pleasure. Everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The football the team that won four Super Bowls in the 1970’s and included future all-stars Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, “Mean Joe” Greene, Mel Blount, and Lynn Swann was the Pittsburg Steelers. (The winner of one of the hot-selling quilt raffle tickets is Morris Melton.)

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, this week’s “Remember When” question is about a film considered one of the most romantic by the American Film Institute (ranked number nine). What is the title of the movie released in 1970 starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw and made famous the line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”? (Was it really forty-six years ago?) Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with the book of the same title written by Erich Segal.

Well, it’s been another week running further behind, but enjoying every minute. Until we meet again, as Milton Berle once said “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

“Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.” Loretta Young

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