Aging Well in the Gorge January 12th 2016

“Pride goeth before a fall”. That familiar proverb came to mind while attending a Special Olympics swim meet. At the end of the meet, I needed to climb down from the top of the concrete bleachers, but couldn’t reach the aisle. As I was awkwardly climbing around and between folks sitting in the rows below me, with nothing to hang on except a couple of shoulders, one of my young assistant coaches, kindly offered her hand to help steady me. But I immediately thought, “No, I can do this. Does she think I’m old and clumsy?”

But then remembering when I missed a step and broke my hip several years ago; and feeling the stiffness in my knees, I realized I shouldn’t let my pride keep me from admitting to myself that it’s risky climbing down rows of bleachers; and it would be more embarrassing landing on top of someone – or worse yet, falling and breaking my other hip. That could ruin a nice day.

So being the wiser, I took her arm, which did help as I climbed down the last several rows, and thanked her for her assistance.

You’ve heard the tips to prevent falls: know the effects of your medications; improve your strength, balance, and flexibility through exercise; remove hazards in your house such as loose rugs and electrical cords; use assistive devices such grab bars for the showers and handrails on BOTH sides of the stairs; and wear sensible shoes. (Does anyone wear high heels anymore?)

But often overlooked is attitude: too proud for our own good. I still want to be the young, strong, muscular specimen of maleness that I once was. (Isn’t it great how our memories can reconstruct the past?) But that was then and this is now. And now at my age, I have finally accepted that it is often best to avoid certain risks, accept the help when offered and appreciate that someone cares – because you don’t want to let “pride goeth before a fall” – literally.

Mahjong is a game of skill and strategy that originated in China, and is similar to the card game rummy except it uses tiles instead of cards. At the Center on Fridays at 1:00, you can find folks playing Mahjong led by Corliss Marsh – our expert in residence. But there has been a growing interest in the game and if you are interested in learning how to play, there will be a Mahjong Beginner’s Day at the Center on January 29th starting at 1:00 PM. The cost is $1.00.
There will not be a Tuesday Lecture at the Center next week because of the AARP Smart Driver’s class being held at the same time. So instead you can sign up for the Smart Driver’s class, held on January 18th and 19th from 8:45 – 12:05, by calling the Center.
If Southern Fried Chicken reminds you of summer picnics, you can have a piece of summer in the middle of winter, by attending the Center’s Southern Fried Chicken Dinner sponsored by Griffith Motors from 4:30 to 7:00 on Friday, February 5th. The menu includes Southern Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, biscuit and dessert. The tickets are $15 which you can purchase at the Center or at the door while tickets last. All proceeds will benefit the Center.
At the Center on January 19th starting at 6:30 PM, the Simcoe Boys will be performing for your dancing and listening pleasure. Everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.
The comedic actor and impersonator who played Corporal Randolph Agarn on F Troop was Larry Storch. (The winners of a free quilt raffle ticket are Dennis and Mary Davis.)
This week’s “Remember When” question is about two actresses who were sisters born in Tokyo to English parents. The elder sister starred in Gone with the Wind and eight movies with Errol Flynn including the Adventures of Robin Hood; and the younger sister starred in Rebecca and Suspicion both directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Who were these two sisters, the only siblings to have won lead acting Academy Awards?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of the two sisters – before they stopped talking to each other.
Well, it’s been another week looking in the mirror and all too often asking myself “Whoa. Have I looked like that all day?” Until we meet again, don’t stop believing in yourself.

“The pride of youth is strength and beauty, the pride of old age is discretion.” Democritus

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