Aging Well in the Gorge January 2nd 2018

I was hoping we would be able to end 2017 without any more snow and ice, since I’m sure The Dalles met its yearly quota last January. But the snow I can deal with. It’s the ice I find deviously unsafe, especially the black ice, which I never notice until I suddenly slip and catch myself thinking, “That was close!”.
Falls are not fun. Recovering from a broken hip, dislocated shoulder or a fractured tailbone is not the way I want to spend my winter. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from falling than from any other cause.
But you can take steps to avoid falls: being mindful of what you are doing, improving your balance and strength, and annually checking your eyesight because what you don’t see, can hurt you.
But if you do fall, it is good to know how to fall to prevent the most serious injuries. And who would know how to fall better than a professional stuntwoman? In the latest AARP Magazine, stuntwoman Alexa Marcigliano, says to fall safely you need to remember to “be smooth, don’t panic, stay loose”.
More specifically, here is her four-point plan on how to fall and be able to walk away.
1. Stay bent with locked arms. Bend your elbows and have some give in your arms to soften the impact. 2. Protect your head. If you’re falling forward, be sure to turn your face to the side. When falling backward, tuck your chin to your chest so your head doesn’t hit the ground to avoid a traumatic head injury. 3. Land on the meaty parts of your body — the muscles in your back, butt, or thighs. Avoid landing on bone. 4. Keep Falling. In other words, spread the impact across a larger part of your body, so you don’t concentrate the impact on one area. The more you roll the safer you will be.
The Dalles covered in fresh snow is a remarkable sight. But before you can spread eight bags of ice melt, the snow and ice will be replaced by spring. Until then, enjoy the winter, take your time, and stay vertical. I don’t want to receive a surprise wish-you-were-here card from your seven-day winter vacation at MCMC.  
Over the past nine weeks I have briefly mentioned each of the nine lessons learned from the inhabitants of Blue Zones: places in the world where people lived the longest. Through the effort of many organizations and individuals, The Dalles was selected as a Blue Zones Project site. And to introduce the project to the whole community, there will be an official kickoff on Friday, January 19thfrom 5:30 – 8:30 at the Civic Auditorium. The kickoff includes a well-being fair starting at 5:00 and presentations starting at 6 PM. You are encouraged to bring your friends to discover how to improve your well-being while enjoying family friendly entertainment, cooking demonstrations, yoga and more.
And as a bonus you can impress everyone by knowing the Power of 9! You remember –  Move Naturally, Purpose, Downshift, 80% Rule, Plant Slant, Wine @ 5, Belong, Loved Ones First and the Right Tribe.
In the 1950’s probably every boy hoped to find under the Christmas tree an O gauge train set – the king of toys for boys. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the company that manufactured the best-selling train set in the 50’s and by 1953 was the largest toy manufacturer in the world? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a water tower and coal elevator, often found with a train set.
The name of the television show that featured teenagers dancing to the top 40 hits and was first produced in Philadelphia was American Bandstand. (I received correct answers from Sharon Hull, Tiiu Vahtel, Dave Lutgens, Jess Birge, Bob Thouvenel, Jim and Betsy Ayers and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Barbara Haren.)
Well, it’s been another week, remembering, “Oh, yeah, this is why folks go south during the winter. Until we meet again, tread carefully.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” Neil Gaiman

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