Aging Well in the Gorge January 4th, 2023

My wife and I should be back from California having visited the children and being enlightened about what we should be doing! (We stop that conversation quickly by asking which one of them will be taking us in when we get to that age.) 

Even though our children would like us to live forever (They haven’t really thought that through!), I know this journey of ours is not about living longer. It is about taking care of ourselves and others so we can gracefully live the rest of our lives with courage, compassion, and meaning. 

For this first column of 2023, I thought I would again share lessons I have learned over the last fifteen years of my journey from the many older adults I have had the fortune of meeting. (Although my wife just asked, “Are we supposed to be learning lessons?”) Each year I will keep revising the list because although I don’t know what the years ahead will bring, I know there are more lessons to learn. 

  1. What is good for your heart is good for your brain.
  2. Learn a new skill without worrying about how good you’ll be.
  3. First steps to improve your memory: pay attention and focus.
  4. Most things don’t really matter, but a few really do.
  5. Stay current with friends. There may not be a tomorrow.
  6. Getting older beats the alternative, but it is hard work.
  7. Accept what you can’t control – and then adapt.
  8. Live in the “now”.
  9. Know what you want and let others know – particularly your adult children!
  10. Tiredness causes tiredness. Do something.
  11. Age is in your attitude.
  12. Adeline’s five “S” to avoid: Sugar, Salt, Seconds, Soda, and Shortening.
  13. Add color to your meals – meaning eat your vegetables!
  14. Isolation kills. Stay connected.
  15. Keep moving – at least 30 minutes a day.
  16. Breathe from your belly.
  17. See the world with virgin eyes and you’ll find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
  18. Relationships are more important than things. 
  19. Grey hair is cool – and beautiful.
  20. Living is aging. Embrace your age.
  21. We all depend on each other, so there is no shame in asking for help.
  22. Everybody has a story to tell – if we listen.
  23. “Dream as if you will live forever and live as if you will die tomorrow.” James Dean 

This month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder” is about Sally Ann Kortge. On my way to work, I often would see her walking in her colorful clothing and wondering “Who is this woman?” I finally had the pleasure of meeting her and viewing her imaginative and original artwork during the opening of her exhibit at The Dalles Art Center. I found her to be an amazing woman! 

Brain Tease: Try to guess the next number in each sequence using the simplest mathematical operations or ideas. 

1, 2, 6, 24, 120, …

31, 94, 47, 142, 71, 214, 107, 322, 161, …

4, 7, 15, 29, 59, 117, …

The name of the 1957 American romantic film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr who were engaged to others but planned to meet six months later which didn’t go as planned was An Affair to Remember. As I haven’t returned from sunny San Diego by the time I had to submit this column, I will mention next week everyone who submitted correct answers for this week and last.

During the 1950s a massive price war between Ford and General Motors affected many of the independent car companies such as Nash, Packard and this automobile manufacturer who operated a plant in South Bend, Indiana until 1963. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this automobile manufacturer that built the Lark one of the first compacts, and the stylistic Avanti called “the fastest production car in the world” at the time? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a restored 1960 Hawk.

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” Lily Tomlin

Well, it’s been another week, trying to tip-toe across the stage without being noticed. Until we meet again, even in doubt, there is a time to act.

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; 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); Skamania County Senior

Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: 720 (×2, ×3, ×4, ×5, ×6, …)

484 (×3+1, /2, ×3+1, /2, …)

235 (×2-1, ×2+1, ×2-1, …)

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