Aging Well in the Gorge January 5th 2022

 Wow. It’s a new year and I’m still writing this column!  

I know some of you have heard Im retiring as Director of the Mid-Columbia Senior CenterBut retirement can be seen not as a time to withdraw, but a time to reprioritize what is important. In my case, working is still a priorityalthough part-timebut has moved down the list behind enjoying more time with my wife, reading more – especially the three books my children recently gave metraveling, (Although when working I had the money to travel, but didn’t have much time. And now retired I’ll have more time but less money!) and volunteeringI’ll also continue writing this column until I run out of ideas or the words to express them. We’ll see how long that lasts.    

As we enter a new year, I hope to continue sharing useful and practical information about agingoffering encouragement because as we all know getting older is not a piece of cakeanof course, having some fun along the way, because life can be WAY too serious! And you’ll continue finding that this column is not very sophisticated. I’m just not that smartSo if you‘re looking for writing that’s more polished and refined, it ain’t gonna be here.


Writing this column has been a gift for which I will always be thankful. In our lives, all of us have been blessed with gifts from loved ones, friends, and possibly even from strangers. After reading this month’s Through the Eyes of an Elder where local older adults share the most memorable gifts they have receivedtake time to appreciate the special gifts you have been given. 

I know this is a little late, but its still only January, right! And I know there is still plenty of ice and snow to come. But if you must go outside on these wintry days, don’t forget to “walk like a penguin”! What does that mean? So you don’t have to watch a National Geographic special about penguins, it means pointing your feet out slightly, bending your knees and keeping them loose, extending your arms out to your side and hands out of your pockets, and taking short steps or waddling. I also suggest you dress in a more formal black and white attire to really get into the mood. 

In addition, since we haven’t evolved webbed feet yet, wear shoes or boots with traction. And try some defensive walking: assume all wet and dark areas on the pavement are icy – especially around snowbanks where the meltoff freezes overnight. And if it’s still too treacherous, stay home. A quick trip to the store isn’t worth a broken hip. 

Whether it’s icy or not, this is a good time to remember that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. So, don’t rush, stay focused, and “walk like a penguin”! 

Okay, let’s see if I can correctly list all of you who have sent in answers for the last two week’s questions.  

The popular snack strung together to decorate a Christmas tree was popcorn. I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Gene Uczen, Keith and Marlene Clymer, Carol Earl, Susan Ellis, and Chuck Rice. 

And the comedian/actor whose theme song was “Thanks for the Memory” was Bob Hope. For that question, I received correct answers from Rose SchulzBarbara Cadwell, Doug Nelson, Rhonda Spies, Dave Lutgens, and Rebecca AbramsThe winners of quilt raffle tickets for the last two weeks are Chuck Rice and Dave Lutgens.


First, there was the movie Francis which premiered in 1950 and starring Francis the talking mule and Donald O’Connor. Then in 1961, television sitcom featured a talking palomino horse and Wilbur Post his hapless owner. For this week’s Remember When question what was the name of this television series? E-mail your answers to, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with the episode when Mae West was a guest star. 

Well, it’s been another week, tangled up in all my loose ends. Until we meet again, as anonymous once said, “As you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way”. 

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal Borland 

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