Aging Well in the Gorge – March 13th 2018

Have you found you are just not interested in most of your parent’s stuff? And neither are your children.
Times change, and styles and tastes change accordingly. (I’m still waiting for my suede coat with the big lapels to come back into style.) For example, these days depression era furniture has little value, while quality mid-century modern furniture is popular.
Also our lifestyles have evolved. My wife and I are trying to downsize and we don’t need any more stuff. And my children? Because of the high cost of housing where they live, they have adapted to living in a small space – and shopping at Ikea is their new norm. (A visit to my daughter usually means at least an afternoon of “bonding” by assembling Ikea furniture.) And when was the last time you used your fine china or silverware?  Even for Thanksgiving dinner, the “good stuff” is seldom brought out.
Recently, I read “Sorry. No One Wants Your Parent’s Stuff” by Richard Eisenberg on the website Next Avenue. He offers the following tips on how to help “unfurnish” your parent’s place – and possibly yours as well.
1. Get started while your parents are around. Learn the stories behind their stuff. It can make a difference whether you want to keep it or not. 2. If you are trying to sell the items, give yourself plenty of time to find buyers. 3. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ furniture, china or crystal. 4. Get the jewelry appraised. There may be a treasure in your mother’s jewelry box. 5. Look for a nearby consignment shop or a person who liquidates estates. 6. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. 7. Download the free “Rightsizing and Relocation Guide” from the National Association of Senior Move Managers which can be found on their website. 8. And finally be prepared to be disappointed. That prized set of china your parents bought when they were newlyweds may not be worth much at all.
One of my frustrations is that children get to have all the fun. They can play with Legos, read comic books and color in coloring books. Well, I don’t have any Legos, but you can join Kerry Cobb, director of the Columbia Center for the Arts, for her class on coloring. This is your chance to create, socialize, and enjoy the meditative relaxation of coloring by coloring pages from stunningly beautiful coloring books created by adults for adults. The class will be held on Wednesday, March 28th from 1:00 – 2:30 at the Center.  
The next Blue Zones Purpose Workshop will be held Monday, March 19th at the Center from 5:30 – 7:30. The Purpose Workshop will help you identify your strengths and talents, so you can make a difference where you live and work – and by doing so, “add years to your life and life in your years”.
The Center was the location for this year’s MCMC Health Foundation’s Tradition of Compassion Awards. And seeing all the amazing individuals and businesses recognized for their good work, strengthens my pride in this community. But more importantly, their recognition can inspire us to continue doing what we can to make our communities a stronger and healthier place to live.
In 1962, Marilyn Monroe sang a sultry “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday. (I’ve found one advantage of NOT being charismatic or good looking – there are fewer temptations!) I received correct answers from Susan Ortega, Kim Birge, Louise Wooderson, Ed Anghilante, Jim Ayers, Sharon Hull and this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket, Sam Bilyeu.
But some thought last week’s JFK question was too easy, so for this week’s “Remember When” question I’m raising it a few notches.
Hubert Humphrey ran against John F. Kennedy in the 1960 Democratic presidential primary. But he found it frustrating because of Kennedy’s many glamorous friends including Frank Sinatra who recorded Kennedy’s presidential campaign song written to the tune of what 1959 hit single? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a DVD of the movie A Hole in the Head.
Well, it’s been another week hoping for the good to come and the bad to go. Until we meet again, take some time to decide what you really want.
“Confidence is the feeling you sometimes have before you fully understand the situation.” Anonymous

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