Aging Well in the Gorge March 20th 2018

Yeah, it’s finally spring! I know I’m supposed to appreciate the special beauty of winter, but I just can’t help feeling relieved when spring finally returns. But there is one downside. With the arrival of spring, my wife has this Pavlovian response to clean the house. Usually I have resisted, but this year it’s going to be different. For some reason, I feel it is time to “declutter” my stuff while I still have the energy and mobility.
But maybe the real reason is I read a special report called “Want to declutter your life? Here’s How” on the Next Avenue website which has inspired me to think, “Maybe I can do this.”
In the report, Heidi Raschke describes her “decluttering boot camp” – reading four books about decluttering in four weeks and applying them to her own life. From each of the books, she discovered decluttering tips of which I have listed a few of them below. And if you want to learn more, check out the four books or go online to
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. 1. Tidying “in one go” doesn’t mean one weekend — it’s a six-month endeavor. 2. Once an object has done its job, it’s time to let it go. 3. There’s no one-size-fits-all perfect amount of stuff. 4. Surround yourself only with objects that spark joy and get rid of the rest (which scares me because I’m afraid my wife will look at me, won’t see any “joy” and then toss me like an old musty book!)
Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul by Ruth Soukup. 1. Say no to consumer culture. 2. Focus on making your home warm and welcoming rather than picture-perfect.
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. 1. Getting rid of big items, such as furniture, is a great way to kick-start your decluttering. 2. Go room by room with bags and boxes, sorting everything into trash, treasure and transfer piles. 3. Create limits for everything you own. Then when something new comes in, something else goes out. 4. Clutter becomes invisible. Leave your house, and when you return look at it with fresh eyes. Note how you feel and decide if you like what you see.
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker. 1. There is no right amount of stuff; “unneeded” is in the eye of the beholder. 2. Admit you own too many clothes. 3. Focus on quality, not quantity. 4. By reducing what you have, it can free you from acquiring and managing stuff, so you have more time to purse what you really care about.
But most importantly, which everyone overlooks, make sure you have a good friend who lives a cluttered life, so when you need that item you threw away, you know who to call!
I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say health insurance is simple. It’s not. So before you turn 65, you should learn the when’s, what’s and how’s of enrolling in Medicare. A good place to start is the Medicare 101 class which will be held on Tuesday, April 10th from 9:00 – 1:00 at The Dalles CGCC campus. To register call 541-308-8211 or go online at
Frank Sinatra recorded JFK’s presidential campaign song which was written to the tune of the 1959 hit single “High Hopes”. (I thought I would stump everyone, but I received correct answers from Jim Ayers, Dave Lutgens, Laura Albrecht and the winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Jody Cochenour.)
This western themed American television series ran from 1951 through 1954 with reruns continuing though 1966 on Saturday mornings. The lead character was an Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot who lived with his niece Penny on the Flying Crown Ranch, and assisted Sheriff Mitch. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this pilot who would fly “out of the clear blue western skies” in his Cessna 310B? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a Signalscope which included a glow-in-the-dark signaling device, whistle, magnifying glass, and private code.
Well, it’s been another week, pulled in so many directions I often feel six inches taller and 3 inches wider. Until we meet again, don’t always take the easy way out.
“I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.” Sara Teasdale

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