Aging Well in the Gorge March 6th 2019

Have you heard the phrase “Walk Like a Penguin”? And I’m not talking about the supervillain in the Batman movies.
It’s a way to think about walking safely in snow and ice. For the last several weeks, I’ve been meaning to share this concept, but I kept thinking it’s too late. It’s not going to snow again.  Ah, the optimistic fool I am.
But to make sure it doesn’t snow again during what’s left of this winter, I’m going to finally share with you how to walk like a penguin to avoid falls and slips during these icy conditions.
I first saw “Walk Like A Penguin” signs outside The Dalles Fitness and Court Club (which will soon be another name left to the old timers to remember such as Treaty Oak, Valley Vista or Camlu). I had guessed it meant to step carefully but I recently discovered a more detailed description, so I don’t have to watch a National Geographic special about penguins.
To walk like a penguin, it is suggested you do the following: point your feet out slightly; bend your knees and keep them loose; extend your arms out to your side and hands out of your pockets; and take short steps or waddle.
In addition, since we haven’t evolved webbed feet yet, wear shoes or boots with traction. Assume all wet and dark areas on pavement are icy – especially around snow banks where the melt off freezes over-night. And if it’s still too treacherous, wow your friends and “Slide Like A Penguin” on your belly across the snow.
Whether it’s icy or not, this is a good time to remind yourself that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. So, don’t rush and stay focused – until next winter when you’ll know to “Walk Like A Penguin”!
“Lectures for the Curious” start this month at the Center. There is one lecture each week in March beginning Wednesday, March 6th at 1:00 with Lucille Torgerson and Widge Johnson presenting “As I Was Saying”- tips on how to write your life story.
Then on Tuesday, March 12th 1:00 PM, “From Pioneer Drugstore to Community Icon: The Waldron Brother’s Drugstore” describes the fascinating history of the Waldron Brother’s Drugstore (also known as the Gitchell Building). Speaker: Eric Gleason – local resident and professional archaeologist.
On Wednesday, March 20th 1:00 PM, “Free Telephone Devices for the Hearing Impaired”. Learn more about Oregon CapTel’s Captioned Telephones and smartphones offered through Sprint which give people who are hard of hearing the ability to communicate on the telephone – and these services are FREE! Speaker: Susan Kirk – CapTel Training Specialist
Tuesday, March 26th 1:00 PM “Benefits of Using MCMC’s MyChart”. Learn how to access the many advantages of MCMC’s MyChart: scheduling appointments, checking test results, paying bills, or searching for medical information. Speaker: Karen Jones – MCMC Health Information Manager.
If you have thrown the Chronicle in the recycling bin and forgot when Eric Gleason is going to speak at the Center, the easiest place to find the information is on the Center’s website. It’s not fancy but is generally up to date and 95% accurate (They’ll always be a few mistakes to show I’m not an infallible robot). Go to or just google Mid-Columbia Senior Center.
The irreverent World War II novel by Joseph Heller first published in 1961 whose title became a way to describe a “no-win” situation was Catch-22.  I received correct answers from Jerry Phillips, Sandy Haechrel, Lana Tepfer, Bob Earls, Carol Earl, Darlene Marick, Bobette Stewart, Dan Ericksen, and Sally Forster this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And from last week I missed Laurel Slatt, Kathy Viemeister and Sandy Haechrel.
Lana Tepfer answered my plea and emailed me this challenging question – the first of this month’s questions about early technology. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the 15,000-pound computer that was introduced on TV in the 1950’s and tallied presidential election’s results before our very eyes? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a box of 5,000 vacuum tubes.
Well, it’s been another week, wishing for at least one good idea. Until we meet again, keep your chin up and your hands warm.
“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison

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