Aging Well in the Gorge ~ March 6th, 2024

I worry when I can’t think of a word that is not even on the tip of my tongue, but hiding somewhere down in my throat. But then I remember: when I was younger and forgot a word, I used a common crutch: words such as thingamajig or whatchamacallit.

So, I’ve decided to revert to my younger days; instead of struggling to find the forgotten word, I’ll use one of those substitute words – although it could lead to a conversation like this.

“Dear, I can’t find my thingamajig. I just used it yesterday. I looked for it inside the doodad in the living room. Maybe I put it upstairs next to that whatchamacallit I was using. Could it be in your, uh, … Oh, never mind. I found it under the doohicky on my desk.”

Okay, I hope I don’t get to that point!

Even though many of us will experience some memory loss, most of us will continue to have strong memories as we age. To keep our memories strong and brains healthy, follow these “Big Six” lifestyle behaviors.

  1. Regular exercise (walk 150 minutes a week); 2. Healthy eating (Mediterranean-style diet); 3. Good night’s sleep (seven to nine hours a night); 4. Managing stress (meditation or reading a book!); 5. Staying socially engaged (join an exercise group); 6. Mental stimulation.

To help stimulate your brain, here are three simple, but also challenging, mental exercises you can do by yourself, anytime, and anywhere.

1.) Think of a list of items such as the months in the year and without paper and pencil alphabetize them by their first letter.

2.) Make a list of anything that comes to mind such as a to-do list and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall. You may often do this already when you leave your shopping list on the kitchen table!

3.) “Backward Digit Span”. When you hear or read a four-digit number, repeat it – but backward. Try increasing the number of digits and see how many digits you can repeat.

Now that you know ways to keep your brain healthy, let’s see how much your brain knows about itself! Try to answer these six “Truth of Myth” brain questions from the Dana Foundation – but you’ll have to wait until next week for the answers.

Truth or Myth:

  1. The brain is good at multitasking.
  2. Human brains have shrunk over the last 20,000 years.
  3. All human brains start off as female in the womb.
  4. The brain is the fattiest organ in the body.
  5. You are either left or right brain dominant. This will determine whether you are more creative or more logical.
  6. Some people can taste shapes and colors.

Brain Tease: This is a brain tease I’ve heard before and yet I still couldn’t solve it.

“There is three errers in this sentence. Can you find them?”

The name of the 1961 film starring Fred MacMurray as Professor Ned Brainard, who accidentally invents a substance that gains energy when it strikes a hard surface and names it “Flubber” is The Absent Minded Professor.  I received correct answers from Nancy Higgins, Jay Waterbury, Judy Kiser, Donna Mollet, Kathy Bullack, Rebecca Abrams, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Kim Birge, Deborah Medina, Doug Nelson, Keith and Marlene Clymer, Rose Schulz, Eva Summers, and Dan Crisp this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Blondie is one of the longest-running American comic strips, published in newspapers since September 8, 1930, and led to the long-running series of twenty Blondie films from 1938 to 1950. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of Blondie’s inept and bumbling husband who had frequent run-ins with his boss Mr. Dithers? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a tall, multilayered sandwich made with a variety of meats, cheeses, and condiments named after this comic character.

Well, it’s been another week, wondering when spring is finally going to show its face. Until we meet again, in anger, as in chewing, it is best to keep your mouth shut.

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Louis L’Amour

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; Mt. Hood Townhall (541-308-5997) – Tuesdays; 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), and in Skamania County call Senior Services (509-427-3990).

Answers: 1. Errors is spelled incorrectly. 2. Is should be Are. 3. There are only two errors.

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