Aging Well in the Gorge May 23rd 2017

How many times have you driven through the Gorge and because you’ve experienced it so often, you’ve taken its unique beauty for granted – like the picture hanging in the living room you never notice anymore.
The problem is we look, but don’t really see.
One reason is that our brains are very efficient. From all our many years of accumulative experiences, our brains create mental models that label our perceptions. For example, if I am driving down the street and I see a large object with a windshield moving towards me in my lane, I don’t need to know what color it is or the make and model, before I veer out of the way. My mental model tells me quickly that it is another car – and crashing into it wouldn’t be good for my health.
But what if I want to paint, let’s say, the view from my front window. I have to go beyond my mental model and be truly conscious of what I am seeing in all its depth and complexity. It can be a whole new experience.
I’m not an artist – and far from an art connoisseur, but I have come to appreciate how looking at all types of art can help me better see the details and nuances in my environment; and to better understand the diverse ways artists have perceived their world to create art movements such as Cubism, Impressionism, or Dadaism.   
If you are interested in understanding how art can enhance your visual intelligence and how visual perception affects art, you’ll want to attend “Visual Perception and Art” at the Center on May 30th at 1:30 PM. This colorful and entertaining 90-minute presentation by Kerry Cobb, Executive Director at the Columbia Center for the Arts, explores the nature of seeing through art. You’ll explore the function of art, how to interact more enjoyably with art and learn ways to be more observant and aware of your environment.
You still have the brains, but are there ever times you just need a little “brawn” around the house to move heavy items?
Well I’ve got an answer for you. The Wahtonka Community School students are available on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month to load/unload your boxes, furniture, etc. or just move heavy things around the house. They cannot provide a moving truck, but they do have dollies to move the heavier items. To schedule an appointment, call 541-506-3449 ext. 3211.
The Nehemiah Brown Concert was canceled in March but it has been rescheduled for Friday, June 6th. Nehemiah has performed at the Center many times and every time people walk away impressed by his silky-smooth voice. Because the concert is sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center, the cost is only $3.00 per person.
The comedian/actor associated with the song “Thanks for the Memory”, first performed in the movie Big Broadcast of 1938, was Bob Hope. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Marcia Lacock, Joanne Smith, Betsy Ayers, and Patricia Pfenning this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week’s winner, who I forgot to mention, was Jerry Phillips.)
After last week’s interlude, it’s back to Hollywood movies, specifically the western. Contrary to the typical western of the time, this movie did not have the chases, bar fights or spectacular scenery. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the 1952 movie starring Gary Cooper as soon to retire Marshall Will Kane, and Grace Kelly as his new wife Amy Fowler, who were planning to leave town before they heard that an outlaw Kane had sent to jail was going to arrive on the noon train?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send with the song “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin'”, sung by Tex Ritter.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to find time to work in the garden. Until we meet again, simple is not always easy.
“Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.” Ogden Nash

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