Aging Well in the Gorge November 21st 2018

With Thanksgiving becoming another shopping holiday: Black Friday spreading into Black Thursday, and now stealing into most of November, I have begun to appreciate the perspective I have gained from having lived these many years: I don’t need the mad rush of finding the best deals of the pre-pre-holiday sales. And I certainly don’t need crowded stores, long lines and packed parking lots. The fact is I don’t really need any more “things” (although I do dream of the latest Apple products). Instead I’m trying to give away stuff – and there is plenty of it. Anyone looking for a treadmill? How about a 40-year old 10-speed Fuji bicycle?
Knowing that in a flash, my life could be tossed upside down, more “things” aren’t that necessary. As long as I have food in the cupboard, a roof over my head, friends, family and a wonderful and patient wife, I’m doing just fine. I hope you have found all you need and can appreciate all you have during this season of thanksgivings.
For someone who has recently or even not so recently lost a loved one, the holidays can be particularly difficult. You may be that someone, when memories of special times together around the holidays come flooding back, along with all the conflicting questions associated with grief: Shouldn’t I be over this? Am I going crazy? Why can’t I feel happy?
Or it may be someone you know who is experiencing the loss of a loved one; needing your support of listening and being open and present to their quiet and often silent sadness.
Whether it is you or a friend, it can help to find a supportive safe haven where you can share your feelings and maybe even a few tears; and realize you are not alone. It may be an informal group such as your church family or close friends. Or it may be one of several excellent grief support groups available in the Gorge.
A new grief support group is meeting at the Center on the first and third Thursdays at 10:30. At the next meeting on December 6th the focus will be “Coping with Loss on Days That Hold Special Meaning”. The support group is facilitated by Gwen Thomas, a bereavement counselor for Providence Hospice of the Gorge, and if you would like more information you can contact Gwen at 541-490-0525.
If you are in town on Thursday, the annual Community Thanksgiving Meal will be held once again at the St. Mary’s Academy from 12:00 – 3:00 PM. It is a chance to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving Dinner and see friends you may not have seen since last year. And a big thank-you to our local Salvation Army and the many volunteers who make it all possible.
When driving by the corner of 10th and Cherry Heights, I hope you have noticed the Center’s new message board (and if you haven’t, you may want to seriously think about giving up the car keys!) The Center’s board of directors had been considering installing a message board for several years. And thanks to Gary Patton’s determination and the tremendous help from Meadows Outdoor Advertising, the message board is now up and scrolling news from the Center.
The band created by the three Gibb brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice, that recorded three of Billboard’s Top 20 hits of the 1970’s, all from the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever, was the BeeGees. (I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Susan Ortega and this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket Cheri Brent.)
I have realized that never listening to country music when growing up has biased the music questions I ask. So, to make up for Pat Boone, Herman’s Hermits and the BeeGees, here is a question about a country singer whose career spanned three decades. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what singer was one of the stalwarts of 1950’s honky tonk music with hit songs such as “Talk To Your Heart” and “Release Me”; in the 1960’s experimented with the Nashville Sound, and in the 1970’s recorded several hits including “For the Good Times” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”.  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a picture of cowboys from Cherokee County Texas.
Well, it’s been another week anticipating the excitement of the holidays. Until we meet again, make the best of the hard times and cherish the good times.
“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” Irv Kupcinet

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