Aging Well in the Gorge November 24th 2015

As we rush around from here to there and back again, Thanksgiving is the time of the year to slow down, take a deep breath, and offer that simplest of prayers – “Thank-you”. A thank-you for the many blessings we receive – visible, but often out of focus, as we are distracted by our daily activities and the harsh noise of senseless acts of violence and inflammatory talk.
As we reflect during this season, what are you thankful for? A caring spouse, because you know friends who are living alone? Or if living alone, the ability to drive because you know many who cannot? Or if unable to drive, thankful for LINK or your friends who take you to where you want to go? Every day we are blessed in many meaningful ways.
For myself, as long as I can wake up each morning – and my feet touch the floor, the hot water is running and I hear the sweet sounds of my wife reminding me “Don’t forget to take out the trash!”, there is another day to give thanks.
The Wahtonka Community School is partnering with the Center to initiate an Oral History Project. The idea is for high school students to interview older adults about their experiences as they grew up – what may seem like to the students a long, long time ago. I’ve heard many stories at the Center about growing up during the depression, serving our country during WW II, or just stories of youthful mischief: knocking over outhouses on Halloween – which I am sure none of you have done. Fascinating stories that will be lost if not shared. The first interviews will be on Tuesday, December 8th between 12:45 and 2:00. If you are interested in helping these young students by sharing your stories, call the Center to sign up.
The Center is starting its 2016 membership drive – hoping to surpass last year’s very successful membership drive of over four hundred members. The membership dues are still $35.00 for an individual or $60 for a couple – or if you want to give a little more towards the operations of the Center, you can become a Super Duper Member for $50 per person. Memberships are a vital part of the annual operating budget for the Center – generating over $15,000 a year. You can mail your membership to 1112 W 9th Street, The Dalles, or you can stop by the Center. And for any youngsters out there, you can be a member at any age, although you have to be over fifty to vote at the Center’s annual meeting in July.
You don’t have to be Beverly Sills or Enrico Caruso to join the Center’s Young at Heart Serenaders, but you do need to enjoy singing and sharing the music with others.  Phyllis Farner, the Center’s music director, is looking for a few more voices to join the Serenaders who meet Thursdays at 10:30 and perform during the holidays at several of the local living facilities.
If you are a Facebook user, check out “Sunny The Dalles”: a place to post all the great reasons to live in The Dalles. It was created by Kathy Ursprung as a counterbalance to the complaints and controversies you often find on social media and in the news. But don’t ask me how to find the page on Facebook, since I am a Facebook novice. I am expecting all the regular Facebook users to know how.
For the Tuesday Night Music and Dance on December 1st, Andre, KC and Tom will be performing. And don’t forget during the winter months music starts at 6:30 and ends by 8:30. Everyone is welcome, whether you are a Duck fan, Beaver fan or a fan of one of those other northwest teams. And donations are always appreciated.
Minnie Pearl, whose catchphrase was “How-w-w-DEE-E-E-E!”’ was the female country comedian who always wore a hat with the price tag still attached. (The winner of a free quilt raffle ticket is Ron Holliday.)
Patsy Cline was one of the most influential and successful singers in country music. We all know her signature song, “Crazy”, but for this week’s “Remember When” question, who wrote the song? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of the red headed stranger.
Well, it’s been another week trying keep the bird in my hand and out of my hair. Until we meet again, enjoy good company and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”  Linda Grayson

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