Aging Well in the Gorge November 29th 2016

Have you ever looked forward to a holiday vacation with high expectations and a to-do list a mile long – and then it turns out nothing like you expected? That was my Thanksgiving this year and even though everything turned out fine, all those things I wanted to do were replaced by what I had to do. So this week, I’ll just keep it simple and share a few thoughts for this busy first week of December.
Several months ago, Fire Chief Bob Palmer spoke at the Center and explained how the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue can help install smoke alarms in your home. But I have also learned from Marc Berry, there is another source: the American Red Cross. They have launched a national “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign” to reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries by 25% over the next five years for three sobering reasons.
1. Fire related deaths and injuries are highest in homes without smoke alarms. 
2. Last year the Red Cross responded to nearly two home fires each day in Oregon and SW Washington. 
3. More than 60% of fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm.
To have a free smoke alarm installed by a trained Red Cross volunteer, call 503-528-5783, send an email to or complete an online form at
It is life-or-death important to have working smoke alarms in your home, but it’s not always easy to install them. But now there are two places you can find help: Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue and the American Red Cross.
There is plenty to do this Saturday besides Christmas shopping, and here are two events I would recommend.
Habitat for Humanity’s annual Holiday Bazaar is Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 – 2:00 in the UCC Church basement at the corner of 5th and Court Street. There will be vendors, and most important, at least for me, are the delicious baked goods and the soup and pie lunch.
Also, the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is hosting their Holiday Open House and Community Appreciation Day on Saturday, from 12 to 5 p.m. There is free admission from 9:00 – 5:00 with music from 12:00 – 5:00 plus much more.
If you missed the Center’s Holiday Bazaar, you still have a chance to purchase a one-of-a-kind lap blanket for only $25 to $35. You can find them in the Nu-2-U Shop which is open from 10:00 – 3:00 Monday through Friday.
The AARP Smart Driver Class is an easy way to catch up on the current rules-of-the-road and save a few bucks on your car insurance. The class is usually held on the third Monday and Tuesday of every month, but for December the class is on the 12thand 13th. The cost for the class is $20 and $15 for AARP members. Call the Center to sign up.
Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. # 7No more kids’ tuition to pay. (Unless you had to take out parent loans – which is a monthly reminder of your wonderful children even if they live thousands of miles away.)
The Center’s 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on December 3rd, will be on Healthy Aging – the subject of the second in a series of videotaped panel presentations from the 2016 Oregon Conference on Aging.
At the Center on Tuesday, December 6th, Andre, KC and Joe will be performing for your listening and dancing enjoyment. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30 and donations are always appreciated.
The anchorman who ended the CBS Evening News with the words “And that’s the way it is.” was Walter Cronkite. (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket each are Maxine Parker and Ed Anghilante.) 
Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have jump started the Christmas buying frenzy, this week’s “Remember When” question is about a toy many of us received for Christmas when we were just a kid in knickers. What is the name of the clown pictured on the front of a 46-inch-high inflatable punching bag with a sand filled base?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of Willard Scott when he played the part of this famous clown from 1959–1962 on WRC-TV in Washington D.C.
Well, it’s been another week, adding two and two and still coming up with twenty-two. Until we meet again, everyone looks better wearing a smile.

“Little by little one travels far.” A Spanish saying

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