Aging Well in the Gorge ~ November 29th, 2023

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving whether gathering around the dining room table with friends and family, celebrating with others at a Community Thanksgiving Dinner, or enjoying a home-delivered turkey dinner.

Now as we’ve entered the holiday season, it’s a good time to slow down, take a deep breath, and just offer that simple prayer – “Thank you”. Thank you for the many blessings that are visible, but often out of focus as we are distracted by all the daily noise and our own self-absorption.

Thankful for our friends and family who are still with us and for the comforting memories of those we have lost. Thankful for the neighbors who keep an eye on us and offer help even when we think we can do it ourselves. And thankful that each morning we can wake up, touch our feet to the floor, and start a new day – although I’ve found it takes a while to loosen up the old joints.

And maybe we should also be thankful for our misfortunes that remind us not to take anything for granted and to cherish each day – knowing that in a flash our lives could turn upside down.

This holiday season is a time to appreciate and savor our blessings, and ask ourselves the question Charlie Brown posed “What if, today, we were grateful for everything?”

Since choosing the right plan during Medicare Open Enrollment is an important once-a-year decision, here’s just a reminder that Open Enrollment ends on December 7th, so you still have time to determine if your Medicare plan is the best option for you. To help decide, review your plan’s “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) and ask yourself three questions. 1.) Does my plan allow me to go to the providers I want, including my pharmacy? 2.) Are my prescription drugs covered? 3.) How much does the plan cost?

You can compare plans by visiting; studying the “Medicare & You” handbook you received in the mail; or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) where help is available 24/7. For in-person help, you can schedule an appointment with a SHIBA volunteer counselor. In Oregon call 541-288-8341, Goldendale 509-773-3757, White Salmon 509-493-3068, and in Stevenson call 509-427-3990.

Brain Tease: How about a little fun deciphering these common Christmas Carols?

1.) Happiness to the Global Ecosystem; 2.) Small male percussionist; 3.) I am experiencing nocturnal visions of a colorless holiday; 4.) Festoon the Corridors; 5.) A Non-summer fairytale area; 6.) Oh holiday conifer; 7.) Ten plus two twenty-four-hour periods of holiday festivity; 8.) Hey tiny city in Israel; 9.) In a remote location in a barn stall

The actor who played Charles Lindberg in the 1957 aviation biography film, The Spirit of St. Louis and had a lifelong passion for aviation was Jimmy Stewart. I received correct answers from Ron Nelson, Bruce Johnson, Judy Kiser, Rebecca Abrams, Kim Birge, Deborah Medina, and Dave Lutgens this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I remember my mother going to the grocery store and collecting these trading stamps which I would lick and paste into 24-page collector books which she would redeem for different products. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what is the name of this line of trading stamps founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or send it with one of the 35 million catalogs distributed each year during the 1960s.

Well, it’s been another week, and once again completing only half of my to-do list. Until we meet again, as Danny Kaye once said, “Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can.”

“What’s wrong with knowing what you know now and not knowing what you don’t know until later?” – Winnie the Pooh

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 for this week:

1.) Joy to the World; 2.) Little Drummer Boy; 3.) I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas; 4.) Deck the Halls; 5.) Winter Wonderland; 6.) Oh Christmas Tree; 7.) 12 Days of Christmas; 8.) Oh Little Town of Bethlehem; 9.) Away in a Manger.

And here are the answers for those who didn’t decipher last week’s quotes.

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.”

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

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