Aging Well in the Gorge November 30th 2022

We are all social beings needing to interact with others: sharing our everyday experiences; our dreams and hopes; our mental lapses, stories about the grandkids; trips abroad, and listening to jokes we’ve often heard again and again (which I don’t mind since I never can remember a good joke – especially the punch line!).

But as we grow older our social connections are reduced: we may no longer be working; friends have passed away or moved; it’s easier to stay home instead of going out. And sadly, we may have lost our lifelong partner with whom we shared everything.

I’ve written about the value of social connections. But often overlooked is the importance of listening. If someone is going to share their stories, there needs to be someone there to receive them. And yes, while listening you may also hear about the latest doctor’s visit, or which medications are working – or not, and the different aches and pains, but we are all trying to manage this gift of living longer, and someone needs to be there to listen.

Although listening is simple, it is not always easy. As Margaret Wheatley points out, “Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen” – and I may add to be patient. Listening is something we should all do for each other. And if we listen carefully, it might be surprising what we will learn.

Last week, I wrote about the importance of shopping local and supporting our small businesses. Also to sustain a vibrant and healthy community, it is important to support our art, cultural and historical non-profits.

That is true on both sides of the river, but in Oregon you have a special opportunity. You have until the end of this year to donate to a qualifying nonprofit and the Oregon Cultural Trust to receive a matching Oregon tax credit. All you do is donate to any of Oregon’s arts, heritage, and humanities nonprofits which includes forty in Hood River, Sherman, and Wasco counties (listed at Then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust to claim your contribution to the Cultural Trust as a tax credit – which means your donation to the Cultural Trust won’t cost you a thing! The Oregon Cultural Trust supports local communities by funding county Cultural Trust Coalitions that annually distribute grants to area schools and non-profits.

Brain Tease: Based on the pairings that you see below, what word is next, replacing the question mark? rotate – tare; refits – firs; sneaky – easy; throne – rote; tepees – ?

The name of the 1967 satirical talking blues song by singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie, about the place where “you can get anything you want” (except for Alice I was told) was “Alice’s Restaurant”. I received correct answers from Mark and Kay Fortin, Jess Birge, Rose Schulz, Lana Tepfer, Keith Clymer, Rebecca Abrams, and Lars Reierson this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Nancy Higgins and Margo Dameier.

The quilt raffle drawing was held on the 19th and there was good news and bad news. The good news is the Mid-Columbia Senior Center quilters sold hundreds of quilt raffle tickets with all proceeds supporting the Senior Center. And the bad news? None of the “Remember When” winners I entered won! I guess I’m just going to have to wait and try again next year.

In the 1950s through the late 60s, westerns were a television favorite with seven of the top ten shows in the 1958 – 1959 season being westerns including this one. What was the name of the Western television series that ran for five seasons from 1957 through 1962 starring James Garner for the first three seasons as the clever and eloquent poker player working the riverboats and saloons while traveling through the 19th-century American frontier? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with the show’s theme song that began with “Who is the tall, dark stranger there?”

“Money talks… but all mine ever says is goodbye!” Anonymous

Well, it’s been another week, trying not to spend beyond my means. Until we meet again, everybody has a story to tell.

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; 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); Skamania County Senior

Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: pets or pest

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