Aging Well in the Gorge November 8th 2016

This coming Friday is Veterans’ Day – a day set aside to honor those men and women who served our country. (In Oregon, one-fourth of veterans are 65 and older.) You can show your appreciation and support during the Veteran’s Day Parade which will follow the usual parade route beginning at 11am – or you can still decorate a float with a patriotic theme and join the parade. Following the parade there will be a community potluck lunch at the Oregon Veterans Home. Bring either a hot dish, a large salad or dessert.  Plates, utensils and beverages will be provided. Thanks to the Mid-Columbia Veterans’ Memorial Committee, VFW, VFW Auxiliary, the American Legion and The Dalles Chronicle for making it all possible.

Now if you want to do more, the local Veterans’ Services Office in The Dalles is looking for volunteers for the front desk to make sure our veterans receive the support they deserve. For more information, you can call Jean at 541-296-3478 or email her at

How are we as a community going to prepare for the elder boom in an aging America? Or on a more personal level, who is going to be caring for us as we grow older and need in-home care? Those are some of the vitally important questions presented in the book The Age of Dignity which will be discussed at the Center on Wednesday, November 16th from 10:00 – 12:00. And I still have a few books at the Center for anyone who would like to read it before the discussion group meets.

If you can’t make the discussion group at the Center, the library is also offering a discussion group on Tuesday, November 22 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. This replaces the regular third Tuesday discussion of End-of-Life issues which will return on December 20that the same time.

Tonight, you are probably thinking, “Boy, am I glad that’s over!” It’s been eighteen months, since Ted Cruz was the first to announce his candidacy for President in March of 2015, and now I feel all battered and bruised as if I’ve been the third person forced into the middle of a prizefight that lasted waaaay too long. Even so, I don’t think many of us would go back to the country’s early days when members of Congress chose the presidential nominees. Or would we?

After I wrote about one of the great things about growing older is that grey hair earns respect, Marilyn Ciranny sent me a page from the Salem Statesmen Journal newspaper of children’s answers to the question, “Why does hair turn gray?” I thought you might enjoy a few of the answers. From two second graders: “My hair turns gray if I get old or if rain clouds get stuck in my hair.” “I don’t know, but maybe when people get old their hair gets tired.”  From a fourth grader: “Hair turns gray because it’s nature’s hair dye.” And the last two from fifth graders: “Because you want to look like you have lots of wisdom.” And my favorite: “The reason why hair turns gray is because you look like silver, but don’t feel like gold.”

Tuesday Night Music at the Center is now starting at 6:30 during the winter months. And on November 15th, the Simcoe Boys will be playing for your dancing and listening enjoyment. Doors open at 6:00 and donations are always appreciated.

What would happen if you stepped on a crack? Why, you would break your mother’s back – although I learned from Betsy Ayres that “If you step on a line, you’ll give your father a hard time.” (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket each are Betsy Ayres, Lynda Peterson, Ed Anghilante, Maxine Parker, Helen Lynch, Marcia Lacock, Tina Castanares, and Virginia McClain – and I hope I didn’t miss anyone.)

Most everyone remembers Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things”, right? But for this week’s “Remember When” question, those children interviews were a part of what daytime variety show that aired from 1952 through 1969? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or deliver it to the Center with the vintage board game of the same name.

Well, it’s been another week, proving once again there is no such thing as normal. Until we meet again, don’t let the sun catch you snoozing.

“The greatest problem about old age is the fear that it may go on too long.”  A. J. P. Taylor

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