Aging Well January 15th 2013

How would you like to have in one handy place – dates of local events such as Go Red, Mid-Columbia Community Concerts and monthly educational programs; a listing of important phone numbers including transportation resources, support groups and assisted living facilities; short insights about different aspects of healthy living; and nutritious recipes for good measure – all in an attractive packet you can hang on the wall.  
You can have it all with the “Passport to Happiness” Calendar – created and printed right here in the Gorge for older adults in Wasco County including their families and caregivers. The Calendars are now available at several locations in The Dalles including the Area Agency on Aging, the Mid-Columbia Community Action Program, The Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, the Aging and People with Disabilities office, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, the OSU Extension Office, and Water’s Edge. And soon at the meal sites in Mosier, Dufur and Tygh Valley.
One of the many benefits of the “Passport to Happiness” Calendar is each month the Calendar focuses on a different factor that can lead to improved health and greater happiness. And then on every third Wednesday of the month, from 3:00 – 4:30 at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, there will be speakers and information that will address that month’s focus.
Wednesday, January 16thwill be the kickoff for the monthly events and the January focus is “What is Happiness?” Lauren Kraemer, OSU/Wasco County Extension Agent, will lead a discussion about happiness and what it means to each of us as we grow older; and how improving our health and well-being can lead to greater happiness. And if you are interested in reading more about the topic of Happiness, Klindt’s Booksellers will have books on hand to purchase.  
Since this is a journey towards achieving greater health and happiness with a different destination or focus each month, bring your passport with you – the tear off section at the bottom of the Calendar. At each of these monthly events, your “Passport to Happiness” will be stamped, and at the end of the year there will be a celebration offering prizes depending on the number of months stamped.
The “Passport to Happiness” Calendar was a year-long project of the Wasco County Network on Aging (I thought the Aging Network sounded good, but it was vetoed since it sound like we were just getting old.) The Network includes representatives from OSU/Wasco County Extension, the Mid-Columbia Community Action Council, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation, the local Aging and People with Disabilities Office, Flagstone Senior Living, North Central Public Health District, Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, Canyon Rim Manor, as well as Julie Reynolds.
It was a packed house at the TDWHS auditorium for “Dancing with the Gorge Stars”. And although all the dancers were entertaining and the dance routines “extraordinaire”, my man, Rick Eisland, was number one. (Although some felt he only won because of his silly smile and – like a true elected official – he knew how to work the crowd for votes.) Thanks to all the dancers: Rick, Gene, Gavin, Kristi, Tina and Celeste for making it such an entertaining night and to Platti Blagg and the Community Concert crew for bringing “Dancing with the Gorge Stars” to The Dalles.  
I am running out of room so I will keep it short – real short. “Martin and Friends” tonight at the Center, “Truman” on the 22nd, starts at 7:00, everyone welcome and donations are always appreciated. How was that?
Many folks remembered the quips and adlibs of Groucho Marx, the host of the game show “You Bet Your Life” and the answer to last week’s “Remember When” question. (And the winner of ten quilt raffle tickets for the new quilt hanging in the Center’s lobby is John Lampe.)
This week’s question may be one of those tough ones – when you can’t remember the answer until someone tells you and your response is, “Oh yeah, I knew that!”
We are remember Walter Cronkite who was described as “the most trusted man in America” and anchorman for the CBS Evening News in its heyday from 1962 to 1981. But do you remember the name of the TV documentary series about important historical events he hosted from 1957 through 1967? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a “Piece of the Rock”.
Well, it’s been another week waiting to see which way the winter winds blow. Until we meet again, it is easier to enjoy the winter knowing spring is around the corner.    

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