Aging Well January 20th 2015

When I start writing this column, I usually have a particular topic in mind, in this case the diversity among older adults. But sometimes my thoughts just don’t come together – they need more time to incubate. So until they hatch (hopefully by next week), I have time to share several events taking place at the Center: cards, tax help, communicating with your doctor and a FREE dinner.
As you know the Center offers many activities. And even though I would like to say every activity is full with a waiting list, I can’t. Which is fortunate, because there is still room for you. For example, if you like to play cards, the Center offers three different games. There is pinochle every Thursday from 1:00 – 3:00 and every Friday evening from 6:00 – 8:30. On the third Tuesday of every month from 1:00- 3:00, there is Bunco – a fun, and easy-to-learn dice game of chance. And then on Friday afternoons from 1:00 – 3:00, you can learn to play Mahjong, a game which originated in China that is played with tiles instead of cards and reminds me of rummy. (But not to be confused with the Mahjong computer game that matches tiles.) Come join the fun. Your place at the table is waiting for you.
Now that you are starting to receive your tax information in the mail, you may be wondering when the AARP Tax Aide program begins. This year it will start on Friday, February 6th, and will be offered at the Center every Friday from 2:00 – 6:00 and every Saturday from 9:00 – 1:00 until April 11th. Make sure you bring the necessary documentation including: government issued identification, last year’s tax return; Social Security card; records of any income; and records of your eligible expenses if you are going to itemize your deductions. In February it is pretty busy, but it usually slows down in March. The Tax Aide Program is available to all low to moderate income taxpayers and particularly those over 60 and is sponsored by the Mid-Columbia Community Action Program.
The 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on January 27th will follow up on last week’s column about the importance of communicating with your health care provider. Linda Stahl from the Planetree Health Resource Center will discuss what you can do to ensure clear and accurate communication between you and your doctor so you receive the best healthcare possible. Linda will also discuss this year’s Go Red for Women’s Heart Health Expo on Friday, February 6th from 11:00 to 2:00 at the Civic Auditorium. (And if you register on line for the Heart Expo at the MCMC website, you can download a free copy of the Heart Healthy Recipe eBook.)
Because of the shorter days and uncertain weather during December and January, Saturday Night Bingo has been starting at 4:00 PM – two hours earlier than normal. But now that the darkest days of December and January have almost past, and there is a reduced chance of winter storms  (I hope!), on February 7th Saturday Night Bingo will return to its regular starting time of 6:00 PM. And that night at 5:00, you can enjoy a FREE dinner catered by our neighbors Cherry Heights Living – to give you a taste of what it would be like to live where someone else will do the cooking for you.
For the Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on January 27th, the Highline Express will be performing. Doors open at 6:00 and the music starts at 7:00. All ages are welcome and donations are always appreciated
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, with his faithful dog Yukon King, is the answer to last week’s “Remember When” question. (The winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast is Don McAllister.)
I’m thinking this week’s “Remember When” question is going to be a tough one – it’s not one I would have remembered. What is the name of the fictional character that appeared in short stories, silent films, on radio, in 1940’s B-movies, and on television in the 50’s; and was a former jewel thief and safe cracker who was suspected whenever a daring crime was committed, but always managed to clear himself with the help of his sidekick Runt? Did you get all that? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a Boston Crème pie.
Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the sun – when I can find it. Until we meet again, don’t take your foot off the pedal or your eye off the road.

“I’ve reached the age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me.” Anonymous

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