Aging Well January 24th

Well how about that for a wild Wintry Mix! I hope everyone survived – safe and warm with no broken bones, spoiled food or frayed relationships from too much time too close together.

When there is weather as we have had this past week, the Center cancels its activities because we don’t want to encourage folks to go out and chance the hazardous conditions, when it is safer staying inside at home. And even after seeing pictures of families frolicking in winter’s excitement, which brings back memories of my own past winters – sledding down driveways, throwing snow balls and playing a snowy version of “capture the flag”. I too think I should play it safe and stay inside – warm and out of harm’s way.

But could I have it wrong? Should I take a chance – enjoy the cold winter air stinging my face while following Ryan Rooper zigzagging down the ski slopes or Skip Tschanz gliding along the cross-country ski trails in the back country? Or maybe just walking downtown along the slippery sidewalks?

There is something to be said for taking chances; stepping out on the metaphorical ice. Because taking chances opens up unexpected possibilities and surprises: surprises that could be so powerful they could change your life – meeting a new love, discovering new passion, or just feeling energized and alive.

And maybe that is a part of the wisdom from growing older: knowing ourselves so we can find the right balance between taking unnecessary and unproductive risks and exploring the many life-affirming chances that makes life so rewarding. We may no longer want to live as fast as Indy car driver Mario Andretti who said “If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.” But maybe we should still step on the gas once in a while and slide through a few more turns – at least metaphorically.

Like the Lone Ranger saving a desperate town, the Brace Brothers came to the Center’s rescue. For several days I was waiting for Mother Nature to cleanse the parking lot with a breath of warm air. But she was taking her time, and by Friday the parking lot had become a rutted sheet of ice. Then on Saturday morning the parking lot had been cleared by the Brace Brothers. And the Center’s snow shoveling crew would like to give them a big thank-you! (and considering our ages they may have saved a life!)

Tonight at the Center you can lubricate your bones dancing to the “Jazz Generations”. Then on the fifth Tuesday “The Good Times” will be back once again to serenade you with their country standards. The music always starts at 7:00 and although the music sounds like a million bucks, admission is free, but donations are always appreciated.

NIse Patton, director of Meals on Wheels, knows that getting out after dark is not easy for many of you especially during the recent weather. But there is now music before and after lunch on the first and third Wednesdays with Martin and Friends and Annie Lane will be playing on the second and fourth Wednesdays. So come early for lunch and stay late to dance – every Wednesday.

And if you want to broaden your dancing repertoire, another opportunity is starting at the Center on Sunday, February 5th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Steve Hudson will be teaching beginning to intermediate East Coast Swing which is one of America’s most popular and durable social dances. It is open to anyone: singles, couples, and young kids to older adults, and costs for singles $5 per lesson or $25 for the 6 week course; and for couples it is $8 per lesson or $40 per course. You can sign up at the Center or contact Steve at 541-993-3549.

The entertainer known as “Big Mouth” was Martha Raye. (The winner of five Quilt raffle tickets was Donna Smith). But enough of this icy weather! For this week’s “Remember When” question, I’m headed to the warm beaches of Southern California for the 1963 film “Beach Party” about Professor Robert Orwell Sutwell researching the “wild mating habits” of California teenagers. In the movie, who were the two teen idols who teamed together in this first of a series of beach party movies? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or include it with a picture of the 1955 Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers.

Well it’s been another week trying to stay vertical. Until we meet again, don’t let a piece of good advice stand in your way.

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