Aging Well January 25th

Has there been something that caused you to reevaluate your life – something that knocked you out of your complacency, your comfort zone? Maybe an unexpected misfortune that slapped you across the back of your head? Or the realization that your knees, stiff and sore, are just a preview of what to expect from the rest of your body? Or the visit with your new physician who asks the simple but profound questions: What do you want? What are your goals? And your world begins to list to one side.

Everything looks different. You ask yourself what is important – and discover what doesn’t really matter. You dream again. And decide what you want to accomplish – knowing it is never too late. And your world starts to right itself.

But it may be uncomfortable discovering what you really want, because now, not tomorrow, but now you have to do something. It may seem overwhelming, impossible, still just a dream. But you summon the will to start, to leave the shore, to take that first step, no matter how small, because you know very few things are created over night. (Well – maybe children, but I’m not going there!)

Every week I meet regular folks, just like you and me – no TV cameras, no up-close interviews – who have changed their lives by taking that first step; who have found a purpose while enjoying the challenge. It could be taking an aerobics class at the Fitness and Court Club, learning to crochet from a friend, taking art classes at the Art Center, enjoying life affirming presentations at Water’s Edge. Or just getting out meeting people and maybe even falling in love again.

It can happen, but it all starts with the first step. It may not be comfortable, it may not be easy, but it can be fun, it can be rewarding and it can give you purpose and confidence to make these latter years the best of your life.

And someone who knows about taking the first step – and the next – is Carolyn Scott Kortge. Carolyn will kick off “Go Red” – three days of awareness about women’s heart health – with a presentation on Thursday February 3rd from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Water’s Edge. Carolyn has written several books focusing on the benefits of walking for the mind and spirit. As described in her book The Spirited Walker “With a focus on walking for wellness, Kortge outlines a compassionate, practical program for navigating your way through life’s physical, emotional and spiritual hard times.” Since seating is limited you should register for the event by calling 541-296-8444.

“Go Red” continues on Friday (4th) with the Heart Expo and Noon Heart Walk from 11am to 3 pm at the Civic Auditorium and concludes on Saturday with the Heart Truth 3k/5k walk/run at The Dalles Marina starting at 10am.

Next Tuesday is the first day of February – just a downhill slide to spring which officially starts on March 20th for those who want to start counting. (I know I should appreciate the special thrills of winter: slippery sidewalks, frozen pipes, expensive heating bills, but couldn’t someone make this season shorter.) Playing on the first is Andre and his Strawberry Mountain Band. And if you can’t wait till February, tonight the Jazz Generations will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure and well as your peace of mind. Donations are appreciated and everyone is invited to join the fun starting at 7:00 PM.

Well I lied. This week’s “Remember When” question is not from the 50’s but the 30’s. Swing was still coming of age when Benny Goodman Band played Carnegie Hall – initially as a publicity stunt – on January 16th 1938. The event was described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.” This week’s question is “Who was the drummer in the climatic rendition of “Sing, Sing, Sing” and was often at odds with Benny Goodman?” E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of one of the two original acetate recordings of the concert.

The northwest band, that appeared regularly on ‘Where the Action Is” and whose lead singer ,Mark Lindsay, was born in Eugene, Oregon,’ was Paul Revere and the Raiders. And the winner of a free Third Saturday breakfast in March is reserved and shy Dawn McClure.

Well, it’s another day in the woods – as long as I can find my way out. Until we meet again, get yourself out of bed, put on your shoes, and believe it will happen, because it can.

“It’s not where you go, but what you see that makes life a pilgrimage.” Carolyn Scott Kortge

Necessity is the mother of “taking chances” Mark Twain

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