Aging Well March 27th

It has been two weeks since my fall and things are going well. Thanks to everyone for their good wishes, “Get Well” cards and particularly the good advice: “slow down and listen to your doctor – you’re not a young man anymore!” And I want you to know, I am listening – because one thing I should show for my age is a little wisdom.
Even though I would like to “unring the bell” and imagine myself gracefully landing on that last step like figure skater Scott Hamilton completing a triple axel, it is what it is. And from life’s tool bag of experiences, you learn to accept the situation, adapt and keep moving.

So you make adjustments, try new approaches and see what works and what doesn’t. I now use a backpack to carry stuff, moved the kitchen table closer to the refrigerator, and sleep on a different side of the bed for a quicker path to the bath room. (Remember last week’s insight number one.)

And often you find pleasant surprises. I now use a shower bench. Instead of standing in the shower stall on one leg like a wet flamingo without the feathers, I can sit down; enjoy the comforting feel and sound of the hot water while letting my mind wonder. (If I could only water proof my laptop I might never leave!).

But although my injury is inconvenient and frustrating (those darn crutches), I know I have it easy. It is my wife who has to deal with the consequences of my clumsiness – attending to my constant requests, making up for what I can’t do around the house – while still working a full time job. In these situations, it is most often the caregiver who has to shoulder the heaviest burden. And yet they do it with love and patience. (Although I don’t know what she says about me at work!)

But enough is enough. It is time to get back to some kind of routine – different, but at least predictable. And as life keeps moving on, I can’t wait to learn what my next lesson will be – and hopefully it won’t be for quite a while.

The next speaker for the Center’s Tuesday Lecture on April 3rd will be Dan Ericksen discussing the Cherry Industry – one of the major economic drivers in The Dalles area. And if I am lucky I will also have persuaded Jim Goff to be there and share his fascinating tidbits of local cherry history. (How did the Bing cherry get its name?) The lectures are always free and start at 11:00 AM.

This year is the Center’s 25th year of operation at its current location. And the Center is going to celebrate with an Open House for the whole community on Thursday May 17th – exactly twenty five years after the date when one hundred seventy seven folks attended the very first Open House. We will recognize the individuals who made the Center possible, showcase many of the Center’s activities and classes and offer a glimpse into the next twenty five years as the Center continues to provide opportunities for older adults to explore, connect and contribute. Save the date and more information will be forthcoming.

Tonight at the Center, the Jazz Generations will get you bebopping to the music all night long. And next Tuesday on April 3rd, The Dufur Boys from Dufur will be making one of their special musical visits to the Center. The music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The singer/actress who sang with Count Basie and Cab Calloway, recorded the top ten hit “Takes Two to Tango”, and won a Tony for the lead role in the 1968 Broadway revival of Hello Dolly was Pearl Bailey. And every fourth Thursday, I enjoy visiting with Al Wynn on the KODL Coffeebreak; discussing senior issues and occasionally getting an idea for a “Remember When” question. So if you were listening last Thursday you may know the answer to this week’s question. What was the name of the teenage tragedy song sung by Mark Dining released in 1959 and hit number one in February of 1960? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a high school class ring from 1959.

Well, it has been another week knowing it could have been worse – and hoping it isn’t tomorrow. Until we meet again, sometimes you have to take the slow and winding side roads to get to your destination.

“What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.” Pearl Bailey

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