Aging Well May 19th

May 19 2009.

There are many efforts underway to reduce our impact on the earth and to become more sustainable. It has affected our approach to food where old practices have become the new thing. Some examples in The Dalles include The Farmer’s Market at the City Park beginning its fifth season on May 30, and the Utopia Community Garden at East 13th and Short streets (on Friday, March 20 from 4 to 6 pm there will be a Garden Party) and The Dalles Imagination Garden, or DIG, along riverfront trail near Google. There has also been renewed interest in how to clean without using toxic chemicals that harm the earth. You can learn more about “Green Cleaning” from Kara Buchikos of Lifestyles Independent Care and how we can keep our homes clean while also protecting the environment. This informative and timely presentation starts at 11:00 on Tuesday May 26th.

At the Center on Wednesday June 3rd at 11:00 there will be an informational meeting about the Foster Grandparent Program. The program is firmly established in Pendleton with over 25 volunteers and they want to bring the benefits to the Columbia Gorge. The program offers you a chance to become a mentor/tutor, helping kids with their reading while setting them on the path toward a successful future. To be eligible you have to be at least 60 years of age, in good health and meet certain income guidelines. The benefits include a non-taxable hourly stipend of $2.65 an hour, mileage reimbursement and orientation and training, as well as helping children learn the most valuable life skill: reading. Whether you volunteer for Foster Grandparents or any of the other fine organizations in The Dalles, volunteering gives you the opportunity to make new friends, discover more about yourself, and make a difference.

Last week I described the Tuesday Night Music entertainment using the only foreign language I could remember: Pig Latin. This week continuing to provide a little variety (food for the brain), I will use the Japanese form of poetry, Haiku, to describe who will be playing on Tuesday the 26th.

Dance the night away/ Jazz Generations will play/ Fine music for you

My poetry may be bad, but the music is always good. And tonight don’t forget the Sugar Daddies. Dancing starts at 7:00 and admission is free but donations are appreciated.

And this week there is even more music and fun. In honor of Older Americans Month, the Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring a free Ice Cream Social this Wednesday, the 20th, from 6 – 8 pm at the Center. There will be plenty of ice cream with all the necessary toppings plus great music by the crowd pleasing “Hardshell Harmony”. And there will be special certificates for those with the most grandkids.

The Center will be closed next Monday for Memorial Day the traditional beginning of summer. It is early because in order to create the popular three day weekends, Memorial Day observed has been designated as the last Monday in May. (I am waiting for someone to suggest moving July 4th to the first Monday in July.) Because of the holiday, there will not be Bingo at the Center this coming Thursday or Saturday but the Jammers will be playing on Sunday – their regular fourth Sunday – from 2:00 – 5:00.

I learn a lot from all the fine folks at the Center, and here is one piece of wisdom I overheard that I want to share with you: “When talking to a fool, make sure he isn’t talking to one too”.

Until me meet again, as the sun starts to shine and it begins to heat up, don’t forget the sunscreen.

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