Aging Well May 25th

In this column I try to share my perspectives on the opportunities and possibilities during this next chapter of our lives – thoughts I have gathered from reading, studying and most importantly from my conversations with the many active, engaged and caring folks I see daily. I have learned that getting “old” is not the end but the beginning of many new and exciting adventures, a chance to fulfill postponed dreams and a time of awakening and greater understanding. But I try not to be Pollyannish. As Joan Chittister points out in her book, “The Gift of Years”, life has both its blessings and burdens. And it is hard to ignore the burdens – the tread on these ole tires ain’t getting any thicker. But life is what you make of it, given the circumstances you are dealt. And I hope I can provide some worthwhile information and advice; encouragement and comfort to make these years the best years of your life.

One of the burdens of aging is an increased risk of falling. A fall can dramatically change a person’s life: their sense of independence and vulnerability, their emotional and physical health and even their relationship to their children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests four actions you can take to reduce your risks of falling – besides the obvious like staying off twenty foot ladders. They are to begin a regular exercise program; have your health care provider review your medicines; have your vision checked; and make your home safer by removing small throw rugs, installing grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub or shower, and installing handrails on all staircases.

But to learn more from someone who really knows, Brandon Strizich, the director of MCMC’s mPower – which provides acute inpatient rehabilitation – will discuss the cost of falls and how to assess your risks at the Center’s Tuesday lecture on June 1st at 11:00. But please don’t trip over yourself as you rush to this informative presentation that will offer some real practical help.

For several years the Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society has been collecting donations to erect a common monument at the Pioneer Cemetery in The Dalles to honor all those buried there. Now that the goal has been reached, The Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society is inviting the community to the dedication of a memorial stone listing all two hundred forty three known burials. The dedication will take place on Memorial Day, May 31st with a Veteran’s Ceremony by The Dalles Veterans of Foreign Wars at 10:15 and the dedication of the Memorial Stone at 11:00. After the ceremony there will be a gathering with refreshments at the Original Courthouse at 410 West 2nd Place. For any questions you can call Renee Briggs at 509-767-2316 or Sandy Bissett at 541-298-1240.

If you enjoy day trips and other adventures, check out the opportunities provided by Sherman County Community Transit. This summer they are offering several trips including Toppenish for a tour of the murals, Kahneeta Casino and Resort and the Pittock Mansion in Portland. But seating is limited. For more information call 541-565-3553. And to the west, Hood River County Community Education offers a variety of trips and tours including their popular monthly Mystery Trips. You can call them for more information at 541-386-2055.

Next Tuesday Night the popular Cherry Park Band will be back playing their good old, home grown country music. And tonight Hank Krum’s four piece band “The Jazz Generations” will be playing the best sounds from the past for your listening and dancing pleasure. The horns start blowing and the guitars start strumming at 7:00 and its all free although donations are appreciated.

Only Peggy Rice and Joann “pick me” Scott turned in the correct answers for last week’s head scratcher. It was “Pogo” the possum from Okefenokee Swamp created by Walt Kelly who said “We have met the enemy and he is us.”? And since there were only two and I just can’t disappoint one or the other, they both win a free Saturday Breakfast at the Center on June 19th.

This week’s prizes are four notecards depicting a 1905 postcard of the “Dalles City” Sternwheeler at Rooster Rock. They were given to the Center by Clarence Mershon after his entertaining and informative presentation on the history of the Historic Columbia River Highway. For a chance to win one of the notecards, answer correctly the following question “What was the name of the engineer and landscape architect who was the primary designer of the Historic Columbia River Highway?” Email or call 541-296-4788.

That’s the end of the trail for another week. Until we meet again, as Pogo observed “Don’t take life so serious, son, it ain’t nohow permanent.”

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