Aging Well November 5th 2013

Whether it is painting a sunset illuminating the Columbia Gorge, writing a poem expressing the indescribable joys of grandchildren, or creating a walking stick out of a hand carved handle attached to a discarded monopod, these are all creative acts: fashioning something unique and personal out of the ordinary.

 As part of the human race we are meant to create – evident by young children building forts out of discarded boxes or our prehistoric ancestors drawing on cave walls. It is who we are. But many of us have been told verbally and silently – we aren’t good enough. And we got the message. We lost interest in the creative arts and the creative process and spent our time pursuing careers, raising families and rooting for our favorite football teams – Go Ducks!

 But as older adults, we are finally able to free ourselves from those internalized constraints learned over so many years and start exploring new forms of self-expression and start enjoying the process that was once loss of stumbling toward new personal discoveries by trying, testing, and trying again. It can start today or next week, in the art class or the garage and whether you are 65 or 85.

 And just maybe, as an added bonus, while absorbed in these new creative pursuits, the aches and pains and daily challenges we all face, might just be forgotten – at least for a little while.

 A great place to start or continue your creative journey is the Open Arts Studio that will be held at the Center on Wednesday November 13th from 10:00 to 4:00 with a lunch break from noon to 1:00 – even starving artists have to eat. The Open Art Studio, organized by Debra Jones, is an opportunity to explore different art mediums such as watercolors, glass painting, card making, Christmas ornaments, stamped recipe cards, creative writing and much more – although I can’t think of anything else. Supplies are provided or you can bring your own stuff and join the fun. Everyone is welcome especially all you folks who don’t see yourselves as the “creative or artsy” types. And just to get you salivating between now and February, there will be a six week drawing class for budding artists in different mixed medias starting February 4th. The class will be led by Carla Sonheim and will include creative and fun exercises to discover and nurture your creative self. More information will be available after the coming holiday seasons.

 Just a reminder. You no longer have to wait for a Drug Take Back event to safely dispose of your unwanted medications. Inside the front entrance of The Dalles City Police station, there is a drop box for unwanted medications – thanks to the efforts of YOUTHTHINK, MCMC and the City of The Dalles Police Department. But they don’t accept everything. Don’t bring your thermometers, sharps, medical waste, combustibles or inhalers.

 Before you start learning to walk and talk backwards, here is another chance to practice your newly acquired ability to read backwards. .si taht elpoep dna srallod – owt rof eerht dna eno rof owt si noitanod detseggus ehT .emoclew era nooccar tep rieht tpecxe ydobyreve dna 00:7 ta strats cisum ;00:6 ta nepo srood ehT .tnemyojne gninetsil dna gnicnad ruoy rof gniwaj dna gnimmaj eb lliw sdneirF dna nitraM ,retneC eht ta thgin yadseuT txeN

The Mercury Theater’s Halloween radio broadcast in 1938 that simulated news bulletins of a Martian invasion was adapted from the book War of The Worlds written by H.G. (Herbert George) Wells – who also wrote The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man and has often been called the father of Science Fiction. (And this week’s winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on November 16th is Ted Mahoney.)

Now that the spooks and goblins are off the streets, this week’s “Remember When” question returns to the category of famous comic strips. What was the name of the comic strip (published between 1913 and 1944) considered by many as one the best comic strips of all time and featured the slapstick antics between a carefree and simple-minded cat, the brick throwing Ignatz Mouse, and the “Limb of Law and Arm of Order” police dog, Offissa Bull Pupp? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with one of the fifty animated cartoons based on the comic strip produced by King Features from 1962–1964.

Well, it has been another week zigzagging from one distraction to another. Until we meet again, don’t turn the lights off until you fall asleep.

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.” Frank Lloyd Wright

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