Aging Well October 18th

Tell me I’m not the only one, who panics when I can’t remember a person’s name until the next day. And tell me I am not the only one, who can’t imagine winning the lottery but believes a newly discovered skin rash is some deadly disease. And please, please tell me I am not the only one, who worries that all this worrying will certainly ruin my health.

What I once ignored because of a naïve belief in my own invincibility has been replaced by an expanding sense of vulnerability. Over the years, I have known too many who have lost the battle to the big “C”, athletes who have died of a heart attack, and active minds who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

But as you age how do you keep a positive perspective? Until working closely with older adults at the Center, I had no idea. I was just a beginner, an inexperienced freshman, believing life just goes on until – well, I never really wanted to look that far ahead.

But at the Center I have found remarkable people who have and still are experiencing what life is all about. I have learned from them that life means losing loved ones and knowing the sun will still rise; that life is discovering new pleasures when you no longer can do others; and that in life – days are finite, the nights are often long and there are no guarantees.

These folks are my role models – who live life with grace, dignity and large doses of humor and humility. And they have taught me to accept what I can’t control, while still influencing what I can. And no matter what life hands you – whether it is on a silver platter or on the bottom of a farmhand’s old boot – remember to always say “thank-you”.

The class “Digging up Bones – An Introduction to Genealogy” led by Edna Miller is going well. And to help you discover those rare blossoms on your family tree, Edna has invited Lorna Elliot to speak at the next class at 1:00 on October 25th. Lorna is responsible for maintaining the genealogy section at The Dalles Wasco County library and will discuss the genealogical resources available at the library.

Oregon’s SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) produces a Medicare Guide every year which is now available on line at So you can shop and compare, the Medicare Guide includes the cost, coverage and availability of all the prescription drug plans, Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans in Oregon. The Area Agency on Aging will receive the hardbound SHIBA Guides in November, but if you would like one now, the Center can print one for you. If you need additional help you can call the Center (541-296-4788) to schedule an appointment with a local SHIBA volunteer on Wednesday afternoons starting October 18th. Or you can call Jean Hockman for an appointment at the Area Agency on Aging at 541-298-4101.

Next Tuesday October 25th the Jazz Generations will be playing big band and popular favorites from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. And tonight, Truman will be entertaining you all with his smooth interpretation of county classics. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and when you leave at 9:00 you’ll be glad you came. And donations are always appreciated.

Is it time for another quick Brain Rattler to shake things up in that cranium of yours? Yes? No? Don’t bother me, I’m trying to read? This week it is “What word, when written in capital letters, is the same forwards, backwards and upside down?

The 1959 Pulitzer Prize winning novel that explored the fictional confirmation of Secretary of State nominee Robert Leffingwell – a former member of the Communist Party was “Advise and Consent” written by Allan Drury. (And the winner of five quilt raffle tickets is Don McAllister.) This week’s “Remember When” question takes us back to stop motion clay animation long before the days of Will Vinton and the California Raisins. You probably remember Gumby, the green clay human like character first created in the early 50’s, but what was the name of his orange sidekick pony? Email your answers to the, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with an original Howdy Doody marionette.

Well it’s been another week looking both ways before crossing the street. Until we meet again, keep looking to the stars but watch where you step.

“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.” Author Unknown

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