Living Well in the Gorge March 3rd 2021

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 pole, 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 basketball teams – Go Blazers!

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. We can start enjoying what we once lost, stumbling toward new personal discoveries by trying, testing, and trying again. It can start today or next week in art classes, at home or in the workshop – whether you are 65 or 95.

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

In this month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder” Antonia Rojas shares her story of how she found her creative spark as a young child and nurtured it, turning that small spark into an enduring flame. She writes about how she now sees that “life is art”, how “dreams are the stuff real life is made of” and that you can express yourself “where no one sees”. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Antonia’s beautiful story of how she found her passion and still pursues it to this day.

I know Amy Mollett at the Center in Hood River and myself in The Dalles have been receiving a tremendous number of calls regarding AARP Tax Aide Program. They have been working hard but are very limited in the number of volunteers and resources, so please be patient. (Patience seems to be a theme during this pandemic!) Next week I will share the latest information, or you can skip the middleman and email Tax Aide at

Some advice from the “all-knowing” Internet.

1. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice. 2. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target. And my favorite, 3. You’re never too old to learn something stupid. 

The female singer who recorded “I Fall to Pieces”, “She’s Got You,” and “Crazy.” before her untimely death in a 1963 plane crash was Patsy Cline. And there are plenty of Patsy Cline fans out there because I received correct answers from John McEwen, Anna O’Donnell, Steven Wolpert, Barbara Cadwell, Candy Armstrong, Tina Castanares, Jim Ayers, Lana Tepfer, Anne Saxby, Sandra Fritz, Diana Weston, Sandy Haechrel, Dave Lutgens, Vern Johnson, Margo Dameier, Kim Birge, Keith Clymer, Verna Browne, Pat Evenson-Brady, Lou Gehrig, Gene Uczen, Nona Moore and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Sandra Fritz who believes Patsy may still be “Out Walk‘n After Midnight”. And last week I missed Jim Ayers.

This book is often referenced in political discussions because of its themes of nationalism, surveillance, and censorship. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what is the title of this classic literary example of political fiction published in 1949 that popularized commonly use terms such as “Big Brother”, “doublethink”, “Thought Police”? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a poster of the Party’s three slogans.

Well, it has been another week, wondering “Why?” Until we meet again, there are many older adults who could learn the new technologies but just refuse to – and there are days when I think they made the right decision. 

“In retrospect, it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated!” Quote from Alfred E Neuman, the “What, me worry?” kid.

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

Hood River Valley Adult Center – Call 541-386-2060.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center – Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and names of each person.

Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office call the 509-773-3757 or the White Salmon office call 509-493-306.

Skamania County Senior Services – Call 509-427-3990.

Seniors of Mosier Valley – Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal. Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30.

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