Living Well January 13th

For the last two weeks I have identified what I thought were the top 10 Senior Center highlights of 2008. But that is the past. It’s done, kaput, over. So what about the future? Will it be as John Sladek predicts “…exactly like the past, only far more expensive”? Or as Dan Quisenberry suggests”… much like the present, only longer”? As I look into my trusty Chrystal Ball I see many exciting opportunities for the Center to help folks explore, connect and contribute so they can live longer and healthier lives.

During 2009 I see a challenging but eventually successful community campaign to expand the Senior Center. The need is great: from the obvious, an indoor elevator, to the more visionary, leased medical office space to increase medical access for seniors.

I see the Center continuing to provide more opportunities for folks to explore their world while discovering new talents and interests. Those opportunities include:

New Creative Writing classes starting this spring. Just this Sunday I learned of two friends who are writing books. One has been working on his for about twenty five years and every year has been promising to finish it by next year. Well, we all have only so many next years, so he is working to fulfill his promise this year. The other friend, a local business person, is working on three books with one being more of a life story for his children and their children. Both instances remind me of the quote from Virginia Woolf:

“Each has his past to shut in him
like the leaves of a book
known to him by heart
and his friends can only read the title.”

Opportunities to learn about the brain and brain fitness. There is continuing research that shows that “aging does NOT always lead to a pronounced decline and loss of cognitive ability”. And there are steps you can take to keep your brain healthy and fit including eating well, volunteering, engaging in new activities, playing word games, exercising, journal writing and connecting with friends and family.

Expanding the Computer Lab by starting monthly presentations on specific topics such as how to use your computer to download and store pictures, video conference with your kids and grandkids and watch movies and TV shows.

Discussions about global issues. The Center is hosting a Great Decisions group that will start meeting monthly on January 28th. Great Decisions is “a nation-wide program of the Foreign Policy Association to broaden public involvement with the most important foreign policy topics facing the U.S” and provides accurate and unbiased analysis about eight different global issues from Cuba to the Global Food Production.

If any of these opportunities intrigue you or you would like more information call the Center at 296-4788 or email me at

On Tuesday the 20th the Gorge Strings will be performing. I had erroneously announced that it was the Gorge Winds, which I hoped did not panic too many of their members. The Gorge Strings is a little different than our regular fare, so it should be a real treat. And tonight our loyal second Tuesday performers, the Notecrackers, will be playing for your dancing pleasure. Admission is always free although donations are appreciated. Everybody is welcome.

Jerry Tanquist reminded me that the Next Chapter Lecture this coming Tuesday falls on Inauguration Day. He and I imagine many, many others will be watching this historical, once in a lifetime event. So we have decided to postpone Jerry’s presentation on the “The Deschutes River Railroad Race” until March 10th. Instead I will find some way to show the Inauguration at the Center in case you want to come over and watch. I believe the swearing in is at 8:30 our time.

And also on Tuesday starting on the 20th at 2:15 is the second installment of the “Yes, You can Draw” class taught by Nancy Russell. Call the Center to sign up.

Last month’s AARP Driver Safety Class was canceled because the snow kept most everyone in doors and off the roads which was probably a good thing. But the January class will be next week on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 – 1:00. Dennis Davis (I keep wanting to call him Dennis Day – I wonder what that says about my age.) has done an outstanding job replacing Dick Frost. If you feel January is a little anti-climatic and you need something to perk the month up, this class just might be the answer. Don’t hesitate to call the Center at 296-4788 to sign up.

Unfortunately, we missed last month’s Saturday Breakfast because of the white blanket of snow that covered everything. So we are looking forward for the pent up demand to explode this coming Saturday morning. This month’s menu includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit and the regular beverages. It is a team effort that makes the breakfast possible. Bonnie is the head cook, with Edna planning, Sandy washing, Jerry pouring and the Boy Scout Troop #395 busing the tables. The breakfast is for the whole community and is open to all ages. And as we always say “Breakfast always tastes better when someone else cooks it!”

As with most all non-profits, volunteer help is critical to the success of the Center. One Center activity that provides over 15 % of our revenue is Saturday Night Bingo. Every Saturday, Lyn and Jann Dalton arrive around 4:00 and seldom leave before 9:30 to make sure the show goes on. Lyn is the Bingo caller and Jann has the critical job of selling the bingo cards. Together they work hard to make sure everyone has a good time playing this grand American pastime. So a big thanks for their contribution and loyal support of the Senior Center. And they would like to thank all the bingo players who show up every Saturday Night to play and support the Senior Center. Unfortunately they have yet to figure out a way to persuade the IRS to count your bingo expenses (donations?) as a tax deduction.

Well that is another week. Until the next time, keep looking ahead, because as George Burns once said “Look to the future, because that is where you’ll spend the rest of your life.”

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