Living Well November 10 2009

Medicare is a hot topic these days. The insurance companies are out in force marketing their Medicare Advantage and prescription plans, several Advantage plans are leaving the state and most are increasing their premiums. And on top of it all is the national debate about the effects of health care reform on Medicare.

Because of this interest and the large turn-out for the “Your Medicare Options” presentation two weeks ago, we have scheduled an encore performance on Tuesday 17th at 11:00 to answer more of your Medicare questions. Hopefully this information will help you make the best decisions for your situation during the annual enrollment period beginning November 15th, when you have the opportunity to make any changes.

Another source of clear and objective information about Medicare – that is about as easy to understand as humanly possible – is the “2010 Oregon Guide to Medigap, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans” published by SHIBA. The guides are finally available and can be picked up at the Area Agency on Aging offices in the MCCOG building on the corner of 11th and Kelly or at the Center. And if you are internet savvy you can find an electronic copy at

The change from daylight savings time did not keep the music aficionados from last week’s Tuesday night music performance. And I expect the same tonight when the Cherry Park Band performs. And next week, it won’t be the Big Mamas or the Gold Diggers, but the Sugar Daddies playing for your listening and dancing enjoyment. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The music starts at 7:00

And speaking of music. The Center’s Young-at-Heart Serenaders are back entertaining folks while stretching their vocal chords and having a good time. They still need a leader, but feel that they can carry on without one while rehearsing for the Christmas season. They practice from 10:00 – 11:30 every Wednesday and everyone is invited to join the fun.

Dick LaFever has suffered emotional pain no one should endure. From his experience, he has written a new book titled “A Testimony of Forgiveness”. Dick will be signing his new book at Klindts this Saturday the 14th at 2:00. And on Tuesday December 8th at 11:00, Dick will share his story as part of the Center’s Next Chapter Lecture series.

This year Diabetes Discovery Day is on Wednesday November 11, 2009, again at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. This annual event sponsored by Mid-Columbia Medical Center and Providence Hood River offers anyone in the Columbia River Gorge region interested in diabetes the opportunity to receive the latest information about this growing disease. Representatives from a number of companies who offer product supplies for diabetes will be on hand to answer your questions. The event is free. Hours are 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Last week we had several winners and many misses identifying the bandleader that first hired Frank Sinatra. It was Harry James who soon after released Sinatra from the contract so he could sign with Tommy Dorsey one of the most popular bands at the time.

But enough of Frank Sinatra. Let’s get back to childhood memories of watching Saturday morning TV. You may remember one of the first, Howdy Doody, a children’s television program broadcast on NBC from 1947 until 1960 and one of the first TV shows to include audience participation. What were the children called who watched from the on-stage bleachers?

And you can see videos related to the “Remember When” questions – the Beatles tossing their hair on the Ed Sullivan show or Elvis shaking his hips, singing “Heartbreak Hotel” – or listen to Frank Sinatra singing with the Harry James Orchestra, all at the Center’s website at

Well it’s another week throwing spaghetti against the wall hoping something sticks. Until we meet again, it is good – even at our age – to heed the advice Christopher Robin gave Winnie-the-Pooh, “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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