Senior Living April 22nd

Senior Living April 22

Dr. Tina Castanares, Medical Director for Hospice of the Gorge, spoke at last week’s Next Chapter Lecture series. Only three individuals attended the lecture, the smallest turnout for any of our lectures. But according to Tina that isn’t unusual. Any topic about death and dying is not generally a crowd favorite; most people considering it a real downer, using 60’s vernacular. Most of us just want to live our lives believing “what will be will be” while ignoring or at least postponing preparation for our own death. But “talking about dying isn’t going to kill you.” And as Hospice of the Gorge provides compassionate and comprehensive supports for individuals who are terminally ill and their families, they also provide invaluable lessons and guidance for all of us. By better understanding death we can live our lives more fully, understand our faith more deeply and appreciate our friends and relationships more completely. As George Burns once said, “I don’t believe in dying. It’s been done. I’m working on a new exit. Besides, I can’t die now – I’m booked.”

Thanks to Ronell Curie and all of the AARP volunteers that filed over 2000 tax returns in the Mid-Columbia area, about 500 more tax returns than last year. Much of the increase was due to the Economic Stimulus package that required anyone who wanted a payment to file a tax return. For seniors who haven’t yet filed a return because they don’t usually need to, you still have until October 15th to file in order to get your Economic Stimulus payment. If you have any questions you can call Jean Hockman at the Area Agency on Aging, 298-4101, or the Senior Center, 296-4788, and we will line you up with someone who can help.

On Thursday and Saturday nights, there is always bingo at the Senior Center, and Cherry Festival week is no exception. There have been good turn-outs these last several weeks and we want to thank everyone for helping support Meals-on-Wheels and the Senior Center. And to get in the Cherry Festival spirit, at this coming Saturday night’s bingo we will be serving Cherry Pie and Ice Cream. So enjoy the parade and all of the activities around town; then put a cherry on top of the day by taking a chance on a fun evening of bingo. Doors open at 4:30 and the games start at 6:00.

As part of the Cherry Festival activities on Saturday morning, Edna, Bonnie and Sandy will be serving a full breakfast from 7:30 – 10:00 including pancakes, country eggs, oatmeal, fruit and the regular beverages. Start the day with friends; meet King Bing and Queen Anne, the Cherry Sweethearts and most importantly the judges for the parade entries.

The Senior Center has scheduled a Charter Member Recognition Luncheon at noon on May 1st to express the center’s appreciation for the original members who helped build the Mid-Columbia Senior Center. We want to share photographs of the initial construction that has served the senior community so well for the last 21 years and also show the plans we hope will continue to serve the seniors for the next quarter century. We believe there were over 350 charter members and we are sending invitations to those for whom we have addresses, but we are afraid we have an incomplete list. If you know of anyone that was an original charter member, let them know that they are invited to this special luncheon.

The Senior Center will also be hosting a “Members Only” Potluck and Bunco at 6:00 pm on Friday May 2nd to thank all of our 2008 members. If you haven’t played Bunco, it is a fun, fast-paced dice game that is easy to learn. And if you haven’t joined, this is our last call for members. For those who have been procrastinating or have forgotten (procrastinating is not a good excuse but forgetting we understand) we will be sending out reminder cards.

Tuesday Night April 29th “The Young at Heart Serenaders” will be performing. This will be your chance to sing-a-long to the old time favorites. And tonight “The Jazz Generations” will be playing. The fun always starts at 7:00 and it is free although donations are gladly accepted. All ages are welcome!

On Tuesday April 29th, at 11:00 the Next Chapter Lecture Series will feature Dr. Matthew Proctor, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist. Dr. Proctor is just another in a list of outstanding local speakers for this lecture series. Make this series a habit. Learn something new and keep abreast of what is happening in your community.

That is it again for another week. Enjoy all the Cherry Festival activities. Until the next time, I will leave with you a poem by Maya Angelou. I was fortunate to hear her address the Aging in America conference sharing some of her life experiences as she was about to turn 80.

On Aging by Maya Angelou

When you see me sitting quietly,

Like a sack left on the shelf,

Don’t think I need your chattering.

I’m listing to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!

When my bones are stiff and aching,
and my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.

When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

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