Senior Living April 8 2008

Senior Living April 8th 2008

Congressman Greg Walden visited the Senior Center last Friday along with representatives from the IRS to encourage seniors to fill out their tax return this year even if they don’t need to. Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Package that will send those who qualify a stimulus payment check for at least $300. But to receive your payment you need to file a tax return. If you haven’t yet filed, and you want your stimulus payment sooner than later, you need to file by April 15th. If you have questions the AARP Tax Aide Program at the Senior Center can help, but this Friday from 4:00 to 6:30 and Saturday from 9:00 to 2:00 are the last days they will be providing assistance. If for some reason you do not file by April 15th, don’t give up. Seniors have until October 15th to file a return but your payment will come much later.

Whenever there is a new program, there always seems to be unscrupulous individuals waiting to take advantage of folks. Greg also made a special point of warning people about potential scams concerning the economic stimulus payment. Simply, never give any confidential information such as your social security number or checking account numbers to anyone particularly over the phone. If you have questions call a trusted friend, the Area Agency on Aging or the Senior Center for help.

With the race for the democratic nominee for president too close to call, we are reminded again how important it is to vote. And seniors do vote. In the 2004 presidential election, the national voting rate for citizens 55 and older was 72 percent compared with 47 percent among 18- to 24-year old citizens. But you may not get a ballot if you have moved and haven’t changed your mailing address with the county clerk. The post office does not forward your ballot to a new address. If you have changed your mailing address or if you want to change political parties to vote for a specific candidate, you will need to contact the county clerk by April 29th.

The Senior Center Will bowlers have scheduled their first competition challenging the Boy Scout Troop that meets at the Senior Center. The scout troop is a real asset to the Senior Center: hanging Christmas lights, planting flowers, and cleaning up around the center. But although we appreciate their support, we are looking for total domination. We are going to practice real hard this week (although for some of us, the more we practice the worse we get). I have heard that during spring vacation several of the scouts were up till 1:00 a.m. practicing their Wii skills. If you are interested in watching (no snickering allowed), the Wii challenge begins at 7:00 on Monday April 14th. If we can survive this one, next up will be The Dalles Wahtonka High School Bowling Team.

If you are interested in local trips and Broadway plays, meet at the Senior Center at 1:30 on Tuesday April 15th. We have planned several day trips including trips to Portland to ride the tram, Sherman County to visit their historical museum, and Hood River to see the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. But we also want to know what Broadway plays in Portland you want to see. There is a great lineup of shows for the 2008-2009 season, but we need at least 20 people to receive the group rate. If there is a strong interest in any plays, we will purchase the tickets now so we can reserve the best seats. Goodies and refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday Night April 15th at the Senior Center, Hardshell Harmony will be performing. They are an energetic Bluegrass group emphasizing traditional Bluegrass music playing the standards of the masters from long ago. Hardshell Harmony will make your toes tap and your hands slap with high energy music that people can sing along with and have a grand time. The fun always starts at 7:00 and it is all free although donations are gladly accepted. Enjoy good friends and great music! All ages are welcome!

On Tuesday April 15th, the Next Chapter Lecture Series will feature Hospice of the Gorge discussing their services and end of life questions. They are a comforting resource in the community and provide essential care at the end of one’s life journey. The presentation will be at the usual time 11:00 at the Senior Center.

That is it again, but I seem to have made a few mistakes in last week’s column that I sent from Washington D.C. while attending the Aging in America Conference. When I returned, a note from Skip Tschanz was waiting for me changing the date for the Wildflower Walk. But as fortune would have it and as several friends reminded me, I had forgotten to include the date in the column. So for those who want to spend a beautiful afternoon in nature’s glory walking through the Dalles Mountain Ranch Nature Preserve, meet on Monday April 14th at 1:00 to carpool from the Senior Center. Sign up at the Senior Center front desk or call 296-4788.

That wasn’t too bad, but I also repeated the previous week’s Meals-on-Wheels menu which I know Zelta, my reliable proof reader, would have definitely caught. My apologies to those who came for dinner expecting Spaghetti but were served Stuffed Peppers instead.

But mistakes are inevitable and as Al Franken said “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

Until the next time, don’t always act your age. Life is too short.

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