Senior Living August 12th

At the senior center we often joke about the differences between women and men, the Venus/Mars thing, and the challenges of living with the other sex: putting the toilet seat down (my wife trained me early), making sure the cap is put back on the toothpaste tube (ditto) and why do women need so many shoes (I have no idea.)?. But we all know how important the relationship is between husband and wife especially after a couple has been together for 30, 40 or 50 plus years.
But when we you lose your spouse, the person with which you have shared your dreams, vulnerabilities and embarrassing moments, your world ends. It is tough, really tough. The loss can happen unexpectedly, after a long illness or gradually as you lose the love of your life to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

I don’t imagine you ever really get over it. You can cling to the memories and joys you had experienced together, wishing it could have lasted forever. But nothing in this world lasts forever. And with the help of friends and family and for many a strong personal faith, you do move on.

But if you are struggling with a loss or if you know someone else who is, there are several Bereavement Support Groups in The Dalles where you can find a safe harbor to share your feelings and thoughts. The Hospice of the Gorge Bereavement Support group meets on the first and third Wednesdays at 10:00 am. Call 296-3228 for more information. And The Heart of Hospice Support group meets every Thursday at 10:00 am in the basement community room of the Commodore II. You can call them toll free at 888-882-1942.

Enjoy life and appreciate the good times. But during the times when life may feel like a shipwreck, Voltaire wrote “we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats”.

The Senior Center’s Yoga and Seniorcize classes are supported by a grant from the Area Agency on Aging recognizing the value of exercise and movement in maintaining a positive quality of life as we age. But the grant does not cover all the costs. So to make sure we can continue to offer these two programs, Debra Lutje, the class instructor, has started a fundraiser called “Flower Power” selling flower bulbs to plant in your garden this fall. You don’t have to have a pair of bell bottoms in your closet or a yellow Volkswagen van parked in the back to buy the bulbs. Stop by the Senior Center to see the selection of bulbs you can order and help support our exercise programs.

Dennis Davis, the volunteer AARP Driver Safety instructor, wants to make the world a safer place one driver at a time and consequently wants you to take advantage of his Driver’s Safety class. The class is a great opportunity to review the rules of the road (when is the last time you read the Oregon Driver’s Manual?) and how to handle various situations you may encounter while driving. The class is from 9:00 – 1:00 on every third Monday and Tuesday of the month and costs just $10.00 for the manuals. The next class is scheduled for August 18th and 19th and you can sign up by calling the Senior Center at 296-4788.

You will have another chance to eat out this coming Saturday morning at the Senior Center’s Third Saturday Breakfast. Last Saturday the Mid-Columbia firemen hosted their annual MDA Breakfast with the support of Denise Patton director of Meals-on-Wheels. I had always thought she just wanted to help a good cause, but after eating at the breakfast on Saturday I found out the real reason: she likes to hang out with a bunch of good looking young firemen. (Some of us can only remember when we thought we were good looking). But this Saturday you will have another opportunity (without the good looking firemen) to enjoy a fine breakfast where someone else does the cooking. Besides the traditional pancakes, you will have the additional choice of blueberry or wheat pancakes topped with fruit, peanut butter or syrup. Along with the pancakes there will be bacon, juice and the regular beverages. Breakfast is from 8:00 – 10:00 and the price is just five dollars with one dollar off for Senior Center members.

Next Tuesday, August19th, you can listen and dance to the music of “Harold and Friends” playing again at the Senior Center. Last time they packed the house playing Country and Western standards and again it should be an excellent show. These shows are open to everyone with folks of all ages dancing to the music. Bring your friends and family and enjoy an evening of grand old Country and Western music. If you also enjoy dancing and listening to the sweet sounds of the 20’s through 60’s, tonight is your night of the month, because the Notecrackers will be performing. Music starts at 7:00 PM. Admission is free but any donations help pay for the goodies, the fine musicians who either play for free or peanuts and the many activities at the Senior Center.

The other day I was rushing around outside the Senior Center when I jokingly commented to a volunteer, loading his car to deliver meals that I had just received a certified letter, yet unopened, which was “going to ruin my day”. He replied, “No, its not”. I was confused, because I was pretty sure he wasn’t a clairvoyant who could read unopened letters. Then the light went on. He was just reminding me it is all about attitude. It was my choice whether it was going to be a good day or not regardless of what was in the letter. It was just another life lesson brought to me by the good folks at the Senior Center.

That’s it for another week. Until we meet again, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort” by Herm Albright.

And “If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.” Oscar Wilde

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