Senior Living July 12th

Is there something you always wanted to learn? And wondered if there is anyone else who has a similar interest – because it would be more satisfying to explore the subject with other living souls besides your cat or your disinterested husband! Maybe you want to try algebra again – that beast you were forced to struggle through in high school but now wonder what was it really about? Or maybe the history of the Civil War or the causes of the Great Depression – since we are gradually climbing out of our recent close call.

If there is any topic you would like to explore with a small group, email or call the Center and we will spread the word including posting your interest on the center’s website. Besides connecting you with others, the Center can also provide a space, Internet connection and any video equipment you may need. Hopefully by this fall we can pull together a small study group to delve into the topic. And who knows – there may be someone else interested in Elizabethan eating habits.

And speaking of learning new subjects, I have just started memorizing the 238 most important and useful Mandarin Chinese characters. But you may ask. “For a guy who can’t remember eating a banana – how can that be?” My son shared with me the free website Memrise which uses the latest in cognitive science to teach the basic vocabulary of different languages in an addictive game format – you plant the seed of a new word, grow them in your greenhouse and then transfer them to your garden. It is like mixing Farmville with a language course. And it is much more fun than my high school experience learning German “Ich bin ein dummkopf”. If Mandarin Chinese is not your thing, you can learn French, Spanish, Japanese and many other languages. I haven’t learned to write coherent sentences yet, but, heh, one step at a time. And even if you may never travel to that exotic destination to test your new language competencies, you will be stimulating your brain and gaining the satisfaction of learning a new skill. One of these days you may even hear “Do you know what grandma can say!”

It is Fort Dalles Days with the rodeo galloping into town and the parade starting at 10:00 on Saturday. And what better way to prepare for the parade than a delicious Saturday Cowboy Breakfast at the Center sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center. Breakfast will be served from 8:00 – 10:00 and this month’s menu will consist of hotcakes, bacon, fruit and the regular beverages. As Jack always said “Breakfast tastes better when someone else cooks it – especially before a parade!”

If tonight you can’t make the Fort Dalles Rodeo Kick Off party and Habitat for Humanity fundraiser at the Auction Yards, stop by the Center and enjoy the sounds of Martin and Friends. And next week, on the 19th, straight from the Shamrock Club performing for your dancing and listening pleasure will be Truman playing the Country Gold. The music and dancing starts at 7:00 and donations are always appreciated.

Okay now “One, two, three, four/Tell the people what she wore”? She wore an “Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” sung by Brian Hyland in the summer of 1960. And the winner of a Cowboy breakfast is the one and only Jim “The Flash” Gordon.

But this week’s “Remember When” question goes back to 1934 when this action adventure comic strip first appeared in newspapers. Created by Milton Caniff (who left the strip in 1946 to create a competing comic strip – Steve Canyon), this comic strip featured a “wide awake American boy” arriving in China with his mentor journalist Pat Ryan – encountering adventures with friends and foes including the beautiful but cold Dragon Lady. What was the name of the comic strip? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the inside cover of a hardbound collection of this comic strip.

Well it has been another week riding the ebbs and flows on the ocean of life – trying not to hang my head over the side. Until we meet again, sometimes life feels like a one-hour long algebra test: the closer to the end, the faster time seems to fly by.

“Still round the corner there may wait/A new road or a secret gate/And though I oft have passed them by/A day will come at last when I/Shall take the hidden paths that run/West of the Moon, East of the Sun.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

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