Senior Living June 3rd 2008

I often include a humorous quote at the end of this column to lighten things up and to provide an incentive to read to the very end. But last week I ran out of space. So this time I am adding a little humor at the beginning. I shared this strategy with Rose and she asked if I wasn’t taking a chance that you wouldn’t read any further. Good point! So I am going to scatter a few quotes throughout as you travel the bumpy road to the end. (“An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” Agatha Christie)

But it also started me thinking about the importance of humor, mirth (which I learned is the positive emotion that accompanies humor) and laughter. Dr. Steve Allen, Jr., son of the talk show host and comedian, said “Laughing, especially at yourself is the most powerful stress-releaser we have.” He goes on to suggest that humor not only reduces the body’s negative reaction to stress, it helps prevent such stress from occurring in the first place.

Humor is particularly helpful as we age, because it acknowledges the incongruities and absurdities of life and reminds us that we are all in this together. We all deal with the struggles and challenges of aging and yet we all are still alive and kicking and dancing or at least moving. As Bill Cosby said, “If you can find humor in a thing, you can survive it.”

The best laugh is always on ourselves (Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.” – Elsa Maxwell at age 75) or as Robert Fulton puts it “It is a matter of laughing with ourselves, not at ourselves.” One of these days I will share with you my most embarrassing moment – which still makes me smile and turn a little red- if I can gather the nerve. But what is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? What makes you smile or laugh?

A sense of humor is very individual. Some can be offended while others find a joke hilarious (I left out several quotes because my wife didn’t think they were appropriate for such a young audience.) But I hope I have included a quote that made you smile. (Jack Benny, “I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.”)

In June you will have another chance to take advantage of AARP’s Driver Safety Class promotion where two people (one with an AARP Card.) can take the class for the individual price of $10. To make this opportunity possible, the June class has been moved up a week to next Monday and Tuesday, June 9th and 10th from 9:00 – 1:00 each day. Call the Senior Center at 296-4788 to sign up for the class.

The Next Chapter Lecture on Tuesday June 10th at 11:00 will feature Carola Stepper, Board Certified Acupuncturist and founder of Cascade Acupuncture Center. She will discuss and demonstrate “Trigger Point Therapy” including practical instructions on how to release neck and shoulder tension. Bring a really stressed partner and learn how to loosen up. (“I heard a woman ask the doctor if it was okay to have children after thirty-five. I said, “Thirty-five children is enough for any women.” Gracie Allen)

Next Tuesday, June 10th at 7:00 pm at the Senior Center, the Notecrackers will be performing. We really appreciate their commitment to the Senior Center by performing every second Tuesday. And tonight Harold Gimlin and Friends are playing Country and Western. Show starts at 7:00. Free but donations gladly accepted.

We have scheduled a trip to the award winning Sherman County Historical Museum on Thursday June 5th. We will carpool from the Senior Center at 9:30, visit the museum and have lunch before we return. Their newest exhibit is the Conservation, Cultivation and Clothespins Exhibit which “tells the story of how gasoline and diesel power along with electricity changed the family farm.” We have many more day trips planned for the summer which I will mention in the coming weeks. (This is where I would have added the inappropriate quote by Groucho Marxs.)

It feels like the cost of food is rising as fast as gas which is especially hard on folks with fixed incomes. It also significantly affects Meals-on-Wheels whose federal funding has been fixed for many years. In their monthly newsletter they wrote, “Starting July 1st, 2008, we will be raising the ‘suggested donation’ to $3.50 for anyone over sixty and $5.50 for anyone under 60. We have worked very hard to keep the cost down, but found this is no longer possible with rising food costs. Less than a year ago, dry milk was around $40 for 25 pounds. It now costs $101.00 for 25 pounds. Eggs went from $12.78 for 15 dozen to $28 for 15 dozen. So the increase we are asking for will help pay for the food only. The last time that an increase was put into effect was in 1998.”

Meals-on-Wheels is also looking at possibly choosing a new name for the lunch time meal they serve in the dining room, since Meals-on-Wheels best describes the meals they send out for home deliveries. They would still be called Meals-on-Wheels but with a different name for the on site lunch. If you have any suggestions, call them a 298-8333.

That is it for another week. Until the next time, keep laughing. We can’t take life seriously all the time.

In difference to Elt Fadness the master of all Ole and Lena stories: Ole and Lena were at the drive-in movie. Ole says, “Say Lena, you wanna get in the back seat?” Lena says, “Naw, Ole, I’d just as soon stay up here with you.”

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