Senior Living May 20th 2008

As I mentioned last week, May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is “Working Together for Strong, Healthy, and Supportive Communities”. By working together we can address issues at the national, state and local level to improve older adults’ overall quality of life and indirectly create better care and reinforce healthier communities for all ages.

In the Mid-Columbia we are finding additional ways to work together. Thanks to the Mid-Columbia Medical Center and the Area Agency on Aging, many of the senior providers meet annually to prepare for the Senior Expo as part of MCMC’s Health Fair during the Cherry Festival. To continue these conversations beyond the Cherry Festival, a ”Network on Aging” has been formed for professionals who work in areas related to aging to provide an opportunity for networking, education and advocacy. The first meeting of this professional group will be June 5th from 8 – 9 am at the Senior Center. A light continental breakfast will be provided. For more information contact the Area Agency on Aging or the Mid-Columbia Senior Center or just show up. By working together we can improve the health and well being of our seniors and pave the way for future generations.

Now that we have the perfect place to display the beautiful quilt hand stitched by the Senior Center’s quilters – hanging on the wall in the Senior Center lobby – it is about time to find a new home for it. People have been waiting patiently for the raffle drawing and I promised it would happen by the end of May. I will be close. At noon on Monday June 2nd we will hold the drawing at the Senior Center. That is the good news. The bad news is you have less than two weeks to buy your winning raffle ticket.

We now have over forty classic movies for rent – mostly VHS – including “Monkey Business” with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, the Marx Brother’s “Duck Soup”, and Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights”. We also have some of the favorite TV shows of the 50’s such as “I love Lucy”, Jack Benny and George Burns. With these classics you don’t have to worry about inappropriate language or too much skin. You can borrow them for seven days for $1 for non-members and free for members (because we know where to find you). Just check them out with the receptionist at the front desk. And to build the collection, we are accepting donations of movies from the 30’s through 60’s.

Volunteering is one proven way to stay active, maintain your mental skills and contribute to the community. One local non-profit that is doing terrific work and relies on many retired folks is Habit for Humanity. They have just opened a “Restore” store across the street from Big Jim’s, selling new and used building materials and home furnishings. They are open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 – 3:00 and on Saturdays from 10:00 – 4:00 and are in need of volunteers. This kind of store has been very successful in other communities and all proceeds will go to building more homes for local families. You can see the result of Habitat’s efforts at a dedication ceremony for the Flores family’s new home at 4675 Lockwood in The Dalles, Sunday, May 25, starting at 2 p.m. Thanks goes to a group from Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, a division of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, for supplying two thirds of the funding and to the local Lutheran community for supplying half of the volunteers for building the new house. For more information call The Dalles Habitat for Humanity at 296-8817.

With the weather improving (except for that early reminder of what summer is really like – just in case we may have forgotten) Tuesday is the night to get out of the house and make your way to the air conditioned Senior Center to enjoy fine music and dancing. Next Tuesday on the 27th our fourth Tuesday regulars “The Jazz Generations” will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure. And tonight the one man band of Truman Boler will be playing his country Gold. Truman also played The Spring Fling Dance last Friday evening, reminded me of my high school days, when I would stay in the corner hoping that no girl would find me unattended and ask me to dance. You see I am as graceful as a fly struggling in a spider web and I would hate to crush anyone’s toes. But for all of you folks who can dance, come down and kick up your heels or at least shuffle your feet. The dancing always starts at 7:00 PM. The admission price is free although donations are gladly accepted. Everyone’s welcome.

At this time I don’t know who will be the featured speaker for The Next Chapter Lecture series 11:00 on Tuesday May 27th, but I do know it won’t be a waste of your time. The series has been a tremendous success providing information topics from the medical to the historical and in between. We will continue this lecture series through June and then take a two month vacation before we start again in September.

Several folks have expressed interest in travel tours, so we have scheduled a Collette Vacations presentation after lunch at 1:00 at the Senior Center on Thursday May 29th. They will be describing two tours: a six-day tour to Branson, Missouri from October 16 – 21 and a five day tour of San Antonio in March of 2009. Both trips are reasonably priced to great locations and since you won’t be leaving the country you won’t have the passport hassle.

A final reminder, the Senior Center including Bingo will be closed for Memorial Day weekend to honor the men and women past and present who have served in our armed forces.

That is it for another week. Until we meet again, I can’t think of anything else to say.

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