Senior Living September 30

As older adults we are constantly kidding and joking about those “senior moments”: where did I park the car? Where did I put the check book? Did I put my pants on before I left the house? But for me it is frustrating when I can’t remember what I have written this past year. Have I mentioned this idea before? Have I already used that funny George Burns quote? (That is why this column should only be read by folks with a memory like TDWHS’s Mr. Jupe: the short, top-notch principal with the funny accent. He told me he really liked the Senior Center’s new banner, but when pressed he couldn’t remember what it said. He had to admit he was in his mid-50’s on the path towards that day when, and I quote Mr. Jupe, “You get a feeling, you just don’t know what it is.”)

But as we age, doesn’t it feel more difficult or impossible to recall new information or learn new skills? But I wonder if we have just forgotten how difficult it was to learn new ideas when we were younger. I am learning the solving techniques for Sudoku puzzles, and it is not easy. I have to keep going back to reread the instructions and examples. But if I think back to my younger days, it was hard to remember the rules for playing the popular board game Risk (and forget calculus). We may just have an elevated notion of how much easier it was to learn when we were younger. I feel we are capable of learning much more than we give ourselves credit. Learning something new has always been hard work so don’t stop. Give it a shot. It never was easy.

One form of memory loss we currently have little control over is Alzheimers. To raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research, Flagstone Assisted Living invites you to participate in the 2008 Association Memory Walk® to be held this coming Saturday starting at 10:00 at Third and Lincoln (St. Peter’s Landmark Church). Local participants include the Oregon Veteran’s Home, Columbia Basin Care Facility, Mill Creek Point, Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center, Cherry Heights Retirement Communityand Mid-Columbia Senior Center. This is an opportunity to support the nation’s largest Alzheimers event and help find a solution to this crippling and tragic disease that has affected so many in the Gorge.

“Yes, You can draw!” is a new drawing class at the Senior Center for those who think they can’t, starting next Tuesday the 7th from 2:15 – 4:15 for six weeks. Nancy Russell who will be teaching the drawing class has taught beginning drawing classes at PCC before she moved to The Dalles. Here is a chance to explore the world of drawing in a supportive and low stress environment.

Why not make a habit of attending the weekly Next Chapter Lecture Series at the Senior Center every Tuesday at 11:00 AM? There is always something new to learn and last Tuesday Tracy Dugick a dietitian with MCMC offered several useful tips about eating for good health. Eat fruit instead of drinking juice: less calories and more filing; shred your cheese instead of slicing it: you get the taste without as much fat; don’t eat one big meal: all your meals should be about the same size; don’t eat till you feel full: save that feeling for Thanksgiving; try smart snacking: have available small healthy snacks to eat when your body tells you to; use smaller plates and bowls to fight the national trend of “portion distortion”; order the smaller servings off the “senior” menu: good for your health and your budget.

Next Tuesday, October 7th, at 11:00 AM you will have another opportunity to hear Dr. PK Swartz discuss “Advanced Directives and Organ Donations – What to do so you can make your own decisions”. This is a repeat of his excellent and informative presentation from last winter that you won’t want to miss.

Next Tuesday the 7th the Notecrackers will be performing. We are very fortunate to have them play the Senior Center on a regular basis. And tonight we are glad to welcome back the Sugar Daddies to play their swingy jazz sound. Tuesday is your dance night at the Senior Center with a variety of musicical styles to enjoy. Everybody is welcome and admission is free but we really appreciate you donations. And if Tuesday doesn’t work or once a week isn’t enough, don’t forget music at the Cherry Park Grange and square dance lessons at the Civic Auditorium.

I am writing this column while twenty women are in Portland watching “Menopause: The Musical” in Portland. Not one man, including myself, had the guts to go. But then there are times when it is just best to let the women be by themselves. We are now determining if there is enough interest to reserve tickets for the “Singing Christmas Tree” in Portland. I am looking at either the 2:30 matinee on Sunday, November 30th or Saturday, December 6th. I believe we can keep the price for a ticket and transportation at or below $65. If you are interested in seeing this Portland tradition, call the senior center to add your name to the list.

Fellowship of Churches is sponsoring a progressive dinner on Sunday October 5th, $4 for adults and $2 for children plus one food item at each stop. It is a way to get to know members from other congregations while benefitting local hunger relief. The dinner will start with an appetizer at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1805 Minnesota, at 5:00 PM, then soup and salad at Gateway, vegetable and main course at St. Peter’s with help from Zion Lutheran and concluding at the Senior Center with Dessert prepared by the Congregational Church and some fine gospel music provided by the Bagges.

Well, that’s a wrap. Until we meet again, keep hope alive for the greatest sin is cynism.

Overheard at the Senior Center, “When you don’t have any aches and pains, you are probably in a casket with someone over you giving your eulogy.”

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