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UPDATED 10.25.19

Aging Well in the Gorge November 13th 2019


Last week the Center with the support of the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation celebrated the “Wasco County Ageless Awards” recognizing the contributions of older adults over seventy five and their importance in our communities. The four deserving honorees were: Lucille Petersen, Bill Hamilton, Prudence Amick and Terry Stoddard. But I’m sure you know of others who are respected and admired for their contributions whether large or small. They don’t give their time for the recognition, but why not tell them thank-you when you see them next.

It is important to honor individuals over seventy-five because it highlights the value of older adults in our youth oriented society. From conversations I’ve had at the Center, I’ve learned many folks feel they are treated as if they are invisible: ideas ignored, opinions dismissed and skills unappreciated. The attention they do receive may be well intentioned and often appreciated, but can be patronizing, “Let me take those groceries out for you.” By many, older adults are viewed as a burden and not the asset they are or can be.

Sometimes we buy into that belief ourselves becoming less confident and engaged and feeling there isn’t anything we can do. But as Lucille Petersen told me, even with her diminished eyesight she will continue to help in any way she can because “I’m old but I’m not dead!”.

Thank goodness because today it is harder to find individuals to volunteer. People are working longer, traveling more and enjoying their own personal pursuits. And at the same time, many services once funded by the government have been transferred to non-profits - knowing they will need to raise more money and attract more volunteers to operate.

The need is greater than ever, and it is critical for individuals to step forward - no matter their age – for the health of our communities. It was an honor to recognize Lucille, Bill, Prudence and Terry who have stepped forward, and shown they are not invisible by making a difference in people’s lives.

The Dalles Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Mary’s Academy has become an annual tradition but as you can imagine it takes a lot of work and can’t happen without volunteers. Salvation Army is once again organizing the dinner and is looking for volunteers. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved: set up and prep from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm; serving and delivery from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; and clean up from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. It is preferred that you sign up by going to the Salvation Army’s website http://thedalles.salvationarmy.org/. Or if you would rather, you can call 541-296-6417.

Holiday season is upon us. How can you tell? The holiday bazaars have already started - and there are many more to come. The Center will be hosting its Holiday Bazaar on November 23rd from 9:00 – 3:00. The date may sound familiar because it’s the same day as the St. Peter's 41st Annual Holiday Bazaar at St. Mary’s. Then a week later is the Mosier Holiday Fair on November 30th and December 1st from 10:00 – 4:00 each day. It is a benefit for the Mosier Community School with over 50 artisan vendors in the event's 40th year. Admission is $2 per person plus 1 non-perishable food item, and children under 12 are free.

The name of the musical group that recorded the #1 song “Flowers on the Wall” and named themselves after a brand of facial tissue they noticed in a hotel room was the Statler Brothers. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Barbara Cadwell, Jess Birge, Delores Schrader, Rhonda Spies and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Bobetta Stewart.

There are many expressions we seldom hear any more: “Heavens to mergatroyd”, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” and “Sounds like a broken record”; as well as words: “moxie”, “swell” and my favorite “fiddlesticks”.    

For this week’s “Remember When” question complete the following expression used to describe someone very young. “I have known him since he was knee high to a _____”. Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 mail it with a picture of David Carradine's character in the 1970s TV drama "Kung Fu.".

Well, it’s been another week, keeping one foot in the past and two in the future. Until we meet again, be kind – you don’t know what burden the person is carrying.

Commandment #5 for growing older, “The biggest lie you tell yourself is, "I don't need to write that down. I'll remember it."

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