Aging Well in the Gorge December 1st 2021

During one of my regular ZOOM chit-chats with my sister (you know - football, the weather, kids, latest aches and pains) she threw me a curve when she asked “What have you learned from working at the Senior Center? What immediately came to mind was to stay socially connected and keep moving. Good advice, right? But after several days of reflection, I should have answered “You need to learn to accept and adapt”.

As we age, we experience changes we never thought would happen – uncooperative bodies, memory lapses, and personal losses.  But it is important to accept “the way it is” - this new and often challenging reality. But accepting is not the same as “giving up” - if you identify ways to adapt. For instance, if it is getting difficult to drive, avoid complicated intersections. Or if it is difficult to read because of poor vision, listen to books on tape.

Although we may wish we could just take off our shoes, kick back and relax at this stage of our lives, we know it isn’t that easy. But the good news is that with effort, creativity, and perseverance, we can accept and adapt - and make the remaining years of our lives both purposeful and rewarding.

What are the most meaningful gifts you’ve received…or given? In this month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder” several individuals shared the most meaningful gifts they’ve received. One was a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt which reminded me of another quote of hers that I feel is fitting for this holiday season.

“A mature person is one who does not think in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned there is both good and bad in all people, and in all things and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”

This season is a marvelous time of the year: holiday music, bazaars, and visits with the grandkids. But that may not be the case for many of you. During this time, you may feel down, a little depressed or you just have the blues. But if so, what do you do?

One answer is P.E.A.R.L.S. - a program that helps older adults reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate depression through eight weeks of one-on-one counseling. From trained facilitators, you will learn ways to solve problems and overcome challenges; set goals; and add pleasurable activities to your life - and get where YOU want to go. For more information call 971-718-6226.

If you appreciate the contributions of art, cultural and historical non-profits, you have until the end of this year to donate to a qualifying nonprofit and the Oregon Cultural Trust to receive a matching Oregon tax credit. All you do is donate to any of Oregon's arts, heritage, and humanities nonprofits which includes forty in Hood River, Sherman, and Wasco counties (listed at www.culturaltrust.org). Then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust to claim your contribution to the Cultural Trust as a tax credit. The Oregon Cultural Trust funds county Cultural Trust Coalitions that annually distribute $500 to $1000 grants to area schools and non-profits.

The singer and jazz musician who first recorded “It’s a Wonderful World” in 1967 was Louis Armstrong or as many pointed out “Satchmo”. I received correct answers from Gene Uczen, Barbara Cadwell, Kim Birge, Rhonda Spies, Rose Schulz, Keith Clymer, Susan Ellis, and Janet Hinkley, this week's winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Catherine Whalen, Rose Schulz, and Tiiu Vahtel – I think.

My wife and I were discussing how most stores were closed on Thanksgiving Day which reminded us of the state laws that “back in the day” prohibited certain types of retail operations on Sundays particularly liquor stores. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what were these laws commonly called? E-mail your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a copy of Samuel A. Peters’ General History of Connecticut (1781),

Well, it has been another week, realizing I’m often the oldest person in a meeting! Until we meet again, enjoy the hidden fruits of the season.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Thornton Wilder

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