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UPDATED 10.12.17

Senior Living February 12 2008

Senior Living February 12th

On January 4th 1987, over 200 people attended the grand opening of the Mid-Columbia Senior Center built on the principles of sharing and caring. In 2012 we will celebrate the 25th anniversary the Mid-Columbia Senior Center: the proud legacy of the “United Seniors”, and what a perfect time it would be to celebrate the next 25 years with a new addition to the Senior Center.

As we look forward at how to make the new addition a reality, it may help to look back for lessons from when the center was first built. Fortunately, all the newspaper articles about the planning and building of the current center were collected so we can remember this fascinating story.

The first saved newspaper article from September 6th 1984, shows the floor plan for a 9500 square foot two-story building with an elevator. It was quite different from what the center is today which is the first lesson: although the vision of the center may remain true, the design and layout of the building may change significantly from beginning to end, because of input from seniors and the architects and because of financial constraints.

The second lesson was although the seniors were united around their vision, there was disagreement around the implementation. Specifically, the issue was whether to let out for bid the construction of the senior center with or without a partial basement. Through this expansion project there will also be differences and there will be opportunities where they can be expressed in a constructive way. We want to make sure everyone has a chance to contribute their ideas so we can best meet the needs of every senior.

Finally, as Karl Kramer was quoted in The Dalles Chronicle “a lot of talk don’t count” and this may be the most important lesson: it took a lot of hard work and perseverance (besides donations) to build this center and it will take the same to add an addition. The “United Seniors” remained true to their vision and their legacy has been tremendous. With the help of our valuable partners and remaining true to the center’s vision that “every senior lives with joy in an enriching and fulfilling environment knowing they are loved” we can make also leave a valuable legacy for the next 25 years.

We sincerely want to thank The Dalles City, Nolan Young, Mayor Robb Van Cleave and the Public Works Department for fixing the Senior Center flag pole so we can respectfully display the flag as it should be done. Also a big thank-you to the folks at Design Structures particularly Linda for doing the impossible and having drawings prepared for the Thursday presentation.

This Saturday from 8:00 – 10:00 is the Senior Center’s monthly breakfast. Edna and Bonnie are cooking up French Toast, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit and the regular coffee, milk juice or tea. Why not have someone else make breakfast for you and help out the senior center at the same time? (Unfortunately we are unable to deliver to you bed.)

The speaker for our “Next Chapter” Lecture Series presentation on February 19th is Jim Bishop of Westcorp Mortgage discussing “Reverse Mortgages” and whether this financial tool could be appropriate for you. Because many seniors are cash poor but equity rich, reverse mortgages have been promoted as a possible way to stay in your home and remain independent longer.

The Senior Center’s Tuesday Night Music Program on February 19th at 7:00 presents “Pennies and Small Change”. They are a group of local musicians who just like to play a variety of music for your pleasure from bluegrass to Irish fiddle and gospel. Their music gets you up and dancing with Jack Shepherd on honky-tonk piano and guitar, Susan Crowley on guitar and banjo, Peny Wallace on mandolin and fiddle and Emily Krager on fiddle and bass. Admission is always free and open to everyone and every age. And if you read this in time, the crowd favorites “The Notecrackers” will be performing tonight.

I would like to close with one of my favorite stories, “The Starthrower” by Loren Eisley. As we work to make our communities better for all generations, it reminds that it will take many small, simple acts and not the one big answer. Until next time, keep your head on straight and a smile on your face.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

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