Aging Well May 26th

In her book "Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer", Connie Goldman discusses many secrets for living life to the fullest: attitude, risk taking, humor, and creativity and forgiveness. But she also included one secret, you might not normally consider but appropriate at this time of the year: gardening. There are the external mechanics, but the value for late bloomers are the internal rewards of gardening: the opportunity for self-expression, a chance to see the beauty of the natural world and experience the rhythms of birth, change, death and birth again. Gardening can provide a source of healing and renewal; a haven from the noise and clutter of the mechanical world and a place to contemplate our inner world; and for many a chance to get closer to God. Connie describes gardening as nourishment for the heart and soul.

Many have experienced those inner rewards. I have been tempted. I have looked inside that window and felt the attraction of gardening, but for many reasons I haven't walked around and gone in the front door or even the back door. Some have a green thumb. I have a brown thumb. I can hear the plants screaming when I come near. I have forgotten to water and have over watered. I have allowed zucchini to grow three feet long and tomatoes, well, I never had much luck with tomatoes. But weeds I know well. They don't need special efforts or even much rain to survive (during the dry summer if it weren't for the green weeds my yard would look like a brown shag carpet). It may seem odd but maybe there is a reason for weeds: to remind us of nature's abiltiy to keep coming back; of nature's resiliency - even though they are such a pain in the backside. And maybe that is what life is about. .

We had a toe tapping, thigh slapping good time at the Ice Cream Social celebrating Older American's Month. The Area Agency on Aging, with an assist from Meals-on-Wheels, organized the fun and the Hardshell Harmony provided the sounds. As part of the celebration, Martha Hoffman won the contest for having the largest family including 12 children, 38 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. That is quite a brood!

Most of the Center's activities are peer taught by volunteers and the summer is a natural time to take a break for several of the activities including the lecture series, basic computer classes, Tai Chi and the Serenaders. But they will all be back next fall along with the "Yes, You can Draw! class and some special offerings. Anyone interested in finding your inner beat or doing an Authur Godfrey impression on a ukulele?

The Next Chapter Lecture series will continue through June and the speaker for Tuesday June 2nd at 11:00 am will be Antoine Tissot discussing Wills and Estates. Antoine is a local Attorney practicing with Brad Timmons with special training in the area of Elder Law.

Tonight at the Center the Jazz Generations are playing the big band sound for you dancing and listening pleasure. And next week will be a surprise, but the music is always good. Music starts at 7:00 and admission is free. Everybody is welcome.

This coming Thursday, Betty and Martha have decided it is time for the Nu-2-U Shop to have another once in a while $1 a bag sale. They are again over stocked and this is your chance to buy some nice clothes at practically give away prices. Nu-2-U is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 1:30. And don't forget to ask for a kiss.

It is time to wrap this one up and head to the river for a family picnic and maybe spend some time in the backyard. It needs the work. Until we meet again, for the gardeners in the audience a few words from William Blake.

"To see a world in a grain of sand/And a heaven in a wildflower/Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/And eternity in an hour."

Aging Well May 19th

May 19 2009.

There are many efforts underway to reduce our impact on the earth and to become more sustainable. It has affected our approach to food where old practices have become the new thing. Some examples in The Dalles include The Farmer's Market at the City Park beginning its fifth season on May 30, and the Utopia Community Garden at East 13th and Short streets (on Friday, March 20 from 4 to 6 pm there will be a Garden Party) and The Dalles Imagination Garden, or DIG, along riverfront trail near Google. There has also been renewed interest in how to clean without using toxic chemicals that harm the earth. You can learn more about “Green Cleaning" from Kara Buchikos of Lifestyles Independent Care and how we can keep our homes clean while also protecting the environment. This informative and timely presentation starts at 11:00 on Tuesday May 26th.

At the Center on Wednesday June 3rd at 11:00 there will be an informational meeting about the Foster Grandparent Program. The program is firmly established in Pendleton with over 25 volunteers and they want to bring the benefits to the Columbia Gorge. The program offers you a chance to become a mentor/tutor, helping kids with their reading while setting them on the path toward a successful future. To be eligible you have to be at least 60 years of age, in good health and meet certain income guidelines. The benefits include a non-taxable hourly stipend of $2.65 an hour, mileage reimbursement and orientation and training, as well as helping children learn the most valuable life skill: reading. Whether you volunteer for Foster Grandparents or any of the other fine organizations in The Dalles, volunteering gives you the opportunity to make new friends, discover more about yourself, and make a difference.

Last week I described the Tuesday Night Music entertainment using the only foreign language I could remember: Pig Latin. This week continuing to provide a little variety (food for the brain), I will use the Japanese form of poetry, Haiku, to describe who will be playing on Tuesday the 26th.

Dance the night away/ Jazz Generations will play/ Fine music for you

My poetry may be bad, but the music is always good. And tonight don’t forget the Sugar Daddies. Dancing starts at 7:00 and admission is free but donations are appreciated.

And this week there is even more music and fun. In honor of Older Americans Month, the Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring a free Ice Cream Social this Wednesday, the 20th, from 6 – 8 pm at the Center. There will be plenty of ice cream with all the necessary toppings plus great music by the crowd pleasing “Hardshell Harmony”. And there will be special certificates for those with the most grandkids.

The Center will be closed next Monday for Memorial Day the traditional beginning of summer. It is early because in order to create the popular three day weekends, Memorial Day observed has been designated as the last Monday in May. (I am waiting for someone to suggest moving July 4th to the first Monday in July.) Because of the holiday, there will not be Bingo at the Center this coming Thursday or Saturday but the Jammers will be playing on Sunday - their regular fourth Sunday - from 2:00 – 5:00.

I learn a lot from all the fine folks at the Center, and here is one piece of wisdom I overheard that I want to share with you: "When talking to a fool, make sure he isn't talking to one too".

Until me meet again, as the sun starts to shine and it begins to heat up, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Aging Well May 12 2009

At the Center’s second Tough Talk Workshop, Lee Paton shared with us her thoughts on how to engage in those tough conversations between parent and adult child. Although there is not a specific recipe, she did offer several ingredients necessary for creating nourishing conversations. To start, develop a sense of empathy: try to see and feel the other person's perspective whether it is a parent’s desire to maintain their independence or the child’s desire to protect the one who has protected them. Then listen, really listen and no "yes, buts". Help the other to go deeper in understanding the situation you both are sharing. And finally as we age, be flexible. After years of developing our own habits and mental routines, we have to adjust as we no longer are as active, no longer can do as much, and no longer have the control that we once had. Our bodies, our outer shells, are changing and creating limitations. Yet there is the freedom that comes from discovering our core, who we are: a person of spirit that has value and can still love and create.

On the same theme of communication, Thursday at 2:00 at the Center, Fern Wilcox will be presenting “Talking Effectively with Aging Adults” as part of the monthly Healthy Aging Series. Every time Fern discusses a topic you will learn something new. Guaranteed.

Marc Berry and I completed our first successful Thursday morning bike ride with a leisurely ride up 10th street to Foley Lakes and back with only one side effect: a sore butt. (I am not use to those fancy skinny seats.) Join us at the Center every Thursday in May at 10:00. Our goals are to have fun and keep it simple.

On Monday May 18th at 1:00 Planetree Health Resource Center will again be offering a one hour presentation at the Center on how to find accurate health information on the Internet. The site, from the National Library of Medicine, is so comprehensive it helps to have PHRC show you all the different ways it can answer your heath related questions.

The Center’s Saturday Breakfast on the 16th from 8:00 – 10:00 AM is your chance to enjoy good food and great company for only $5 and $4 for Center members. The breakfast is sponsored by Habitat for Humanity and their Restore Store now on Sixth Street in the old Liquor store. They have increased their space and have more room for all the items you need to finish your spring projects. Come and enjoy a nice breakfast, a cup of coffee and learn more about Habitat for Humanity. And as Jack always said "Breakfast tastes better when someone else cooks it".

Each week is the “same old, same old”, so I have decided to think outside the sack and announce the performers for the Center’s Tuesday Night Music program in a different language. But since I don't know French or Spanish and my high school German I have tried to forget, I can only revert back to the foreign language of my childhood: Pig Latin. So here goes (with a Midwest accent). Extnay Uesdaytay, theway Ugarsay Addiesday areway ayingplay orfay ouryay ancingday easureplay. Andway onighttay Umantray Olerbay is ayingplay. Missionaday isway eefray utbay onationsday areway adlyglay ceptedacay.

And there is more.
Wednesday starting at 7:00 will be a Great Decisions discussion on “Cuba after Castro”,
Friday starting at 6:00 will be a Hoedown sponsored by ARC,
Monday there will be a Blood Pressure Checks at 10:00,
the AARP Driver Safety Class will be 9 – 1 on Monday and Tuesday and
The Dalles City Police will be discussing Fraud and Local Scams at the Next Chapter Lecture on Tuesday at 11:00.

If you have questions you can always call the Center at 296-4788 or check the Center’s Blog at

And for those who never learned Pig Latin in school, Truman Boler is playing tonight and the Sugar Daddies next week, always starting at 7:00 PM.

Well the sun is shining, and the rain is falling but the weeds are always growing. Until we meet again, "stop, look and listen" isn't just good advice for crossing streets.

Aging Well May 5th

Many folks have been asking how the Center is doing on the building expansion project. We are making progress raising local funds and we want to thank the many individuals and businesses who even during these tough times have demonstrated their belief in this project by making donations from $10 to $1000. Every dollar and every donor counts. We have also created several naming opportunities as a special way to recognize our larger donors and we want to thank the two local businesses that have stepped forward: Cascade Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and Browns Roofing.

While raising local dollars, we have also contacted many other funders including local grant sources, private foundations and our Oregon Senators. We aren’t leaving any boulder, stone or pebble untouched. We can again look to the United Seniors for a Senior Center for inspiration knowing that they started looking for a building in 1980 and it wasn’t until 1986 after three attempts did they finally receive the federal Community Development Block Grant that funded the construction of the Center.

But if it seems like we have both hands out, we do, because as we work to fulfill our dreams for the future we also have to support the present. We are working hard to provide a variety of activities and programs that give you opportunities to explore, connect and contribute. You can show your support by becoming an individual or business member for only $25 a year for individuals and $100 for businesses. Our goal this year is 500 members by the Center's Annual Membership Meeting in July. So if you haven't yet, jump on in; the water’s warm and it will be good for your body and soul.

Sometimes there is a deal that just slaps you across the face and says "Look at me!" and that is Community Concerts. Five excellent shows for only $55 and if you are 65+ another $5 off if you buy your ticket by May 30th. And if you are a new subscriber and purchase a season ticket before this season's last concert on May 18th, you will be able to attend that concert for free. Now if I can count that means six concerts for $50. For more information you can call Patti Blagg at 298-4352 or check out their website at

But if you are more into the local sports scene, on Saturday May 16th, there is free admission for any senior 60 plus for the TDWHS baseball team's last regular season game against Crook County at Quinton Street Ball Park starting at noon.

On Monday, May 11th the Skip and Janet Show will take hikers to Tom McCall Point where the wildflowers will be dressed in their finest stuff. Meet and carpool from the Center at 1:00.

There is a new Coast Guard Auxiliary forming in The Dalles and you can learn more from Jim Gordon at the Center's Next Chapter Lecture on Tuesday May 12 at 11:00.
For Tuesday Night music you can’t have too much of a good thing. The Cherry Park Band is playing tonight and on the 12th Truman Boler is back again for your listening and dancing pleasure. Everybody is welcome at a price we can all afford: free, but donations are appreciated.

The Tough Talk Workshop is this Saturday from 9:00 - 12:00 with light breakfast snacks at 8:30. Gain new insights about communicating at the time when the parent and child roles have turned upside down and inside out.

The Center is considering a trip to Portland to attend the Sentimental Journey II: a full evening of all time Pops favorites performed by the Oregon Symphony on Tuesday May 26th 2:00 PM. If interested call the Center at 296-4788. Cost will be $60 including transportation.

That is another week. Until we meet again, for your mother’s sake, wash your hands, keep your nose clean and say your prayers.

“It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” Golden Girls - the television show


Follow by Email

Blog Archive