Aging Well September 29

Senior Living September 29

It isn’t easy. Living during this time of your life, takes effort, even though you may want to finally recline back in the Lazy-Boy - feet up, with a nice cool one in hand and just watch as life goes by. You’ve earned it. You have seen it all; there’s nothing more left to do. And besides you’re tired.

But this can also be the time of your life: the time when you can discover new dimensions of who you are at a time when you no longer have to worry about who you should be. The stage where you can explore the other parts of your hidden self - the parts you barely touched as you carried the many responsibilities of raising your children or following your career path or both. Now is the time when you can try on the clothes of your forgotten dreams to see if they still fit.

It is possible. I have met folks who have tried on new roles: a writer, a lay pastor or a Sunday school teacher, a foreman for a Habitat project or a musician in a local bluegrass band, an elected official, or if you have the guts - a junior high teacher; folks who have enjoyed a cruise to Alaska or through the Panama Canal, or who have finally taken that trip to their ancestral homeland. And closer to home, folks who have discovered new dance steps at the Civic, enjoyed a variety of new entertainment at the Community Concerts, digested new ideas from the Center's Lecture series and sought new ways of personal expression through art classes. It is an attitude of “Let's give it a try!” and “Why not!” There is nothing you can't do. (Fortunately, there are many stupid things we no longer want to do.)

And with this new attitude, you realize it is not the dreaded “old age” you have encountered, but a “new age” you have discovered. And even though you may have wanted to just coast through this next stage of your life, it is a time to experience new lands, new talents and new relationships with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.

The country western singer John Michael Montgomery sang on his hit album “Life’s a Dance”, “Life's a dance you learn as you go/ Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow/ Don't worry about what you don't know/ Life's a dance you learn as you go”.
And tonight you can enjoy life and “learn as you go” at the Center by dancing and listening to the popular “The Dufur Boys” from Dufur”. The music starts at 7:00 and everyone is invited. Admission is free, but donations are kindly accepted.

This is the place I usually announce who the speaker will be for next week's Next Chapter Lecture, but I don't know yet. But I can say that some of the coming lectures will include Portland's Chinese Gardens, Genealogy, Railroads and Medicare Part D. All interesting stuff.

Ron Sutherland was the first to answer last week's question correctly. The answer was "The $64000 Question" which was the #1 show in 1955- 1956 before it was dropped in 1958. (Not to be confused with "Twenty One" and the famous Charles Van Doren scandal.) This week's question is from the Category Movie Quotes for one free breakfast, “What movie had the famous line "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."? (And has it really been 42 years since I saw that movie?)

Next Monday and Tuesday seasonal flu shots will be available at the Center from 11:00 – 2:00. And I finally found out the difference between the bird flu and the swine flu. For the bird flu you use a “tweatment” and the swine flu you use an “oinktment”. (I hope that joke - or should I say groaner - doesn’t ruin your day.)

And on that fine note, it is time to close up and call it a day. Until we meet again, Jan Chittister author of "The Gift of Years" suggests that "Growth in old age requires the curiosity of a five year old and the confidence of a teenager".

Does age poison us, or do we poison age? ~Astrid Alauda
“The Flu is coming! The Flu is coming!” is being shouted across the country and as we know from this summer’s outbreak at the Young Life youth camp at the Big Muddy, it can happen here in Wasco County. And it is serious. With the new kid on the block, the H1N1 strain of flu (formally known as the Swine Flu to the ire of the pork industry), there are concerns the flu could affect 20% to 40% of the work force during this flu season.

But the H1N1 seems no more dangerous than the seasonal flu and it is hard to tell the two apart since both have similar symptoms: fever, more painful body aches, dry cough, diarrhea and severe fatigue. But the steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting either one are the same.

The first step is to get your seasonal flu shot. Folks over 65 are at risk for complications from the seasonal flu and need to get the seasonal flu vaccine - sooner than later. Flu shots provided by MCMC's Occupational Health will be available at the Center on Monday, October 5th and Tuesday October 6th from 11 - 2 PM (upstairs and no appointments are necessary). And the seasonal flu vaccines are already available at the local pharmacies.

For folks over 65, the H1N1 vaccine is a different story. Older adults over 64 are not encouraged to get the H1N1 vaccine unless they are a caregiver for those at risk. The theory is that seniors have developed immunity to the H1N1 because of their life experience. (You see there is an advantage to being older.) For those who are at greatest risk, children and young adults from six months to twenty five years old, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, the vaccine will be available through local clinics starting in October.

But the first line of defense is prevention: wash your hands often including before and after touching your face, cover your sneeze or cough but not with your hands (cough into your elbow). And if you use a tissue, throw it away immediately and then wash your hands or use an alcohol based hand cleaner.

As this flu season progresses, you can find the latest information at

Find yourself a partner and whether you want to lead or follow, enjoy the sounds at the Center's Tuesday Night Music with the Jazz Generations playing tonight and The Dufur Boys playing next Tuesday the 29th starting at 7:00 PM. But there’s more! There are free family dances at the Civic on the next two Thursdays from 7 to 9 PM. And this coming Sunday is the Center's turn to host the Jammers - picking and singing from 2 - 5 pm.

The Next Chapter Lecture Series at 11:00 on Tuesday the 29th will be "What everyone should know about Mammograms" plus an update on MCMC's new Digital Mammography which has been a tremendous addition to the community. The speaker will be long time MCMC Mammography Technician, Debra Myers.

The first correct response to last week's “Remember When” question was from Don McKinney who identified Dan Fouts as the University of Oregon quarterback who in 1970 threw the winning pass in a three-touchdown rally at UCLA. And now back to the category” TV in the Fifties” for a free breakfast at the Center on October 17th. What was the top-rated TV show that two years after knocking “I Love Lucy” out of the number one spot was canceled because of scandals? Call the Center at 296-4788 with your answer or email it to

That’s it for another week. Until we meet again, cover your head when it rains, your hands when it’s cold, and your mouth when you cough.

"If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is put down the shovel". The old farmer from Fossil

Aging Well September 16

Are you a right brainer: random, intuitive and subjective? Or are you a left brainer: logical, rational and analytical? Or are you in that third category: a no brainer - you lost your mind years ago and haven't been able to find it since? At the Center we provide opportunities for all types of “brainers”.

For the right brainers, the Center is again offering the "Yes, You Can Draw!" class taught by Nancy Russell returning this Thursday, the 17th, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM. The drawing class is for beginners and not-so-beginners and the cost is a suggested donation of only $2 per session plus the cost of some minimal supplies. Nancy has taught at Portland Community College and enjoys encouraging folks who are new to the world of drawing and are looking for a low stress environment to explore their creative side. (And The Dalles Art Center offers various classes with a 6 week beginners drawing class starting this Wednesday, the 16th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Call 296-4759 or for more information.)

And for the left brainers who are more interested in how it works than how it makes you feel, the Center is starting the "Geezer Geeks". This is less a class and more a club where men and women (Are there geezer women?), the curious and the enthusiast can discuss and share what they have learned about computers, the Internet and other technological advances. What is Skype, Hulu or Google Voice? The first group meeting this Friday 11:00 – 12:00 downstairs in the computer lab.

With all the recent news about the flu, the Center has scheduled flu shots on Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6th from 11 - 2 pm. The shots will be administered by MCMC’s Occupational Health department and will be upstairs this year. And this Wednesday at 11:00, Mary Catherine Clites of the public health department will discuss this season's flu outlook and what you can do to protect yourself.

Tonight at the Center’s Tuesday Night Music, Truman Boler's one-man Country Gold is performing and next week the Jazz Generations will be playing dance music of the big band era and more. Admission is always free but donations are warmly accepted.

The Next Chapter Lecture series is back and next Tuesday at 11:00, Lynette Black from OSU Extension Wasco County will discuss how you can prepare for any possible emergency particularly focusing on the needs of folks 60+. I don't imagine we will have too many hurricanes or tornadoes in these parts, but there is always the possibility of power outages, fires and snow events. And as the Scouts say, “Be Prepared”.

Another month has passed and it’s that time again to enjoy a Saturday breakfast at the Center. The Center will open at 8:00 and serve until 9:30 for the late risers. This month's delicious breakfast includes flapjacks, bacon, fruit and your favorite beverages. Enjoy good food, meet and chat with friends, old and new, and help support the Center. And as Jack always said, "Breakfast tastes better when someone else cooks it".

We had the great response to last week's question. And the winner was Ron Sutherland who correctly answered the last time Oregon State played in the Rose bowl was 1965 under coach Tommy Prothro. (I shouldn't, but I will, remind my beaver friends that Oregon's most recent trip to the Rose Bowl was in 1995). Continuing with the football theme, Who threw the winning pass in what many consider the most exciting football game in University of Oregon history, a three-touchdown rally at UCLA? To win a free breakfast this Saturday, be the first to call in your answer to 296-4788 or email it to

Well another day, another quarter. Until we meet again, as you follow your path, keep your head up but don't trip over any of those darn rocks you often find in the way.

"Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance." old farmer from Fossil

Aging Well September 8

Sometimes you just make it work. Because Monday was Labor Day, I had to submit this column last Thursday four days ago and only three days after I wrote last week’s column. And three days isn't enough time to recharge my creative juices which is always tough because I am lucky to think of one good idea a month. (A big thank-you to all who have sent me suggestions for this column: Jean, Joann, Alex, Lyn and many others.)

So I thought I would fall back and punt (it is the season for football metaphors) by starting a new Labor Day tradition: listing all the activities offered at the Center for this coming year. So roll the tape and let the show begin.

Wii Bowling - Mondays 6:30; Tuesday Night Music - Tuesdays 7:00; Pool - Wednesdays 1:00; Movie Night - Wednesdays 6:00; Meals-on-Wheels Bingo – Thursdays 6:00; Learn the Wii - Fridays 10:00; Line Dancing - Fridays 6:00 (starting in October); Senior Center Bingo – Saturdays 6:00; Saturday Breakfast – 3rd Saturdays 8:00 - 9:30; Jam and Pie Social – 4th Sundays 2:00 – 5;00

Seniorcise - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 9:15 - 10:00; Yoga – Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 - 10:30; Tai Chi - Tuesdays 1:00 - 1:45 (Starting 9/22); Tap and Clogging - Thursdays 10:00 – 12:00; Bike Rides Thursdays 11:00 (Starting 9/17); Strong Woman - TBA;

Brain Fitness - Mondays 1:00 – 2:00 (starting 9/14); Next Chapter Lecture Series - Tuesdays 11:00 AM (starting 9/15); Great Decisions - (starting in March '10); AARP Drive Safety – 3rd Mondays and Tuesdays 9:00 – 1:00;

Creative and Performing Arts
Quilters - Mondays 10:00 – 3:00; Yes, You can Draw! - Thursdays for four weeks 2:00 – 4:00 (call for starting date); Serenaders - Wednesdays 10:30 – 12:00 (starting ?);

Computer Class (4 week classes) - Wednesday 10:00 or Thursday 1:00; Computer Help Lab - Tuesdays 1:45 – 3:00; Computer "How To" Fridays 11:00

Pinochle - Thursdays 1:00 - 3:30 and Fridays 6:00 – 9:00; Bridge - Fridays 1:00-4:00; Cribbage and Coffee - Saturdays 9:00 – 12:00

Blood Pressure Checks (Public Health) - 4th Mondays 10:30- 12:00; Health Info (Planetree) - 2nd Mondays 10:30- 12:00; Foot Care - 1st Fridays (By appointment)

Noon meal - every Monday through Friday provided by Meals-on-Wheels

Now tape this list to your refrigerator door. And then stop in and take advantage of these many activities. It will do you good.

Quick Reminders: Tonight for Tuesday Night music at 7 PM, the Sugar Daddies are playing and next Tuesday it will be Truman Boler bringing his one-man band to the Center. And Skip Tschanz will be our first speaker for the lecture series resuming on Tuesday September 15th at 11:00 AM.

Last week’s question was a tough one with only one correct answer called in by Katie Wonder. The names of the horses were: Gene Autry - Champion, Roy Rogers - Trigger, Dale Evans - Buttermilk, Lone Ranger - Silver, Tonto - Scout, and Tom Mix - Tony. And now one for the guys. Since the college football season has just started, what was the year of Oregon State’s most recent trip to the Rose Bowl and who was the coach? First correct answer wins a free breakfast at the Center on September 19th. Call 296-4788 or email

I know I cheated this week, but I hope you will let me slide this one time. Until we meet again, here is a quote sent my way by Jean Hockman.

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Aging We1ll September

How many times have I joked about forgetting things? More than you can remember, right? But sometimes it hits a little too close to home.

Last month I needed to open up the Center at 6 AM to prepare for the Saturday Breakfast. Knowing that there would be breakfast, but not right away, I brought a banana to tide me over. I got busy and around 8:00 AM when I realized I wasn't going to eat till later, I looked but couldn’t find my banana. How many times have we all done that? Where did I put the keys, my sun glasses, my pants?? I looked everywhere - I knew I hadn't eaten it. I would have remembered that – and again I looked everywhere. Knowing the banana would eventually wonder back, I went back to my desk to finish some work. Then for some reason, I inadvertently looked in the waste basket, and behold, there was the banana peel. I had eaten it after all! And I had no recollection. Somebody needs help!

I figure and hope - misery loves company- I am not the only one afflicted (too many balls juggling in my head?). So for those of you concerned about your memory and brain health, the Center has an answer: a Brain Fitness class starting September 14th at 1:00 PM - right after lunch and before the afternoon power nap - which will last about an hour or until our synapses stop snapping.

We will discuss a holistic approach to maintaining brain fitness including exercise (what is good for your heart is good for your brain), stress reduction, good nutrition, volunteering and novelty. But the primary focus is to have fun doing challenging activities and puzzles while giving the many parts of your grey matter a little work out. To register for the class call 296-4788 or email the Center at Don’t forget.

Meals-on-Wheels does more than just serve meals for folks 60+ (and anyone else who would like a delicious, healthy meal). They were also on duty last Friday night at the Center preparing over 250 individual meals in their kitchen for the Red Cross to serve the Mosier residents displaced by the Microwave fire. It was inspiring seeing the Meals-on-Wheels volunteers pull together within an hour’s notice to respond to the emergency. They deserve a big warm thank-you as do all the other volunteers and firemen who helped protect the community of Mosier.

Boyd Jacobsen has scheduled another great line-up of musicians in September for the Center's Tuesday Night Music. The Cherry Park Band will be playing tonight, Sugar Daddies on the 8th, Truman Boler on the 15th, Jazz Generations on the 22nd and the Dufur Boys on the fifth Tuesday of the month. The dancing starts at 7:00 and the cost is zip, but donations are appreciated. And everyone - from “purple people eaters” to seventh graders who often act like they’re from another planet - is welcome.

Dobie Gillis's partner-in-crime was Maynard G. Krebs (befitting the character, the G stood for Walter), and the winner was Sandy "Stitch Niche" Haechrel (who is donating the free breakfast to one of the regulars). This week's “Remember When” question is a little different. What were the names of the horses rode by the following movie cowboys: Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Lone Ranger, Tonto, and Tom Mix? Any person who calls in or emails all the correct answers by midnight tonight (Tuesday) will receive a free Center breakfast on Saturday September 19th.

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend – no Bingo on Saturday and the Center will be closed Monday. Until we meet again, keep your eye on the prize and don't forget the banana!

"Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace." Robert J. Sawyer
Or as the old farmer from Fossil once said “Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.”


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