Aging Well May 24th

When you were just a babe in the woods did you have “the talk”? When you sat fidgeting and embarrassed as your mom or dad first told you about the “birds and the bees”? (And you thought “What in the heck is this all about! If it’s not about the Baltimore Colts or the Indiana University Swim Team, I’m not interested!” Okay maybe that was just me.) Or maybe you were the parent not knowing exactly what to say – feeling just as uneasy as your child.

But time has passed and now the roles have reversed - with the adult child initiating the “talk” and it isn’t about sex (at least I don’t think so). It is now about future decisions: long term planning and issues of care. And are just as emotionally challenging as the first talk - often with feelings of guilt, shame and frustration.

How to engage in caring conversations between adult children and their parents while understanding the needs and wants of both is the topic of a two hour workshop that will be held at the Center on Saturday June 18th from 10:00 - 12:00. The presenter will be Rev. Kathleen Flynn, MA, a chaplain for Heart of Hospice. Knowing the value of awareness and honesty, Kathleen has developed a sensitivity and understanding towards these difficult multi-generational conversations and will offer practical ideas you can use when having “the talk”.

The Center just received a certificate from the National Director of the AARP Driver Safety Program recognizing the Center’s Driver Safety Class as one of the top AARP Driver Safety programs in the country. And that is because of the dedicated efforts of the current volunteer instructor Dennis Davis and his faithful cohort Mary Davis, and the area coordinator, Dick Frost. Over the last three years the Center’s AARP Driver Safety class has helped more than 300 folks tune up their driving skills and often reducing their insurance rates. The cost is $14 and $12 for AARP members. The next class is from 9:00 – 1:00 on Monday and Tuesday June 20th and 21st. Call or stop by the Center to sign up.

The Center is hosting its annual rummage sale starting Thursday June 17th and continuing through Saturday the 19th. And right now we are looking for decent “stuff”: used items you no longer want but are not yet ready for recycling. Bring your stuff to the Center and receive a tax donation.

The month of May has five Tuesdays, five Mondays and five Sundays which contrary to Internet rumors occurs more often than once every 823 years. (I blindly fell for this urban legend until I realized the obvious: in every 31 day month there will always be three consecutive weekdays with five days in the month!) And on May 31st, a fifth Tuesday, the Sugar Daddies and will be singing at the Center for all the “Sugar Mommas” in the audience. And tonight the venerable Jazz Generations will be playing the big band sounds for your dancing and listening pleasure. The music starts at 7:00 - you can get home before dark – and donations are always appreciated.

The speaker for the fith Tuesday Lecture in May will be Tina Castellano who is a Water's Edge physical therapist with a specialization in urinary incontinence and pelvic pain for both men and women. The title of her presentation is "Controlling your bladder so it stops controlling you". Many of us have had a “Gotta go, Gotta go!” experience – usually when I start washing the dishes – and could use some welcome advice. The presentation starts at 11:00 on Tuesday May 31st.

The multi-talented performer who hosted a variety show on NBC from June 1956 through June 1960 was Steve Allen. (And Beverly McKinney wins a free Saturday Breakfast.) Thanks to Carol Hayward for suggesting that question and to Ron Sutherland who suggested this week’s “Remember When” question. In 1961 the song “Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?” reached number five on the Billboard top 100. This novelty song was the only American hit sung by this British recording artist considered by many as the most successful British recording artist before the Beatles. What was his name? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a paper explaining Skiffle music.

Well, it’s been another week trying to stay awake while looking for my elusive second wind. Until we meet again, even though you may feel like you are running in circles, at least you are running.

Peter Irene “.changed has anything mean doesn’t different is everything because Just”

Aging Well May 17th

How often at our age do we actually learn a new skill? I am still trying to learn how to dictate my thoughts so they actually make sense. (Hey, it’s only been a week! And I can’t yet get use to talking to myself out loud. I feel like I am carrying on a conversation with someone who doesn’t really care.) But I have learned how to floss my teeth – it only took me three weeks - which I would share with you but my wife thought that would be too much information. If she only knew what I have already shared, she might actually read this column.)

But I am firm believer that nothing is or has ever been easy to learn the first time, the second or the third time. All those life skills we were taught as a kid - about effort and perseverance - still hold true today and may even be more important. Life doesn’t seem to get any easier. It just gets different - with new challenges and new blessings. And it is still possible that the “best is yet to come”.

This coming Saturday the 21st from 8:00 – 9:30 am it is breakfast time at the Center. Chad Krause, Wasco County’s able Treasurer, is sponsoring the breakfast for the windy month of May. And head cook Bonnie Lobdell will be fixing up a menu of biscuits and gravy, sausage, and fruit as well as the usual beverages. The price is right: $5 for the general public, $4 for members and for children under 12 - before they sprout like a weed- it is $3. And as Jack use to say “Breakfast tastes better when someone else cooks it.”

The Center purchased twenty seven tickets for the popular Irish spectacle “Riverdance” at Portland’s Keller Auditorium just so you - and especially you - can enjoy an afternoon’s delight while watching entertainers who know how to kick up their heels. Because we purchased these tickets at the senior group rate, we can sell them for $70 -including comfortable transportation - which is less than the price of an individual ticket. And you don’t have to drive or pay for parking! The bus will leave the Center at 10:30 on Sunday May 29th for the 1:00 performance. We still have ten tickets left so call the Center at 541-296-4788 to reserve your tickets for this exciting event.

It has been shown that our brains can often understand sentences when the first and last letters of the words are the same but the rest of the letters are scrambled. See if you find that to be true as you decipher the Center’s Tuesday night music lineup. Erevy Tesusady ngiht bgeinnnig at 7:00 the miusc ctus lsooe at the Cteenr. Tnohigt Turamn wlil be pyanilg the cnourty glod of ysetrryaer taht siltl sdouns good tdoay. And nxet Teusady on the 24th the Jzaz Gnereaiotns reutrn - oerffnig a berak form the cnourty calisscs by ginvig you an oorppounity to dnace to the big bnad snouds. Aynnoe of any age is wlecmoe and dnoaiotns are alawys aperpcaited.

The Center’s Tuesday Lectures offer insights and information on a variety of subjects for the curious mind. So if you have been wondering what development is occurring at the Port of The Dalles, or what the plans for the NW Aluminum property are, you will want to attend next Tuesday’s Lecture on May 24th when Andrea Klaas, Executive Director of The Dalles will be the speaker. Andrea’s presentation starts at 11:00 and will conclude by noon - just in time for lunch.

The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question is Ernie Kovacs - considered by many as TV’s first comic genius. (And the winner of a free breakfast is Bill Turner.) And while looking for Ernie Kovacs’ comic skits on YouTube, I found video clips of this multi-talented performer. Who was the host of his own variety show that ran on NBC from June 1956 through June 1960 launching the careers of cast members
Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Louis Nye, Pat Harrington, Jr. and Bill Dana and featuring the show’s popular sketch “Man on the Street”. E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the tailfin of a 1957 Plymouth Fury.

Well, it’s been another week trying to do right but knowing I have often been wrong. Until we meet again, keep smiling and your light shining.

"Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true." Robert Brault

Aging Well May 10th

Isn’t there something you would really like to be good at, but aren’t? For me, it would be the ability to speak extemporaneously while being clear and concise - like former Mayor Rob VanCleave who - no matter the occasion – always seemed to be able to say the right thing in the right way. Instead, I always have to prepare precise notes so when I speak I can get from point A to point D without skipping B and C.

For example on the KODL Coffeebreak with Al Wynn, while answering questions about the Center, I will often start an internal dialog with myself. Am I making sense? What did I just say? Now I’m even confused. Al, help me! And I would finally conclude with words stumbling out of my mouth like a drunken cowboy leaving a bar on Sunday morning. Not very pretty.

I think of my lack of articulation as I experiment with a voice recognition program I just downloaded to my iPhone. With the program you dictate your thoughts and it transcribes them word for word with amazing accuracy. How cool - and convenient. But there is one small problem. To use the program effectively I will have to learn how to think coherently - on the spot and without notes.

It won’t be easy. And several years ago I would have thought, just forget it. But haven’t I been urging you to try something new even though it isn’t easy? And shouldn’t I be practicing what I preach? So every day I am going to practice dictating my thoughts until something intelligent comes out. Wish me luck. I will need it.

Meals-on-Wheels is looking for more volunteer drivers. The demand for home delivered meals has increased over the last year to where more home delivered meals are served than meals at the Center. At the same time several drivers who delivered meals on multiple days of the week for many, many years have retired or no longer can drive. With this combination, Meals on Wheels is short handed particularly on Mondays. It doesn’t take a lot of time - about an hour, once a week or once a month. And they treat you real fine with cookies and coffee; and hugs and laughs. For more information call Meals-on-Wheels at 541-298 – 8333 and ask for Ashley.

The Center’s Tuesday Lectures are for curious minds - because you never know what you will learn. And Tuesday the 17th will be no exception when Dan Durow, the Community Development Director for the City of The Dalles will be the speaker. He has been closely involved in many of the positive changes that have occurred in The Dalles from the Riverfront Trail to the current east entrance to the downtown with the Sunshine Mill redevelopment and the roundabout. He will share with you the city’s vision for the next ten years and answer any of your questions. It should be a lively and fascinating discussion starting at 11:00 and everyone is invited.

(To turn things around and challenge your brain, try reading the following announcement for Tuesday Night music.) YadseuT Thgin cisum ta eht retneC sevig uoy a ecnahc ot netsil ot doog cisum dna ecitcarp rouy owt pets dna yrtnuoc ztlaw. thginoT nitraM dna sdneirF era gniyalp dna txen yadseuT eht ht71 namurT lliw eb gnignis dna gnikcip. ffo-ekaT si ta 00:7. ydobyrevE si emoclew dna snoitanod era syawla detaicerppa.

The Kingston Trio sang the song about the man who “never returned” while riding Boston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority - and hence the name of the song “M.T.A.” or informally known as “Charlie on the M.T.A.”. (And this week’s winner of a free Saturday breakfast was Ben Neumeyer.) And to oblige Sandy Goforth, this week’s “Remember When” question is back to the early days of television, and maybe a difficult one. Who was the TV comedian considered by many as TV’s first comic genius famous for his off-beat humor and cigar; played characters such as Chef Miklos Molnar, Percy Dovetonsils and Magician Matzoh Heppelwhite and died prematurely in an automobile accident in 1962? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail you answer with a copy of a Muriel Cigar commercial starring Edie Adams.

Well, it’s been another week running into detours and discovering new understandings I never expected. Until we meet again, always try to do the right thing, but as a consolation - bad decisions do make great stories.

Optimist: someone who isn't sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play. ~Robert Brault

Living Well May 3rd

Although we never did find the warm sunny beach (found wet, cold weather instead), my wife and I enjoyed our getaway to Vancouver, BC - and the experience enjoying another country and their customs: the day-after-Easter holiday, parliamentary campaigning, and their national hockey teams - Go Canucks! And just as if I was still in high school, I did more sight-seeing, eating and relaxing than reading my homework assignments. But enough rambling ruminations - time to get back to business.

Last week I left you with five brain ticklers to stretch your problem solving skills. But there are many other activities you can do to help keep your brain healthy, fit and tanned. And when choosing activities to work your brain, you may want to ask the following questions.

1. Is the activity challenging? The activity should force you to concentrate and pay close attention. triplets. Although you shouldn’t develop a brain freeze - as if you were drinking a Smoothie too fast, you may feel frustrated and discouraged. But don’t stop. If it doesn’t push you, it may not provide the necessary workout your brain needs. the match 2. Is it progressive? Now here is the second part. As you learn the skill, the difficulty needs to increase so you can continue challenging yourself. You can’t rest on your successes, but instead use them to motivate yourself to try the next level. Mt Everest 3. Does it engage several of your brain's processing systems? You should try to use different parts of your brain in the same activity. For example as you dance - under dimmed lights to your favorite romantic song, following your partner’s firm lead and appreciating his masculine cologne, try eating a sloppy Big Mac. Melissa 4. Is it rewarding and surprising? If you don’t enjoy the activity and find it interesting, you probably won’t be doing it for long - unless you are a glutton for punishment. So make it fun and reward yourself - maybe with some brain healthy dark chocolate and a small glass of wine? three ducks

These are some questions to ask when choosing a brain fitness activity. But the bottom line is to keep learning, keep moving and keep trying something new every day.

With all the picture boards around town, it would be hard to forget the Wasco County Pioneer Association’s Annual meeting held at the Calvary Baptist Church this Saturday May 7th with registration at 9:30 PM and lunch at 11:30. But just in case - that was your reminder.

And for those who like to multi-task, on the 7th at the Wahtonka Campus, the North Wasco County School District #21 Education Foundation is holding an auction of over 200 “Oldies and Goodies” such as collectibles, heirlooms and unusual items. The doors open at 8:30 am and the lively auction will start at 10:00.

I will be the presenter/facilitator for the Center’s Tuesday Lecture on May 10th discussing the future of Medicare. I will review Medicare’s past history and then look at the competing visions for the future of Medicare. The presentation will start at 11:00 and the Tuesday Lectures are always open to everyone and anyone.

The music at the Center for Tuesday the 10th will be provided by Martin and Friends and tonight The Strawberry Mountain band will be performing for your dancing and listening pleasure. The doors open at 6:00, the music starts at 7:00 and everyone is welcome. And a grateful thanks to all the folks who donate every Tuesday night to keep the music flowing and the doors open.

As many of you knew, Archie’s best friend at Riverdale High School was Jughead. (And the winner of a free May 21st Saturday Breakfast is Jerry Taylor.) And after weeks of hobbies, politics and fine literature, it is back to entertainment. This week’s “Remember When” question has two parts. During the late fifties this group led a folk revival that lasted until the mid-60’s when the British Invasion came ashore. They recorded a hit song which was originally a campaign jingle for a Boston mayoral candidate and included the chorus “Did he ever return?/No he never returned/And his fate is still unlearn'd/He may ride forever/'neath the streets of Boston/He's the man who never returned.” What was the title of the song and name of the group that recorded it? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or write the answer on the back of the sheet music for the North Carolina folk song “Tom Dooley”.

Well, it’s been another week enjoying the rain, the wind and once in a while the sun. Until we meet again, why not follow the advice of Norman Vincent Peale and become a possibilitarian – “No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they're always there.”


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