Aging Well August 27th 2013

Over the last week, the firefighters and federal, state and local agencies have received well deserved appreciation for working courageously to contain the Government Flats Complex fires. And with the rain and cooler fall-like weather forecasted, the wildfire should no longer be a threat.  

But they haven’t been the only ones busy. The Red Cross and the North Central Public Health District have been supporting those disrupted by the wildfire. In particular, they have been distributing N95 Particular Masks to anyone who is adversely affected by the smoke in the air. The Center still has a few of the masks if you need one to add to your emergency preparedness supply kit.

But this might also be a good time to ask yourself how prepared are you for an emergency? You can learn more about Emergency Preparedness at including the recommended items for a basic emergency supply kit, how to make a family emergency plan (you might not always be together when an emergency occurs) and how to stay informed. (I learned when the power has been off for 4 hours or more you should throw away perishable foods in your refrigerator. And thawed food that contains ice crystals can be refrozen or cooked. Freezers, if left unopened and full, will keep food safe for 48 hours - 24 hours if half full).

Also you might want to sign up for the Citizen Alert system if you haven’t already. (It was used for the first time by the Wasco County Sheriff’s department to warn residents during the wildfire.) The system enables Emergency Response Agencies to quickly get critical information to you - not only concerning wildfires, but also severe weather, floods, street and road closures, missing persons, law enforcement activities and evacuation notifications. You can receive the notifications by phone, email, or text – whatever works best for you.
Go to the Wasco County website at and at the bottom of the page click on “The Citizen Alert Notification Sign up”. If you have difficulty or don’t have access to the Internet, you can call Wasco County Citizen Alert at 541-506-2790. Or you can always stop by the Center on Wednesdays between 9:00 – 11:00 during the Computer Help Lab (or call and schedule an appointment) and someone will assist you in getting signed up.

Now that you are prepared for any kind of emergency, let’s move on to something a little less serious - the foreign language of my youth. No, not the “Ich mag nicht!” German I had to learn in high school, but Pig Latin of my elementary school days. And since many of you probably also learned that secret language, you won’t have too much trouble understanding the weekly announcement for Tuesday Night Music at the Center. (And if you do have trouble, you can actually find a Pig Latin translator on the Internet. No kidding!)

Onighttay atway ethay Entercay, “Orfay ethay Oodgay Imestay” illway ebay ayingplay. Andway extnay Uesdaytay “Ethay Awberrystray Ountainmay Andbay” illway utstray eirthay uffstay. Ethay oorsday openway atway 6:00, usicmay artsstay atway 7:00 andway uggestedsay onationsday areway $2.00 erpay ersonpay orway  $3.00 orfay away ouplecay.

The answers to last week’s “Remember When” questions were: Twiggy - the British teenage model, famous during the mid-1960’s; and Woody Woodpecker - the "ha-ha-ha-HA-ha" cartoon character. (And the winner of a September 21st Saturday Breakfast is Mike Nagle.)

And how about one more “Double your Memories, Double your Fun” - for old time’s sake? 1) What was the name of the game show broadcast on television from 1956 to 1964 where each contestant explained her recent hard ship story and what she needed most? 2) Who was the American jazz pianist and singer with a soft baritone voice who was one of the first African- Americans to host his own variety show? And both answers have something to do with “royalty”.
E-mail your answers to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with the classic film noir “Double Indemnity” starring Fred MacMurray - playing a character quite different from his “My Three Sons” role.

(And thanks to all of you who have sent in answers. Even though I can’t always reply, it is good to hear from you, particularly the many “Remember When” memories you have shared.)

Well, it has been another week thanking all the public employees and volunteers who work to keep us safe and secure. Until we meet again, there comes a time when you see your doctor so often, she is now invited to your family reunions.

"Be kinder than is necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." Philo of Alexandria   

Aging Well August 20th 2013

When does old age begin? A Pew Research Center study found that it depends on who you ask. Those thirty years old and under believe old begins at 60; those between thirty and forty nine, believe 69 is the turning point; and for those who are sixty-five and older, old age begins at 74 (which may just prove Bernard Baruch wasn’t far off when he said “To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am”.)

 But although chronological age can be a predictor, in reality we all age differently, we all deal with life differently; and it doesn’t matter whether we are young old (65–74), middle old (75–84) or the oldest old (85+); chronological age really doesn’t mean squat.

 Old especially in the context of “I’m too old” is just a broad broom that sweeps away possibilities and opportunities: an attitude that can color everything we do and limit what we can still accomplish. There are many of us who thirty-something’s might consider too old to set tables for a Saturday Breakfast, maintain the church grounds or serve on administrative boards. Or too old to mentor young children, dance with a friend and lover, or play a mean guitar. (Or as some overly protective adult children might believe - too old to live alone or drive a car!)

 But “too old” is not a good reason to avoid doing something - or anything. If you are not interested or unable, that’s okay. Not everything is possible - and you are the boss. But we are never “too old” to do what is possible: to play, explore, connect with others and in many simple ways - still make a difference.

 The Center will be hosting a Community Parking Lot sale on September 28th from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Spaces are $25.00 each. This is the third year Sylvia Loewen and Barb Pashek have organized this fundraiser for the Center. The deadline for reserving a space is September 20th. If you have any questions you can call Sylvia at 541-298-4682 or stop by the Center to pick up an application.

And at the same time the Nu-2-U Shop we will be clearing house with a sidewalk sale while cleaning and reorganizing the Nu-2-U Shop. This may be the year’s last chance to buy or sale good used items on one of the busiest corners in The Dalles.

 Tickets are now available for the Baby Back Rib Dinner, the Meals-on-Wheels and Center’s big fall fundraiser on October 4th - the first Friday in October. Once again it is sponsored by our neighbors to the east: The Springs at Mill Creek; and once again the tickets are only $15 a person. In addition to the lip smacking, back slapping, finger licking baby back ribs, there will be an expanded silent auction. And I have heard there just may be two tickets to the OSU - University of Washington football game in Corvallis on November 23rd including a tail gate party and a gas card to help pay for the trip. You can pick up tickets at the Center or at Klindt’s.

 Tonight at the Center, Truman will be playing his Country Gold. And next Tuesday “For the Good Times” will show you how to have a “good time” dancing and listening to classic country western. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and suggested donations are $2.00 per person or $3.00 for a couple.

 You probably thought last week’s question was too easy, but ask any nineteen year old what an 8-track is and he would be probably just give you a blank “what are you talking about” look. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on September 21st is Jerry Harris.)

But this week’s “Remember When” is a “double your pleasure, double your fun” test with two unrelated questions, but the answers have something in common. 1) Who was the prominent British teenage model, who in the mid-1960s epitomized the swinging sixties? 2) What was the name of the animal cartoon character that first appeared on television in 1957 and was known for his famous staccato laugh: "ha-ha-ha-HA-ha"? And “tree” is the common element. E-mail your answers to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a pack of Wrigley’s “Doublemint” gum. Well, it has been another week trying to stay ahead of the curve on the twisting road of life.

Until we meet again, always question, but don’t let it keep you from acting.

 “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C. S. Lewis

Aging Well August 13th 2013

Downsizing sounds like one of those cold business terms used during tough financial times. But it has a whole different meaning when after the kids have left for greener pastures, you decide living in your house is like wearing a 48 inch pair of paints with a 32 inch waist – way too much room.

But it is tough trying to sort through all the personal possessions accumulated over the many years: the children’s fourth grade Christmas decorations; the worn picture books read before bedtime, and the thanksgiving paper turkeys made out of traced hand prints.

And so many memories: pencil marks on the walls recording the growing children, the kitchen table where stories were shared and disagreements solved, and the rug on which you danced your two-year old to sleep while holding him in your arms. Memories you are afraid will be forgotten and lost - never to be awakened again, once you leave these familiar walls.

But it is time to move. And after days or months of indecision you find a moment of weakness and finally decide to clean house - tossing memories and hoping that days or months later you won’t regret your actions.

So you are ready. Now what are your housing options? A small condominium, apartment, assisted living – or a Volkswagen van crisscrossing America?

These options (except the Volkswagen van) will be discussed at the next Passport to Happiness event on Wednesday August 21st from 3:00 – 4:30 at the Center.  Dave Peters, the manager of the local Housing Resource Center, has invited speakers representing different types of housing including independent living, affordable senior housing, assisted living, group and nursing home care. You can also contact Dave at 541-296-5462 ext. 18 or toll free (888) 536-8919.

This coming Saturday is the Center’s monthly breakfast from 8:00 - 9:30 AM. Come and enjoy a delicious meal, meet old friends and support the Center. The menu includes either Biscuits and Gravy or Huevos rancheros casserole, (or what the heck, you can have some of both!) sausage, fruit and a breakfast beverage,

It is now confirmed – the LINK will be providing transportation to the County Fair on Thursday (free admission day) for the free Senior Picnic sponsored by Flagstone Senior Living and the Area Agency on Aging. The bus will be leaving the Senior Center at 10:00 and then leave the fairgrounds at 1:30. The cost is just $3.00 each way which is cheaper than the cost of gas to drive down there on your own. There is still plenty of room. Call the Center (541-296-4788) or the LINK (541-296-7595) to reserve your place.

Every time my daughter returned from one of her overseas adventures to Korea or Japan, she would bring home a bag or a shirt decorated with English words that at first glance you wondered “What  were they trying to say!“ So using a “lost in translation” version, here is this week’s music announcement for the Center after being translated to Chinese, Korean, Japanese and back to English. 

Today, Martin and friends to play center. Next Tuesday 21 August Truman move on the dance floor with your legs to create 6:00 doors open and music starts to 7:00, or donating $ 2 or $ 3.00 per door, thank you always encourage music.

The automobile company that entered the auto business in 1902 but closed its South Bend, Indiana factory in 1963 - and was the proud builder of the classis Avanti was the Studebaker Automobile Company or as Joann Scott, this week’s winner of a Saturday breakfast, pointed out was originally called The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, it’s one more question from the scrap pile of past cutting edge technology.  The reel-to-reel tape was the original format for magnetic tape sound reproduction, and although it produced superior sound it was complicated and unwieldy. In response, Bill Lear, of Lear Jet fame, led a consortium of companies including Ford and GM to develop an alternative: a magnetic loop tape enclose in a plastic container that could also be played in automobiles. What was the common name of this type of tape recording that was popular in the late 60’s and 70’s until replaced by cassette recordings? Mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or include it with Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits - the last major label recording in this format.  
Well, it has been another week trying to keep the chicken in the pot and the lid on top. Until we meet again, don’t let past imperfections taint your future choices.

Aging Well August 6th 2013

Because we live in a society that reflects the cultural values of independence, youthfulness, and productivity, often the elderly are either negatively portrayed as frail, descript and burdensome “old” folks - ignored, stored away and forgotten. Or on the opposite extreme “super seniors” accomplishing age defying feats of strength and daring.

In response, Orrin R. Onken, an Elder Law attorney practicing in Oregon, wrote “An Older American’s Pledge” which has recently been adapted into “An Elder’s Pledge”. A framed copy of the pledge, donated by Debra Lutje, the Center’s Yoga and Seniorcise instructor, can be found at the Center’s front desk.

This is pretty heady stuff. But it encourages us to stay strong and confident while we continue to write our own unfinished story as we face the many challenges ahead.

“An Elder’s Pledge”

  • We will not be judged by the values of youth.
  • We will not be expelled from work or play.
  • We will not equate aging with illness.
  • We will not be subject matter for experts.
  • We will not be the objects of condescension.
  • We will not be defined as a social or economic problem.
  • We will not be trivialized.
  • We will not be docile.
  • We will not be interned.

  • We will grow and learn.
  • We will maintain a sense of humor.
  • We will support one another.
  • We will cooperate across generations to create a better world.
  • We will nurture and guide the young.
  • We will contribute according to our abilities.
  • We will be proud.

Soon it will be Wasco County Fair time and once again at the fair there will be a free Senior Picnic sponsored by Flagstone Senior Living and the Area Agency on Aging. It will start at 11:30 during Thursday’s (August 15th) Free Admission Day made possible by Mel’s Sanitation.

And if you don’t have a ride to the Fair or would rather let someone else do the driving, LINK is willing to provide transportation. But there is a catch. They would like to have at least five riders. If you are interested in taking the LINK, reserve your place by calling LINK at 541-296-7595 or the Center at 541-296-4788.

And since I am talking transportation, you can now take the LINK to Portland on Tuesday as well as Thursday. The fixed route bus service leaves The Dalles at 7:30 AM and arrives at Clackamas Town Center at 10:30 AM with several stops in between. It then reverses course and returns back in The Dalles by 5:10. It costs only $8.00 one way, but there are no reservations, so it is first come, first served.

Playing at the Center tonight is the Strawberry Mountain Band.  And next Tuesday on August 14th Martin and Friends will keep the dance floor shaking. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and a suggested donation of $2.00 per person or $3.00 a couple is always appreciated.

The duplicating machine often found in schools, libraries and churches in the 50’, 60’s and 70’s was the mimeograph machine - although Francis Beers remembers an even earlier duplicating machine: the Hectograph - where you transfer the image to an inked gelatin surface. Anyone else remember that?  (And the randomly selected winner of a free August 17th Saturday Breakfast is Laura Comini.)

With Friday night’s “Neon Cruise” car show strutting their stuff through the “gut” of The Dalles; Saturday’s Cruise the Gorge “Show in the Shade” at Sorosis Park; and Sunday’s relaxing “Threshing Bee Car Show” in Dufur Park, for classic car enthusiasts this weekend is as big as the tailfins on a 1959 Cadillac.

So I thought a classic car question would be appropriate for this week’s “Remember When” question. What wagon and carriage company entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles and then in 1904 with gasoline vehicles, but after establishing a reputation for quality and reliability, closed its American plant in South Bend, Indiana on December 20, 1963? Mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drive your answer to the Center in the first privately owned Avanti which was presented to Roger Ward after winning the 1962 Indianapolis 500. 

Well, it has been another week trying to stay focused without losing my sight. Until we meet again, if you decide to put on a blindfold, don’t complain because you can’t see.

Calvin -“I wonder where we go when we die?” 
Hobbes: “…Pittsburgh?”
Calvin “You mean if we’re good or if we’re bad?” 
From Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson


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