I certainly expect snow and below freezing temperatures in The Dalles, but this latest wintry blast came so early, I kept thinking Christmas must be only a two weeks away. And I haven’t even stuffed the Turkey for Thanksgiving yet! Oh, well.
But now that we have had this first taste of winter, here are several reminders about how to manage two of winter’s challenges.
Inside - keep warm. You don’t have to be climbing Mt. Hood to get hypothermia particularly if have a health problem that keeps your blood from flowing normally such as diabetes. Set your heat at 68 degrees or higher; and to save on heating bills, close off the rooms you are not using. Dress in loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothes for warmth. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers and even a cap or hat. Although it might not be very sexy, but who’s really looking, wear long johns under your pajamas; and use extra covers.
Outside - watch the ice. More than 1.6 million older Americans go to the emergency room each year for fall-related injuries. You can reduce your chances of falling by wearing sensible footwear with low heels, good support and non-skid soles. (I know several friends who have purchased ice-grippers to attach to their shoes.) Stick to cleared sidewalks and roads. Hold on to handrails on stairs – which is a good idea any time. And use a cane or walker, or your walking stick or even a ski pole, if necessary to help maintain balance.
And stay connected with others. Check up on your friends and neighbors and have them check up on you. Be vigilant during these cold and icy wintry days to avoid any unwanted surprises. And if you need assistance, don’t be too proud to ask.
When to close the Center because of the weather is a difficult decision. But the Center has decided to pass the buck and follow the lead of School District 21. If the school district is closed, the Center will be closed; and if there is a two hour delay, the Center’s morning classes will be cancelled. The Center will notify the radio stations of any closures or cancellations, post the information on the Center’s website (www.midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com), and update the message on the Center’s answering machine.
And occasionally the predictions will be wrong, The Portland School District was an example last week when they closed for a snow day and, contrary to the weather forecast, it didn’t snow! It can be a little embarrassing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you don't seize up at the thought of preparing income taxes, enjoy fiddling with numbers, and decoding things like tax rules...this volunteer opportunity might be for you! The AARP Tax Aide program, a collaboration between AARP, The Mid-Columbia Community Action Program and the Center, is in need of volunteers. For over 35 years in the Gorge, the AARP Tax-Aide program has been operating with volunteers to prepare taxes for older adults and low-to-moderate income persons, free of charge. To be a volunteer, there is some required training and a minimum of four hours per week is requested. But there is tremendous support - no one is expected to know it all. If you're interested, call Ronell Currie at 541-478-3461.
For the Tuesday Night music at the Center on November 25th, the Highline Express will be performing. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
The name of the television variety show that aired on CBS from 1969–1971, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, and featured such colorful characters as Grandpa Jones, Stringbean, the Gossip Girls and Samuel B. Sternwheeler was Hee-Haw. (And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th is Alice Mattox.)
But it’s back to The Dalles for this week’s “Remember When” question - this time from 34 years ago. What was the name of the delicatessen which opened in 1977 in the commercial building on the corner of 4th and Washington, and because of its location, was a popular hangout for students and staff from Treat Oak Community College and attorneys plying their trade at the courthouse? E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a box of pastries from Zorba the Buddha Bakery.
Well, it’s been another week, trying not to babble more than my fair share. Until we meet again, keep the long johns on and the covers pulled up tight.
“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” Woody Allen