There is Bingo on July 1st, but no Bingo on June 29th.

The $1000 went again on Saturday at 53 numbers, so we are back to a $750 cash payout on the last game if there is a blackout in 53 numbers. On Saturday, over $1200 will be paid out throughout the night. Minimum buy-in is $10.

Doors open at 4:00 and games start at 6:00. New players encouraged to arrive by 5:30.

UPDATED 6.27.17

Aging Well in the Gorge July 11th 2017

With the temperatures in the 90’s and the ten-day forecast looking pretty much the same, it’s probably a good time to review how heat affects older adults.

According to Medline Plus, an online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are several reasons older adults are at greater risk for heat related illness. They do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature; are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that changes normal body responses to heat; and are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

But you can take steps to prevent heat related stress: drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages; take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath; wear lightweight clothing; do not engage in strenuous activities; seek an air-conditioned environment and rest. (If you know someone who needs a fan or a small window air conditioner, the Center has several to lend.)

The primary concern is heat stroke: when the body's temperature rises rapidly and loses its ability to sweat. Warning signs can include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness and nausea. If you find someone in heat stress, call 9-1-1 immediately and start rapidly cooling the individual.

As we all know, “this too shall pass”. But after last winter at least it is nice to know that the chance of snow is 0%.

It has been thirty years since the Center was built and it has been quite a ride. And what better way to observe the thirty years than completing the Center’s new addition with a new elevator to improve access to the downstairs and to finally fulfill the original vision for the Center.

To celebrate the new addition, on July 18th there will be a short ceremony at 8:00 am followed by the Chamber of Commerce team performing a ribbon cutting at 8:15. After the ribbon cutting, you will be able to see the new NU-2-U Shop (which is now open), the remodeled lounge, the enclosed stairway, and all the other improvements. And while the elevator is not yet operational while waiting for final inspection, it will be displayed.

Then later in the day at 3:00, the Center will hold its Annual Membership Meeting. On the agenda is a request to the membership to change the bylaws to allow up to eleven board members, and to elect board members. The membership meeting starts at 3:00 and will conclude by 4:30 in time for attending Center members to enjoy a free dinner with your choice of Pot Roast or Chicken Breast, mashed potatoes and all the fixins provided by our neighbors Cherry Heights Living.

Every week at the Center someone comments on the beautiful cowboy boot quilt displayed behind the receptionist’s desk. But if you want a chance to win this amazing quilt, you better act quickly. The quilt drawing will be held at the conclusion of the annual membership meeting.

Because July 4th was on a Tuesday, it has been two weeks since the last “Remember When” question. And if you are like me (And I thought of the question!), you probably don’t remember that the question was, “What term did you use for kissing when you were young?” Two common expressions I’ve heard are necking and making out, but other terms you might remember are smooching, snogging (although it is a British term), and my favorite - canoodling. (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Jeanne Persicka.)

Back in the 50’s when television came of age, commercials were created with catchy slogans that often became household words. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what cigarette brand used the advertising slogan that appeared on radio and television from 1954 until 1972, and included the phrase “tastes good like a cigarette should”? Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write your answer on the back of a map of the “Twin City” in North Carolina.

Well, it’s been another week, waking up to sunshine. Until we meet again, don’t let the heat turn you into a grumpy bag of sand.

"At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don't care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all." Ann Landers (1918-2002)

Aging Well in the Gorge June 27th 2017

As we grow older, we often experience changes that make us more vulnerable: social isolation, cognitive impairment, poverty, death of a spouse, lack of a support network or becoming emotionally or physically dependent on another person. These vulnerabilities are some of the risk factors that can lead to the abuse of older adults.

In 2015, there were 43,000 reports of abuse in Oregon, and 19,041 were investigated by Adult Protective Services. Of those investigated, 4,215 people were determined to have been abused. But of the substantiated cases of elder abuse in Oregon, what type do you think was the most common in 2015: social, physical, psychological, financial, or sexual abuse?

The answer is financial abuse at 30% of substantiated cases. And the reporting of financial abuse cases is on the rise with an increase of 19.6% in financial abuse complaints from 2014 to 2015. Unfortunately, those numbers may be low. Financial abuse is often underreported because the victim feels ashamed or embarrassed or the victim is unable to report the abuse because of cognitive and other impairments.

Financial abuse can come in different flavors: theft, forgery, misuse of property and power of attorney, as well as denying access to funds - and is often carried out by someone the victim knows and trusts. It may not be a surprise, but 46% of the victims of financial abuse were abused by a family member.

The victim’s lost can be substantial averaging $24,915. But it not just money. Personal property, real estate, vehicles and food stamps are often taken.

But older adults can reduce their risk of financial abuse by making sure their financial, medical, legal and other affairs are in order; and by learning about the signs of elder abuse.

One program to reduce the risk of financial abuse while promoting independent living is the Oregon Money Management Program (OMMP) which is locally administered by the Area Agency on Aging at the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments (541-298-4101).

OMMP provides assistance with money management tasks including Bill-Pay services, Payee services and Income Cap Trust trustee services – which can be explained when you call. OMMP is personalized, confidential, and safe, and is available to adults 60 and older. And unlike many programs, there are no restrictions because of income or resources, but a small fee may be applied.

Older adults have the right to be free of all forms of abuse so they can live in safety with dignity and respect. If you have suspicions of elder abuse you can find help by calling the local office of Aging and People of Disabilities at (541) 298-4114.

Do you like to stitch, crochet, or knit? Or maybe you want to learn how.  If so, come and join the Needle Nuts who meet every Wednesday from 10:00 – 12:00 in the Center’s newly remodeled lounge. This informal group was started by Sandy Haechrel who once owned Sandy’s Stitch Niche - so she knows her stitch.

Ever since David Zopf passed away the Center’s Rose Garden at the Center has been neglected. But thanks to Google volunteers, David, Boyce, Bradley and Blair, the garden is getting new bulk mulch and some tender loving care. In a week or two it will be looking even better.

The name of the film version of the musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, which was the second highest grossing film of 1961 and winner of ten Academy Awards, was West Side Story. (I received correct answers from Sue Ortega, Betsy Ayres, Sandy Haechrel, Marcia Lacock, I hope I didn’t miss any one this week, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Vicki Sallee.)

For the last week for the theme of “love and romance”, this week’s “Remember When” question is about the slang we used during the days of our youth. What was the term you used to describe the act of kissing? And I’m only asking about kissing! Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a bottle of Listerine – “the antiseptic that can fix any marriage”.

Well, it’s been another week, when two plus two still equals three. Until we meet again, there is your side and there is my side - and then there is the truth.

“Life is supposed to be a series of peaks and valleys. The secret is to keep the valleys from becoming Grand Canyons.” Bernard Williams

Aging Well in the Gorge June 20th 2017

The philosopher Bernard Williams once said, “If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.”

So if you want to sneak in a little June romance before the end of the month, Flagstone Senior Living is inviting you to a “Senior Citizens Prom” at The Dalles Middle School on Friday, June 30th from 6:00 pm – 9:00 PM. There will be drinks and light Hors’ devours, prom photos, a music cake walk and a night of classic big band sounds. Tickets are $5.00 or $8.00 for a couple which you can purchase at the door or at the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation office. For more information contact Denae Manion at 541-298-5656 ext. 2106

The theme for the prom is “Seniors in the Mood” - which makes me wonder, “In the mood for what?” Now this question could lead into the uncomfortable territory of, you know – “the birds and the bees”, and all those baseball terms: first base, second base, etc. which I never did understand. (But then I was so naïve in high school that my sister had to tell me what the banned lyrics to “Louie, Louie” meant.)

But I think I’m going to take a pass. And whether older adults get any “satisfaction” or enjoy an “afternoon delight” or whether they still do the “Hanky Panky”, is a topic for another day. I don’t think I have the literary skill to traverse the subject without embarrassing you or myself.

I’ve learned in life there are matters you can’t control: you just learn to carry on and adapt. And recently I’ve found the same is true for construction projects. The elevator was to arrive two weeks ago, but finally I’ve learned it should be delivered this week – although as the adage goes, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the elevator arrive, not because it is the last major step in completing the project, but because I want to see how in the heck they get the elevator through the new door way and installed. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

Even though the elevator hasn’t arrived, Jeff Cochenour’s crew has finish the new Nu-2-U Shop. And thanks to the help of Rhonda and Ron Townsend, Joan Silver, Betty Dahlberg, the NU-2-U Shop is ready to resume selling the best used clothes in town.

We also had help from an excellent crew of students from the Wahtonka Community School who moved the boxes of clothes back into the Nu-2-U shop. You may recall I mentioned several weeks ago that Wahtonka Community School students are available on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month to load/unload your boxes, furniture, etc. or just move heavy things around the house. Because they are in school all year, they are available during the summer. To schedule an appointment, call 541-506-3449 ext. 3211.

In 1962, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was sung by Ray Charles. And the 1958 hit, "To Know Him Is to Love Him" was sung by the Teddy Bears and written, arranged, and produced by Phil Spector at the age of 19! And that’s not all folks. The female singer in the Teddy Bears, who changed her name to Carol Connors, continued singing and writing songs including the theme song to Rocky: “Gonna Fly Now”.

(I received correct answers from Tina Castanares, Jim Heitkemper, and this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket are Joanne Scott - plus Dee Holt who I forgot to mention last week.)

Continuing the theme of “love and romance”, this week it’s all about movies. One of the most popular romantic movies was the film version of the musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this film that became the second highest grossing film of 1961, won 10 Academy Awards, and starred Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris? Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail in your answer on the back of a picture of Officer Krupke.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the early morning sun. Until we meet again, no matter your age, there are those days when you just have to push yourself.

“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

Aging Well in the Gorge June 13th 2017

During the 50’s with the introduction of television, many of us young boys could be found on Saturday mornings in front of the black-and-white television set watching our favorite cowboy heroes such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, and Hopalong Cassidy.

We all wanted to be like our television heroes, and many of those cowboy stars, for the benefit of their young audiences, created a cowboy code that reflected the characters they portrayed: men of high moral character that stood for everything that was good, decent, and fair.

Probably the best-known Cowboy Code was written by Gene Autry and it is still shared today. Do you think it is still relevant?

1.) The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage. 2.) He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him. 3.) He must always tell the truth. 4.) He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals. 5.) He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. 6.) He must help people in distress. 7.) He must be a good worker. 8.) He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits. 9.) He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws. 10.) The Cowboy is a patriot.

In our contemporary world, Gene Autry’s cowboy code may seem naïve, out-of-date, and from an idealized past that wasn’t ideal for many Americans. But the cowboy code is a reminder of a simpler time when as young boys we aspired to the ideals embodied in our heroes - although often unfulfilled in the real world.

When I was younger, I remember seeing the magazine Reminisce. It wasn’t something I wanted to read. It was for “old” people who enjoy stories from way-back-when. But I found it really discouraging, well, maybe not discouraging, but depressing. No, that is still not the right word. No, I found it absolutely shocking that in one of the recent issues, they highlighted the year 1974! I mean 1974 – not 1954 or even 1964. Has it really been forty-three years since Barbara Streisand recorded “The Way We Were”, or Towering Inferno was the highest grossing film, or the Nixon impeachment hearings began? How time tries to play tricks on us.

It’s time to enjoy all the activities that return during the summer months. A few of the activities you might want to consider are The Dalles Farmers’ Market at City Park on Saturdays from 9:00 – 1:00; the Wasco County Historical Society’s summer programs at the Moody/Rorick House, 300 W. 13th Street at 1 pm beginning on Saturday, June 17  (Karl Vercouteren will present "The Vogt Opera House: The Sequel"); and the popular and free (but donations are appreciated) concert series, 4th Sunday at the Fort, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the Fort Dalles Museum - and it is recommended you bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on. 

A bruise left by a kiss from your “steady”, or a drunk Italian policeman, was a “hickey”. (Many folks had fun answering the question including Sandy Haechrel, Alice Mattox, Tina Castanares, Jerry Phillips, Ed Anghilante, Barbara White, Jeanne Pesicka, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Virginia McClain - who said if some guy had tried that with her she would have slugged him.)

Continuing the theme of “love and romance”, this week it’s all about music. The highest ranked Billboard song with “love” in the title that was recorded more than fifty years ago was "I Can’t Stop Loving You". It was written in 1957 by country musician Don Gibson, who also wrote “Oh, Lonesome Me” at the same time.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, who sang “I Can’t Stop Loving You” which was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks in 1962? And if that was too easy, what group sang "To Know Him Is to Love Him" which was number one for three weeks in 1958? Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a copy of Georgia’s official state song.

Well, it’s been another week, waiting for my batteries to charge. Until we meet again, it’s not the end of the road until you see the dead-end sign.

“Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.” Cowboy Wisdom

Menu for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels dinners served at noon at Betty’s Diner at the Center.

Aging Well in the Gorge June 5th 2017

How many times do we tell ourselves “That’s too much effort” “I’m too tired tonight.” “Oh, I’ve never done that before, and I’m not going to start now.” I certainly have.

Joan Chittister in her book, The Gift of Years, points out that one of the challenges we face in old age is that we start acting old – limiting ourselves by creating justifications for our complacency so we stop living to the fullest and stop having fun.  As Lowell Thomas once said, “The secret of my vigor and activity is that I have managed to have a lot of fun.”

But aren’t we suppose to act our age? When we were young, we were expected to study and get an education; and when we finished school, we were expected to start a career and a raise a family.

But after sixty-five what is expected now - napping every day, staying home watching TV, and complaining about everything? Or how about hiking trails in the Gorge, dyeing your hair crimson red, and even continuing to work? (And is it okay at my age to pierce my right ear - so I can attach a note for my friends that reads, “ONLY THIS EAR WORKS!”.)  

Joan Chittister believes that living fully depends more on your attitude than your physical condition. And even though we may not have as much energy, and many of our longtime friends are no longer with us, if we have an attitude that keeps us from taking the next step to begin something new, “We fail to go on becoming. We stop in our tracks with years ahead of us. And wait. We take the gift of life and return it unopened.”

As a friend once suggested, when talking about old age, the opposite of old is not young, but new. And if we can still discover new adventures, no matter how small, or hone new skills, no matter how ordinary, we can still experience life to the fullest so we don’t allow ourselves “to become less than what we are able to be, more quickly than we ever should”.

Even though Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center is taking a break until July 11th, you can still find good music at the Center this coming Friday, June 9th. Bruce and Sher Schwartz will be playing before the noon meal starting at 11:00. Then in the evening, Nehemiah Brown will be singing from 7:00 – 9:00. The Nehemiah Concert is only $3.00 per person and is sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center.

NWC Parks and Recreation and Flagstone Senior Living is hosting a “55 and Older Senior Prom” on Friday, June 30th at the Dalles Middle School - which I will write more about in a future column.

But to raise funds for the Senior Prom, you are invited to two fundraisers at Burgerville on Monday, June 12th from 11am to 2pm; and June 19th from 3pm to 6pm.

The name of the 1950 Hollywood movie starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson in which a screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself in a dangerous relationship was Sunset Boulevard. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayres, Sandy Haechrel, Tina Castanares and Marcia Lacock - this week’s randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

Since the “55 and older Senior Prom” is later this month, I thought the theme for this month’s “Remember When” questions should be love and romance.

Remember when you were a young romantic and believed in love at first sight – at least until your vision cleared up. We did things we never would want our children to know - things you do when you are young, clueless and in love. For example, did you know anyone who came to school with a bruise, often found on the neck, caused by an aggressive kiss from their “steady”?

For this week’s “Remember When” question, what were those embarrassing bruises called? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off at the Center with a turtleneck sweater.

Well, it’s been another week, waiting for the light to change. Until we meet again, take your life by its love handles and give it a whirl!

“Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn't want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.” William Holden

Aging Well in the Gorge May 23rd 2017

How many times have you driven through the Gorge and because you’ve experienced it so often, you’ve taken its unique beauty for granted - like the picture hanging in the living room you never notice anymore.

The problem is we look, but don’t really see.

One reason is that our brains are very efficient. From all our many years of accumulative experiences, our brains create mental models that label our perceptions. For example, if I am driving down the street and I see a large object with a windshield moving towards me in my lane, I don’t need to know what color it is or the make and model, before I veer out of the way. My mental model tells me quickly that it is another car - and crashing into it wouldn’t be good for my health.

But what if I want to paint, let’s say, the view from my front window. I have to go beyond my mental model and be truly conscious of what I am seeing in all its depth and complexity. It can be a whole new experience.

I’m not an artist - and far from an art connoisseur, but I have come to appreciate how looking at all types of art can help me better see the details and nuances in my environment; and to better understand the diverse ways artists have perceived their world to create art movements such as Cubism, Impressionism, or Dadaism.   

If you are interested in understanding how art can enhance your visual intelligence and how visual perception affects art, you’ll want to attend “Visual Perception and Art” at the Center on May 30th at 1:30 PM. This colorful and entertaining 90-minute presentation by Kerry Cobb, Executive Director at the Columbia Center for the Arts, explores the nature of seeing through art. You’ll explore the function of art, how to interact more enjoyably with art and learn ways to be more observant and aware of your environment.

You still have the brains, but are there ever times you just need a little “brawn” around the house to move heavy items?

Well I’ve got an answer for you. The Wahtonka Community School students are available on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month to load/unload your boxes, furniture, etc. or just move heavy things around the house. They cannot provide a moving truck, but they do have dollies to move the heavier items. To schedule an appointment, call 541-506-3449 ext. 3211.

The Nehemiah Brown Concert was canceled in March but it has been rescheduled for Friday, June 6th. Nehemiah has performed at the Center many times and every time people walk away impressed by his silky-smooth voice. Because the concert is sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center, the cost is only $3.00 per person.

The comedian/actor associated with the song “Thanks for the Memory”, first performed in the movie Big Broadcast of 1938, was Bob Hope. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Marcia Lacock, Joanne Smith, Betsy Ayers, and Patricia Pfenning this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week’s winner, who I forgot to mention, was Jerry Phillips.)

After last week’s interlude, it’s back to Hollywood movies, specifically the western. Contrary to the typical western of the time, this movie did not have the chases, bar fights or spectacular scenery. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the 1952 movie starring Gary Cooper as soon to retire Marshall Will Kane, and Grace Kelly as his new wife Amy Fowler, who were planning to leave town before they heard that an outlaw Kane had sent to jail was going to arrive on the noon train?  Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send with the song "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin'", sung by Tex Ritter.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find time to work in the garden. Until we meet again, simple is not always easy.

“Middle age is when you're sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you.” Ogden Nash

Aging Well in the Gorge May 16th 2017

Some folks have minds like a steel trap. Mine is more like a wet noodle. And when you have to fly cross country for a week long family reunion, it can be a real test for that noodle.

Just remembering what to take is a challenge - hoping you haven't forgotten any of the essentials such as your toothbrush, your pills or enough clean underwear.

And then there is getting through the security check at the airport.

I get so flustered when I get close to the end of the security line trying to remember what I need to remove: shoes, hat, watch, the three screws in my hip?, I consider giving up and throwing myself on the conveyor belt and going through the X-ray machine head-first.

And then they pull me to the side and start ruffling through my carry-on while my wife’s giving me that “What did you do wrong this time?” stare, shaking her head when they pull out a bottle of Virgil Root Beer that I forgot to drink.

I did make it on the plane and to the family reunion in South Carolina, but it wasn't without mishap: I forgot my computer at the Center with this week’s practically completed column. So to keep it simple and enjoy the time with family, I am updating a past column – one that reminds us how to deal with an irritation of modern times that just seems to get worse.

Several folks at the Center have been talking about all the unsolicited calls they’ve received from telemarketers trying to sell them something they don’t want or need: a  vacation at the Marriott or a fantastic credit card deal. They are often scams but can also be calls from telemarketers representing Fortune 500 companies. But there are steps you can take to limit them. 
First, if you haven't already, register with the National Do Not Call Registry by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register, or go online at (For online registration you will need an email address.) Once you have registered your phone number, it is permanent - unless you have lost your mind and want to take your name off the registry. Also you may want to register your cell phone - although it shouldn’t be necessary because it is illegal in most cases for telemarketers to call a cell phone.

Unfortunately, the law does not prohibit calls from charities, political organizations, telephone surveyors and companies with which you've done business in the last 18 months. But for those telemarketers not covered by the Do Not Call regulations, you can ask them to put you on their  internal Do Not Call list, and by law they have to honor your request. Record the date you make the request, so you can report any future violations.

That should help, but telemarketers are tenacious. If you continue to receive unwanted calls, you can file a complaint with the FTC at the Do Not Call website or phone number.

But most importantly, never agree to purchase a service or product over the phone, and never give out your personal information. You don't want an irritation to become a financial headache.

While I don't have anyone scheduled for Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on May 23rd or the 30th, l’m still looking for someone to teach dance lessons on Tuesdays. If you of know of anyone, send them my way.

The name of the movie in which Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood struggled to adapt to “talkies" while Don falls in love with chorus girl Kathy Selden is Singin’ in the Rain. (Answers were received by Jerry Phillips and Marcia Lacock this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)
Since I am out of sync this week, I’m going off on a tangent with a song I heard Louie Flint whistling at the Center. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what comedian/actor is associated with the song “Thanks for the Memory” and for five bonus points in what 1938 movie was the song introduced? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of Bing Crosby on the road to Bali.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the scenic wonders of this beautiful country. Until we meet again, make each day a gift you can't ignore.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, and rest this afternoon.” Charles Schulz  

Menu for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels dinners served at noon in Betty’s Diner at the Center.
Wednesday (17) Potato Bar with Chili (Soup and Salad Bar) 
Thursday (18) Roast Beef (Music -Tom Graff)
Friday (19) Meatloaf (Soup and Salad Bar) 
Monday (22) Chicken Fried Steak
Tuesday (23) Buttered Lemon White Fish (Music - Nine String Band)

Aging Well in the Gorge May 9th

If you have been listening to the news, you know the House Republicans have finally made good on their promise of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act – popularly known as Obamacare. But the passage by the House is only the first act of this three-act drama that will affect millions of Americans. Although much of the debate has been focused on providing coverage for pre-existing conditions, there is more in the bill - much of which affects older adults. And from what I can decipher from all the speculation about the bill’s effects, there is both good and bad news for older adults.

The good news is that the Medicare Part D coverage gap (“donut hole”) protections created under Obamacare were not repealed. Since the enactment of Obamacare, more than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have saved over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs.

The bad news is that Medicaid would be cut by $880 billion, or 25%, over 10 years and impose a “per-capita cap” on funding for certain groups including older adults. This is a monumental change and shouldn’t be understated. Since its inception, Medicaid covered any costs if you met the eligibility requirements for the service. But if this bill becomes law, Medicaid will be limited and there will no longer be a guarantee of service.

But what does Medicaid have to do with you? If you are fortunate and have built a nice retirement nest egg - and won’t need long term care such as in-home or nursing home care, probably nothing. But not everyone is sailing that boat.

To emphasize the importance of Medicaid for many older adults, nearly half of all Medicaid spending is for older adults and persons with disabilities which includes covering 60% of all nursing home residents and 40% of costs for long-term care services and supports. That’s a big deal.

But the curtain hasn’t closed. The Senate will undoubtedly make changes, and one can only guess what the final outcome will be. As it winds through Congress, it’s important to follow the legislative process, because for many older adults, the result could determine whether they live with dignity – or not.

After the 1-hour film, there will be a short presentation about various Japanese art exhibitions in the Gallery followed by a Gallery tour. You are asked to RSVP to Kristyn Fix at or call 541-387-8877 ext. 117. The Columbia Center for the Arts is located at 215 Cascade Avenue in Hood River.

Jan Leininger asked me to announce that the public is invited to the local chapter of the Oregon Retired Educators’ luncheon meeting on Tuesday, May 16th, at the Imperial River Co. in Maupin. The program will feature Linda Oram's 2000-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail last year.  Luncheon reservations must be made with Wilma Townsend, 541-296-4356, by Thursday the 11th.

Shades of Country will be back playing at the Center on Tuesday night, May 23rd. They have found their country groove and are sounding real good. Music starts at 6:30 and is open to all ages. Donations are always appreciated.

The world-renowned comic actor whose career spanned seventy-five years while directing and starring in silent films and eventually “talkies” was Charlie Chaplin. (Answers were received from Betsy Ayres, Marcia Lacock and this week’s randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Jerry Philips.)

Continuing with “they-don’t-make-them-like-they-use-to” Hollywood movies, this week’s “Remember When” question is about a 1952 musical/comedy. What was the name of the movie in which Monumental Pictures' biggest stars, Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood struggled to adapt to “talkies" while Don falls in love with chorus girl Kathy Selden? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send with the movie The Dancing Cavalier.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember to chew before I swallow. Until we meet again, don’t let the sun catch you napping.

“Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.” Steven Wright

Aging Well in the Gorge May 2nd 2017

Get out your paper and pencil, it’s time for a pop quiz.

1) How many Americans have Osteoporosis? 2) How many Americans have low bone density? 3) What percentage of woman will break a bone in their lifetime because of Osteoporosis? 4) What are the three keys to preventing and managing Osteoporosis?

How do you think you did? Because May is Osteoporosis Month, it’s a good time to learn more about why and how to keep our bones strong and healthy. Can you imagine without bones, we would just be a bunch of wrinkled clothes lying crumpled on the floor. But strong, healthy bones provide strength, balance, and support for our bodies, support for our muscles and protection for our internal organs such as our brain and heart.

The good news is that it is never too late to reduce the risk of our bones becoming weak and even breaking, so we can participate in activities such as dancing, golf, tennis and somersaults and jumping jacks and pushups – and now I’m tired!

You can learn more from Erin Haines, Certified Physician’s Assistant at Cascade Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center, who will be discussing “Osteoporosis: Eat, Drink and Play for Better Bones” at the Center tomorrow, Wednesday, May 3rd from 11:00 to 12:00. 

Oh, and before I forget, the answers to the pop quiz are 1.) 10 million, 2.) 44 million, 3.) 50% of women, 4.) Diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

The Mosier Senior Center is hosting a Spring Craft Fair on Saturday, May 6th from 10:00 to 4:00 PM. There will be local vendors including handcrafted items, jams, jellies and other tasty treats. Admission is free. And if you haven’t heard, the Mosier Senior Center serves delicious meals every Monday and Wednesday starting at noon. The Mosier Senior Center is located at 501 E 2nd Street at Mosier Creek Terrace apartments.

If you appreciate local art, you’ll want to visit The Dalles Art Center which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 – 5:00. Every month they have a new exhibit, and the opening reception for this month’s show “Bold and Diverse” is on Thursday, May 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM sponsored by The Friends of the Gorge and hosted by Jill Durow. And if you are looking for activities to keep the grandkids busy this summer, the Art Center is offering more classes than ever. But you’ll need to register ASAP, because there is limited space and classes fill up fast.

SoulCollage will NOT be held on May 8th at the Center but will be back on May 22nd from 10:00 to 11:00.

Martin and Friends will be playing at the Center’s Tuesday Night Music on May 9th. It is a great time to stretch your legs and get moving to some nice live country western sounds. Music starts at 6:30 and is open to everyone whether you enjoy the “Texas two-step” or a “country waltz”. And donations are appreciated.

Best quote of the week from Virginia McClain which many of us can relate to. “I don’t have to worry about the side effects of my new pill - I already have them all.”

The name of the CBS television show that aired from 1967 to 1969 and pushed the boundaries of television satire was the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. (Answers were received from Tina Castanares, Jim Ayres, Deloris Schrader, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Tiiu Vahtel.)

For this month’s “Remember When” questions, I’m moving from television to Hollywood movies starting off with a comic actor whose career spanned more than seventy-five years. In 1914, he started performing his famous character in films and by 1918 was one of the best-known figures in the world. He continued directing and starring in silent films, and in the 1930’s when movies were transitioning to “talkies”, he bucked the trend producing two critically acclaimed silent films City Lights and Modern Times. Who was this comic actor? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send with a picture of Jackie Coogan in The Kid.

Well, it’s been another week, watching good ideas pass through my mind but never wanting to stop and chat. Until we meet again, look around and find something to tickle you funny bone.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.” Eric Idle

Aging Well in the Gorge April 25th 2017

It was a busy weekend with The Dalles Chamber of Commerce putting on three days of Cherry Festival fun. But now it is time for the chamber crew to get a little rest and the rest of us back to drawing board figuring out how to make the best of each day.

And speaking of days ahead, there are several events scheduled at the Center for the month of May
Starting off the month to commemorate May as National Osteoporosis Month, Erin Haines, Certified Physician’s Assistant at Cascade Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center will explain how to keep your bones healthy and how to avoid Osteoporosis at the Center on May 3rd from 11:00 - 12:00.

SoulCollage lead by Clyde Santa will continue on May 8th and 22nd starting at 10:00.SoulColage is a process for learning more about yourself and help you with life's questions and transitions by creating cards with personal meaning.

The Center will once again host the Relay for Life Parking Lot Sale on Saturday May 13th from 8:00 – 3:00 PM.

And if you ever heard the song “Art, what is it good for. Absolutely, everything!” Maybe that isn’t the song, but it is a good point. And you can learn more Arts and Visual Perception at the Center on May 30th 1:30 PM. This colorful and entertaining 90-minute presentation explores the nature of seeing through art with instructor Kerry Cobb, Executive Director at the Columbia Center for the Arts. Using art as a platform, you’ll discover ways to sharpen your awareness and be more observant of your environment, and learn ways to interact more enjoyably with art. Participants will also be challenged with some fun interactive activities. You might be able to walk away with “virgin” eyes.

I would like to offer several more classes this summer or in the fall. I’m looking for instructors for several classes such as Smartphone Photography; Writing Your Life Story or “What was it like back your day, grandma?”; and to facilitate a group on How to Create Your Next Life (curriculum provided by Life Reimagined.). These are short commitments, and if you are interested in any of these subjects call or email me and I will help get a class started.

Many folks have been asking about the Center. This last week we made some visible progress by framing in the lounge and then sheet rocking both the lounge and Nu-2-U Shop. A door, paint and new flooring, and presto in about three weeks the lounge and Nu-2-U shop just might be open again.

I recently read in the New York Times about a new study that was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience where researchers looked at the effects of different types of exercise on the functioning of an older person’s brain.

the researchers randomly divided the volunteers into several groups. One began a supervised program of brisk walking for an hour three times a week. Another started a regimen of supervised gentle stretching and balance training three times a week, and the third group practiced increasingly difficult country dances three times a week for an hour.
What some might consider surprising, but encouraging having fun learning country dances with friends showed the greatest benefit suggesting that engaging in activities that involve moving and socializing might help slow down aging effects on the brain.

The Shades of Country will be back again for Tuesday Night Music at the Center and their getting into their country groove and sounding good. Music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated to feed the band and keep the lights on.

The name of the CBS show hosted by Garry Moore that was a take-off of What's My Line?, but instead of celebrity panelists trying to determine a contestant's occupation, the panel tries to guess the contestant’s secret was I’ve Got A Secret.(I didn’t receive any answers last week. We’ll see if this week’s question tickles your fancy.)

For this month I’ve asked questions about a western, a comedy and a game show from the 50’s and 60’s. To finish the month of April, this week’s “Remember When” question is about a popular but controversial variety show. What was the name of the comedy and variety television show that aired on CBS from 1967 to 1969, appealed to the younger generation at the time, and its socially relevant humor pushed the boundaries of television satire creating regular conflicts with the CBS censors?
Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with the sounds of Classical Gas.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember what day it is. Until we meet again, whether you have the energy or not, give it your best shot.

“I intend to live forever. So far, so good.” Demetri Martin

Aging Well in the Gorge April 18th 2017

You can’t be bored this coming weekend, because its “Once Upon a Cherry” time! Thanks to the Dalles Chamber of Commerce, there will be plenty to do uring this year’s Cherry Festival including spotting your friends in the Gorge’s biggest parade starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday. But before the parade, come by the Center and enjoy a good old fashioned breakfast sponsored by our neighbors, Cherry Heights Living. Breakfast incudes pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit and juice or coffee, all for $6.00 and $3.00 if you are 12 or younger. Breakfast is served starting at 7:30 so you can have time to eat before the 8:00 coronation of this year’s King Bing and Queen Anne: Chuck Sandoz and his sister, Mary Leighton.

As with Dan and Kay Erickson, and Dennis and Shannon Morgan, the previous year’s royalty, Chuck Sandoz and Mary Leighton represent what is best about The Dalles by contributing to the economic health of the area while also giving back to the community. Congratulations to Chuck and Mary!

And if you want to have fun AND a chance to win some cash, stop by the Center for Saturday Night Bingo where over $1200 is paid out every night. (Last Saturday, a lucky winner took home $1000 - and that was in addition to the over $1000 paid out to other winners during the evening.) Bingo starts at 6:00, but new players are encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Minimum buy-in is $10.

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up – and I know, I had better hurry because time is running out. But even though you may have figured that out long ago, you may still be on life’s journey of trying to better understand yourself, whether it is accepting who you are with all the complexity of being human; working through losses you have experienced over time; or acknowledging and honoring the contributions you have made.

One way to understand and express who you are is by of creating your own SoulCollage facilitated by Clyde Santa. SoulCollage is described as a process for accessing your intuition and creating cards with deep personal meaning that will help you with life's questions and transitions.

Last month in the Chronicle, you may have read about the SoulCollage workshop Clyde held at the Library. But if you missed the workshop, Clyde will be offering it once again at the Center on Tuesday April 24th, May 8th and 22nd. It’s preferred that you attend all three sessions of the workshop, but it’s not required. The workshop is open to all ages, with all materials provided and no art experience necessary. And for you folks who avoid anything “artsy”, I’ll say it again. NO ART EXPERIENCE necessary! The workshop is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

If you thought last week’s music announcement was too easy to read, I’m stepping it up a notch. See if your billions of grey cells can figure out this week’s music announcement.

Siht gnimoc Yadseut thgin ereht lliw TON eb cisum ta eht Retnec. I ma llits gnikool rof rehtona dnab ot llif ni rof eht htruof Yadseut tols. Os fi uoy nac daer siht dna yalp ratiug ta eht emas emit, llac em dna ew’ll ees fi ew nac enil uoy pu rof a gig (taht’s naicisum gnals – I kniht) ta eht Retnec.

The name of the television show about the adventures of widow Lily Ruskin, played by Spring Byington, that aired on CBS from 1954 to 1959 was December Bride. (Answers were received from Margaret McBride, Virginia McClain, and the randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Delores Schrader, who wishes we still had television shows like it.)

Sticking with television during the 50’s and 60’s, this week’s “Remember When” question is about game shows. What was the name of the CBS show that was a take-off of What's My Line?, but instead of celebrity panelists trying to determine a contestant's occupation, the panel tries to determine something that is unusual about the contestant? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with autographed pictures of the original host and panelists: Garry Moore, Bill Cullen, Henry Morgan, Faye Emerson and Jayne Meadows.

Well, it’s been another week, hoping for a dry, pleasant weekend. Until we meet again, I’ll see you at the Cherry Festival.  

“The art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” Havelock Ellis

Aging Well in the Gorge April 11th 2017

It is often said, “Nothing remains constant except change itself.” But why do we resist change particularly as older adults who have a reputation of being stick-in-the muds, averse to any kind of change?

According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the Harvard Business School, there are many reasons why people of all ages resist change. See if any of these reasons feel familiar.

First, change often creates uncertainty – often interrupting our routines which we find comforting because we know what to expect. Every morning I have my regular routine for eating breakfast and taking my pills.  But when I go on vacation, the routine changes, and it is difficult to adjust.

Second, change creates concerns about our own competence. Take technology. There is always some new “latest and greatest” software update to learn. And you just figured out the previous version!

Third, change creates more work - which takes time and energy. Although you may have the time, do you have the energy? With the kids moved out, it is time for my wife and I to move to a smaller house, but I always reconsider when I think of all the work it would take.

Fourth, a loss of control. If you decide what to change, that’s okay, you’re in control. But when the change happens to you that is another story. And that seems to happen more often when you get older, as your family, friends or doctors start telling you where you should live, when you can drive and what you should eat.

But change is inevitable. And embracing change even with all the reasons to resist: more uncertainty, feelings of incompetence, more work and loss of control, change can help you continue to live a full and productive life. And having seen all the tremendous changes over your lifetime from types of television sets to personal cancer treatments, would you really want to go back to those “golden” years? Okay, maybe you don’t have to answer that question!  

After this past terrible, horrible, no good winter, more folks have decided to get their bodies moving by attending the Center’s movement and exercise classes. The classes are affordable and all you have to do to join the fun is show up. The classes include: Tai Chi on Tuesdays from 1:15 – 2:00 taught by Corliss Marsh, Line and Folk Dancing on Thursdays from 10:15 – 11:30 taught by Jacquie Hashizume, Strong Women on Tuesdays and Thursdays taught by Sally Forester, and Zumba Gold on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 – 11:30 taught by Marsha Morrison. Also, Debra Lutje teaches two classes: Chair Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15- 10:30 and Strength Yoga on Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:30.

Besides helping your brain by exercising, you can also challenge your brain by reading this week’s Saturday Night music announcement – backwards. And you don’t even have to get out of your chair.

.appreciated always are donations although - free is it And .welcome is everyone ,left your with follow or foot right your with lead you whether and 30:6 at starts music ,00:6 at open Doors .Country of Shades be will 18th April on Music Night Tuesday s’Center the for Performing

In the television series, Gunsmoke, the name of the woman who was the owner of the Long Branch Saloon and with whom Matt Dillion had a close personal relationship was Miss Kitty. (Answers were received from Vicki Sallee, Alice Mattox, Johnie Douglas, Jim Ayres and the randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Don Smith.)

Sticking to television during the 50’s and 60’s, this week’s “Remember When” question is not about a western but a television sitcom (which I don’t remember because I was more interested in Saturday morning cartoons) that aired on CBS from 1954 to 1959.  But if your memory is better, what was the name of the television show about the adventures of widow Lily Ruskin played by Spring Byington, that for first four seasons followed I Love Lucy? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of next-door neighbor Pete Porter played by Harry Morgan, who in 1960 starred in his own show Pete and Gladys.

Well, it’s been another week, sorting through all my spring clothes. Until we meet again, I know it’s spring because the ants have returned to the kitchen counter.  

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher

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