COMING ATTRACTIONS @ THE CENTER

Bingo every Thursday and Saturday Nights. Doors open at 4:00 and games start at 6:00. New players encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Minimum buy-in is $10.

September 20th 11:00 PM: Wednesday Lecture - Your Public Transportation Options in The Dalles.

Nehemiah Brown performing during lunch on September 22nd. Concert is free.

September 27th 1:00 PM: Five Famous Female Artists – a visual presentation covering the life and art of five famous female artists. The instructor will be Kerry Cobb, Executive Director of CCA.


UPDATED 9.10.17

Aging Well in the Gorge September 19th 2017

This last week has felt like too many long nights in a smoky bar that you just want to forget. Each morning I would wake up and wonder, “Will I be able to see the Klickitats today?” (And who would have thought the air quality would be so bad it would close school.) But after these weeks of smoky air, I am at least better informed and prepared.

For instance, I now know the type of mask to purchase (N95 respirator mask) and that it needs to fit properly to be effective. (Breathing through the mask requires greater effort and may feel uncomfortable. But if you find it easy to breathe with the mask on, you are probably breathing the unfiltered air entering around the edges of the mask.)  I now know I can go to the website www.aqicn.org to find the latest air quality index for The Dalles (or any other major city in the world) to confirm that the air quality is as bad as I think it is. And I now know that the North Central Public Health District can lend portable air purifiers which were recently set up at the Center.

But enough of these lessons learned. Hopefully this week’s anticipated rain will end this year’s fire season and cleanse the air of the unhealthy smoke that has lingered around too long. And we can put on our sweaters and coats and enjoy a sunny autumn before winter comes.  

I’ve been hearing that Pickleball (which combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis) is the rage in town - as well as across the country. Tim McGlothlin has been promoting the sport - and paid the price when he forgot he wasn’t the young man he once was. But a little encounter with the bleachers hasn’t stopped him from leading several CGCC Community Education Pickleball classes at the Readiness Center starting September 28th and continuing for 12 weeks. The beginning Pickleball class is from 5:00 – 7:00 on Thursday nights. And on the same nights there are also two sessions of Competitive Pickleball for intermediate and advanced players: 3:00 – 5:00 or 7:00 – 9:00. The total cost is $44 for either class. You can find more information on page 24 in the CGCC Fall Class Schedule that you received in the mail. You can register online or call CGCC at 541-506-6011.

Besides pickleball, there are other Community Education classes you may find worthwhile including Medicare 101 from 1:00 – 3:00 on October 10th, or Social Security 101 from 1:00 – 3:00 on November 8th - which are both free. Or even Beginning Photography which teaches how to use a smartphone or other inexpensive camera to take great pictures. This 10-week class starts on September 27th and costs $69.

For several years, the Center has scheduled northwest vocalist and crowd favorite Nehemiah Brown to perform two Friday nights a year. But this time we have scheduled Nehemiah to perform this Friday, September 22nd from 11:30 to 1:30 during the Meals-on-Wheel noon dinner. There is no admission charge for the performance; we only ask that you buy the dinner for a suggested donation of $3.75 for anyone 60 an older or $5.50 for everyone else. Nehemiah’s performance is sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center that provides a continuum of care bridging the gap between hospital and home whether it is short-term rehabilitation or long-term care.

In 1958 the American vocal group that recorded the number one hit “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” was the Platters. (I receive correct answers from Sandy Haechrel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Betsy Ayres.)

While browsing through the online version of my hometown newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, I came across an article about one of Indy’s own who invented a shaving cream used by millions. It was first sold as a white cream that came in tubes and during WWII was a staple item in post exchanges and military ration kits. What was the name of this shaving cream that gave you a “smooth, cool, clean, shave with no rubbing, no lather, no brush and no hot water”? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a recording by “Singin’ Sam”.

Well, it’s been another week, wandering and wondering. Until we meet again, as my dad always said, “Tomorrow is another day”.


“Some days you’re a bug. Somedays you’re a windshield.” Price Cobb, race car driver

Aging Well in the Gorge September 12th 2017

Improving your brain’s performance is a hot topic these days. And you probably have heard various recommendations to improve your memory from drinking a glass of red wine to watching your grandkids (as long as you don’t do it every day!)  

But at the top of every list is the recommendation to give your brain a daily workout. Last week I shared some Brain Teasers to test your out-of-the-box thinking. But this week’s assignment will test your working memory: the ability to keep information stored for a short period while using the information. But they aren’t easy. And you may find them frustrating because you must really concentrate. So get that glass of wine, send the grandkids home, and see if you can master these mental tests.

1. Say the days of the week back­wards, then in alphabetical order. 2. Say the months of the year in alphabetical order. Now back­wards, in reverse alphabetical order. 3. Find the sum of your date of birth, mm/dd/yyyy. 4. Name two objects for every letter in your first name. Work up to five objects, trying to use different items each time. 5. Look around wherever you are and, within two minutes, try to find 5 red things that will fit in your pockets, and 5 blue objects that are too big to fit.

And as I promised, here are the answers to last week’s brain teasers.

1.) Which word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly? Answer: Incorrectly. 2.) A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn’t break the law. How is that possible? Answer: She was walking. 3. Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out? Answer: Stop imagining. 3.) Mom and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family? Answer: Seven. 4) While some months have just 30 days, others have 31 days. How many months have 28 days? Answer: All twelve months. 5) How many times can you subtract 5 from 25? Answer: Just once.

Have you wanted to learn more about the how, when and where of public transportation options in The Dalles? For the Center’s Wednesday 11:00 Lecture on September 20th, a representative from LINK will discuss public transportation options including the door-to-door service in The Dalles and the fixed route service to and from Portland.

If you enjoy the creative arts, the Center will be hosting two presentations provided by the Columbia Center for the Arts (CCA). The first is “Five Famous Female Artists” – a visual presentation covering the life and art of five famous female artists and will be held on September 27th at 1:00.

The second is a One-Act Plays Table Reading - a table read of several humorous one-act plays written specifically for older adults and will be held on October 11th at 1:00. This one is limited to 6-8 people, so you will need to call the Center to reserve your place. Both presentations will be led by Kerry Cobb, Executive Director of CCA.

The Beach Boy album released in 1966 and ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the second greatest album of all time was Pet Sounds. (The winner of a free quilt raffle ticket is Sandy Haechrel.)

This last week, when I felt like I was sitting on the wrong side of a campfire, you may have been thinking of the song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” - a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for their 1933 musical Roberta. Since then it has been recorded by many artists including Paul Whiteman, Irene Dunn, and Nat King Cole. But the most remembered recording was released in 1958 when the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the American vocal group that recorded “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” in 1958? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a 3M Cool Flow N95 respirator mask.

Well, it’s been another week, wishing and hoping. Until we meet again, “be the person your dog thinks you are”.

“If you hear of someone speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself, you should say, “He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.” Epictetus, philosopher


Aging Well in the Gorge September 5th 2017

At our age, its common to worry when you can’t remember a name or you can’t find that word on the tip of your tongue. When that happens, I often ask myself, is this just normal for my age? Or am I in the early stages of dementia? And then the more I worry, the more I seem to forget!

To relieve my anxiety, I found an article by Dr. Mike Davis who gives the following three examples demonstrating the distinctions between normal memory loss and dementia.1.) Misplacing keys is normal; forgetting what they are for is dementia. 2.) Forgetting a person's name is normal; but not remembering knowing the person is not. 3.) Forgetting to turn into a familiar street is normal; becoming easily disoriented or lost in familiar places for hours is not.”

Good. I don’t need to worry. I often misplace my keys, but I do know what they are for. I seem to have a harder time remembering names, but they eventually come to me. And when I’m in a hurry, there are times I do turn down the wrong street, but so far, I’ve always found my way home.

But then I read the next sentence. “These lines are distinct for most of us, BUT in early dementia patients, it can be tricky to tell.”

Now what the heck does that mean, tricky to tell?  Could my forgetfulness seem normal, but because of some subtle signs, I could unknowingly be in the early stages of dementia? Should I still be worrying?

It does give me pause. But there is one sign that gives me hope. I figure as long as I can spell Alzheimer’s without looking it up, I’m okay.

If you want to learn more about brain health, join the Brain Fitness Club which returns at 1:00 on September 18th showing the online video series: How to Improve Your Brain Health.

In this series renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Wendy Suzuki, will show how the brain and memory works through a mix of personal stories and solid brain science. There will also be simple, specific activities to make your brain stronger and potentially even make your life better.

But why wait till then. Here are a few brain teasers to rattle your noggin’. I’ll share the answers next week.

1.) Which word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly? 2.) A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn’t break the law. How is that possible? 3. Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out? 3.) Mom and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family? 4) While some months have just 30 days, others have 31 days. How many months have 28 days? 5) How many times can you subtract 5 from 25?

And remember when challenging your brain, it is not so much getting the correct answer, as it is the effort you put into trying to solve the problems. 

The name of the college Mike, Mark, Zonker, and B.D attended was Waldon College which was modeled after Yale - the school Gary Trudeau attended from 1966 through 1970. (I received correct entries from Bob and Sandy Haechrel who both win one half of a quilt raffle ticket.)

During my high school days in Indianapolis, I remember buying the Beach Boy’s “I Get Around” and dreaming I had a surf board on the top of my “Woodie” and was headed to the sandy ocean beaches – even though there wasn’t an ocean wave within a thousand miles. Today, Brian Wilson the genius behind the Beach Boys, at the age of 75 is on a world tour recreating on stage the sounds from their acclaimed eleventh studio album which included the hit “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this Beach Boy album released in 1966 and ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the second greatest album of all time? Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of goats being fed at the San Diego Zoo.

Well, it’s been another week, thinking that I think I can. Until we meet again, find time to add a little spark to your daily routine.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Robert Frost

Aging Well in the Gorge August 29th 2017

What will it be like living past 50 through old age? For those of you who find 50 a faint distant memory, you already know. But for those of you who are still transitioning through this period in your life, what’s it been like? One distinct period following a familiar and expected roadmap? Or a time of zigs and zags; stops and starts following no particular script?
                                                                                
George H. Schofield, Ph.D. in his book How Do I Get There From Here? Planning for Retirement When the Old Rules No Longer Apply describes three overlapping life stages between 50 and old age that are not defined by age, but defined by the life situations each person experiences. By knowing these life stages, Schofield believes it can make it easier to deal with the expected and unexpected changes that will undoubtedly occur.

The first stage is New Freedom. Often this stage starts when you become an “empty nester”: the kids have moved out, and you have extra time, now that your life no longer revolve around the kids.

Or you have been at your job for some time and have met most of your career goals. You then begin to realize there is more to life than your career, triggering a reevaluation of your life’s priorities. But it can be disorienting and confusing, not knowing what to do with the extra discretionary time.

The second stage is New Horizons. You start feeling comfortable with the new freedom, and begin to realize what you want to do with the extra time by learning more about yourself. What are you curious about? What do you want to learn? What do you want to be good at during this stage in your life? It could be starting a new career, working part-time doing something you truly enjoy or acquiring a new hobby.

The third and final stage is New Simplicity. You’re tired of all the competing demands and have decided you no longer want to or no longer can handle all the complications in your life. It is just too much: too much house, too much yard, too much clutter, too many volunteer commitments, and too many dreams and goals that will never be realized. You start to take time to scale back.

Have you experienced any, or all of these stages? Possibly by knowing these three stages, it can help you navigate through this period in your life between 50 and old age, so you can be that pioneer discovering your own future.

A reminder for the free Cascadia Mobile Legal Clinic coming to the Center on September 12th and 13th. Although walk-ins are welcome, it would be best to call 503-444-3449 to make an appointment. You can find more information at their website, www.cascadialawyers.com.

After the summer break, several of the Center’s classes will be returning in September. The first will be the Wednesday Lectures (formally known as the Tuesday lectures). The lectures will cover a wide range of topics from local history to services for older adults. The first lecture will be Wednesday, September 6th starting at 11:00 with Linda Stahl providing a preview of the exciting MCMC Fall lecture series.

Marvel Comics’ first superhero team which debuted in 1961 and included Mister Fantastic, Invisible Women, Human Torch and the Thing was the Fantastic Four. (Although I’m sure everyone has heard of Marvel Comics, no one sent in the correct name of the superhero team. But this week’s question should be easier especially for the boomers in the crowd.)

Debuted as a daily comic strip in 1970, Doonesbury was the first daily comic strip to win a Pulitzer prize in 1975 for editorial cartooning. (Many newspapers considered it too political and moved it from the comic page to the editorial page.) Doonesbury followed the lives of various characters including Mike, Mark, Zonker, and B.D. who all lived on a commune while attending college. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the college they attended and for extra points, what Ivy League school was it modeled after? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of Jane Pauley’s husband.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to tip-toe across the stage without being noticed. Until we meet again, even in doubt, there is a time to act.


“There are three stages of life: youth, maturity, and “My, you’re looking good!” Dwight David Eisenhower

Aging Well in the Gorge August 22nd 2017

Did you survive the eclipse? My wife and I were going to drive to her folks in Dallas, Oregon and return on Monday, but we came to our senses and decided to stay put. For one thing, I didn’t want to test how long I could last between bathroom breaks while stuck in traffic. But if you missed seeing this total eclipse, you’ll have to wait till August 12, 2045 for the next bicoastal eclipse.

When I was a child, I was afraid of what might go bump in the night, and I would hide under the covers, hold my breath, and not move a single muscle.

But it’s not the “goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties” I’m afraid of now. It’s me I’m worried about going bump in the night: stumbling over a bookcase, tripping over the cat, or missing the door knob I usually grab. And the fear is real. During this year, I’ve known two folks who have fallen during the night and they both broke their hips.

One reason we are more at risk of falling during the night is we get up more often. Well, at least I do. My bladder isn’t as elastic as it once was, and those night trips to the bathroom have become a regular routine.

But there are precautions you can take. You can install nightlights in your bedroom, and safety frames or grab bars around the toilet. If you use a cane or walker, place it next to your bed - and use it. If you often get up for a drink, (and I’m talking about water, otherwise that is a different kind of problem), put a water bottle next to your bed.  If you wear slippers, make sure they are non-slip. Make sure your furniture is stable and strong enough to support your weight, and check your medications (especially new prescriptions) for any side effects that may cause dizziness or restlessness.  And it’s always a good idea to “fall proof” your house such as making sure the pathways to the bathroom or kitchen are free from clutter.
These suggestions will help make sure during the night, when you may still be half asleep and in a hurry to get to the bathroom, you aren’t the “bump in the night”.

The Center is hosting the Cascadia Mobile Legal Clinic on September 12 and 13 from 11 to 2 pm. The clinic is staffed by attorneys from Martin & Richards, LLP and the legal services they offer include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, landlord/tenant, probate estates, elder abuse, and civil disputes. You will receive a free 30-minute consultation, and then if any additional legal services are needed, they will be free for eligible clients or on a sliding fee scale based on income. To ensure a appointment call 503-444-3449, but walk-ins are also welcome. You can find more information at their website www.cascadialawyers.com.

The NU-2-U Shop is doing “gangbuster” business ever since the store reopened in its new expanded space. You’ll find nice, gently used clothes (every week new items are added), shoes, jewelry, puzzles, and a variety of miscellaneous knick-knacks. Donations are appreciated, but because the Center has limited space for storing and processing donations, at this time we are only accepting good used clothing. You can drop off used clothing downstairs during our regular business hours from 9:00 – 5:00.

The name of the humor magazine first published in 1952 that satirized all aspects of cultural life was Mad Magazine. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayres, Sandy Haechrel and Ed Anghilante - this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

The Marvel Comics brand debuted in November of 1961 with the first super hero team created by editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. The team of Mister Fantastic, Invisible Women, Human Torch and the Thing gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this super hero team? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the last known location of Dr. Doom.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to put together the pieces in the puzzle of life. Until we meet again, try to keep an open mind but don’t let your brains fall out.


“It's not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line.” Ashleigh Brilliant

Aging Well in the Gorge August 15th 2017

It’s been said “The future ain’t what it used to be,” and that can certainly be applied to the future of aging in America.

But what can we expect in this new future?

Last month the best minds from medicine, social science, finance, public policy, and other disciplines met in San Francisco for the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Conference to share the latest science, research, technology, and policy development in the field of aging.  

Sophie Okolo, an associate with the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, attended and wrote about some of the significant trends in aging for Next Avenue, a website for the “booming older population” produced by Twin Cities PBS.

One of the trends she heard was older adults are seeking ways to take charge of their own health using emerging technologies which includes finding self-care solutions to improve their health. In some rural communities, patients are already seeing a doctor using telemedicine; several start-up companies are developing virtual reality apps for physical exercise and pain treatment, and although this may sound as futuristic as a smart watch once did, Nestles is working on personalized digital nutrition to help deliver the ideal nutrition at the right cost. Pretty amazing.

Another trend is the changing view of aging – acknowledging the challenges, but also embracing the opportunities, and creating a culture that supports the long life we experience today. You can look around and see how older adults create stronger communities and strengthen our economies. For example, did you know older workers over fifty are responsible for at least $7.6 trillion in annual economic activity?  

Although the future is not what it once was, with new and developing technologies and a more positive view towards aging, there can be a better future for all of us: the current generation of older adults and for future generations to come.

Katy Joblonski came by the Center to drop off a flyer for her class, “Shakespeare: The Early Plays” (English 201 - 1091658), which will be held at The Dalles campus of the Columbia Gorge Community College on Mondays from 10:00 – 12:00 starting September 25th.

As you can tell, it is for folks who have unchained themselves from the shackles of employment and are fancy free – if they can find time between the projects around the house, their volunteer commitments, and their trips to visit/babysit the grandkids.

But she told me the exciting news is the class is free if you are over 65 and want to audit the class. And in addition, although there is no guarantee, you may be able to audit many of the other CGCC classes for free or little cost.  If you want to know more about how to audit CGCC classes, call 541-506-6057.

Tuesday Night music at the Center may have played its last chords. Attendance has dropped and although everyone enjoyed the music and dancing, there just wasn’t enough people to make it worthwhile for the bands. But there is plenty of music in the Gorge - with only ten days a month when you can’t find a place to dance. For information about the dance locations, Sheryl Doty distributes a monthly calendar which you can pick up at the Center or you can call her at 541-296-3707.

The “bodacious hillbilly” that Barney Google met when he visited “Hootin’ Holler” was Snuffy Smith. (Several folks thought the answer was Li’l Abner which was another hillbilly humor comic strip, but the only correct answer I received was from Marta Moser - this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

Okay, this week’s “Remember When” question is not about a comic strip, but it did start out as a comic book before it turned into a classic American humor magazine. First published in 1952 and reaching its peak in 1974, this magazine satirized all aspects of cultural life, politics, entertainment, and public figures. What was the name of this humor magazine whose satire influenced a whole generation? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a book of Don Martin’s best comic strips.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember what doctor I’m supposed to see this month. Until we meet again, keep your foot on the peddle and your hands on the steering wheel.

“Life is surely worth a certain amount of struggle, but sometimes I wonder exactly how much?” Ashleigh Brilliant


Aging Well in the Gorge August 8th 2017

We’ve been hearing in the news about the opioid epidemic effecting many working-class communities in America. In the past when I thought of opioid abuse I thought of heroin use. But according to the most recent data, in 2015 over 13,000 people have died from heroin - but over 15,000 people have died from overdoses on legal prescription opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, morphine, and others. In addition, every day over one thousand people across the country are treated in emergency rooms for misusing prescribed opiates.

But I was surprised to read in Terry Lynn’s article in the Oregonian, it’s not just young people affected by this epidemic.

In fact, in 2015, Oregonians age 65 and over are entering the hospital for opioid overdoses, abuse, dependence and adverse effects at a greater rate than any other state. In Oregon, the rate has tripled in the past decade; peaking at 700 hospitalizations per 100,000 elderly which translates to 4,500 people.

But why does Oregon have the highest rate nationally? While there is not a definitive answer, there are several possible factors.

First is history. Oregon has been a national leader in encouraging a more liberal use of medications that focus on treating pain. Consequently, doctors have continued to prescribe more opioids to older adults. Also, many people who started taking opioids when they were younger have likely stayed on them or resumed using them when experiencing arthritis or after having hip or knee replacements.
Second is a lack of awareness. Many doctors underestimate the effect of opioids on older adults.
Third is perception. Many doctors miss seeing opioid abuse in older adults, because they see substance abuse and addiction as a young person’s problem; or they might associate symptoms such as falls, delirium and memory loss, with aging instead of opioids.      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Chronic pain can dramatically affect your life. Thankfully, pain relieving opioids can bring some comfort particularly for hospice or cancer patients or for patients during or after surgery. But always be aware of the risks. Even when prescribed by a doctor, regular use of opioids can lead to dependence, and even overdose and death.

Speaking of medications, often when you are discharged from the hospital, you will be prescribed an opioid such as Vicodin in case the pain returns. But what do you do if you don’t use it or any other medications?

Thanks to the partnership between YouthThink, MCMC and The Dalles Police Force, you can drop off your unwanted medications at The Dalles police station. Just walk inside, turn to your left and you will find a green container where you can safely drop your unwanted medications - but they will not accept needles or sharps, thermometers, medical waste or equipment, or inhalers.

No music on the 15th but the all-star band of Andre, K.C., Tom and Joe will be back at the Center on the 22nd playing blues, bluegrass, ballads and country rock for your dancing and listening pleasure.

The name of the comic strip first introduced in 1931 featuring a police detective was Dick Tracy. (I received answers from Marta Moser, Donna Smith, and several of the regular suspects: Ed Anghilante (who I also missed mentioning several weeks ago), Jim Ayres, Diane Weston, Jess Birge, Jerry Phillips, and Bob and Sandy Haechrel. But this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket goes to Joel Brown who texted me his answer using his Dick Tracy-like smartwatch.)

Continuing with comic strips from the past, this comic strip debuted in 1919 and starred Barney Google with his Goo-Goo-Googly eyes. But in 1934, Barney visited “Hootin’ Holler” in the North Carolina mountains and met a “bodacious hillbilly” who became the star of the comic strip. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this character with the broad brimmed felt hat, scraggly moustache, and tattered britches? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a bottle of “corn-likker” moonshine in a plain brown paper bag so Sheriff Magill won’t confiscate it.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to decide, do I stay hydrated during the hot day, or do I sleep through the night. Until we meet again, as I was recently told at the Center, there are times when living by yourself is bad company.


“If you think communication is all talking, you haven't been listening.” Ashleigh Brilliant

Aging Well in the Gorge August 1st 2017


Would you consider yourself a child or an adult? Okay, that is a dumb question. But in the 1800’s, you were either considered a child or an adult - and back then you could be considered an adult, working and married, by the age of 16. Life was tough and childhood didn’t last long.

But starting in the early 1900’s a social revolution began. With new child labor laws, children encouraged to stay in school longer, sixteen to eighteen-year old’s waiting longer to marry, and with the automobile providing greater independence, another life stage evolved which became known as the “teenager”.

But teenager wasn’t the only term created to describe an age group. In a 1938 political campaign, senior citizen was first used as a euphemism for “old person”. It has since been abbreviated to senior and is generally defined as a person over the age of 65 - when retirement usually begins or social benefits generally start.

So here’s another question? Do you consider yourself a senior even though you are probably over 65? And to be a little more blunt, do you consider yourself old?

If you answer is no, you are not alone. There is growing number of individuals who are over 65 who see themselves as healthy and do not consider themselves seniors - as in “old”. For these individuals, their idea of retirement is not withdrawal - but active engagement including working into their 70’s, particularly if the work is flexible, traveling, and recreating. They feel they have many more active years left, and they aren’t ready to sit it out.

Understanding this new life stage of the “young-old” and the value of naming it, was the focus of several articles in the July 8th Economist. It was suggested that by giving a name to this life stage, it could dramatically change attitudes toward the “young-old” and create economic changes and new opportunities as was the case when the term “teenager” was created. 

But what do you call this new life stage? Some of the ideas suggested by the Economist are Geriactives, Sunsetters, “Nyppies” (Net Yet Past It) or “Owls” (Older, Working less, Still Earning). None of those suggestions sound good to me. But if you have an idea, email it to me. Maybe you can be on the cutting age of a whole new attitudinal revolution towards older adults.

This may yet be the hottest week of the summer, so don’t take any chances in the heat. Stay cool, drink plenty of liquids, keep informed and stay connected with family, friends and neighbors. And have a plan for an emergency which could be as simple as losing the power in your house to operate your air-conditioner.  

If you don’t have air conditioning in your house, don’t forget the old-fashioned ways to stay cool: fans, cold water foot baths, ice packs, and cool showers. And if you know of anyone, who needs, but cannot afford to purchase a fan or air conditioner, the Center has two fans and one small window air conditioner that have been donated to the Center to loan out for emergencies.

For the second and fourth Tuesdays in August, Andre Lamoureux and his band will be performing at the Center for your dancing and listening pleasure. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

The name of the liquid detergent soap that in 1968 was advertised as being strong enough to remove the “ring around the collar” was Wisk. (I don’t believe I received any correct answers this week although several folks, including my wife, thought the answer was TIDE.)

It’s a new month and the theme for this month’s “Remember When” questions is “Comic Strips from the Past”. This comic strip was first introduced in 1931; featured a police detective who fought various villains including his popular rival Flattop Jones; and included comic characters who were caricatures of celebrities such as B.O. Plenty, (Gabby Hayes), Vitamin Flintheart (John Barrymore), and Spike Dyke (Spike Jones).  What was the name of this comic strip? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a two-way wrist watch – preferably an Apple watch.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for the shade. Until we meet again, don’t let the sun beat you down.


“If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.” Henny Youngman

Aging Well in the Gorge July 15th 2017

You don’t get things done by complaining or by wishing upon a star. You have to put on your boots and get to work. And over the last year, there have been several examples of community organizations who like the “little engine that could”, never gave up: Wonderworks, the children’s museum that was featured on the front page of Sunday’s paper, The Dalles/Wasco County Library’s new children’s space, and the Civic Auditorium which received $745,000 from the Oregon state lottery for their theater.

Another community success was celebrated last Tuesday when The Dalles Chamber Ambassadors held a ribbon cutting for the opening of the Center’s new addition. It was a chance to recognize all the individuals, local businesses and foundations that made the new addition possible. And although every successful fundraising campaign needs hundreds of small donors, there is usually one major donor who makes the project possible. 

For the Center that person was Roberta Heisler. She donated $50,000 earlier in the fundraising campaign, and then after it was decided to hire a general contractor even when we didn’t have all the necessary funding, she walked in and gave the Center another $25,000 which took us over our fundraising goal.

But also in every project, someone has to have the drive to keep pushing the project forward even when everyone else is wondering whether it will ever happen. For the Center’s UpLifting Elevator Project, Joan Silver was the engine that drove the UpLifting Elevator train: writing all the grants and keeping everyone on task.

Joan is an example of the older adults throughout this community who decide to use their “retirement” years to make a difference - not for financial gain or for personal recognition. And you know who they are. They are found in your service clubs, churches and other organizations - folks who are giving back to build a healthy community for everyone.

But unfortunately, Joan can’t move mountains - or elevator inspectors. So you aren’t able to ride the elevator yet. It still needs to go through the elevator company’s inspection process and then the final inspection by the State of Oregon. We will announce in August when the elevator will be operating. But until then, you are now able to use the enclosed stairs instead of walking outside and around to the downstairs’ back doors.

Last Tuesday was a busy day at the Center. Besides the ribbon cutting, in the afternoon the Center held its annual membership meeting - which included a delicious dinner catered by Cherry Heights Living. At the meeting, the membership approved changes in the bylaws to allow up to eleven board members from the current seven. If you are interested in serving on the Center’s board, call the Center for an application. But one caution, it is a working board!

Every second and fourth Tuesday at the Center, we push back the tables and the band sets up, so you can dance, dance, dance from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. And as I mentioned last week, on Tuesday, August 1st, Truman will be back in town for one night playing his Country Gold. And no matter if your hair is silver, blonde or a nice beaver orange, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

In the 1960’s animated commercial, a rabbit was always trying to trick a group of children out of their bowl of cereal, but was always caught and told “Silly rabbit, TRIX are for kids”.  (This week I received answers from Sharon Hull, Kim Birge, Tiiu Vahtel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Darlein France.)

This week’s “Remember When” question is once again about advertising slogans from the 50’s and 60’s. What was the name of the liquid detergent soap that in 1968 was advertised as being strong enough to remove the “ring around the collar”? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a kitchen utensil used to whip eggs.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep all the eggs in one basket. Until we meet again, as Marcia Lacock reminded me, stay cool, calm and collected.

“[A] youthful old age is the rich and mellow autumn of life... the mind is ripe in wisdom... the intellect is still active and vigorous... spiritual character has reached its full terrestrial maturity of virtue.” W.J. Hunter, "How to Keep Young," Health Magazine, October 1899.


Aging Well in the Gorge July 18th 2017

I just spent the weekend driving to San Diego with my daughter where she will be starting her new job. Once again, she will be adjusting to a different environment with new friends and new responsibilities.

As with many young people, her last five years have been filled with constant adjustments: teaching English overseas, attending graduate school and then back home again to look for work.

But for many of us, those anticipated changes and adjustments are distant memories. We are no longer working, at least for a paycheck, and have become comfortable in our everyday experiences: same house, same friends, and same interests. And although we may have slowed down, most things are still familiar.

Then our life changes, whether we want it to or not, and we move from the familiar to the unfamiliar: moving into a retirement community because our children are concerned about our safety; no longer being able to enjoy our hobbies because of chronic pain; or worse of all, losing lifelong friends because they have moved or passed away.
Moving from the familiar to the unfamiliar can be scary and confusing. You may wonder how to deal with things you don’t want to deal with? How do you adjust and cope with what you feel you cannot endure? But cope you must, because there is no such thing as not coping. You either cope well or poorly.
Joan Chittister in her book, “The Gift of Years” eloquently discusses how adjustment is a part of aging and it is up to us to decide whether to live our later years with despair and anger or with joy and anticipation.
For instance, you can decide to fight the changes, blaming others and destroying once good relations when you need them the most. Or you can passively accept your new situation, but emotionally refuse to adjust - living in the gloom of what once was but no longer can be, and making your life a real struggle.
Or you can cope with the stress of change with courage; experiencing the losses, but also seeing the new gifts surrounding you while anticipating the joys of the daily small stuff.
Joan Chittister believes the challenge of these years is “that we must consciously decide how we will live, what kind of person we will become now, what kind of personality and spirituality we will bring into every group, how alive we intend to be”.
But the blessing “is being able to live so openheartedly, and to adjust so well, that others can look to us and see what being old can bring in terms of life, of holiness, of goodness to make the world new again”.
When we were young, we were constantly adjusting to new situations: marriage, children, careers. Then we became comfortable with the familiar. But once again moving from the familiar to the unfamiliar; living life as it comes to you, not as you insist it be, may be our greatest opportunity for personal growth.
Music has returned to the Center on every second and fourth Tuesdays nights starting at 7:00 PM. In addition, on Tuesday August 1st, Truman Boler will be singing. Truman was a regular Tuesday night performer until he moved to the Portland area. But he has been persuaded to come back to play one more time. So, stop by, say hi and once again enjoy an evening of Truman’s Country Gold.

The cigarette commercial that appeared on radio and television from 1954 until 1972, was “Winston taste good like a cigarette should”. (I received answers from Sandy Haechrel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket non-smoker Jerry Phillips.)

Continuing this month’s theme of popular television commercials, this 1960’s animated commercial, featured a silly rabbit who was constantly trying to trick a group of children out of their bowl of cereal, but was always caught and told the cereal was “only for kids”.  For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the cereal? Email your answers to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the story of Sisyphus, the King of Ephyra.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find the dots to connect. Until we meet again, keep on truckin’.


“To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.” Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel

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 www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, 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 www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, 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

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