Aging Well in the Gorge December 19th 2018

There is nothing like seeing snow on Christmas morning. For me it is the one day when snow has a magical quality and I can feel like a child once again. But my wife and I won’t have that chance this year because we will be visiting our children in California over the holidays where fifty degrees is the definition of freezing.

Ever since our children left the roost, we have always looked forward to visiting them: learning how they are getting along (just fine without mom and dad!); checking out the coffee shops in their neighborhoods; and again asking “Exactly what do you do at work?“

But it can be a little stressful making sure I don’t spontaneously say something I’ll regret in front of their friends - or worse their “significant other”. Or worrying that the gifts we bought are something they will actually use.

And now there is one more thing I have to fret about: I have to pretend what I’m not: a spry 45-year-old.

I’m trying to prepare. I have been practicing getting off the couch without groaning, eliminating anything from my conversations related to recent medical conditions, and making sure I know when my nose is dripping. Also, I have been concentrating on putting my underwear on without tipping over; avoiding any scary noises emanating from my mouth while eating; and thinking how to sneak in covert naps so I can stay up past my normal 9:00 bed time and still avoid yawning at 10 in the morning or falling asleep in the early afternoon.

It’s not easy, but the charade is essential. The more my children think I am getting old, the more they will feel they need to “help” us old folks in deciding what my wife and I should be doing the rest our lives. (We’ll do just fine thank-you!). Nonetheless it will be a great visit because I know I can pretend for at least one week I’m twenty-five years younger - I hope!

As the end of 2018 approaches, this is your last chance to donate to your favorite non-profits to lessen your tax burden while supporting important community organizations. And this year consider contributing to the Oregon Cultural Trust as well. If you make a donation to any of Oregon's arts, heritage and humanities non-profits including twenty-two in Wasco and Sherman Counties (listed at and make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust, you can then claim your contribution to the Cultural Trust as a tax credit. The Oregon Cultural Trust is an innovative public-private fundraising and grant making program that funds local coalitions including the Wasco County Cultural Trust Coalition that annually distributes $500 to $1000 grants to area schools and non-profits which in the past has included the Center.

The Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Also, several Center classes will not be meeting during the holidays, so call if you are not sure about your class.

Warren Beatty’s popularity took off when he starred with Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde, the landmark film portraying two criminals who moved from small time heists to robbing banks during the middle of the great depression. (I received correct answers from Diane Weston, Sue Ortega, Sandy Haechrel, Lana Tepfer, Kim Birge, Jeanne Pesicka, Cheri Brent and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Rhonda Auskin. And I thought I checked my phone messages last week, but as it has happened way too many times what I thought wasn’t - so I missed Ruth Radcliff, Diana Weston and Carol Earl who back then had three different dates who all took her to see Dr. Zhivago!)

The holiday season is an ideal time to watch some of the Christmas classic movies. Two of my favorites are the 1942 Holiday Inn which introduced the Christmas classic ‘White Christmas’ - the best-selling single of all time, and the 1954 movie White Christmas. Both starred Bing Crosby with music by Irving Berlin. Although it was not initially intended, Bing Crosby had a different male costar in each of the two movies. For this week’s “Remember When” question who were they? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write your answer on the back of a 1942 78 single release of "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby on Decca Records.

Well, it’s been another week trying to keep it simple. Until we meet again, have a very Merry Christmas!

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” ―Peg Bracken

Living Well in the Gorge December 12th 2018

It’s the Christmas season, but scammers never take a holiday - and what’s worse, they’re getting more cunning. They’ve learned know how to bait the hook and pull you in. But here are four tips so you don’t get caught, cleaned and gutted of your hard-earned cash.

Never “pay to play”. You cannot win a lotter or sweepstakes you did not enter, and a legitimate sweepstakes will not ask for money upfront. Even though we dream being offered that incredible “deal”, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Take your time. Scammers often claim an emergency hoping you will take quick action without checking out the situation. One of my rules is never commit to anything on the phone and I always give myself at least a couple of days to think about the offer. And seldom is the “one time only” deal available only once.

Check with loved ones. Before offering to help a grandchild or a loved one, call them to make sure the request is real.

If you do receive a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission online at or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Interestingly, older adults are more likely to report fraud than younger people. The top scams reported by older adults are technical support scams, prizes/sweepstakes/lottery scams, family and friend imposter frauds, and real estate and timeshare resale offers.

What I found surprising though is that contrary to popular thinking, older Americans are not necessarily defrauded by scams at higher rates than younger consumers. But tragically older adults have reported much higher individual dollar losses than younger consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s primary consumer protection agency, has been working diligently to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices. – and protecting older adults has been a top FTC priority for decades. Actions they have taken include challenging phony sweepstakes and bogus tech support to a case over alleged claims that a product could treat everything from arthritis to memory loss.

But the FTC can’t do it alone. Consequently, the FTC has started a “Pass It On” campaign encouraging individuals to share their experiences with friends and family. The more information that gets out to every corner of our communities, the better protected we will all be from costly scams. For more information go to or call 855-411-2372. Or you can check out “Pass It On” at

Now that we’ve had our first visit of snow, it is a good time to mention the Center’s snow closure policy. If School District 21 is closed, the Center will be closed. If there is a two-hour morning delay, the morning classes will be cancelled. The Center’s concern is we don’t want anyone to feel obligated to attend a class or meal when the roads and sidewalk are unsafe.

Last week I mentioned The Center’s Christmas Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 on December 15th sponsored by Dean Dollarhide and Dennis Morgan. But I forgot to mention there’s going to be more than the “All-You-Can-Eat” Pancakes. There will be door prizes, a raffle drawing for one of the two quilts hanging in the lobby - one of which is a full size 77” by 97” quilt with an animal theme; and another chance to purchase a beautiful one-of-a kind lap blanket or apron. Come and enjoy breakfast and more!!

The 1965 epic romantic drama set in Russia between the years prior to World War I and the Russian Civil War; and starred Julie Christie was Dr. Zhivago. (I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Sandy Haechrel, Jess Birge, Tiiu Vahtel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Laura Comini.)

Time to move from Julie Christie to Warren Beatty whose career as an actor, writer, director and film producer spanned 5 decades. But his popularity took off when he starred in this landmark film that told the story of a couple who during the middle of the great depression started with small time heists then moved to robbing banks; and who in the movie’s final scene died in a flood of bullets. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this 1967 film? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a recording of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Flatt and Scruggs.

Well, it’s been another week learning how to deal with it. Until we meet again, with time you learn that one of the necessary ingredients of successful aging is PATIENCE.

“When you stumble make it part of the dance.” author unknown

Aging Well in the Gorge December 5th 2018

I have been fighting a cold this last week and on Friday I started feeling better. Was it because I was drinking plenty of fluids? Getting extra sleep? Or the cold medicine was finally kicking in? Maybe. But I realized what seemed to make the most difference was the sun was shining!

Do you often feel more motivated, energized and in a better mood when the sun has broken through the clouds? And does it sometimes get you down when during the winter months of inversion and overcast skies, the sun becomes that friend who runs off spending the winter in Arizona.  

Feeling a little down during the winter months is not unusual. But for a few people it may be more than just the winter blues. They may be experiencing Seasonal Adjusted Disorder or SAD. Symptoms of SAD include a depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep and appetite, a loss of pleasure in activities you once loved, and even thoughts of death or suicide. If you experience these types of feelings causing disruptions in your life, you should reach out to your primary care provider or a mental health professional because treatments are available.

But for rest of us there are things we can do to lift our spirits. Suggestions include getting outside more often, trying to get more sunshine (although you may have to drive to Dufur on Mt Hood), getting plenty of sleep, practicing relaxation exercises and keeping up your physical exercise.

During the winter it is easy to get stuck inside - adding pounds and moving slower. But the Center offers several movement classes, so you don’t lose “your get up and go” over the winter months. Classes range from Tai Chi to Zumba Gold with Chair Yoga, Strength Yoga and Strong Women in between.

Planning a healthier lifestyle during the winter months is always a good idea - staying active and engaged even when you might just want to stay under the covers in a nice warm bed all day.

The bazaars keep cascading through the holiday season and one of my favorites is Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 8th from 10 – 2 PM at the UCC Church. Besides a variety of local vendors and baked goods, you won’t want to miss their always popular Soup and Pie Luncheon for $6.00. And this year they have added the “Festival of the Wreaths” – wreaths made by the local banks and credit unions. You can vote for your favorite wreath and maybe take one home.

Quick reminder. Nehemiah Brown will be performing his Christmas Concert at the Center on Tuesday, December 11th 11:30 – 1:30 sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation

The Center’s annual Christmas Breakfast will be December 15th sponsored by the Center’s friends Dean Dollarhide and Dennis Morgan. The menu will include “All-You-Can-Eat” Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Sausage plus fruit and your favorite beverage. The cost is still only $6.00 for the general public and $3.00 for children 12 and under.

The four Disney animated films that were among the top ten grossing films of the 1950’s, listed in order of gross earnings, were Lady and the Tramp (1955), Peter Pan (1953), Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959). (I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Jeanne Pesicka and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Ruth Radcliffe. And from the week before the only answer I could find was also from Cheri Brent who answered correctly Ray Price.)

We’ll stick with movies for a couple more weeks. If I asked my kids who the most popular movies stars are today, I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize half of their names. But they probably wouldn’t recognize Julie Christie who starred in several box office hits in the 60’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question what 1965 epic romantic drama did she star in that was directed by David Lean; set in Russia between the years prior to World War I and the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922: and was based on the 1957 Boris Pasternak novel of the same name? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer or the back of the score for “Lara’s Theme”.

Well, it’s been another week trying to pay attention to where I am in life. Until we meet again, you know you are getting older when your memories are found in museums.

“I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now.” ~Author Unknown


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