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. Average payout is over $1300 each night. Minimum buy-in is $10.

The Center’s ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND DINNER is on July 16th at 4:30 PM. Dinner provided by Cherry Heights Living. Only members can attend, but you can still become a member by joining online or stopping by the Center.

TRIP TO THE OLD AURORA COLONY July 18th. $45 includes transportation and admission. Sign up at the front desk.

UPDATED 7.8.19

Aging Well in the Gorge July 10th 2019


Are you living with several chronic conditions - conditions that won’t go away and you have just learned to live with? A 2017 study by Rand Health showed that over 82% of adults 65 and older have more than one chronic condition that range from an irritant to life threatening.

But living with a serious chronic condition for years is a struggle and each person finds their own way to cope. Such was the case for Carole Anderson who turned to writing and painting to support her healing for over thirteen years after being diagnosed with Lymphoma.

To share her story of the healing power of art, Carole, Corliss Marsh and Scott Stephenson, the new director of The Dalles Art Center, have created a fascinating ongoing and evolving exhibition this month at the Art Center called “In Process: My Handmade Life”. The exhibition features writings and paintings from Carole’s book My Handmade Life which she hopes will provide encouragement and comfort for others living with cancer or another serious chronic condition. The opening reception was last week, but at the Art Center on July 11th from 5:30-7:30 pm, you can hear Carole read excerpts from her book as well as view many of her paintings.

This exhibit is both an opportunity for Carole to share her story of living life with a chronic illness which she describes as a patchwork quilt; and an opportunity to build community. And this is where you can participate. Using the idea of a quilt, you are invited to add your own personal thoughts and feelings to a community quilt that will hold the individual experiences within a community.
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To create this community quilt, you are invited to “sew-ins” on every Thursday in July from 1:00 – 4:00 led by local quilt maker, Corliss Marsh. Everything will be provided to create your own quilt block that will be added to the quilt. And if you want to keep your thoughts private, you can write them on a sheet of paper that will be used as the batting for the quilt. Upon completion at the end of July, the community quilt will be permanently displayed at the Art Center.

I hope you will find time to hear Carole’s story and participate in this inspiring community-building exhibition that is a work in process. Visit Facebook (The Dalles Art Center) and Instagram (@thedallesartcenter) for more information.

The Center is offering trips during the summer and the Center’s next trip will be on Thursday, July 18th to the Old Aurora Colony Museum. You will have a chance to explore the five-building museum complex including: the Ox Barn, Steinbach Cabin, Kraus House, Will Family Summer Kitchen and Tie Shed. The cost is $45 which covers the transportation and admission. If you want to take the Guided Tour that will be an additional $5.00. For lunch there will be a stop at the Filbert’s Farmhouse Kitchen where you can order off the menu. Call the Center to sign up.

The name the 1963 hit song whose lyrics were so unintelligible they were thought to be obscene and consequently banned in several places was “Louie, Louie” by the Kingsmen. And the other band that recorded “Louie, Louie” in the same studio (411 S.W. 13th Avenue in Portland) and around a week later was Paul Revere and the Raiders. I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Jess Birge, Cheri Brent, Mike Carrico, Mark Bartel, and Jim Heitkemper this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And I missed Carol Earl from last week.

Baseball was a big part of many boys lives back in the day: throwing a baseball back and forth with your dad or listening to the baseball world series during school. So how about a question about “America’s Pastime”?

The New York Yankees were dominant in the 50’s playing in nine World Series and winning seven of them. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was their coach that said after being fired by the Yankees in 1960 “I'll never make the mistake of being seventy again”? And for bonus points, when he returned to major league coaching in 1962 which expansion team did he coach? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a 1963 Topps baseball card of "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the beautiful days in the Gorge.  Until we meet again, keep writing your own life story.

“God invented mankind because he loved silly stories.” Ralph Steadman, illustrator

Aging Well in The Gorge July 3rd 2019


Laughter can be a life saver as we age. As the teacher and writer Bel Kaufman wrote, “Laughter keeps you healthy. You can survive by seeing the humor in everything. Thumb your nose at sadness; turn the tables on tragedy. You can’t laugh and be angry, you can’t laugh and feel sad, you can’t laugh and feel envious.”

I always enjoy a good laugh particularly at my expense, But some of the humor about aging portrays older adults as incapable and out of touch: at home after lunch snoring in an over-stuffed chair, still trying to learn Windows XP, or constantly forgetting their car keys. But we know these perceptions aren’t true. (Okay it was embarrassing when I was on the Coffeebreak last week and I couldn’t remember the Center’s phone number. But give me a break. I don’t often call the Center!)

But if the underlying assumptions of these jokes are accepted, they reinforce the negative perception of older adults - and the awe-inspiring stories of super seniors are just the exceptions that prove the rule.

Worse though is these stereotypical beliefs about older adults can affect how we perceive ourselves and affecting our confidence, so some mistake we wouldn’t even thought about years ago, becomes another indication of our declining abilities.

Sadly, this self-doubt can limit us. We may choose to stop volunteering afraid of making mistakes or stop walking afraid of falling or avoid new experiences because we are afraid of looking foolish.

As we age, we all know there are many challenges, but we needn’t underestimate ourselves but see ourselves as capable, so when there is an obstacle or even an opportunity, we can face it with confidence

As the actor Alan Alda said “Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. “

So periodically I will share a joke I feel projects a positive view of aging. Here is one which demonstrates the cunning of older adults.

One day a police car pulled up to Granny’s home and Grampy got out. The deputy explained that this elderly gentleman had said he was lost in the park.

“Why sad Igor,” said Granny. “You’ve been going there for more than 30 years! How on earth could you say you got lost?”

Leaning close to Granny so the police officer couldn’t hear, he whispers, “Wasn’t exactly lost. I was just too tired to walk home.”

One of the Center’s most popular programs is the medical equipment loan closet. On the average, the Center receives four requests a day, but recently we have not been able to fill many of the requests because the Center’s cupboards are practically bare (except for walkers which we always seem to have). If you have any borrowed medical equipment you no longer are using just drop it off at the Center. And if you have any medical equipment you no longer need, we would certainly appreciate the donation.

Before I enter the home stretch, a quick reminder. The Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be open July 4th but closed on July 5th and there will not be Bingo on the 4th or 6th.

Tommy James and the Shondells sang about their baby doing the “Hanky Panky” which was the title of their 1966 number one hit song. I received correct answers from Mark Bartel, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Jerry Phillips, Rhonda Spies, Cheri Brent, and someone I’ve forgotten but who once I remember will be the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

I was pretty naïve growing up and it wasn’t until my adult years while listening to an oldie-but-goldie by the Starlight Vocal Band I realized “Oh, that’s what ‘afternoon delight’ means!” There have been many controversial songs including this 1963 hit whose lyrics were so unintelligible they were thought to be obscene and was banned by several localities including my home state of Indiana.

For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of that ever-popular party song produced by Ken Chase, a Portland radio personality on KISN radio? And for bonus points what two Portland bands recorded the song? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the back of a photo of the plaque placed by the City of Portland at 411 SW 13th Avenue.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep life in perspective.  Until we meet again, stay safe and enjoy a wonderful Independence Day.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles Schulz

Aging Well in the Gorge June 26th 2019


July 4th is a time to celebrate our nation’s independence and this year it falls on a Thursday. And maybe because I like to sleep in after watching the Fort Dalles Fourth Fireworks display which starts at 10:00 - and ends way past my bedtime. Or because it is nice to celebrate the Fourth with friends during the Meals-on-Wheels noon dinner and their own July 4th celebration, Meals-on-Wheels and the Center will be open on Thursday July 4th but closed July 5th through the 7th. That also means there will not be Thursday or Saturday night bingo to give our dedicated volunteers a night off.

If you appreciate the activities planned for the Fort Dalles Fourth celebration, they are still looking for donations for veteran banners that will be displayed downtown through Labor Day. According to their Facebook posts you can drop off your donation at the Optimist Printers or donate at the Fort Dalles Fourth GoFund Me page. Any size donation is accepted and for every $149 contributed, a retired banner will fly another season.

I was able to sit in on one of Patrick Wilbern’s presentations at the Center on Veteran’s Benefits and the recent changes. I was impressed by his knowledge and his commitment to supporting Veterans and will make sure he is invited back this coming fall.

I learned that because the Veterans’ benefits system is so complex and ever-changing, there are often unintentional errors that an advocate such as Patrick can help correct so you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have questions, call the Wasco County Veterans’ Services Office at 541-506-2502 and make an appointment with either Patrick or Russell Jones. And on Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 – 12:00 you can just walk in to talk to Patrick - but it is first come first served.  

If it’s the first Tuesday of the month, it’s time for Kerry Cobb’s monthly art presentation. Kerry has retired from her position as director of the Columbia Arts Center which gives her time to travel including her recent trip to Spain. There she had the chance to experience the works of the Major Artists of Spain which will be the topic of her presentation on Tuesday, July 2 @ 1pm. As Kerry points out, Spain has a rich history of influential artists who each created their own unique Spanish style. During her presentation you will have a chance to explore the works of artists who played a major role in the history of western painting, including Picasso, Velazquez, Goya, Miro, El Greco, and Dali.

The title of the song written for a 1955 movie with the same title; won an Academy Award for best original song; and the recorded version by the Four Aces reached number one in 1955 was “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”; and not the song “Three Coins in a Fountain” which I didn’t realize also had the same title as the 1954 movie, was recorded by the Four Aces and won an Academy Award for best original song. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Cheri Brent, Jerry Phillips, Delores Schrader (who has the Four Aces CD), Don & Daryln Hansen, Ron Nelson and Carol Earl who remembered both songs and is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Mark Bartel and Cheri Brent.

I often hear folks bemoaning the quality of popular music these days and that it just doesn’t compare to the music we listened to when we were younger. I can’t speak for those who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s but looking back at some of the popular songs during the 60’s, they’re a little embarrassing. Remember the Troggs singing “Wild thing you make my heart sing”? But that wasn’t the only hit song that was “cringe worthy”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, Tommy James and the Shondells in their number one song from 1966 sang about their baby doing what? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with the recording of “That Boy John’” by the Raindrops.

Well, it’s been another week, thinking any moment the Gorge winds could send me flying through the air with the greatest of ease.  Until we meet again, take pleasure in the small everyday experiences. 

“I used to think getting old was about vanity – but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.” Joyce Carol Oates

Aging Well in the Gorge June 19th 2019


If you no longer can drive, or don’t want to drive anymore, how can you get to the store, to your all-too-frequent doctors’ appointments or to activities at the Center? In other words, how can you stay connected?

One answer is the LINK, The Dalles public transportation provider, which has been providing rides since 1997. But it has been a challenge to find the “next right answer” to improve the public transportation services in The Dalles, but recently there have been several changes to better serve the general public. You can learn more about the transportation options in The Dalles at the 1:00 presentation by Jessica Metta at the Center on June 25th. And most importantly you will be able to ask questions and share what you feel is working well and what you wish to see differently.

Until then here is a quick review of the services the LINK provides in The Dalles area.

Deviated Fixed Route: The LINK is operating a Deviated Fixed Route service on an hour loop to key destinations in The Dalles on Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Rides are still just $1.50 each.

Dial-a-Ride: This has been the LINK’s bread and butter service. This dial-a-ride, door-to-door service operates Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Trips are $1.50 each way and need to be scheduled at least twenty-four hours in advance.

Shopping Bus: The LINK also offers a regular trip to grocery stores and shopping centers in The Dalles on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Cost is $3.00 for unlimited stops with no shopping bag limit. The LINK drivers will help load and unload your bags (bags must be under 25 pounds).

For more information including schedules and routes, you can call the LINK at 541-296-7595, visit the LINK’s website at www.mcedd.org/linktransit, stop by The Dalles Transit Center at 802 Chenowith Loop or pick up a brochure at the Center.  

But LINK isn’t the only public transportation provider in the area. If you live in Sherman County, you probably already know about Sherman County’s Community Transit which provides dial-a-ride services throughout Sherman County with weekly trips to The Dalles and regular trips to Portland and points east for seniors, individuals with disabilities and others as space allows. The fare is $5.00 round-trip per rider. For schedule/route information you can call (541) 565-3553 or visit their website at www.co.sherman.or.us/departments/sherman-transit.

And for our friends in southern Wasco County, (The late Lenore Walters once told me in no uncertain terms, as she probably told many others, it is “southern” Wasco County not south. South is not an adjective!) there is the TSCC bus service which relies on volunteer drivers to take you to wherever you need to go.

The Blue Zones Cooking Demos are returning to the Center on the last Tuesdays
of the month from 5:30 – 7:00 starting June 26th. Break out of your cooking doldrums and join the fun learning how to prepare healthy and TASTY! recipes from OSU’s “Food Hero” website where you can also find meal ideas, and cooking tips and tools.

A quick reminder: READY-SET-RETIRE is scheduled for June 26th, 4:00 – 7:00 at the Center. In this free workshop from AARP Oregon and the Small Business Development Center, you’ll learn about tuning up your finances before retirement, Social Security and Medicare, OregonSaves - an easy way to save for retirement, and how to turn your expertise into a business opportunity by becoming an Encore Entrepreneur.

The name of the song written for the 1967 film, The Graduate and sung by Simon and Garfunkel was “Mrs. Robinson”.  I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Jess Birge, Jerry Phillips, Betsy Ayers, Ron Nelson and “Hey, Hey, Hey” Janet Figg this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Let’s stick with another popular song from a movie soundtrack but from the 50’s which I’m guessing will be a little more challenging. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the song written for a 1957 movie of the same title; won an Academy Award for best original song; and that the Four Aces’ version reached number one for three weeks in 1955? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with the splendid Italian version recorded by Neil Sedaka, "L'Amore E' Una Cosa Meravigliosa".

Well, it’s been another week, kicking down the gravel road and feeling groovy.  Until we meet again, don’t let the bus pass you by.

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." Warren Buffett

Aging Well in the Gorge June 12th 2019


Are you a veteran or a spouse of a veteran? And do you know what benefits you may be eligible for?

Because of the support of the Wasco County Board of Commissioners, Wasco County has two Veterans Service Officers, Russell Jones and Patrick Wilburn, to ensure veterans receive the benefits they are entitled to. This could include disability compensation, non-service connected pensions for war period veterans, aid and attendance, VA health care, education benefits, VA loan information and more. 

But there have been changes in the VA system and Patrick Wilburn is getting out into the community to spread the word about those changes and what the local Veterans Services Office offers. He will be at the Center on two different occasions: in the evening on Tuesday June 18th at 6:00 PM and then in the afternoon on Wednesday June 19th starting at 1:00. I would like to thank Patrick for providing these opportunities to learn more about VA benefits.

You can also help support our veterans by volunteering at the Veterans Service Office. There is a need for volunteers to help at the front desk or with other clerical duties. To volunteer you can call Jean at 541-296-3478 or email her at oaknook@gmail.com or call the office at 541-506-2502.

I need some help. I know, I know you’re probably thinking what’s new. He always needs help – or is that just what my wife thinks! But this is incredibly important. Could someone explain to me what’s the big deal about all these emojis? And when should I use them, and what does each one mean?

I understand what the thumbs up and the smiley face mean. But what about the upside-down smiley face, the smiley face with the tears or with the tongue sticking out. It’s beyond me. And I’m afraid I will use the wrong emoji in the wrong situation and offend someone or embarrass myself.

In the past it was simpler. I just had to learn facial expressions and other types of body language to navigate social situations. But now in this digital world of social interactions I’m afraid I’m just lost.

If you understand the world of mystifying emojis, I’ll be glad to schedule a class, so those like myself can be more socially adept in this new digital age.

Every year with the help of Ginny McNary, the Center offers several trips during the spring and summer. There have already been trips to OMSI, The Northwest Senior Theater and the Rhododendron Gardens - where we’ll go several weeks earlier next time. But we have five more trips scheduled including our next trip to the Vista House and Multnomah Falls for lunch on June 19th. The cost is $35 which covers the transportation, but you are responsible for your meal at the lodge. Then on July 1st, the Center has scheduled a trip to Timberline which includes transportation and a delicious lunch at Timberline Lodge for $65. Call the Center to sign up. Seats are limited.

The name of the film in which a decorated war veteran was arrested one drunken night and sentenced to two years on a chain gang where his free spirit clashed with the “Captain” was Cool Hand Luke. I received correct answers from Becky Roberts, Cheri Brent, Betsy Ayers, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Janet Figg and Tom Hodge, Dave Lutgens, Jerry Phillips, Deloris Schrader and Mark Battel, who remembers the famous line “What we have here is a failure to communicate” and is the winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Now that we are in the season of school graduations it only seems appropriate to ask a question about Dustin Hoffman’s breakout movie from 1967, The Graduate. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the song especially written for the movie but was originally conceived as a song “about times past—about Mrs. Roosevelt and Joe DiMaggio and stuff”? And for bonus points who was the singing duo that sang the song? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the side of a plastic container because “the future is plastics”.

Well, it’s been another week talking too loud so I can hear what I’m saying to make sure it is what I meant.  Until we meet again, as the writer Dasheill Hammett once said, “You got to look on the bright side, even if there ain’t one.”

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” A.A. Milne


Aging Well in the Gorge June 5th 20019


Why do we always have to give something a different name if it doesn’t fit our preconceived notions. I’ll give you an example. I grew up in Indianapolis, so you know what I do every Memorial Day, I watch the Indianapolis 500. During the pre-race show NBC followed seventy-nine-year-old racing legend Mario Andretti around the Speedway and one of the announcers was so impressed that Mario was still involved in racing he described him as having the spirit of a thirty-year-old. And I thought, Wait a minute! He doesn’t have the spirit of a thirty-year-old. He has the spirit of a seventy-nine-year-old! Can’t older folks keep busy and active and be seen as who they are? He is not some forty-year-old beer drinking couch potato - no offense to 40-year-olds.   

But an active 79-year-old like Mario didn’t fit his idea of how a seventy-nine-year-old should act. And consequently, he had to rename it as something he could understand.
As Helen Hayes once said, “Age doesn’t matter unless you are a cheese. (Or unless you want decent health insurance you can afford through Medicare.) If you ask me how old I am, I’d say seventy-one. But it really depends on what part of my body you are asking about. If it is my knees, I would say more like eighty. If you are talking about my eyes – probably seventy-one. My dry skin – also probably seventy-one. Okay, maybe my body’s age is my chronological age. But just remember, I’m no cheese.

Back in the day, Social security was envisioned as being one leg of the three legged retirement stool along with savings and pensions. But the U.S. retirement system has fundementally changed, shifting responsibilty from the employer to the individual so now many working people don’t have a retirement plan; and saving money for retirement is a luxury. And with the great recession wiping out savings for many and social security benefits losing a third of their purchasing power since 2000, many older adults are entering the golden year financially insecure.

At the Center on June 26th from 4:00 – 7:00, AARP and  the Small Business Development Center will be presenting the free workshop READY SET RETIRE. At this workshop you will learn about tuning up your finances before retirement; Social Security & Medicare 101; OregonSaves, the new and easy way to save for retirement; and how to monetize your expertise and become an Encore Entrepreneur. Whether you are retired or thinking about retirement, I’m sure you’ll learn something new that could help improve your financial future. Or in my case realize, “Oh, that is what I should have done!”

It’s always a relief when I find a mistake and it wasn’t of my doing. Well, this wasn’t one of those times. Last week I misstated Joyce Browne’s phone number. It should have been 541-300-0111. She is the contact if you have any questions about the two free lectures presented by Dr. Timothy Jennings, MD at the MCMC Medical Office Building: “The Aging Brain - Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind” on Saturday, June 8th from 10:00 – 4:30; and “The Mind, God’s Design” on Friday, June 7th at 6 PM.

Those who remember the Broadway musical Camelot were Rhonda Spies, Anne Cross, Jerry Phillips, Katie Young, Betsy Ayers, Cheri Brent, Joy Oakes, Tiiu Vahtel (who saw Camelot on Broadway), and Mary Haas the winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week’s question about the Broadway musical that told the story of the "mad" knight Don Quixote was much more difficult with only Betsy Ayers correctly answering Man of La Mancha and also winning a quilt raffle ticket.

This week let’s move from the Broadway stage to a film set in Stockton California. This 1967 anti-establishment movie starred Paul Newman and George Kennedy - who won a Best Supporting Actor award for his performance. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the film in which a decorated war veteran is arrested for cutting down parking meters one drunken night and sentenced to two years on a chain gang where his free spirit clashed with the “Captain”? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a carton of fifty eggs.

Well, it’s been another week looking for the answer if only I knew the question. Until we meet again, what if the hokey pokey is really what it’s all about?

“Always leave them laughing when you say good-bye.” George M. Cohen

Aging Well in the Gorge May 29th 2019


Ah, regrets. I wish I hadn’t sold the IBM stock my grandmother gave me fifty years ago. I wish I had asked my dad what he did before and during the war? I wish I hadn’t said, “Who would want to learn German!” to my sister-in-law whose parents immigrated from Germany and is fluent in German. (I’m still trying to make up for that verbal slip-up.)

But do you have any regrets? It’s natural to have occasional regrets about the past because we’ve lived long enough to have plenty of those “I wish I had done that differently” moments.
 
But how can we accept what has been and look ahead instead of back, so we can live without carrying a basket full of regrets the rest of our lives? Margaret Manning posed that question in her March 2015 post “How to Live Without Regrets After 50” on the “Next Avenue” website.

She identified several tips.

Talk to Someone. Even though it might be embarrassing, share your feelings with someone else. You might even discover another perspective you hadn’t considered.

Get Back into the World. If you find yourself more isolated because of your regrets, that’s not good. Isolation just makes any problem worse. But if you don’t feel comfortable jumping back in with a splash, start slowly. Just don’t get stuck. As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
 
Find a Way to Forgive Yourself. Aren’t regrets just a way of punishing yourself for things you can no longer change? Stop beating yourself up. We are often our harshest critic by ignoring the good we have done.  
 
Acknowledge Your Regrets and Move On. Forget the mistake but remember the lesson. There is a popular saying from the movie Slumdog Millionaire, “Everything will be OK in the end – and if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
   
Learn to Live in the Present. What’s done is done, and what will be will be. To help train your mind to live in the present try meditation, yoga or prayer.
 
We are who we are as much from our mistakes and the lessons learned as we are from our successes. We all have regrets - just don’t let them consume you. Share your feelings, stay involved, forgive, be kind to yourself and move on. There is so much more to live.

“Writing Prompts” will be Kerry Cobb’s next class at the Center on Tuesday, June 4 at 1pm. As Kerry explains, “Everyone has a story to tell, and in this workshop, we’ll explore writing simple, short thoughts by means of prompts that will get your creative juices flowing. Everyone is invited to this fun and easy exercise. No writing experience necessary - just a desire to have some fun and share.”

There are two free lectures in June on the Aging Brain presented by Dr. Timothy Jennings, MD: “The Aging Brain - Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind” on Saturday, June 8th from 10:00 – 4:30 at the MCMC Medical Office Building A and B. And “The Mind, God’s Design” at the same location on the night before, Friday June 7th at 6 PM. For more information on either lecture, you can contact Joyce Browne at 541-200-0111 or joyduckbro@gmail.com.

The name of the Broadway musical based on T. H. White’s novel The Once and Future King and ran on Broadway from 1960 to 1963 was Camelot. It included the lyric that President Kennedy was especially fond of, “Don’t ever let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was Camelot” which was written by Alan Jay Lerner, JFK’s classmate at Harvard. Since I will be visiting my daughter in San Diego, I’m submitting this column waaay early. I will list all the correct responses next week.

I’ll end the month with one more Broadway musical question - this one is from 1965. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the musical that told the story of the "mad" knight Don Quixote and his manservant Sancho Panza? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a recording of “The Impossible Dream”.

Well, it’s been another week, counting my blessings. Until we meet again, if you wake up feeling tired and blue - pull back the covers and get out of bed.

“If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate you are bound to wake up somebody.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Aging Well in the Gorge May 22nd 2019



When you have lived as long as we have, you have certainly encountered various social, emotional and physical challenges: a few detours here and there, flat tires and engine adjustments. And you have probably learned that you can run this human vehicle of yours into the ground and hope it lasts (as I did when I was much younger); or you can discover how to take care of the vehicle through preventive maintenance and careful driving.

Okay, enough of the metaphor. I think you get the point. With more information and supportive friends, we can make healthier choices and live longer and better.  

One class that has shown to improve health outcomes among older adults is W.I.S.E. -
Wellness Initiative for Senior Education. W.I.S.E. celebrates this exciting stage of our lives and all the benefits that come with it. It covers a variety of topics including safe medication use, communicating effectively with healthcare providers and strategies for healthy living; as well as discussing risk factors and behaviors older adults should avoid such as how alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications affect older adults differently.

The next W.I.S.E. class will be held at Flagstone Senior Living at 2:00 starting Tuesday, June 4th and continuing every Tuesday for six weeks. There will be refreshments and free giveaways for participating in the program! For more information, call Elizabeth Harper, Capeco-AAA Case Manager, at 541-506-3517 or Karees Reilly, Flagstone Director of Marketing, at 541-298-5656. Join the fun, bring a friend and learn how to take control of your health and the healthcare you receive!

One of the rites of summer is stopping by The Dalles Farmer’s Market. It will be starting on Saturday, June 1st from 9 am to 1 pm at its usual location in The Dalles City Park. The Dalles Farmers’ Market provides an opportunity for the public to purchase fresh food from local producers and small businesses; as well as educating the public on how locally produced food choices impacts themselves and their community. For more information, you can contact the Farmer’s Market at  thedallesfarmersmarket@gmail.com or 541-965-3658.

Also, the Gorge Grown Food Network’s Mobile Farmer’s Market is now stopping in The Dalles. You can find it in the Center’s parking lot on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. Stop by to see what fresh, locally grown produce is available.

For the bingo players in the audience, there will be Bingo both Thursday and Saturday nights. Doors open at 4:00, games start at 6:00 and all ages 12 and over are welcome (although anyone under 18 needs to be accompanied by their guardian.) The minimum buy-in is $10 and an average of over $1300 is paid out in cash prizes each night. Thursday night bingo supports the Meals-on-Wheels program and Saturday night supports the Center. And thanks to the incredible volunteers, practically every cent that is not paid out goes to support Meals-on-Wheels or the Center.

This coming Monday, May 27th is Memorial Day: a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. In recognition of Memorial Day, the Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed.

Alfred E. Neuman was the cartoon cover boy for MAD magazine: the humor comic/magazine that satirized American life. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Sam Bilyeu, Ron Nelson, CeeCee Anderson, Jerry Phillips, Jess Birge, Janet Tschanz and Ridge Olmstead this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

During the 1960’s several Broadway musicals reflected the idealism of the times and one was this popular musical which after JFK’s death became associated with his administration. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the musical based on the T. H. White novel The Once and Future King that ran on Broadway from 1960 to 1963 and starred Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return it with the original cast album which was America's top-selling album for 60 weeks.

Well, it’s been another week being reminded that everything takes just a little bit longer. Until we meet again, drive safely during the Memorial Day weekend because as Paul Newman once said, “It’s useless to put on your brakes when you are upside down.”

“Never stand up straight. That’s what World War II taught me. Number one, you might be picked for detail. Number two, the Germans have a better shot at you. Even now, I’m in a perpetual crouch so that nobody picks me for extra duties.” Mel Brooks

Aging Well in the Gorge May 15th 2019


When I first saw my new health care provider and said, with a certain amount of pride, “I don’t take any medications”, I seem to recall a certain surprise in her eye – and imagining her thinking to herself, “That’s going to change!”. Well, ten years later and after various tests and diagnoses, I’m taking three prescriptions which isn’t bad compared to many folks, but more than I ever thought I would be taking.

But even with only three medications, it can be a challenge to manage them. To help, there will be a presentation at the Center on Tuesday, May 21st at 1:00 on “Managing Your Medications” by MCMC’s Visiting Health Services. Until then, here are a few quick suggestions.  

Use a pill box. I wasn’t going to use a pill box because they were just for “old” people. But after twice forgetting if I took my morning medications, I decided maybe I am at that stage. And the pill box works - if I remember. So, the next several suggestions are about ways to remember when to take you medications.

Incorporate your medications into your daily routine such as your morning breakfast or when you brush your teeth. Give yourself reminders such as placing a sticky note calendar in a convenient location and mark the days off in a brightly colored marker each time you take your pills. Or set an alarm on your alarm clock, smartphone or even your smartwatch to remind yourself when it’s time to take your medications.

Poorly managing your medications can have significant health consequences. Stay in communication with your health care provider especially when initiating a new medication. And don’t forget. Your pharmacist can be a tremendous help - if you ask.

We all know when we receive a phone call that smells like a scam to “Just Hang Up!” And that if you’re aware of a scam, or worse fallen victim to one, to contact the Oregon Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or online at www.oregonconsumer.gov.

But I received an email from the Oregon Attorney General’s office last week warning consumers to avoid returning unknown phone calls. It goes on to say that consumers have reported waves of "One Ring" or "Wangiri" scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night.  These calls are likely trying to prompt you to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. With the advances in technology, it’s easier for scammers to make massive amounts of calls cheaply and easily while at the same time masking their identity. The best advice if you receive a call from a phone number you don't recognize is “Don’t Call Back”. If it is important, they will leave a voice message.

The “crew-cut” comedian with a quiet homespun style of humor who was the star of his own weekly comedy variety television show in the 1950’s was George Gobel. And Lana Tepfer even remembered one of his often-quoted remarks to Johnny Carson which many of us can relate to. "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a black tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"

I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Ron Nelson, Lana Tepfer, Carol Earl and Rhonda Spies winner of a free quilt raffle ticket - and I missed Jerry Phillips from last week.

I was going to ask about a 1960’s Broadway musical but current events have forced me to postpone that question to next week. Last week, President Trump nicknamed one of the Democratic presidential candidates after the freckled faced, gap-toothed comic book character Alfred E. Neuman which created quite a generational stir because younger folks never heard of him. For this week’s “Remember When” question, Alfred E. Neuman is best known for being the cartoon cover boy for what humor comic/magazine that satirized American life? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write your answer on the back of the first issue from August 1952.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. Until we meet again, getting older means no longer hoping you won’t have to see a doctor but hoping you won’t see three in the same month.

“It’s possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.” Lee Segall


Aging Well in the Gorge May 8ths 2019


In simpler times if you wanted to learn about a particular subject you bought a book, or how to operate a new gadget you read the instruction manual. Today you can still find a book on the War of 1812, but for that new high-tech gadget, you either won’t find a manual or the instructions will be too complicated to understand.

For example, have you tried to read the drivers manual for a new car? It’s like a four-hundred page Russian novel with a very boring plot. There is a chapter just to explain the “media” options: how to plug in your smart phone, find directions on your 9-inch touch screen from a woman with your choice of accents, play your favorite playlist of songs and how to dry blow your hair while driving. Its amazing - if I could understand it. And don’t think it is because we’re older. I don’t think anyone can figure it out.

But instead of muddling your way through the instruction book, you can go online and “google” it. But that’s tough if you are a technological Neanderthal who doesn’t even know the question to “google”.

But there are other options. One advance has been free webinars and online classes such as Khan Academy, Coursera, and Apple University. Or on YouTube you can search for how-to videos about practically any subject - from how to tie your shoes to how to blow your nose.

One site I just discovered is AARP’s Learn@50+ which hosts AARP's no-cost, online educational programs including job search skills, family caregiving and new technology such as Impostors: Keeping Yourself Safe from Scammers; Today and the Future: The Benefits of Vehicle Safety Technology; and Retirement Planning: Top Tips to Get or Stay on Track.

I always prefer taking a class in person, but online classes have advantages. You can go at your own speed, you can stop, rewind and repeat if you missed the point, and if can’t hear the speaker, you can turn up the volume.

There is so much more to know - but there are more ways to know it. Start today and find something new you want to learn.

A beginners Line Dancing class taught by Rosa Martin is now being offered at the Center. And Rosa wanted me to emphasize that they are starting simple, so this is a great time for beginners to join. The class is downstairs from 3:30 – 5:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays. So why not? As the saying goes, “Dance first. Think later.”
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A couple quick reminders. First, Dr. Proctor will be discussing Hearing Loss on Monday, May 13th at 11:00 at the Center. And second – I forgot! I will try to recall it in the next couple of hours before I finish this column. I just need to RELAX, and I am sure it will come to me.

The name of Johnny Carson’s most popular character on the Tonight Show was the "mystic from the East": Carnac The Magnificent. (And here is Ed McMahon's reportedly favorite Carnac punchline. Answer "Sis boom bah." Question "Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.") I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Cheri Brent and both Diane Weston and Lana Tepfer, who for some reason I also missed last week but are this week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each.

This humorist, actor and comedian is best known as the star of his own weekly comedy variety television series broadcast from 1954 to 1959 on NBC and 1959 to 1960 on CBS. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was this “crew-cut” comedian with a quiet homespun style of humor? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer on the sole of a “lonesome” pair of brown shoes.

I did remember it! The second quick reminder. If you or someone you know are looking for help or assistance such as who to contact if you suspect elderly abuse or options for in-home care, call the local ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Connection) at 541-506-3512. You won’t reach a call center in Portland but a local number where you can talk to Tammy who will do her best to answer your questions.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the cool mornings and sunny days. Until we meet again, when you look through all the clutter sometimes you find things you never knew you lost.

 “Yes, speak softly and carry a big stick. But don’t mumble. And don’t swing the stick.” Mark Bricklin, journalist


Aging Well in the Gorge May 1st 2019


How do you know if you have hearing loss? I have found a very simple method. Ask your spouse! They will tell you - and often you don’t even have to ask. But for a more professional answer, Dr. Matthew Proctor will be discussing hearing loss at the Center on Monday, May 13th at 11:00 am.

If you have hearing loss you are not alone. The Hearing Loss Association estimates twenty percent of Americans experience some hearing loss with those between sixty and sixty-nine having the greatest amount.

Hearing loss is a serious chronic condition with significant health risks effecting a person’s emotional, social and cognitive well-being. But I don’t think people who can hear well understand. I didn’t until I experienced sudden hearing loss in one ear and discovered I needed a hearing aid for my other ear. I’ve found social situations particularly difficult; and experienced how easy it is to disengage because you can hear everyone, but you can’t understand a dag gone word anyone is saying.

If you want to learn more about hearing loss, Dr. Proctor will explain the effects of hearing loss and your options, as well as answer any questions.

Kerry Cobb’s next art presentation is a slide show of the Japanese Gardens of North America on Tuesday, May 7 at 1pm. Japanese-style gardens have been a part of North American culture for over 150 years, providing distinct pleasure with their artful landscapes set within tranquil, beautifully controlled environments. In this colorful presentation of exquisite photographs, Kerry will explore with you some of the most distinctive and exotic Japanese gardens in North America and learn how they took root and flourished.

It’s May and the memory of February snow is being shoved aside by thoughts of summer heat. But I shouldn’t jump the gun, and instead remind you of several traditional first Saturday in May events.

The Wasco County Pioneers 97th annual reunion and luncheon is on May 4th at the Readiness Center. For me it always feels like a big Wasco County family reunion seeing friends and acquaintances that I may not have seen since last year. Registration begins at 9:30 and costs $12.50 for an individual and $15.00 for a family. At the same time, you can purchase lunch for $15.00. As usual The Dalles Picture Boards will be displayed thanks to Gary Conley, Russ McDonald and their crew. The annual meeting begins at 1:00 PM when the Pioneer Man and Women will be honored; and the guest speaker will be John Brookhouse who will be speaking about the city of Celilo.

The 32nd Annual Community Clean Up will take place Saturday, May 4 from 9 to 3 PM in The Dalles. This year the event location has changed to the southwest corner of West 6th and Webber Streets where you can dispose of yard debris and large items such as furniture.

And although it hasn’t been a tradition for nearly as long, at the Center on May 4th from 8:00 – 3:00 PM is the Relay for Life’s annual Parking Lot Sale. There will be goodies of all kinds including clothes, toys, books, and more!

The answer to last week’s question was “Davy, Davy Crocket, King of the Wild Frontier”. I received correct answers (and several nice vocal renditions) from Cheri Brent, who I missed last week, Sue Ortega, Lee Kaseberg, Mary Hass, Laura Comini, Alice Mattox, Morris (I didn’t catch the first name), Lucile Stephens, Jess Birge, Jerry Phillips, Dale Roberts; and Bill Marick and Don Hansen who neither one is willing to give up their coon skin caps but are still winners of a quilt raffle ticket each.

Johnny Carson was the gold standard of late-night talk show hosts. When I attended Purdue University in the late sixties and didn’t have an early morning class, I often stayed up late to watch his Tonight Show monologue and his staple of recurring characters such as Art Fern or Aunt Blabby. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of his most popular character: a "mystic from the East", first introduced in 1964, who could "divine" unknown answers to unseen questions? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a large feathered turban and a cape.

Well, it’s been another week, accepting the mysteries of life. Until we meet again, I’d listen to my body more if it wasn’t always lying.

“Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.” Erma Bombeck

Aging Well in the Gorge April 24th 2019


The Northwest Cherry Festival is just days away thanks to the hard work of the Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce team. As part of the festivities, the Center is hosting a 50’s Dance sponsored by Flagstone Senior Living on Friday, April 26th. Doors open at 6:00 and the music starts at 6:30 with Randy Haines spinning hits from the 50’s including from his favorite vocalist Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra. The Pines and Freebridge will be providing the beverages. Tickets are $5.00 and will be sold at the door.

Then on Saturday at the Center between 8:00 – 9:30, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, fruit and a beverage for only $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children twelve and under. The crowning of our special guests, the Cherry Festival Royalty, will take place at 8:30. And before everyone leaves for the parade, the drawing for a beautiful handmade quilt will be a 9:00.  It’s all fun down the “Cherry Brick Road”.

Nehemiah Brown will be back for the first of his 2019 performances thanks to the support of The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center. He will be performing on Friday, May 3rd between 11:30 and 1:30 - before and after the Meals-on-Wheels’ noon dinner. With a buttery smooth voice, Nehemiah sings pop, country, and gospel standards from the 50’s and 60’s. There is no cost, but you are welcome to enjoy lunch for a suggested donation of $4.00 for anyone 60 and over or $6.00 for anyone under 60.

Once again, a big thank-you to Bruce and Lori Harris of Today’s Rays for checking and turning on the Center’s irrigation system. Besides the sugar ants making their appearance on my kitchen counter, I always know it’s finally spring when Bruce shows up.

And a quick plug for volunteer drivers. The Meals-on-Wheels program is looking for volunteers to join their loyal cadre of drivers. Every driver can share stories of how they have personally connected with the folks on their route. Besides receiving one nutritious meal a day, the daily connection can make a critical difference in a person’s life.

Also, GOBHI (Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.) is looking for volunteer drivers for their Non-Emergency Medical Transportation program to better connect eligible community members in need of rides to healthcare providers. Volunteers receive training and support and will be reimbursed at the Federal Rate for travel which I believe is now fifty-eight cents per mile. If you enjoy driving, have a dependable car and like working with folks, call GOBHI at 541-298-2001 or email cross@gobhi.org.

The name of a coin-operated music playing device was a Jukebox. I received correct answers from Betty Weston, Jim Ayers, Ron Nelson, Lana Tepfer, Marvin Elsberry, who remembers dropping a dime in 613 to play “Surrender” by the King, and Alice Mattox, the winner of a quilt raffle ticket, who remembers table top jukeboxes at Johnny’s Café. But I must also mention Betsy Ayers’ answer, Nickelodeon, which she remembers from Teresa Brewer’s #1 hit in 1950 “Put Another Nickel in the Nickelodeon” because “All I want is having you and music, music, music”.

When we can no longer remember where we parked the car - or whether we even drove it, we will probably still be able to spontaneously belt out the Mickey Mouse Club theme song. But there was another song from a 1950’s television mini-series in the same “we will never forget” category that many of us also remember - especially the boys in the audience.

For this week’s “Remember When” question, this popular 1955 ballad was about a frontiersman who was (now this is where you can start singing – but not too loud. Your younger friends may think you have lost it!) "Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee/Greenest state in the land of the free/Raised in the woods till he knew ev’ry tree/Kilt him a be ‘are when he was only three/ … king of the wild frontier.” Who was the king of the wild frontier? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer inside a coonskin cap.

Well, it’s been another week, doing what I can with what I have. Until we meet again, every day is a gift – although sometimes hidden, wrapped in a crumpled month-old newspaper.

“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” Cynthia Heimel Writer/Humorist

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