BINGO every Thursday and Saturday nights starting at 6:00 pm. It’s suggested new players arrive by 5:30. Over $1300 paid out each night.

Exquisite Beauty: The Paintings of Mark Rothko, February, Tuesday 25th 1:00 – Kerry Cobb discusss the work of Mark Rothko, a prominent figure among the New York School painters of the 1940s & 50s, who moved through many artistic styles until reaching his signature 1950s motif of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color.

AARP Foundation’s TAX Aide starts Saturday February 1st and will continue on Fridays from 2:00 – 6:00 and Saturdays 9:00 – 1:00. It is “first come, first served”.

Updated 2.11.2020

Aging Well in the Gorge February 19th 2020


If you don't experience joint pain or stiffness consider yourself lucky because most everyone I know does - and Arthritis is usually the culprit.

According to my go-to site for health information, Medline Plus (Health Information from the U.S. Library of Medicine) there are many types of Arthritis but Osteoarthritis is the most common. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees and happens when the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time. So don’t wait!

If you experience joint pain, the first thing is to see a doctor - if you haven’t already. Only a doctor can tell if you have arthritis or a related condition and what to do about it. There’s no known cure for Arthritis, but there are many treatments to try before the last resort: surgery.

Make sure you keep your joints moving. Often your doctor will suggest physical therapy where you will learn muscle strengthening exercises and gentle stretching exercises that move your joints through their full range of motion.

Other suggestions are:
Take a walk every day. (Check online for the Arthritis Foundation's self-directed “Walk With Ease” Program.)
Use heat and cold therapies to reduce joint pain and swelling. A warm morning shower can help.
Try relaxation therapy to help reduce pain by learning ways to relax your muscles.
Use assistive device such as a cane or a jar opener.  
Try over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol Arthritis 8 Hour Extended Relief to help you get through the night.
And know your limits. Balance activity and rest - and don't overdo it.

Also, you may have heard of different complementary practices. My wife believes putting some gelatin in her juice every night reduces her arthritic pain. And my son has mentioned the “possible” benefits of Glucosamine-Chrondrotin supplements. But before you try any supplements, talk to your doctor first to make sure they are safe and there aren’t any harmful interactions with your current medications. You can also visit the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health website which provides the latest objective scientific research on the effectiveness and safety of alternative approaches.

We can avoid many risk factors for arthritis but there is one we can’t: getting older. (Or going back in time and taking better care of my joints!) Talk to your doctor, keep moving but don't overdo it, keep doing what your doctor prescribed, and stay positive. It may be a pain in the, uh, hip. But it’s better than the alternative.


The program for the 2020 Original Courthouse Regional History Forum on Saturday February 22nd is “Finding the Wire Trail:  Early Instant Communication in the Gorge”.
Dave and Helen Wand and Larry McGinnis who live east of Troutdale have been at work finding traces of the original telegraph system that ascended from the Sandy River and continued east to The Dalles following an old Indian trail. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. in the 1859 courthouse behind The Dalles Chamber of Commerce/Visitors’ Center.

The 2 inch diameter hole found in the upper right hand corner of the old school desks was used as an ink well - or as Sandy Haechrel told me an imaginative place to hold flowers.

I received correct answers from Jerry Phillips, Jim Ayers, Vicki Sallee, Diana Weston, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Laura Comini, Dave Lutgens, Patricia Foster, Sandy Haechrel, Kim Birge, Bill Jones, Denise Johnson, Carol Earl, Jeanne Pesicka, Virginia Johnson, Deloris Schrader and Patricia Foster this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Betsy Ayers.

Through the 50’s and 60’s television was such a part of our lives, many of the catchphrases from those days came from popular television series. For this week’s “Remember When” question, in what hit television series first aired in 1966 did the IMF leader receive their tape-recorded instructions ending with “This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds”? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a recording of the theme music composed by Lalo Schifrin.

Well, it’s been another week, wondering if it will ever snow again this winter. Until we meet again, keep your head on your shoulders and your boots in the stirrups.

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

Aging Well in the Gorge February 12th 2020


How many times have you felt embarrassed because you’d just met someone and a day latter you could not remember their name no matter how hard you tried? Don’t worry, it happens to folks of all ages. The good news is there are tricks you can use to improve your ability to remember names.

1. The first trick is the foundation of all memory: focus. You can’t remember anything if you don’t first encode it in your brain by paying attention. With names it can be particularly difficult when you meet someone for the first time: you may be anxious or thinking of what to say next instead of focusing on the person’s name.

2. Repetition. When you meet someone use their name in the first words of your conversation. And then repeat their name several times in the conversation. Try “Hello Betty, it’s very nice to meet you Betty. Now, Betty, how long have you worked there?” You’ll just have to explain that you may sound like a dork, but they’re so important you really want to remember their name.

3. Use your other senses. See their name by writing it out in order to utilize your visual memory. By using different senses, it will improve your ability to remember. The smell of fresh bread or a particular song can flood me with forgotten memories.

4. Make associations. Associate their name to a physical or personal characteristic. You might also try alliteration such as “Dollar Dave” or Big Bertha (or maybe not!). Or in my case I used rhyming words when I met Doreen in college. I can still remember her name by thinking of “Boring Doreen” - and she wasn’t boring at all. But it worked.

5. Create cues. The more you work at remembering a name, the sooner you will be able to recall it. For example, try creating cues. Make a list of the people in your book club and review it until you have all the names memorized.

By using these five tricks, you can improve your ability to remember names. Then you’ll be able to impress your new friends by remembering their names as they stammer trying to recall yours!

The program for the 2020 Original Courthouse Regional History Forum on Saturday February 15th is “Rufus and the Army Camp that Helped End World War II”. Cal McDermid, director of Fort Dalles Museum and a Sherman County native, explores the unique settlement in Old Wasco and later Sherman County, and the role of Camp Rufus in developing technology for bridging the Rhine.

Clarification from last week. I became aware that in addition to conducting the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau conducts over 100 surveys throughout the country - some of which includes visiting households. So, there is the chance you may be visited by someone from the Census Bureau before April 1st collecting information for one of the other Census Bureau surveys. Still in this day of scams and scammers it is good to be cautious. If anything feels suspicious and you want to verify if the worker or even a mailed survey is legitimate, call 301-763-INFO (4636), 800-923-8282 or the Regional office in California at 213-314-6500; or go online at www.ask.census.gov.

Sawyer’s TrueValue was located where the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store is today and where Sawyer’s Ace Hardware and Rental is now (they changed from TrueValue to Ace Hardware in 2018) was previously the site for Safeway. I received correct answers from John Huteson, Cheri Brent, Laura Comini, Lana Tepfer, Ronda Spies, Ron Nelson, Jeanne Pesicka, Virginia Johnson and Mary Ann Hass this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Most of you probably remember the old school desks bolted to the floor with a writing table you could open so you could cram your books and papers inside. And a pencil/pen slot carved along the front edge of the top with a two-inch diameter hole in the front right corner. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was that hole once used for?  Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop off your answer scratched in the top of an Antique Vintage Industrial Double School Desk - which will set you back only $165.

Well, it’s been another week trying to keep it straight and narrow. Until we meet again, as Ernie Sillwell told me “You don’t miss what you haven’t seen”.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet that clings fast to the heel that crushed it.” George Roemish from his poem “Forgiveness”

Aging Well in the Gorge February 5th 2020


Ah, the days when snake oil salesmen only traveled from city to city selling their dubious medical cures. Now with today’s technology, scam artists are found everywhere: at your door, on the phone, by email and now even text messages.

Using all these means, what better time for scam artists to ply their trade than during the 2020 Census when the Census does ask detailed questions about things like income, assets, job status, and household amenities - which in most every other case is no one’s busy. (I heard of one person who has already been visited by someone claiming to be a Census Taker - and the Census doesn’t start till April 1st!)

Even though we are just entering the month of February and only dreaming about April, it’s not too early to know the warning signs to look for during this decade’s census.

When a census taker comes to your door, check for their valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Also, they will never ask you for money or financial data, such as the amount in your bank account, Social Security number, or mother’s maiden name.  And they will never threaten you with arrest - although you can be fined for not participating.

Online if you receive an email from the Census Bureau be suspicious. The agency almost always makes contact by mail. They don’t send unsolicited emails. If you do receive such an email don’t reply, click links or open attachments - and forward the message to ois.fraud.reporting@census.gov. And for any website that claims to be a Census website, check the web address.  Make sure it has a census.gov domain and is encrypted: look for https:// or a lock symbol in the browser window.

If you receive anything by mail, check to see if the return address includes the U.S. Department of Commerce or U.S. Census Bureau and Jeffersonville, Ind. - the site of the National Processing Center. You may also receive a reminder letter from one of the Census Bureau’s regional offices or headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.

If you receive a phone call don’t trust caller ID — scammers can use “spoofing” tools to make it appear they’re calling from a real Census Bureau number. Call the National Processing Center at 800-523-3205 or 800-642-0469 to verify the phone survey is legitimate. There are valid reasons why you may be called such as if they don’t find you at home or when a personal visit is not convenient.

The goal of the 2020 Census is a complete and accurate count - but worrying that you might be a sucker for some scam makes reaching that goal even more difficult. If you do encounter anything suspicious, call the regional office for Oregon (818) 267-1700 or 1-800-992-3530; or call 800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. Also the U.S. Census has an excellent and comprehensive secure website at https://www.2020census.gov/ where you can learn more about the Census and how to apply to become a Census taker.

The program for the 2020 Original Courthouse Regional History Forum on Saturday February 8th is “The Women of Sorosis:  Social ‘Influencers’ of Their Day”. Denise Dietrich Bokum will share the far-reaching contributions of women leaders in The Dalles who gave Sorosis Park its name. Program begins at 1:30 pm.

The title of the epic historical film about an English officer who successfully united and led the diverse Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks was Lawrence of Arabia. I received correct answers from Carol Earl, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Sam Bilyeu, Deloris Schrader, Rhonda Austin, Ruth Radcliffe, Jim Ayers, Bill Marick, Sandy Haechrel and Michael Murat this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

On the first Wednesday of the next several months I’m going to ask a local history question about businesses that once were located at a different location. For this week it’s a two-part “Remember When” question. What business use to be where St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store is now? And what business use to be where Sawyers Ace Hardware and Rental is now? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop off your answers on the back of a crisp hundred dollar bill.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to take care of business. Until we meet again, I’ve found the answer to most every important question is “It’s complicated!”.

“A friend is someone who picks you up when no one else realized you have fallen.” Mar Razalan

Aging Well in the Gorge January 29th 2020


You know all the reasons moving is good for you: strengthens your heart, keeps your brain sharp and helps maintain your weight. But why is it always so hard to actually start? Are you too busy? Afraid of falling? Too embarrassed to exercise in public? Or just too tired? Well, you are not alone. Only about half of adults get the 150 minutes per week of exercise the CDC recommends.

But now you won’t have any excuses because here are six suggestions on how to get moving from the AARP Staying Sharp website.

1. Even though your body constantly reminds you that you’re no longer seventeen, think back to when you were younger and the physical activities you enjoyed. Bicycling? Swimming? Dancing? You’ll keep moving if you enjoy what you’re doing.  

2. Start small. Remember the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.  Don’t worry about meeting the CDC recommendation when you start, just get started. If five minutes a day gets you moving, do it. Then add more the next week until you reach a comfortable level. The idea is to keep it fun. You don’t want to reach the point when exercise becomes a chore.

3. Increase all the physical activity you already do that you don’t think of as exercise —vacuuming or laundry - and when it gets warmer, planting a garden. And outside the home, take the stairs instead of the elevator; or walk inside instead of using the drive-through window. Easier doesn’t always mean better.

4. Use a pedometer or your phone’s step-counting app to track your steps each week. Then challenge yourself. Try to increase the number of steps by 10% each week. Record the number on your refrigerator to remind yourself how you are improving. 

5. Find someone to workout with. You can hold each other accountable and encourage each other to do a little more until you reach a comfortable but challenging level. Besides it’s fun to work out with a friend.

6. Double your pleasure by doing purposeful tasks that can also increase your physical activity: walking your dog more often, volunteering to pick up trash at a Blue Zone event or doing my laundry. (I can drop my laundry off anytime that works for you!)

So. remember what you once enjoyed, start small, extend you non-exercise activities, measure your progress, get a buddy and exercise for a purpose. Then pull yourself up off the couch, take that first bite or in this case your first step, because it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish that counts.



Every year I try to mention the Original Courthouse Regional History Forum because they always have such fascinating programs. This year’s first program on February 1st is “From Radical Idea to Ratification:  Women’s Voting Rights”. The speaker is Janice Dilg the state coordinator for an online resource for the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women.  She will tell the story of Sylvia Thompson (D-The Dalles) who introduced the bill ratifying the amendment in Oregon’s 1920 special session. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the 1859 courthouse behind The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.

For last week’s “Remember When” question I had to check Wikipedia twice to make sure I had the correct movie because so many were answering Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. But the correct answer is Lilies of the Field whose title came from Matthew 6:27-33. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Julie Carter, Rhonda Austin, Cheri Brent and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Dave Lutgens.

One last movie question before the Academy Awards. In 1957 David Lean won the Best Director Oscar for the film The Bridge on the River Kwai and five years later won his second Oscar for Best Director. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the epic historical film he directed about an English officer who successfully united and led the diverse Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a map of the Ottoman Empire before World War I.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for the cherry on top. Until we meet again, start doing what you know you can do.

“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.” Author Unknown

Aging Well in the Gorge January 29th 2020


You know all the reasons moving is good for you: strengthens your heart, keeps your brain sharp and helps maintain your weight. But why is it always so hard to actually start? Are you too busy? Afraid of falling? Too embarrassed to exercise in public? Or just too tired? Well, you are not alone. Only about half of adults get the 150 minutes per week of exercise the CDC recommends.

But now you won’t have any excuses because here are six suggestions on how to get moving from the AARP Staying Sharp website.

1. Even though your body constantly reminds you that you’re no longer seventeen, think back to when you were younger and the physical activities you enjoyed. Bicycling? Swimming? Dancing? You’ll keep moving if you enjoy what you’re doing.  

2. Start small. Remember the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.  Don’t worry about meeting the CDC recommendation when you start, just get started. If five minutes a day gets you moving, do it. Then add more the next week until you reach a comfortable level. The idea is to keep it fun. You don’t want to reach the point when exercise becomes a chore.

3. Increase all the physical activity you already do that you don’t think of as exercise —vacuuming or laundry - and when it gets warmer, planting a garden. And outside the home, take the stairs instead of the elevator; or walk inside instead of using the drive-through window. Easier doesn’t always mean better.

4. Use a pedometer or your phone’s step-counting app to track your steps each week. Then challenge yourself. Try to increase the number of steps by 10% each week. Record the number on your refrigerator to remind yourself how you are improving. 

5. Find someone to workout with. You can hold each other accountable and encourage each other to do a little more until you reach a comfortable but challenging level. Besides it’s fun to work out with a friend.

6. Double your pleasure by doing purposeful tasks that can also increase your physical activity: walking your dog more often, volunteering to pick up trash at a Blue Zone event or doing my laundry. (I can drop my laundry off anytime that works for you!)

So. remember what you once enjoyed, start small, extend you non-exercise activities, measure your progress, get a buddy and exercise for a purpose. Then pull yourself up off the couch, take that first bite or in this case your first step, because it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish that counts.



Every year I try to mention the Original Courthouse Regional History Forum because they always have such fascinating programs. This year’s first program on February 1st is “From Radical Idea to Ratification:  Women’s Voting Rights”. The speaker is Janice Dilg the state coordinator for an online resource for the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women.  She will tell the story of Sylvia Thompson (D-The Dalles) who introduced the bill ratifying the amendment in Oregon’s 1920 special session. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the 1859 courthouse behind The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.

For last week’s “Remember When” question I had to check Wikipedia twice to make sure I had the correct movie because so many were answering Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. But the correct answer is Lilies of the Field whose title came from Matthew 6:27-33. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Julie Carter, Rhonda Austin, Cheri Brent and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Dave Lutgens.

One last movie question before the Academy Awards. In 1957 David Lean won the Best Director Oscar for the film The Bridge on the River Kwai and five years later won his second Oscar for Best Director. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the title of the epic historical film he directed about an English officer who successfully united and led the diverse Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a map of the Ottoman Empire before World War I.

Well, it’s been another week, looking for the cherry on top. Until we meet again, start doing what you know you can do.

“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.” Author Unknown


Aging Well in the Gorge January 22nd 2020


It’s said as you get older you experience more aches and pains. I’m not sure you can say that for all older adults, but it sure seems to be the case for me. (Although it may be I’ve just forgotten all the aches and pains when I was younger.)

Living with any type of pain can be difficult: interfering with your daily activities, keeping you from having a good night’s sleep; and can be both mentally and physically draining. But pain can also be your best friend, telling you when something is wrong.

If you decide to see your health care provider concerning the pain, how do you describe it in a way that helps your health care provider more accurately diagnosis the cause so they can identify appropriate treatment options?

The National Institute on Aging (https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/pain-you-can-get-help) suggests eight questions to ask yourself to better describe the pain.

1. Where does it hurt? 2. When did the pain start? Does it come and go? 3. What does it feel like? Is the pain sharp, dull, or burning? Would you use some other word to describe it? 4. Do you have other symptoms? 5. When do you feel the pain? In the morning? In the evening? After eating? 6. Is there anything you do that makes the pain feel better or worse? Does using a heating pad or ice pack or changing positions help? 7. What medicines, including over-the-counter medications and non-medicine therapies have you tried, and what was their effect? 8. How would rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you can imagine.

If you are dealing with chronic pain, MCMC offers a free Persistent Pain educational series led by different healthcare professionals. These eight 90 minute presentations will help you address multiple areas of self-management that can ultimately lead to decreased pain and improved quality of life.

The winter session begins January 28th on Tuesdays from 1:30 – 3:00 on the 2nd floor of Waters Edge Health & Wellness Center. You can attend the entire series or just drop in. For more information and to register call 541-296-7319.

The Dalles Art Center is presenting their Elementary Student Art Show from January 21st through February 8th to showcase the work of our schools’ budding young artists. This year you’ll find the students’ art works exhibited in the windows of downtown businesses; and the winner of the juried competition will have their work displayed on a billboard donated by Meadow Outdoor Sign. The reception for the art show will be at the Art Center on Thursday, February 8th from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.


There are many excellent tax preparers in the Mid-Columbia region, but if your situation is relatively simple, there is free tax help available through AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide program which assists low to moderate income persons and families of all ages.

Tax Aide will be downstairs at the Center on Fridays from 2:00 – 6:00 and Saturdays from 9:00 – 1:00 starting Saturday, February 1st. It is” first come, first served” so don’t be surprised by the lines. But when you arrive, they’ll tell you if they will be able to see you; and if so, approximately how long you will have to wait. Make sure you bring all your supporting documentation and a government issued photo ID for each taxpayer.

No one has sent in their lyrics for this year’s boomer hit “Will You Still Love Me When I’m 84”. But I’ll give you one more week.

The number one song sung by Johnny Nash released in 1972 was “I Can See Clearly Now.” I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Carol Earl and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Jerry Phillips.

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 9th - reminding me of watching the Academy Awards with my family, hoping my favorite movie wins. So, for this week’s “Remember When” question, what movie did Sidney Poitier win the Academy Award for "Best Actor” in 1964, becoming the first black actor to win that honor? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with the twenty-eighth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

Well, it’s been another week, making the best of what I can’t control. Until we meet again, consider the words of Nelson Mandela,” It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” Hermann Hesse

Aging Well in the Gorge January 15th 2020


Is it snowing yet? I’m asking because I sent this column in on Saturday and the last forecast I saw for Wednesday was high 27 and low 22 with a 50% chance of snow, but you never know how accurate the forecast will be.  Whether the cold temperatures and snow arrives today or next month, one thing we do know is it will eventually happen. And when it does, don’t forget a couple common sense basics to keep yourself safe.

Dress warm and stay dry. At our age shivering is not always a reliable warning sign of hypothermia because older people tend to shiver less or not at all when their body temperature drops.

Be careful working outside such as shoveling snow. When it’s cold outside your heart works double time to keep warm.

Keep indoor temperature at 65 degrees or warmer. But make sure wood stoves are properly vented and cleaned; and space heaters are at least three feet away from anything that might catch fire.

Avoid driving. If you need to make sure your car is winterized, avoid hills and take your cell phone for emergencies.

As I mentioned last week to avoid falls “Walk like a Penguin”.  And be particularly careful of the black ice on sidewalks or parking lots where the snow melted and then froze again.

But the best advice is to purchase all your necessities ahead of time and then stay home, relax and enjoy the wonder of the falling snow.

When the snow falls, the Center always receives calls asking whether the Center is open or not. The general rule of thumb is if D-21 is closed the Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed. If D-21 has a delayed start, the Center’s morning classes are usually cancelled, but you may want to call the Center to make sure.

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 20th - a day off for many folks. But it is also a holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

In response to this call to action, there will be a Martin Luther King Day Community Services Clean-Up in cooperation with The Dalles Blue Zones and City of The Dalles Beautification Project. Participants will be picking up trash along 6th street from 11:00 – 2:00 on the 20th. If you want to participate, meet at the Home Depot parking lot near the corner of 6th and Chenowith Loop Road. Bring gloves and a reflective vest if you have one. This is an opportunity to have fun by getting outside, meeting some new people, and giving back to your community.

And on the evening of the 20th, Blue Zones is hosting a gathering to learn how to cook simple, tasty and nutritious meals. And your reward? You get to eat what you prepared! The cooking demo is Monday, January 20th from 5:30-7:00 at One Community Health, 1040 Weber Street. For more information call 202-465-1702 or email brett.ractchford@sharecare.com

“Will you still love me when I’m 64” is the song written by Paul McCartney about a young man singing to his lover about his plans for their growing old together.  I received correct answers from Julie Carter, Lana Tepfer, Jim and Betsy Ayers, Cheri Brent, and this week’s winner Ruth Radcliffe. And as I often do, my apologies to Laura Comini and Cheri Brent who answered correctly last week.

Paul McCartney wrote the song when he was just sixteen when he probably thought 64 was old. But here’s a challenge. Can you rewrite the lyrics as a 64 year old singing to his/her lover “Will you still love me when I’m 84”? Email me what you come up with.

Now that it’s 2020 you have probably heard all the catchphrases playing on the idea of 20/20 vision: hopes for a clear vision in 2020, how to see with clarity in 2020 and more.

But the first thing that comes to my mind is the title of a song by Johnny Nash. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this number one song with a reggae beat released in 1972? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with the soundtrack to the comedy sports film Cool Runnings.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping an eye on the sky. Until we meet again, keep yourself safe and warm.

“To me, old age is always 10 years older than I am.” Bernard Baruch on his 86th birthday


Aging Well in the Gorge January 8th 2020


We’re in that catch-your-breath after Christmas calm trying to remember what year it is. (How long will it take before I stop writing 2019?) And wondering when the ice and snow will arrive - when we’ll wish we were snowbirds sunning in Arizona.

We know the ice and snow will come - maybe not enough to close schools, but enough to make walking treacherous. (I remember the wonderful snowy days when I was in grade school staying in bed hoping to hear my mother walk into my room and saying. “There’s no school today.” What a feeling knowing unexpectedly I had the day off to play in the snow!)

But during the snowy or icy days it’s best to stay home. But if you do need get out because you want to enjoy a nutritious Meals-on-Wheels lunch at the Center, think of the phrase “Walk like a Penguin”.

What does that mean? Well, it’s a way to think about walking safely in snow and ice. To walk like a penguin, try the following: point your feet out slightly; bend your knees and keep them loose; extend your arms out to your side (and hands out of your pockets); and take short steps or waddle.

In addition, since we haven’t evolved webbed feet yet, wear shoes or boots with traction. And this is where I must really pay close attention: assume all wet and dark areas on pavement are icy - especially around snowbanks where the melt off freezes over-night.

Whether it’s icy or not, this is also a good time to remember that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. So this winter, don’t rush, pay attention and remember to “Walk Like A Penguin”!

Would like a part-time gig for eight to ten weeks that pays $16 an hour plus mileage with flexible hours? Sounds too good to be true? It would except once every ten years when the U.S. government is looking for census takers. Think what you could do with the extra cash. A trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean? New clothes? Gifts for the grandkids? To apply you can go online at 2020census.gov/jobs or call 1-855-JOB-2020. You can be a part of history while supporting your community by helping to ensure there is an accurate count - which affects how billions of dollars are distributed.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I need to mention it again because this raffle has the perfect prize: twelve $25 gift certificates from The Dalles finest restaurants. The Center’s Meal-a-Month Raffle tickets are being sold at the Center for $10 apiece or 3 for $25. You have three chances to win, and you may be one of those three winners!  

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is regarded by some as "the most important and influential rock-and-roll album ever recorded" and was ranked number one of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" by Rolling Stone magazine. One of the album’s songs, written by Paul McCartney, is about a young man singing to his lover about his plans for their growing old together. For this week’s “Remember When” question, the young man is asking, “will you still love me when I’m …” what age”? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a special version of the song recorded by McCartney’s children as a surprise present for his birthday in June 2006.

The earlier name for The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center was Valley Vista and the business once located where Holstein’s is today was the Handout. Rhonda Spies and John Huteson remembered the Handout (which Diana Weston points out was owned for many years by Phil Hammond after he sold the Dairy Queen on 4th and Union), and those who answered both questions correctly were Diana Weston, Lana Tepfer, Carol Earl and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Karl Vercouteren.

Now that I’m back from the “Windy City” Chicago, those who answered The Poseidon Adventure from the previous week were Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Delores Schrader, Carol Earl and the winner Don Hansen,

Well, it’s been another week, trying to find the place I am supposed to be. Until we meet again, you know you are getting older when you start every new conversation with “I may have told you this before, but...”

"An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight. …The truly wise person is colorblind.” Albert Schweitzer


Aging Well in the Gorge January 1st 2020


The new year is knocking at our doors, which like a toddler trying to walk will have many ups and downs - and will eventually knock over everything in the house! And yet we survive, looking forward to another year.  

At the beginning of a new year it is the traditional time to make your New Year’s resolutions. But for us more experienced folks, we may ask “Why do we need New Year’s resolutions? Why would we want to change? I’m happy with my situation, and besides as Doris Day sang, “Que Sera, Sera, Whatever Will Be Will Be”, right?

But consider all the possibilities for this new year. There might be some new habits you want to make or some old ones you want to change. What was the doctor telling you? Enroll in an exercise class - that yoga or Tai Chi class that can improve your balance? Eat better - by preparing healthy recipes found at OSU’s “Food Hero” website? Or get out of the house more – spending time with old friends and making new ones?

There might also be new activities you want to experience: walking unfamiliar trails in the Gorge, taking trips into Portland to watch a NW Senior Theater musical, or building Lego structures with your grandkids.

Yet you may still feel New Year’s resolutions are a great waste of time; and you just want to keep doing the same old same old – and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is familiar and in a world that seems to be constantly changing, the same old same old feels reassuring.

But if you do decide New Year's resolutions might not be such a bad idea, here are nine simple tips from the Happiness Project’s website, www.happiness-project.com, that could help.

 1. Write your resolution down and be specific. Instead of "make new friends" describe how - such as "start a movie group" or "join an exercise class".
 2. Review your resolution constantly so you won't forget.
 3. Hold yourself accountable. Don't make excuses.
 4. Think big. Make your resolution inspiring and exciting.
 5. Or think small. Something simple and doable.
 6. Separate your resolution, no matter how small, into manageable tasks.
 7. Work on your resolution every day. It is easier to do something consistently than to skip days
8. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The best exercise it the one you will actually do.
 9. As mentioned before, don't make excuses, but if you keep breaking your resolution, no use constantly beating yourself up. Try a different approach that will get you to the same goal.

New Year’s resolutions are an opportunity to branch out and experience life in ways you may never had considered before. These nine simple tips can help you set and achieve your goals for a new year, whether seeking new experiences or creating new habits, that just might improve your health and help you live a little better and longer. As Carl Bard once said, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new beginning."

The name of the 1972 film in which an aged luxury liner on her final voyage is capsized by a giant wave on New Year’s Eve was the Poseidon Adventure. And since last week I was at my niece’s wedding in Chicago (where contrary to what you would think the weather was expected to be warmer than The Dalles), I will announce the quilt raffle ticket winner next week.

Once a month for the next several months I will be focusing on local businesses that have gone and been replaced by a different but similar type of business at the same location. (My apologies to the newcomers who have arrived in The Dalles in the last twenty years.) For this week’s “Remember When” questions, what was the previous name for The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center (even before it was called Evergreen); and what was the name of business that was located where Holsteins is today? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a 1979 map of The Dalles.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to be optimistic in a world of cynicism. Until we meet again, some good advice I saw on a poster at The Springs, “Believe something wonderful is going to happen.”

"One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things." John Burroughs


Aging Well in the Gorge December 25th 2019


During the holiday season you can get caught up in all the hustle and bustle: shopping not for yourself but for your grandkids!; writing Christmas cards to friends and family; and preparing for a family gathering - unless you are fortunate and your children organize it for you.

Or we you could get caught up in your own personal problems whether it is your health, your financial situation - or you are still grieving the loss of a loved one which particularly stings during this time of the year.  

All of this can make it easy to forget to stop and appreciate what you do have. Here are several suggestions to help keep your eyes open to see all there is to be grateful for.

1. Don’t be picky: appreciate everything. Life is too short to get upset about the little things - as I often remind my wife when she has to clean up after me. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.

2. Find gratitude in your challenges. That’s right. Sometimes a difficult situation can be a blessing in disguise. I’ve been told by several folks how their heart attack has motivated them to be closer to their family and to take better care of themselves.

3. Keep a gratitude journal. Everyday write down what you are grateful for. And don’t forget to include the small blessings you encounter. Then when times are tough, you can pick yourself back up by going to your journal and remembering all that you have been grateful for.

4. Volunteer. There isn’t any better way to appreciate what you have than by helping those who don’t have as much - whether delivering meals, providing shelter during these wintry days, or picking up a church member who no longer drives. In other words: helping others helps you!”

A life well lived is one of gratitude and thankfulness. This season take time to consider all your blessings large and small. But if you can’t think of anything, you can at least be grateful that it isn’t any worse!”

Now that the Center has finished its day trips for the year, I have to give a shout out to Ginny McNary who chooses, organizes and chaperones (It’s a wild bunch!) the Center’s trips. The trips are a wonderful opportunity to travel with your fun loving peers and enjoy incredible sites and fine entertainment - while letting someone else do the driving!

The Center has started its 2020 membership drive. Whether you visit the Center daily, weekly or once a year for special occasions, I hope you consider joining the Center. The Center works to enhance the community by providing opportunities for all generations to “explore, connect and contribute”. The only government funding the Center receives is to operate the SHIBA (Medicare Counseling) Program - which is minimal. A yearly membership is only $35 per person, $60 per couple or to be a SUPER DUPER member it is $50 per person.  

From last week’s questions, Burl Ives was the snowman narrator in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (1964); Boris Karlof was the narrator in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (1966); and in Frosty the Snowman (1969) Jimmy Durante narrated and sang the title song. Those who answered at least one of the three questions correctly are Cheri Brent and Rhonda Spies who remembered Burl Ives; Diane Weston who answered all three questions correctly, and John Huteson this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket who remembered the schnoz himself - Jimmy Durante.

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner when we’ll all be in front of our television sets watching the ball drop in Times Square at midnight. Right? But that wasn’t the case for the characters in this 1972 film. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the film in which an aged luxury liner on her final voyage is capsized by a giant wave on New Year’s Eve? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with an original poster describing the movie as “Hell, Upside Down”.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to model the behavior I wish to see. Until we meet again, may there be peace on earth and goodwill towards all people.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller


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