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


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