Aging in the Gorge December 30th 2020

This is the time of the year for new beginnings (and to leave 2020 behind!) and the tradition of making resolutions for a new year. Now hold on. Don’t turn the page! You might believe resolutions are just a waste of time: you've lived this long, so why change now.

But think about it. There might be some new habits you want to make or some old ones you want to break. What was your doctor telling you? Maybe join an exercise class when they return or start walking with a friend? Or eat better - by reducing your salt and fat intake? Things you never worried about before, but are now realizing how important they are.

If you decide that New Year's resolutions might not be such a bad idea, here are nine tips to help from the book Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

 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 is 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.

These are some suggestions to help you set and achieve your goals for a new year. Because as Carl Bard said, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending”.

And now a fable you may find appropriate for the end of this challenging year.

A Middle Eastern potentate called a meeting of the wise men in his kingdom and he said, ‘I want you to gather all the world’s knowledge together in one place so that my sons can read it and learn.’ The wise men went off, and after a year, they came back with twenty-five volumes of knowledge. The potentate looked at it and he said, ‘No. It’s too long. Make it shorter.’ So the wise men went off for another year and they came back with one single volume. The potentate looked at it and said, ‘No. Still too long.’ So the wise men went off for another year. When they came back, they gave the potentate a piece of paper with one sentence on it. The single sentence was: ‘This too shall pass.’

Since I’m finishing this week’s column early because of the Christmas holiday, next week I will mention all those who correctly answered last week’s “Remember When” question. But I do know that last week I missed Patty Burnet, Ruth Radcliffe, Alan Winans, and Jerry Phillips.

In 1974 Dick Clark became the host of New Year's Rockin' Eve - a younger focused competitor to the popular and long-running New Year's Eve big band broadcasts on CBS. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the bandleader for the Royal Canadians that for fifty years at the stroke of midnight played Auld Lang Syne from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with an album of "the sweetest music this side of Heaven." 

Well, it has been another week looking for the funny side of the street. Until we meet again, be safe, be kind and be amazing.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler

(But Michael, where are the flight controls!!)

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and the names of each person.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM, to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - To sign up for Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Klickitat County Senior Services – For home-delivered meals call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Pioneer Potlatch meal sites in Wasco and Sherman Counties call 541-298-4354.

 

 

 

Aging in the Gorge December 23rd 2020

This Christmas Present certainly looks different, doesn’t it? We are learning to manage without the Christmas parties, large family Christmas dinners and for many the friendly exchanges and warm embraces after the Christmas Eve church service.

But we can still relish those special memories of Christmas Pasts: the family searching for that perfect Christmas tree, judging and debating which tree would look best in the living room – and afterwards spending the evening decorating it with handmade ornaments saved from the children’s elementary school Christmas projects. (I still have most of those ornaments!)

Or driving around town after the Christmas Eve service to “ohhh” and “ahhh” at the houses illuminated with festive colors; first began when it was the only way to get the little ones to fall asleep on the “night before”.

Or on Christmas eve when the children still believed in Santa and after they fell asleep, frantically wrapping their presents, so they could magically appear under the Christmas tree - just as Santa would have left them.

Do these sound familiar? Do you have your own special memories of Christmas Pasts so clear you can relive them in your mind?

And yet, during these challenging times we can also anticipate Christmas Future when we can celebrate the joy of the Christmas Season: drinking eggnog and eating Christmas cookies with family and friends, playing games with our grandchildren - all without having to look over our shoulder for any unwanted invisible guests.

This season I wish you a wonderful and joyous Christmas - while we look forward to when this Christmas Present becomes next year’s Christmas Past.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” Charles Dickens

According to the NCPHD website, it’s not too late to get your flu shot. Ideally you should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, but since the flu usually hits hardest from December through February, vaccinations should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later.

The answer to last week’s question is tinsel - which brought back many memories and not always pleasant one’s: taking HOURS decorating the tree one tinsel strand at a time (I preferred the “throw it at the tree” method!); and afterwards cleaning it all up. I received correct answers from Diane Allen, Chuck Rice, Sam Bilyeu, Penny Lopez, Virginia Johnson, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Jess Birge, Tina Castanares, Margo Dameier, Elaine Kirby, Pat Kelly, Marlene Clymer, Linda Frizzell, Jim Ayers, Rose Schulz, Anne Saxby, and Penny Lopez this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Every Christmas season you can watch timeless holiday movies: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), The Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and Frosty the Snowman (1969). Another classic holiday movie released in 1954 featured two army buddies trying to save the lodge run and owned by their WWII commanding officer. For the last Christmas “Remember When” question, what was the title of the movie in which Phil Davis tells Bob Wallace, “When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting, whatever it is you've got left.” and Bob replies “When I figure out what that means I'll come up with a crushing reply.”? Email your answer to the mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or bring it to the Center with a box of phonograph records of songs written by Irving Berlin.

Well, it’s been another week, waiting for snowflakes to paint a picture of white. Until we meet again, if you believe, you can never cancel the spirit of Christmas!

“The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be,” Max Lucado

 

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and the names of each person.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM, to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - To sign up for Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Klickitat County Senior Services – For home-delivered meals call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Pioneer Potlatch meal sites in Wasco and Sherman Counties call 541-298-4354.

 

 

Aging Well in the Gorge December 16th 2020

Don't these days feel like when you had that dinner guest who was eating too much, drinking too much, and staying too long - and you just couldn’t get him to leave? Well, with the first vaccines arriving soon, and we can start shoving him out the door. But until then we need to stay vigilant - particularly at our age.

There are many who believe we don’t need to wear masks, or meet only in small groups, or avoid indoor dining. But there is one thing everyone agrees on: if you are 70 and older you are at the greatest risk: 20% who have COVID-19 are hospitalized and 10% die. Scary.

So ignore all the noise about what we should be able to do or not. With an increasing number of people testing COVID-19 positive and are asymptomatic, we know what we older adults need to do to stay safe and strong.

It has been a long nine months and I think most of us would agree, “I’m getting tired of being part of a major historical event!” For me, I’m longing for the day when I no longer worry about COVID-19; and once again can just fret about my normal anxieties: cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia – it’s a long list!

Since you should be staying home, why not use the time to test drive an Apple iPad. The CAPECO Area Agency on Aging (serving Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties) has iPads available to rent by older adults. Each iPad user will have the option to keep the iPads for three months. The iPads come with data, so the user does not need to have WIFI. The user will need to agree to answer five questions monthly about their experience with the iPad. Call Tammy at CAPECO to enroll, 541-975-4804.

There are many advantages to being connected. Online you can visit with family and friends, schedule a virtual appointment with your healthcare provider, and you can order groceries from Fred Meyer and Safeway online. In addition, Safeway in both The Dalles and Hood River will deliver your groceries for a small charge.

There is also a helpful online resource: Senior Planet - created by the national nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). Senior Planet helps older adults use technology to stay connected by offering online classes on a wide variety of tech topics which are free and open to anyone 60 and older. (https://seniorplanet.org.)

Senior Planet also offers a Tech Support Hotline. If you have a specific tech question, you can call the FREE Senior Planet National Tech Hotline: 920-666-1959. The Hotline is monitored by Senior Planet Trainers from 9am – 5pm EDT, Monday through Friday. (That’s 6:00 – 2:00 for us left coast folks.) They’re here to help you with whatever technological issues you’re experiencing.

The singer who sang “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” written for his second Christmas Special in 1963 was Andy Williams. I received answers from Jeanne Pesicka, Barbara Cadwell, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Kim Birge, Dave Lutgens, Jim Ayers, Keith Clymer, Tina Castañares, Jerry Phillips, Sandy Haechrel, Barbara Young, Anne Saxby and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Cindy Winfield.

Do you remember many of the traditions of Christmas pasts: aluminum Christmas trees, bubble lights, stringing popcorn on the tree? One of my fondest memories was the family draping the Christmas tree with strands of thin, reflective strips (until the FDA in 1971 deemed them a risk to children because of their lead content). For this week’s Christmas “Remember When” question, what was this popular Christmas tree decoration? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a branch of mistletoe.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying this sometimes virtual holiday season. Until we meet again, when it snows in your area, remember to “Walk like a Penguin!”

“Don't let the past steal your present. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.” Taylor Caldwell

Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60.

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals needed and the names of each person.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home delivered meals. Call before 10:30 AM, to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - To sign up for Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

Skamania County Senior Services - Call 509-427-3990.

Klickitat County Senior Services – For home-delivered meals call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-306).

Pioneer Potlatch meal sites in Wasco and Sherman Counties call 541-298-4354.

Aging Well in the Gorge December 9th 2020

Do you remember Christmas mornings when you were so excited unwrapping presents from under the Christmas tree and discovering the one you had been hinting about since Thanksgiving? But then spending tedious hours the next day returning gifts that were too small or too ugly - at least for your taste. Now with gift cards for every chain store imaginable, long return lines have become a faded memory.

But Christmas is more about giving. And every year you must decide what to give someone you care about. It’s not easy to know. Here are a few suggestions to consider when buying the perfect gift - or at least one they won’t return the next day.

1.) When someone says they like something, listen. They will be surprised and delighted when they receive something they casually mentioned months ago. 

2.) Has the person ever complimented or took interest in something you have? It could be a clue – if they aren’t trying just to be nice.

3.) Don’t be over practical. The point is to delight, not to restock their toilet paper reserve - although that might be appreciated these days.

4.) Sometimes the best gift has no monetary value: a knitted scarf or a lap blanket you made yourself. 

5.) Don’t stress over the specifics. Giving is an act of kindness – not a competition to outdo one another.

But let’s consider the other side of the coin. To give, someone has to receive, right?

So, for Christmas what would you like? Flowers? Chocolate? A Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle?

SeniorCare.com recently released a report “Top Holiday Gifts and Gestures for Seniors in 2020” after asking 10,000 older adults what gifts and personal gestures would bring them joy during the holidays. (I don’t want anyone asking my wife what would bring her joy! She’d look at me and say, “I want a newer model”.)

Below are the top 10 gifts and personal gestures, ranked in order by how much they are liked by older adults.

Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas: house cleaning service, chocolate (I imagine this would be at the top of the list for many of you), fruit basket, cash, everyday Items such as shampoo, meal delivery service (which several local restaurants offer), snacks (Does everything have to be healthy?), cheese and crackers, gift cards, and automotive service.

Top ten personal gestures: homecooked meal, an invitation to a restaurant for dinner (take-out these days), help with technology (tablet, phone, kindle), phone calls, help around the home, declutter the garage or basement, handwritten cards, go grocery shopping, revive family traditions, clean and paint the basement.

During this Christmas season, I hope you find joy in giving and receiving. And if you are still struggling to find that perfect gift to give a loved one, you can always give a gift card!                                                                                                   

The author who wrote the touching 1905 short story “The Gift of the Magi” was O. Henry. I received answers from Jeanne Pesicka, Steven Wolpert, Rhonda Spies, Dave Lutgens, Barbara Cadwell, Kim Birge, Rose Schultz, Tiiu Vahtel, Florence Harty and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Linda Frizzell. And last week I set a new personal record by missing five folks: Jerry Phillips, Cindy Winfield, Anita Burris, Steven Wolpert and Joanne,

Modern artists have covered many Christmas standards from Michael Bublé’s 2011 “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to the 2019 recording of “The Christmas Song” by NeYo. But nothing can compare to the originals that made them our Christmas favorites. For this week’s Christmas “Remember When” question, what singer, who hosted his own variety show from 1962 through 1971, sang “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” which was written for his second Christmas Special and included on his first Christmas Album released in 1963? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a recording of “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Well, it’s been another week ZOOMing from here to there. Until we meet again, to support our communities, shop local, spend local, give local and stay local.

“Life” is a GIFT to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.” Ward Tanneberg,

 

Meal-sites in the Gorge

The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM and leave a message with the number of meals you need and the names of each person.

Hood River Valley Adult Center - For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM.

The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home delivered meals or call before 10:30 AM to pick up a meal at noon.  

Aging Well in the Gorge December 2nd 2020

In her insightful “Through the Eyes of an Elder” article Amy Mallett describes the importance of Senior Centers and other meal sites through her conversations with Donna Gray-Davis, a volunteer and member of the Hood River Valley Adult Center.


As Amy points out, meals sites, whether they are five days a week or just one, help older adults meet their social needs: sharing stories and laughing at old jokes; and their nutritional needs: providing one third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances in each meal. For many, meal sites are a lifeline to a healthy and independent life. 


Meal sites are also important since preparing a healthy meal at home is not always easy. Many of you may enjoy cooking at home, trying new recipes (FoodHero.org is a great site for quick and healthy recipes), but it is not everyone’s cup tea. And how often have I had to struggle opening a jar of spaghetti sauce or an “easy to open” package of shredded cheese. (Where’s the scissors?!) 


Besides a healthy meal, meal sites offer a variety of dishes you most likely would not prepare on your own: Beef Stroganoff, Turkey Tetrazzini or Lasagna. (I will ignore the occasional serving of brussels sprouts which I feel should be a crime!)


Even though meal sites are closed, you can still pick up a meal or have one delivered. And during the pandemic, ANYONE sixty and older can receive a home delivered meal. For each meal site there is a suggested donation - but there is no obligation.


For your health and well-being, the following Centers offer meals five days a week. 


Hood River Valley Adult Center - To sign up for Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. They deliver to Hood River, Pine Grove, Odell, Parkdale, and Cascade Locks. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 AM until 12:45 PM. And for only $25 a year you can become a member and receive the daily menu by phone. 


The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels – Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home delivered meals. If you call before 10:30 AM, you can pick up a meal at noon at the front door of the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.


The Sherman County Senior and Community Center - Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 AM to order a meal for that day. Leave a message with the number of meals you need and the names of each person. Pick them up at noon in front of the Center. If you’d like to have the monthly menu emailed to you, please email kari@shermancounty.net. You can also find the menu on the Sherman County website and taped to the Center’s front door.


Next week I will mention all the other valuable meal sites in the Gorge that provide meals once or twice a week.


Since last week I have learned about several more Christmas events in the Gorge. This Friday, December 4th in downtown Stevenson, the annual “Christmas in the Gorge” kicks off with a static “Starlight Parade” at the fairgrounds from 6:00 – 7:30 (drive through the displays in your vehicle). And through Sunday, December 6th there are other community events, business open houses, Nativity displays, and more. Information on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasInTheGorge/


Also, on December 4th through the 6th, Carson celebrates “Christmas in Carson” which includes a traditional tree lighting with Santa, business open houses and other holiday festivities. More information at (www.facebook.com/WindRiverBA).


The American artist famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post including Freedom from Want was Norman Rockwell. I received correct answers from Mary Haas, Tim Annala, Sandy Haechrel, Kim Birge, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Tina Castanares, Patty Burnet, Linda Frizzell, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Barbara Cadwell who shared with me a quote by Norman Rockwell about his painting "Freedom from Want". "Our cook cooked it, I painted it and we ate it. That's the first time I've eaten the model!"


During your high school literature class, you probably read “The Gift of the Magi” a short story that tells of a young husband and wife buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with little money. For this week’s Christmas “Remember When” question, who was the author, known for his surprise endings, that wrote this classic short story first published in 1905? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a copy of “The Ransom of Red Chief”.


Well, it’s been another week trying to keep it safe. Until we meet again, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I hope it doesn’t get darker before we get there.


“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ―Pablo Picasso



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