Aging Well in the Gorge October 27th 2021

From the first public demonstration of network technology and the development of electronic mail in 1972, the Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world. Today we can shop online at Fred Meyer and pick up our groceries and then go home and stream our favorite TV shows or log on to one of the many websites that offer more online classes in response to the pandemic. 

During the pandemic, I’ve had time to discover several websites offering a variety of classes. Two of my favorites are Oasis and Senior Planet. Both encourage lifelong learning by offering classes to learn and explore in this digital age. At Oasis Lifelong Adventure ( you can find virtual classes from “Cybersecurity Scavenger Hunt” to the “History of Halloween”; and at Senior Planet ( classes from “Easy-to-Follow Tai Chi” to “Streaming and Smart TVs”. 

Locally, Kerry Cobb will teach a virtual class on Modern Art. She will be using the book What Are You Looking At to tell “the surprising, shocking and sometimes strange story of 150 years of modern art” - without all the jargon and pretentiousness. The class will be online, but you can also watch her presentation at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center on the big-screen TV. 

Copies of the book are available to borrow or purchase at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center thanks to a grant from the Wasco County Cultural Trust. The ten-session class will be every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 11 - 12 beginning with the Impressionists on November 16th. The book isn’t required but you do need to register for the class by calling 541-296-4788 or emailing   

Most of us are fortunate. We still drive, have adequate retirement income, a house that is paid for, and now our children are buying us gifts - which we don’t have any room for! Life is good. But many older adults face various challenges: inadequate housing, inability to prepare healthy meals, poverty, isolation and loneliness. 

For those of you who live in The Dalles, you are invited to attend a virtual Community Conversation on Aging. Your voice will help identify our community strengths and the challenges older adults face in order to influence state and local policies. It is hosted by Age+ and will be held on November 4th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Since it is virtual, you will need to register at to receive the link for the conversation. 

If you are concerned about the environment, you should read this month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder”. Susan Hess writes about her passion to protect the environment and how in her 70’s, when most people are considered over the hill and tumbling down the back side, she started an online environmental magazine. Not all of us have Susan’s skills, but is there a passion of yours you want to revive?

The name of Hanna-Barbera's space-age animated series portraying life one hundred years in the future was the Jetsons. I received correct answers from Emmett Sampson, Steven Woolpert, Jeannie Pesicka, Doug Nelson, Gene Uczen, Lana Tepfer, Rose Schulz, Dave Lutgens, Patty Burnet, Margo Dameier, Mike Yarnell, and Rhonda Spies,

this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. Last week I missed Mike Nagle.

I can’t remember where I placed whatever was in my hand two minutes ago, but I do remember this television series from 1952 - 1956 when I was just a wee boy. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the popular comedy series starring Eve Arden as the sardonic high school teacher and Gale Gordon as the blustery high school principal? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a picture of Walter Denton from the 1956 Madison High School yearbook.

Well, it has been another week zigzagging from one distraction to another. Until we meet again, don’t forget to take time to take care of yourself.

“Nobody ever said that growing old would be easy. Just having to hold the newspaper out in your forties and then hair growing out of unusual parts of your body in your fifties. It’s tough on the ego.” – Geoffrey Rush

Aging Well in the Gorge October 20th 2021

 Last week I wrote about the three daily habits scientifically proven to make us happier and healthier: gratitudes, acts of kindness, and moments of silence. But maybe there is another way to learn how we can be happier, maybe a little less scientific, but just as meaningful. Dave Barry award-winning humor columnist and book author surprisingly found a way: observing his “consistently happy” old dog Lucy.  

Dave Barry wrote Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old Happy Dog because as he’s getting up in years (henow 74), he felt his constant companion Lucy could teach him a few lessons about being happy.  


Below are the seven lessons from Lucy. And I added a quote from the book for each lesson, because, well, I enjoyed the quotes. See what you think. 


First Lesson from LucyMake New Friends. (And Keep the Ones You Have.) “I’m going to think about Lucy – about the trustful, open, unreservedly joyful way she approaches everybody, and the happiness she clearly derives from her many friends.” 


Second LessonDon’t Stop Having Fun. (And IYou Have StoppedStart Having Fun Again.) Don’t settle for contentment. Don’t just stand around grinning. Get out there. It’s a wonderful world.” Life is too short to not be a part of something stupid. 


Third lesson: Pay Attention to the People you Love (Not Later. Right Now!) “In the end, all that really matters - all you really have – is the people you love. Not your job, not your career, not your awards, not your money, not your stuff. Just your people.” 


Fourth Lesson: Let Go of Your Anger, Unless It’s About Something Really Important Which It Almost Never Is. Lucy definitely gets angry. But not often, and this is the important thing - never for long. 


Fifth Lesson: Try Not to Judge People by Their Looks and Don’t Obsess Over Your Own “One of the positive aspects of aging is that, as you and your friends get old, you pretty much give up on being hot; you’re just happy just being not dead yet.” 


Sixth Lesson: Don’t Let Your Happiness Depend on Things; They Don’t Make You Truly Happy, And You’ll Never Have Enough Anyway“Lucy needs food and family. That’s all she needs now: that’s all she will ever need.” 


Seventh Lesson: Don’t Lie Unless You Have a Really Good Reason Which You Probably Don’t.  “Be like LucyAs the saying goes, iyou mess up, fess up. And do not be afraid to say these words: I was wrong. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. I apologize.” 


These lessons are not original, but they remind us we can learn how to be happy from all around us - even from Dave Barry’s old dog LucyBut now the essential question: Are there any lessons I can learn from my cat!?  


The name of the movie that depicted the societal tensions of the 1960s as two bikers traveled through the American southwest and south was Easy Rider. I received correct answers from Emmett Sampson, Steven Woolpert, Chuck Rice from Goldendale, Susan Ellis, Jeannie Pesicka, Doug Nelson, Barbara Cadwell, Gene Uczen, Kim Birge, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Rose Schulz, Keith Clymer, Joan Chantler, and Mike Yarnell this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.  


As a young boy, Saturday morning cartoons were an obsession and I remember enjoying this one that portrayed life in 2062For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the animated series, Hanna-Barbera's space age counterpart to The Flintstones, that included supersized flatscreen TVto virtually communicate with others; home treadmillsreclining massage chairs, and robots. (We don’t have robots to walk our dog YET, but there are Roombas to clean our floors!) E-mail your answers to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with the series’ theme song that reached number nine on the Billboard charts in 1986. 


Well, it’s been another week ducking and dodging - which isn’t getting any easierUntil we meet again, when was the last time you did something for the first time? 


"We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others are bright, some have weird names, but we have to learn to live in the same box." - Anonymous 



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