Aging Well in the Gorge April 6th 2022

 In her book "Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer", Connie Goldman discusses many secrets for living life to the fullest: attitude, risk-taking, humor, creativity, and forgiveness. But she also included one secret, you might not normally consider but appropriate at this time of the year: gardening. There are the external mechanics of gardening, but the value for late bloomers (and those of us who are still waiting to bloom) are the internal rewards: the opportunity for self-expression; a chance to see the beauty of the natural world; and experience the rhythms of birth, change, death and birth again. Gardening can provide a source of healing and renewal; a haven from the noise and clutter of the mechanical world and a place to contemplate our inner world; and for many a chance to be closer to God. Connie describes gardening as nourishment for the heart and soul.

Many have experienced those inner rewards. I have been tempted. I have looked inside that window and felt the attraction of gardening, but for many reasons, I haven't walked around and gone in the front door or even the back door. Some have a green thumb. I have a brown thumb. I can hear the plants screaming when I come near. I have forgotten to water and have overwatered. I have allowed zucchini to grow three feet long and tomatoes, well, I never had much luck with tomatoes. But weeds I know well. They don't need special efforts or even much rain to survive (during the dry summer if it weren't for the green weeds my yard would look like a brown shag carpet). It may seem odd but maybe there is a reason for weeds: to remind us of nature's ability to keep coming back; of nature's resiliency - even though they are such a pain in the backside. And maybe that is what life is about.

In this month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder”, Sheila Ford Richmond shares her love of gardening and the connection to the natural world.

This week’s Brain Tease to tickle your grey cells.

Mom and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family?

.dad dna mom sulp ,nerdlihc evif gnikam ,rehtorb eno ylno evah srethguad ruof ehT .neveS

Because of my past column about video games, I decided to try two video games: Sega’s Sonic Racing and NBA 2K22. And I found out, “They’re hard to learn!” (But then maybe I should read the instructions – if I could find them.) It reminded me that it takes time and persistence to learn a new skill – and I realized I may have the time but not the persistence.

I’m more comfortable, although not any better, with word games. I just started playing what is apparently the latest craze, or at least it was, the word game Wordle which I’ve enjoyed. So whatever suits your fancy, video games, word games, or just a new card game with friends, enjoy the rewards of learning something new.

Hot off the wire. The Gorge’s own Amy Mallett, director of the Hood River Valley Adult Center, was awarded the Local Service Provider Champion Award at the National Senior Nutrition Program 50-year Celebration. Congratulations to Amy for her dedication to improving the health and well-being of older adults in the Gorge.

The individualized reading kits composed of boxes filled with color-coded cardboard cards that included a reading exercise and questions were SRA Reading Labs. (Science Research Associates). Several answered the tough question: Kathy Gay, Rhonda Spies, Jim Lindell, Doug Nelson, and Carolyn Bondurant who all win a quilt raffle ticket.

I just learned this television show is a childhood favorite of Rob Garrett, the new director of the Mid-Columbia Senior Center. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what is the name of the police drama that aired on NBC from 1968 through 1975 and followed Los Angeles Police Department officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed as they patrolled the streets of Los Angeles. Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788, or drop it off while driving a 1968 Plymouth Belvedere.

Well, it’s been another week, feeling the optimism that comes with spring. Until we meet again, don’t let the wind blow you over.

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.” Doug Larson

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