This is the seventh year I have had the opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year. When I started writing this column, I had no idea what the next eight years would bring, but over those years attending state and national conferences, listening to the Mid-Columbia Senior Center’s Tuesday lectures, preparing for this column, and particularly listening to the amazing “elders” at the center, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined.
I’m not fond of these winter doldrums in The Dalles: grey overcast skies with a few days of sunshine, just to tease us that better days are ahead. And although I may not like them, I find these gloomy days are necessary, because without them I wouldn’t really appreciate the warm T-shirt days with blue skies. And isn’t that the way it is in our daily lives? All the challenges and difficulties, the missteps and losses, remind us not to take for granted the simple joys and comforts we can experience every precious day.
With Thanksgiving becoming another shopping holiday — Black Friday morphing into Black Thursday — I have begun to appreciate the perspective that comes from having lived these many years.
I have come to realize that it isn’t my memory I should be worrying about. I haven’t forgotten my social security number or the combination to my locker.
You receive a call from your grandson. He is in trouble in a foreign country and he needs your help, now! He sounds desperate and you want to help, so you send him a Western Union money order. And you never hear from him again or see your money.
It is said laughter is the best medicine. Although it is not a cure for major depression, according to the Mayo Clinic website, laughter can improve your mood, relieve stress and pain, and increase personal satisfaction while stimulating your heart, lungs and muscles — and improving your immune system. Not bad for a couple of knock-knock jokes!
Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) invites The Dalles area residents to share ideas about the future of Oregon’s services for seniors and people with disabilities Monday, Oct 6, at two locations: The Dalles Senior Center, 1112 West 9th Street, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and at Spooky’s Pizza Restaurant, 3320 West 6th Street in The Dalles, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
I usually try to avoid being too focused on the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, but this week is going to be an exception because of these opportunities: Wednesday, Sept. 18: Passport to Happiness event from 1-2:30 p.m. Lauren Kraemer, OSU Extension Family and Community Health specialist, will demonstrate several healthy dishes.
Because of Labor Day, I had less time to write this week’s column, so I decided to keep it simple and include a pop quiz for some mental stimulation.
How many times have I heard that folks don’t come to the Mid-Columbia Senior Center because it is just for old people — as if there is something wrong with being older.
Have you had to move from a place that was your home for many years? Rita and I are considering selling our house where we have lived 28 years. The children have moved away, and it is just too darn big. (My perfect size for a house is one small enough, I only needed to plug in the vacuum cleaner once.)
I was reading an online post from a young person asking if, at the age of 30, she still had time to make something of her life. When I read it I wanted to say to her, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING! It is never too late. At the age of 60, 70, 80 or even 90!”
When you listen to an old favorite song, smell a certain perfume or browse through a picture album, are long-forgotten images and emotions triggered? That is nostalgia.
Do we always have to act our age? Do we really have to stop dressing up for Halloween, or drawing with watercolors and crayons? Or telling corny jokes we have all heard several times before (but still find amusing)? If you are 92, should you really climb under the house when your wife is afraid she will have to call 911 to pull you out? (I don’t think you really want to be the opening segment on the Channel 6 news: “Stubborn Geezer in over his head.”)
Summer and reunions go hand in hand — from high school class reunions to family reunions.