It’s almost February, the time of year when you find out whether you paid Uncle Sam too much or not enough.

There are many excellent tax preparers in the Mid-Columbia region, but if your tax situation is relatively simple there is free help available through AARP Tax Aide. And because Tax Aide is supported by federal and private grants as well as the AARP Foundation, it is open to all ages, with a focus on assisting low to moderate income persons and families.

AARP Tax Aide begins Friday, Feb. 1, downstairs at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, and continues every Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 12. There are two additional sites: Tygh Valley Community Center, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays, and the Rufus Community Center in Sherman County on Saturdays (call 541-993-1054 to make an appointment.)

Remember to be patient; with new software and new tax laws, lines may be especially long.

For your Tax Aide appointment, you’ll need to bring several documents: Last year’s tax return, government-issued identification for both taxpayer and spouse (even if both are not present when the taxes are being prepared), and a Social Security identification card (original, photocopy or a photo on your smartphone) for all individuals listed on the tax return.

And finally, don’t forget the obvious: All tax documents or statements that show income received and all tax documents or itemized statements that show expenses incurred by you and your family.

Lucille Torgerson, with the help of Widge Johnson, just finished writing her life story, and found it to be an incredible experience.

Lucille and Widge would like to encourage others to write their own life story by sharing what they’ve learned.

Their one-hour class, “As I Was Saying—Writing Your Life Story for Your Family, Friends and Yourself,” will be Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1 p.m., at the Senior Center. If you ever thought about sharing your life adventures, you’ll want to attend this class.

Here’s your chance to step back in time, dancing to the tunes you grew up with at a “50’s, 60’s and 70’s Party!”

The music includes “Indian Love Call”, “Wooly Bully”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “How Sweet It Is,” and the favorite of one of The Dalles’ distinguished councilmen, “Wild Thing.”

The party will be held at the Senior Center on Friday, Feb. 8, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.—which is past my bedtime, but I’ll make an exception. (And remind me, what was so exciting about staying out late at night when we were younger? Was it because it showed our independence? Made us feel more adult-like? Or did we just want more time after dark to “neck” with our steady?)

Music will be provided by master DJ Randy Haines, and there will be “Name-That-Tune,” trivia, and door prizes. Tickets are $5 per person and on sale at the Senior Center or at the door. And send your song request, the song that got you on the dance floor, to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, or text me at 541-980-4645.

The Senior Center will also be hosting its Annual Fundraiser Dinner Auction on Friday, Feb. 22. The goal is to raise money for the Center’s operations, but also to replace the Deschutes Room floor, the only floor upstairs that hasn’t yet been replaced. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased at the Center.

Continuing with the theme of words seldom used anymore, this week’s “Remember When” question is: What was an inexpensive, delipidated old car, often the means of transportation for teenagers, called in the 1950’s?

Email your answer to www.mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write it on the fender of Archie Andrews’ red, open-top antique car.

The name of the dare used when the first dare was refused was a double dog dare, or, for those who liked to keep it simple, a double dare. I received answers from Cheri Brent, Sandy Haechrel, Carol Earl, Jerry Phillips, Lana Tepfer, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Harold and Lucile Stephens.

Last week I missed Jerry Phillips and Elaine, who had answered galoshes.

And going back even further to the blue plate special, I missed Carol Earl. Now have I caught up?

Well, it’s been another week throwing mashed potatoes against the wall—or is it spaghetti?—and seeing if it sticks. Until we meet again, let that “little light of yours” shine.

“Ever since the beginning ... to keep the world spinning ... it takes all kinds of kinds.”

—Miranda Lambert

Thursday (24): Stew (Music by Tom Graff)

Friday (25): Baked Potato Bar with Chili (Homemade Soup and Salad Bar)

Monday (28): Chicken Fried Steak

Tuesday (29): Taco Casserole

Wednesday (30): Chicken Pot Pie (Homemade Soup and Salad Bar)

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