November 2012

The Seniority Report

 By T. Myers

The older I get the more important it has become to make good political decisions. We are in a General election year and it is time to vote for our President, Congressman, State, County and local offices and a variety of referendums.

I treasure this opportunity each time I get to cast a ballot. It is the one time that I can say that my vote makes a difference, because even if the candidates and measures I support are not successful, I will have the right to complain about the outcome!

This fall the voters are looking at their choices for President, the US Congressional District, State Representative and Senate positions, County Commissioner and Judge, City Mayor and City Councilors, (We have two candidates for mayor and a write in candidate for City Councilor this time) and then, when you look at the measures, there are considerations for legalizing marijuana, and one for approving a change to the Oregon State Constitution to have a taxed casino over in Gresham/Fairview area where the old Dog tracks were. There is a measure about a second property tax and one that relieves estate tax for heirs.

You can read the Voter’s pamphlet, but be aware that there may be some positions (sides of an issue or info about a candidate that is missing.) If you go online (the public librarian can help you find information on their library computers and it is free to use.) you can look up the referendum and get an opportunity to read all about it. If you note that there are also both positions listed on line: Pros and cons!

The La Pine Library also has a ballot drop off box on site. They open it up for collection on Friday the 2nd and close it on Tuesday evening the 6th at 8 PM. Ballots were mailed to us between the 19th and the 22nd. You can mail them right back, but mailed ballots need to be postmarked by the 2nd or 3rd of November in order to reach the county clerk in time to be counted.

 Please take time to consider those candidates and issues you support and vote by the 6th. Your vote may be the one that changes an outcome to a local election or adds fuel to changes that will result in a different way to govern.

Good Luck!


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October 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

As we enter October and the weather changes I want to remind you that it is important to get your buddy for fall and winter month check-ins to increase safety for you and your friend. Be sure that you set up a regular time to communicate that you are there and kicking so no one has to worry about you!

During this past month, La Pine Seniors have been busy working to raise money for the center. The Semi-Annual Gun Show and Sportsman event was held on the weekend of the 8th and 9th. The Kitchen crew served up meals for the hungry exhibitors and guests. I stopped by for biscuits and gravy myself and it was delicious. The annual Yard sale was held on the 22nd. Your Senior Center is doing their very best to provide the activities and meals you enjoy. When you can come to these events, it supports the fundraising and it gives you a chance to meet with your friends and socialize. It is a win- win for everyone.

I know that volunteers are always needed and helping out at the center can be fun and rewarding while you spend time with others who have the same interests as you do. Think about becoming more active if you can, but do come in and enjoy the many activities that are available to our members and guests.

Do you know anyone who needs to have a party, a reunion or other event that the Senior Center can help with? St. Vincent’s have secured the center for their annual fundraiser luncheon again this year, and if it is anything like last year- It should be wonderful! Think reuse recycle and re-do for a day with St Vinnies in mid-October on the 13th.

Do you have an activity or idea about fundraising that will help the Center? Please talk with Andi Ferguson and give her a chance to develop your thoughts into something for all of us! See you next month!


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September 2012

Seniority Report

By T. Myers

Have you noticed the progress next door at the Little Deschutes Lodge Complex? After Rob Roy broke ground this spring, he wasted no time getting busy building the new Phase II lodge. It will feature the 26 apartments, and all of the amenities of the first lodge and his plan is to have it ready in the spring of 2013.

If you are interested in qualifying for a low cost apartment, you need to go to the main office in the present lodge and get an application. There are already lots of folks on the list, but time has a way of working through the process and there are still openings for the new apartments. These are one and two bedroom units on the main floor and the second floor. The elevator can take you right up. The new lodge will feature laundry and great room facilities and an exercise room, library and community kitchen. Joe Page stands at the ready to work on more greenhouses for those of you who would like a garden and solidly paved walkways will connect the two areas for easy access.  You can call for more information or to get an application by talking to the manager at 51725 Little Deschutes Lane  La Pine, OR 97737. The phone number is (541) 536-5400.


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August 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

I was watching my friend get her hair cut at the salon I love to go to and I started thinking about how we age ourselves with our hairdos. As many times as I see a tightly curled white hairdo and think about how neat and tidy it looks, I also see age on the hoof and I am not sure that we are considering all of the options available to us about how we present ourselves to the world.

It is time to reevaluate our appearance. You know that I am the first one to remind everyone about ear hairs and nose hairs and sagging body parts and checking your backside in the mirror to see if you are tucked in and checking your front side for stains on the clothes and all of those crazy old person things. Well here is the latest thing to think about!

A hairstyle should be easy for a senior to maintain. It does not mean that we need to fall into the Brill-o pad permanent look or having such short hair that all we see is a pair of ears and a double chin coming down the street. You want a look that says wise, competent and I have pizzazz! Men and women want to be attractive at any age. When you ignore the fact that hair has become softer and more ‘swingy’ it dates you. Hair that brushes the shoulders and has movement is young. Short hair that is not too curly or teased, sprayed and stuck in place is the vogue and signals a ‘with-it’ mentality.

A gentleman who has not changed his cut or his part for years is in the same place as the spray tacked women who do what they have always done. Every once in a while a man needs to ask his barber to give him an update. And make sure when you are in for a haircut, that your stylist buts off the bushes that are growing out of your ears!

Actually, if a person keeps a haircut the same for over six (count them 6) months, it is time to ask to see what’s new. There will always be a lot of styles to choose from and they may not be significantly different, but the way they are cut may be very different, adding texture and volume to an old flat do.

I looked over at the mirror at the condition of my overgrown mess of a hairdo and I told the stylist what I wanted to try next and she went at it. I left the salon feeling really good about my new clean lines and lack of neck fur ready to take on the world!

So here’s the deal. Do you trust your stylist or your barber?  If not, find one you can trust. Make sure that they know you want to stay current and how much time you are willing to give to fixing the “mop” every day. Choose a cut that works with your lifestyle, don’t keep a cut that lets the world know how old you are. So, the rant is over for now. Keeping up appearances is more than a PBS Comedy!


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July 2012

Seniority Report

By T. Myers

“I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle do or die,

A real life nephew of my Uncle Sam,

Born on the 4th of July….”

Every year when it is time to celebrate the birth of our nation, I am moved to write about patriotism and how to stand for the flag and know the words to the national anthem. I remember what it was like growing up as a little girl in the fifties when there were still tales from how America grew and we learned all of the important myths like Honest Abe walking two miles to give a dime back to a customer and George Washington fessing up to his father that he had indeed chopped down the cherry tree. There were stories about the Pilgrims and the Indians and then more about the Cowboys and the Indians, Custer’s Last Stand and the horror in the plains when white men went after red men to get more land.

Later as a student of America, in history we learned about the wars we fought and the reasons we were told that they were fought. In America, there has always been something to cherish, honor and protect. Now, especially, we are engaged again in a war against a hidden group of terrorists who are manipulating the citizens of the countries in the Middle East. Egypt is trying to decide how it wants to move forward: a Muslim state or a military state? Greece, the seat of the idea of democracy, held elections to determine whether they want to stay in the EURO system and ask for more basil out monies or move on to an almost certain collapse of government without the European Economic leaders.

It seems very far away, but history teaches us that conflicts are a part of the ways of the world. War is a great motivator. Here we are fighting other things, too. The economy, housing, food prices, available services and how we live in today’s America are all a very real part of what everyone of us faces daily.

When we see the flag in the 4th of July parade this year, let us all take a few minutes to think. Think about our freedoms. Think about what we need to do to secure our country. Think about how each of us needs to live a good life right here at home so that we have the support we need to continue enjoying the many freedoms that we have.

Our country is different than it was even five years ago. It is unlikely that it will ever be the same fast moving, gluttonous society it had become in the pre-recession America during the fall of 2007. It will never be the same safe bastion of freedom that it was pre-September 11, 2001, either! We only have the changes now and we need to continue to do our reality checks about what we do have and what we want to keep- and then keep after it!

Happy 4th of July and many more years of being able to be thankful that we live in this great country- warts and all!


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June 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

It’s ‘Summer time, Summer time, Sum-Sum- Summer-time, Summer time’! It’s time to play and time to swim, Bar-b-Que, and be outside. It’s time to fish and time to boat, take a hike around a lake, picnic on a sunny shore and enjoy the weather even more! It’s Summer time!

I always feel so much better when the sun shines and it gets warm enough to enjoy our wonderful out-door activities and get-togethers. With Graduation Days and Father’s Day, the Rhubarb Festival and City Clean-up on the 2nd, the official groundbreaking at the Little Deschutes Lodge on the 4th, The Big Pines Walk, Run and Bike event on the 9th, the Relay for Life event on the 23rd followed by the kick-off for Frontier Days on June 30 and July 1-4 for the rodeo and the main festivities, June is a busy month!

I want to remind you all about protecting yourself from the sun with SPF 30 or higher applied liberally every two to four hours. Use it whenever you go outside for any activity: Gardening, getting in and out of your car when you are doing your errands, walking around the block, when you are outside hanging clothes or just a simple task like washing your car or cleaning the outside windows! High Desert sun is really strong. (My dermatologist is ranting at me every time I come in to burn off more skin cancers and treat the weird changes because of early and now- lately, sun damaged skin.)

Did you know that you can get sunburned through windows in your home and while you drive in your car? The fabrics in your clothes do not protect you at all, either and you can get sunburn through a shirt, blouse or pants. What about feet? They need protection, too. Any extremity, like hands, neck, exposed shoulders and legs that hang out of your summer shorts and swimsuits need to get a dose of sunblock. Get your backs and tummies protected when you wear your bikini to the SHARC and be careful when you are on the water floating or using your boat because the reflection can double the impact of the sun’s rays!

It is the nicest time of the year here. We can go outside and feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, but we don’t have any time to spend in the sun where it is safe to go without protection. Be careful out there and live a long healthy life with good skin, ok?


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May 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

I have been thinking. Yes, I know that can be dangerous! But, it hasn’t stopped me yet!

For the past two months, I have felt rushed to get things down on paper. It comes from a fear of losing my memory. I have had this feeling that I am forgetting more than usual. So, I am in a philosophical place and considering what it means- really!

Imagine that we have a 10% capacity for thinking and remembering in our brains. (That is what the experts say we use.) We have an average lifespan of about 75 years and, without complications, like Alzheimer’s or dementia- in other words we are normal older folks that still can reason and remember our capacity starts to get really full. When it’s full, do we start losing stuff? I have been told that local contractor, Lynn Hatch, has a shelf theory. He explains that if your experiences and memories are like books on a shelf, at one point the shelf is going to get full. Then you either have to move a few book off the shelf to fit more on, or you have to stop getting books!

You have to admit it is an interesting concept (and I have a different idea about downloading info- but that will be in a future write-up), because when we look around, older friends and relatives do seem to be living in the past and refusing to take on new concepts, ideas and technology. They seem stuck in their past, referring to old memories as a matter of day to day survival. When a few older folks get together, they can sit and talk about memories until the cows come back to the barn at night!

The deal is really more than that, though. Yes, it is! It is about loss in general. The older we get, the more we lose. We lose our friends, our spouses, our physical health and sometimes our financial independence. We lose the ability to move around easily and go places we used to visit. We can’t get up and down to do some gardening or clean a floor. It is hard to drive at night sometimes. Some of us even lose a body part- or?

The point is this: we hold onto what we have left- even if it is just memories. We treat these things like ‘it is gold in the vault’. Sometimes we hold on so tight that we can’t enjoy the new things that are coming at us just so we feel like we are in control of everything we still have.

As a counselor in my former heyday, I can tell you how putting the plug ‘in’ can affect everything about the quality of your life. Holding on too tight to anything means you have to concentrate your energy into the holding- not the enjoying. And I want to enjoy my last years and since I am losing memories, I have decided to write down my thoughts so I can move them off the shelf without worrying about losing them forever. Think about it! You, too, can be dangerous!


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April 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

It is spring. I have been sitting in the new house where I live, looking out the window to the west. Today it is snowing and I can see the trees- all tall pines- take on a white coat. It is so different here. I lived and was part of the old place for so long that I got used to seeing a big meadow with a fringe of trees in the distance. I got used to the way the view would change- just out of my door I could go out on the deck and look at how the meadow would turn white and clean with a good snowfall and then watch the melting to see the bunch grasses and blue flax pop through until the greening of spring would change the meadow into something wonderful with abundant wild flowers and scurrying prairie dogs or squirrels.

And the birds? It was insane how the birds would come through with every changing season. The feeders were always hopping with varieties that came to eat at the makeshift shelves I added through many years of feeding the local varmints. There are no birds here. Only a squirrel that comes out every once in a while.

I got used to the smells, too. And when the mist and fog covered the meadow I would watch it rise until the trees showed themselves through the clouds of moisture. In the fall there was a fall smell. In the spring, it smelled clean. In the summer during the hot spells, I would get a whiff of mushroom from the soil.

You get used to things. As we age it gets harder and harder to change. But change we must! Now I can look right at the neighbor’s houses out my back window. I see tall Ponderosas with their red bark and long needles. I see a pile of those brown needles on top of the back of the garage roof. I hope that the snow is deep enough this time to melt and take them off that part so I don’t have to climb up a ladder and brush them off. Metal roofs are good for some things. The snow has already sheeted off the front of the roof, taking those pesky- fire prone needles with it. Several times. The rest of the yard is white and fluffy looking- and pristine. I love how the snow makes me feel so clean.

As for missing home, I guess I will get used to it- eventually, but not in this house. I am already looking for another to call ‘home for real’, but until then, I have good memories of the old house and I am lucky to have good people in my life to make new memories with. I will continue to observe the new area and find the beauty in my own front yard while I remember how it was way back when…

It looks like it is starting to melt outside. I imagine I should head outside and scrape off the porch and make a path to the car so I can get to work. Again.


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March 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

Imagine that you are a high school graduate and it is 1967. You are ready to face the world and everything about the society is rapidly changing to accommodate the new ideas of the hippie generation and the fact that we are at war in Viet Nam. Remember that your parents cannot understand why people are against the war. The young people cannot understand why protesting the establishment is considered anti-government. As Dylan sang to the generation, “Oh, the times, they are a changin’.”

Now both our parents and we boomers are facing a time of change once again. Instead of it being based on anti-war sentiment it is based on an economic downturn and a messy political upheaval that has crept across the nation. Every day we hear about the candidates (that now spend three years running for president) putting a foot in their own mouth or the President, who does not really answer the questions about why things are continuing without progress. Without any improvement!

 If that isn’t bad enough, then it is the roller coaster stock market and economists who warn us that we are on the brink of another recession. And don’t forget the gas company hikes in a gallon of gas. What does a person do?

It is time to tell ourselves the truth.  The way we lived a short four years ago, with the big house, the nice car, the trips to exotic locales, the shopping at the mall and the going out to eat because it is easier… those days are over. Long over! It is not that different than what happened in the Great Depression. It is time to stay home, cook in, tighten our belts, plan our trips in the car and develop better potluck friendships with our neighbors so we can share our lives together. I think you will be surprised to find out that the quality of ‘your living’ will improve drastically, even if you are unable to live up to the ‘quality of life’ you once had!


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February 2012

The Seniority Report

By T. Myers

How many of you get crazy when you see the word Lapine? Or LaPine? Come on folks! It is La space Pine as in ‘the pine’ in French even though we are not sure that it is a French derivative, but according to local historian and Football Coach, Bob Metcalf, it is probably named because the area was full of pine trees and one of the trappers- possible French, said “let’s call this area La Pine!” If you live here in La pine, please spell it correctly and go out of your way to tell your relatives, friends and creditors that you are a two word town!

Obviously I have recently been subjected to a blatant La Pine misspelling by someone who should know better (one of our local leaders) and my English teacher self- went nuts! OK! Enough!

Oregon will be 153 years old on February 14th (1859) and it is Valentine’s Day on the 14th and President’s Day on the celebrated on the 22nd the same as Ash Wednesday when lent starts. This year also happens to be leap year so there are five Wednesdays in February ending on the 29th! I absolutely love it when a month fills up with events and there are things to do. The Chamber of Commerce is having its annual banquet (A 50’s Party called American Grandstand) and it is open to the public, too. $25.00 on February 25th at the newly remodeled LPEC Center (Old White School Building) and the park District is having a Grand Opening for the renovated LPRD event building on Friday at 6 PM, Feb 3rd followed by the free movie Cars II for everyone in the community.

Make sure you keep an eye on the Senior Center Calendar for February events just for us. Andi Ferguson is still looking for volunteers to help in the kitchen with lunches, the Granny Pie Gang and for Flame-on catering. Maybe you have a special LOVE event this month. Think of letting the Senior Center take the pressure off and have them help plan your celebration in the Heritage Room! We love our Center and we love our Seniors. Take care until next month!


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