Senior News Scott McKay

Senior News

Last week I wrote about the three daily habits scientifically proven to make us happier and healthier: Gratitude, 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 (he’s now 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 Lucy: Make 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 Lesson: Don’t Stop Having Fun. (And If You Have Stopped, Start 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 Lucy. As the saying goes, if you 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 Lucy. But now the essential question: Are there any lessons I can learn from my cat?!

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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 2062. For 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 TVs to virtually communicate with others; home treadmills; reclining 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 mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788 or send it with the series’ theme song that reached number nine on the Billboard charts in 1986.

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

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“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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Nutritious home-delivered meals and pick-ups are available for anyone over sixty. For more information, you can call the meal site in your area.

Hood River Valley Adult Center at 541-386-2060 — now open for in-person dining; Sherman County Senior and Community Center at 541-565-3191 — now open for in-person dining; The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels at 541-298-8333; Klickitat County Senior Services — Goldendale at 509-773-3757 or the White Salmon at 509-493-3068; Skamania County Senior Services at 509-427-3990; Seniors of Mosier Valley — Call 541-503-5660.