Walk with Friends & “Rosie the Riveter”

Walking in the Rain!

(Drizzle really) On Tuesday, March 27th a small group of hearty friends met to walk along the Columbia River.  Yes, there was a bit of rain, but this is Washington, after all.  The fresh moist air was a great facial!  We started at Who Song and Larry’s and walked to Beaches.  Here we are posed beside Rosie the Riveter.  Two decided to walk further and the other two decided to chat in a nice warm place before going to McMenamin’s for lunch.

Hope you will join us, in April @ Pendleton Woolen Mills.  http://villagesclarkcounty.org/event/washougal-walk-shop/

Getting Old Ain’t for Sissies

by Victor Dobyns

This was a sentiment often voiced by dear Aunt Kathryn in her declining years. She had never married. Fiercely independent, she epitomized the life of someone who not only managed to provide for her own needs throughout her life, but was always able to help others less fortunate than herself. She graced our lives for 96+ years, and will always represent the model of a life well lived to me.

Kathryn was a secretary all her working years. Home ownership was a luxury she was unable to afford until her retirement at 62. She patiently furnished her new home with treasures from estate sales and 2nd hand stores. A neighbor gave her a puppy, Boots, that became her constant companion and she took in her ailing brother for his final years.

Her home was the proudest accomplishment. She delighted in hosting family and entertaining friends. As a frequent visitor, I helped her with tasks she was unable to do for herself. Neighbors, friends, and family pitched in as well.

Time took its toll and Kathryn found it more and more difficult to maintain her home. She developed mobility issues and gave up driving. Mowing the lawns, meal prep, laundry, housecleaning, transportation, made life a series of daily challenges. Her brother passed and her beloved companion, Boots, did as well. At 88 years old,

Kathryn decided to move into an independent living facility. The sale of her home and her Social Security covered costs but nothing could replace the pride and joy of living in her own home.  She made many friends in her new domicile and took advantage of the activities offered. Kathryn died in 1999.

Had Villages been around for her, she could have remained in her home for most of the rest of her life. As the organization is doing for countless others, Villages could have provided her with the services that she needed to continue to function comfortably and safely in her beloved home. Transportation, meals, activities, companionship, home maintenance and other needs that she found too difficult to handle, are provided for by Villages, for little or no cost.

Now, nearly 20 years later, I find myself experiencing some of the same difficulties Aunt Kathryn did. Gratefully, I will be able to continue to enjoy life in my own home largely because of Villages Clark County. The many services they provide for the elderly will make it possible for me to live independently for many years longer than would otherwise be possible. Villages are a godsend to elders and a significant asset to the communities it serves.



River Talk Weekly article

Villages Clark County will help seniors stay in their homes


There are more than 75,000 seniors living in Clark County, 90% want to stay living in their homes for as long as they can, 75% cannot afford the high costs of moving into assisted living facilities.  Many of these seniors need help with simple daily chores:  light housework, errands, shopping, food preparation, yard work and rides.


Where do these seniors turn for help?  Many have lost their spouse, their children live out of state and their neighbors and friends have moved into senior care facilities.


One answer to this pressing need in our community is Villages Clark County, a new start up non-profit membership organization that relies on vetted and trained volunteers to do daily and weekly chores and help with errands.  Villages Clark County is in the planning stage and is set to open in 2017 with a lot of help from the community.


How can you help?  Watch for the Give More-24 campaign coming up on September 21, 2017 sponsored by the Community Foundation of SW Washington.  Donate as much as you can, but $10 will help provide rides, housekeeping and assistance to a senior right here in Washougal and Camas.  Volunteer and help the planning committee with the fundraising, publicity, outreach and other


Want more information?  Go to our website www.VillagesClarkCounty.org


  1.  I took my elderly dog, Huntly, to the vet yesterday to check on concerns about his mobility and eyesight. The techs kindly lifted him to the exam table, cuddled him and murmured soothingly as they applied the numbing agent in his eyes. Instruments with bright lights followed as they held him securely in place. I took notes, answered medical and behavioral history questions. Discussed his prognosis. Paid the bill.

For Huntly and for me the clock ticks. On our way home I reminisced about ensuring Huntly’s wellbeing.  There is so much joy in being his companion, provider and caregiver.  We share so much; no relatives, a small circle of local acquaintances, comfortable home, a simple yet comfortable existence that has served us for many years.  And then I wonder – who will be there to help when my mobility and eyesight become compromised?




87-year old Widow Needs Help Mowing Lawn.  

Ruth Ann, an 87-year old widow called Villages Clark County to asked when we would be opening so she could join and get some services to stay living in her home.


She described her daily life: She does all her own housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, chores, errands and she still drives.  She loves to garden and maintain the small but beautiful yard her husband so meticulously worked on.  But she has become  concerned about how much longer she could mow the lawn.  This so worried her that she was thinking about selling her home and going into assisted living.