Save the date. There’s an event scheduled for Thursday, May 22. The Oregon State University Extension Service is holding its second (ever) Optimal Aging Symposium. I’d like you to be there.

Oh … you attended it in 2005? Good. And you had a wonderful time?

Ah, yes. Everyone seemed to. You probably recall a day of presentations from impressively-credentialed experts talking about “aging optimally.” That will happen again.

Dr. Tammy Bray, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, was the keynote speaker at the first symposium (one person’s comment from her end-of-the-day evaluation was, “Gosh, she’s smart. And she’s such a hoot! I really learned a lot.”). Tammy Bray will be back. As will Linda Willis, the feisty, funny, local nutritionist who’s getting kudos from so many for her “Balanced Weigh” approaches.

At the last symposium there was a Tai Chi demonstration on the lawn at noon and a healthy gourmet boxed lunch. Count on those to happen again, too. You’ll be informed, educated and well fed — and you’ll receive a colorful informational packet full of current ideas about optimal aging.

Some of the “Strong Women” (strength training classes occur every day at the Extension Service) will be there. And, yes, there will be massage chairs set up so people, if they choose, can receive five-minute shoulder massages throughout the day. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

After lunch (did I mention it was a “healthy gourmet” lunch, which one person recently told me was “not possible?”

If you attended last time, you know that individual will be tastefully surprised.

Our own locally-so-popular Dr. Robin Miller, physician and founder of the Triune Integrative Medicine Clinic (www.Triunemed.com), will be on hand to demonstrate alternative and integrative medicine approaches, including naturopathic and homeopathic remedies, guided imagery, yoga, etc. Miller and members of her team will advise us on how to make complementary medicine a part of our health-care repertoire.

This year the Optimal Aging Symposium is being held at the OSU Extension Auditorium (569 Hanley Road, Central Point), so you’ll be able to get acquainted with the gardens our Master Gardeners tend so carefully.

I’ve asked several Extension volunteers to be near the gardens during the day to answer questions. The Lavender Garden is a particularly magnificent place.

Have I persuaded you this date is worth saving? If so, I need you to do something specific. And I think it’s important to do it quickly — this symposium is going to fill up fast. Register early by calling 776-7371 and pre-pay the $20 fee, which includes lunch. It’s only $15 per person if two people register together.

The registration’s not final until payment is received. After all, I have to know way ahead of time how many lunches to prepare for all of you.

Scholarships are available, if the cost to attend feels too hefty for your budget. But you know, I think it’s actually quite a good deal. If I weren’t going to be there already, hosting the symposium, I’d definitely attend.

Sharon Johnson is an associate professor in health and human services at Oregon State University and on the faculty of the OSU Extension. E-mail her at s.johnson@oregonstate.edu or call 776-7371, ext. 210.