Massage therapist Cindy Gellinger offers massages at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. Sign up for 30-minute or hour-long massages at reasonable rates.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego Adult Community Centers massage therapist Cindy Gellinger considers her big hands to be hands of blessing, bringing relief from pain and anxiety.

Editor's note: The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center's massage therapist Cindy Gellinger shares a story of her healing hands this week.

His name was Dan. I was 15 when we met. He was 17. He was gorgeous! Green eyes, perfect smile, naturally tan. I was smitten.

He would meet me for lunch at school, and wait for me after class and carry my books. I could hardly function from nervousness over what to say, or how to act. Our first date was to a movie called "Tora! Tora! Tora!" It's a dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. I had not heard of it, but if Dan wanted to see it, that was all that mattered to me. I would be there by his side. We planned to meet at the theater, because my parents were not on board with him picking me up in his car. I went with my best friend and her boyfriend. Dan was late. I was so afraid he wouldn't show up, but he finally did, and into the darkened theater we went. I was so incredibly nervous. I sat stiffly next to Dan, my cold, clammy hands resting in my lap.

I don't remember much about the movie, except it showed a bunch of war planes flying around and dropping bombs. Part way through the first half of the movie, I felt Dan's hand tapping against mine. I stiffened. What was I supposed to do? He tapped a couple more times. I loosened my hand and stuck out my pinky finger. He hooked his finger around my pinky and pulled my hand onto his lap. We were now officially holding hands! I could hardly breathe!

When the lights came up Dan lifted my hand and observed our hands entwined, and then he made a statement that will be forevermore etched in my memory: "Gee, you have big hands!"

I was mortified! Suddenly I no longer felt like a specimen of feminine beauty beside this gorgeous hunk of 17-year-old young man, but more like a large ape

with knuckles dragging on the ground.

Fast forward 40+ years, and now I'm a massage therapist, putting my big hands on people several times a week, and getting incredibly amazing feedback about the warmth of my healing touch. Once a patient even told me she could see colors coming from my hands when they touched her. Sometimes I watch my hands as they glide across someone's back, and I note how they can cover a large area because of their size.

My hands, which as a teen were a source of embarrassment, have now become hands of blessing: bringing relief of pain and anxiety, a sense of peace, healing and hope. Sometimes the things that we see as weaknesses actually turn out to be our greatest strengths.

Cindy provides massages at the center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a fee of $24 for 30-minute massages and $48 for hour-long massages. Call the center to make an appointment. Her big hands can massage away any big problems.

Lunch will be served at the center Friday, Jan. 12 one last time before we move lunch service to Lake Oswego Golf Course. Friday's lunch will features stew Al' Arachid, or African beef stew.

The center will be closed Monday, Jan. 15 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Meet us for chicken and dumpling soup Monday, Jan. 15 at the Lake Oswego Golf Course, 17525 Stafford Road.

Lunch is offered at a suggested donation of $4 for those 60 and over and $5 for everyone else.

The LOACC is located at 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego, 97034. A list of activities and support groups can be found on our website,, under the Calendar banner. Click on "View the Adult Community Center Calendar" and then the activity for more details. Call 503-635-3758 to register for classes, events, make lunch reservations or schedule a massage.

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