M-I Town column: Patty Taylor Dutcher

This time of year is filled with new beginnings as we make the transition from summer to fall in MI Town.

It's great to catch the energy of our youngest neighbors as they walk to the big yellow school buses on those bright and shining mornings. The crisp and cool evenings bring us a good opportunity to relax and reflect on the joys of a busy day well spent.

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We enjoyed the Monmouth Concerts in the Park series during July and August -- and we will miss those special Wednesday evenings gathering with friends and neighbors while listening to good entertainers and enjoying picnic suppers or snacks available from our local merchants.

These events don't just happen by themselves. A hearty thank you to those who worked so hard to provide special evenings for all of us. We can all remember to patronize our local businesses and merchants who do so many good things for all of us in MI Town.

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A dedicated group of people interested in doing good things for MI Town is the Emeritus Society.

For a membership fee of $30 -- all of which goes to scholarships for Western Oregon University students -- you can become a member and enjoy interesting lectures and presentations every month. Six WOU students will receive $500 scholarships this academic year.

The next Emeritus meeting is Monday, Sept. 8, and will begin with a potluck lunch at 12:30 p.m. at Gentle House on the college campus. John Minahan, WOU president, will speak on the state of the university. If you would like more information, please call 503-838-8281.

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We're all enjoying the hard work in the garden -- and at our wonderful farmers markets -- with the bonus crops of green beans, corn, squash and tomatoes. Bright and shining jars of jellies, jams and canned fruit will be most welcome when those dark and rainy days return in the not too distant future.

For everyone who has been waiting for those wonderful apples -- it's that time of year. Whether you choose from the varieties available from local supermarkets, booths at farmers markets, or picking from your own backyard trees to make your very special cider, pies or applesauce, it's definitely the season. Our Willamette Valley apples provide all the goodness of the seasons in one crisp bite.

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Bring your appetites to the Monmouth Senior Center on Saturday for the monthly community breakfast. Great food and smiling faces will help jump-start your busy day.

Breakfast is served from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the center, 180 S. Warren St. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12-and-under. Please call 503-838-5678 for more information.

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