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Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

These days as we celebrate the increasingly rare sun breaks by getting out for a good brisk walk around MI Town, it's great to saunter through the colorful autumn leaves and remember how much fun it was to be a kid at this time of year.

But when raking those same leaves and trying to keep the sidewalks clear of wet and soggy clumps of twigs and branches, it becomes a task and there's nothing fun about it.

Thankfully, it all goes easier when there's a comfy chair beside the fireplace and a steaming cup of hot cider waiting for you when the job is done. A warm cat in your lap and a good old dog at your side helps, too - they bring sunshine and happiness into your heart and home no matter what the calendar says.

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This is also a good time of year to think about getting more involved in community activities. Central Youth Sports is always looking for volunteers to work with the group's excellent programs. Many kids in MI Town are currently playing soccer, which means busy practice sessions and games.

Contact Karen Protiva at 503-606-2845 if you want more information about Central Youth Sports and how you can best share your time and talent. Kids and their families who are involved with these programs learn many valuable life skills while participating in healthy activities.

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For those of us who always look forward to our own Polk County Fair and the Oregon State Fair every summer, our favorite memories may be of the 4-H programs and displays. Whether we were involved as kids, or as parents or grandparents or friends, there is something very special about watching the 4-H'ers present their animals, cooking, sewing and other skills.

It's a wonderful program and is open to all children and their families.

There is a fine web site - www.extension.oregonstate.edu/polk/index.php - that will give you an excellent tour of our local 4-H programs. No matter what your age, seeing our local youth involved in these programs can fill the darkest day with sunshine. If you are weary of reading about how young people are headed down the wrong road and believe that it's only getting worse - learning about the kids involved in 4-H will cheer you.

For more information about programs in MI Town, call 503-623-8395.

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The Monmouth Senior Center Soup and Pie sale last Thursday was one of the best ever, and if you missed it be sure to plan for next year. Despite the blustery day, hungry folks from all around the area enjoyed a variety of wonderful homemade soups and pies, while meeting and greeting friends and neighbors.

Congratulations and best wishes to all the hard-working volunteers who give many hours of their time and energy every week as a labor of love to our community senior center.

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