5/1 MI Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Wednesday we celebrate the beginning of the merry month of May, with picnics, ballgames and lots of activities outdoors -- and when the rain begins to fall, we hardy Oregonians put on our ponchos and can be quick to open umbrellas. These springtime days are flying by, and the calendar tells us that summer is hiding just around the corner, just out of reach.


Be sure to make plans to attend the Monmouth Senior Center's community breakfast Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. After breakfast, stop by the Monmouth Garden Club sale in the library parking lot, then wander into the Friends of the Monmouth Library book sale for even more bargains. The book sale begins Thursday for members only from 5 to 7 p.m., then continues Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.


One good thing we can all do in this season is to take the time to do something for somebody else. Not so easy, perhaps, as we have busy schedules and demands upon our time grow more and more with every passing day. It's hard to say "yes" and accept yet another volunteer task when we feel stretched to the limit with responsibilities and not enough hours in the day to do the things we need to do, much less what we want to do.

We can't all step in to save the world, but there are so many little things we can do to make our communities better and happier places to be.

Not everybody can write a generous check to support their favorite charities, but volunteering at the library, a food bank or your nearby school is always appreciated. Can you spend an hour reading to someone in a nursing home or at the hospital? Our cities need volunteers to serve on committees and to help with various programs.

If you're homebound or have no transportation, are you able to make handcrafted items to sell at the senior center (and receive a portion of the sales price)? Can you help with telephone calls for a school event?

What we can all do -- even if we don't have any extra time or money -- is brighten somebody's day with a smile or a few kind words of encouragement. We've all had moments when everything is going utterly and completely wrong, and it feels like nothing will ever be right again. But a warm and friendly smile from someone else has made the day much better. Sometimes that is enough to help us pick up our burdens and face the future with more courage and hope than we had before.


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