Last week, many people from MI Town and the entire area said a sad farewell to a woman who selflessly shared many gifts to those fortunate enough to know her.Elsie Matthes Hinds was a gifted athlete long before Title IX was a dream -- much less a reality. She was educated when Western Oregon University was Oregon College of Education, and was a teacher before and after she became a wife and mother.I enjoyed seeing Elsie at the Monmouth Senior Center and pretty much could predict that she would call twice a year asking for an apple pie to serve at the soup and pie sales. Her diligent efforts helped make those events successful and enjoyable for everyone.I believe that Elsie immediately started helping others the minute she arrived in heaven. Generations of students, family members and those of us who were fortunate enough to know her will always remember her kindness.--How quickly these wonderful summer days fly by.It seems like only a short time ago we were celebrating Memorial Day, looking forward to picnics and all the things we planned -- and now the department stores are advertising back-to-school items.Those of us with family and friends who are able to visit Oregon during the summertime are enjoying showing off all the good things we enjoy all year long. Family members from northern Arizona visited the Oregon Coast, MI Town and Portland and could not say enough positive words about our farms, backyard gardens and the joys of sharing homemade pies with berries picked just a few hours previously.It's good that we can have the opportunities to see our communities through the eyes of others, and appreciate how fortunate we are to live here in the Willamette Valley. It helps to have those memories when we're looking out on cold, rainy days a few months from now.--Mark your calendars for Aug. 27 for an open house at the Monmouth Public Library. New Library Director Krist Obrist invites everyone to stop by from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. for light refreshments. For the past nine years, Krist was the youth services librarian, and was appointed as director upon the retirement of former library director Phelps Shepard.--Last week I accompanied a group of pre-kindergarten children from the Migrant Education Program on a field trip to MI Town's Independence Public Library, where we visited the children's book section and discovered many things about the library from children's librarian, Miss Jolene. She read us a story and handed out applications for the children to apply for library cards. We are so blessed to have such wonderful libraries in MI Town.