Now that we’ve celebrated all things Irish in honor of St. Patrick, and have had our fill of corned beef, cabbage and soda bread, it’s time for a change of pace. What could be better than Monmouth Senior Center’s springtime soup and pie sale? The annual event is Thursday from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., with a generous bowl of soup (vegetable, vegetable beef, chicken noodle, clam chowder and salmon corn chowder) and a slice of pie for $6. All the soups and pies are homemade by the best cooks and bakers in MI Town. See you there. — Springtime officially begins on Thursday. Most everyone in MI Town will agree that it is not a minute too soon, and we’ll be involved in all good things like planting and sprucing up houses and yards to celebrate the season. Springtime also brings favorite sports — for young and old alike — baseball, track, spring soccer, golf and tennis. We can participate on some level and attend local athletic events, which are posted on school websites and each week in the Itemizer-Observer. We have a wonderful opportunity to share the high energy and enthusiasm of our kids, friends and neighbors, and to enjoy seeing sportsmanship and teamwork in our community. These young men and women are indeed our future leaders, and we can show how much we appreciate their accomplishments and hard work by being there and cheering for our favorite teams. — The Independence Public Library hosts a local author book discussion group, which gives us an opportunity to get together with local writers. The next meeting will be Thursday at 7 p.m. in the library. This month’s selection is “Into the Dust: A Novel of the Many Roads West” by local author S. Ruth Ely. A grant from the Polk County Cultural Coalition has made this series possible. — Here's your opportunity to get a head start on summer reading. Mark your calendars for the Friends of the Monmouth Library's Spring Book Sale, which will feature nearly new and gently read books, as well as audio-visual materials. Prices are affordable and there is a great selection available. The Friends’ members only sale is May 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. If you aren't a member, you'll be able to join and be able to take advantage of the special sale. The public is welcome beginning May 2; sale hours are from noon until 6 p.m. May hours are from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Proceeds from the Spring Book Sale help support library programs for children, teens and adults, and fund special projects as well.