MI TOWN: Patty Taylor Dutcher

With a simple turn of the calendar page tomorrow, it’s a new month and — let’s face it — a new season. No matter how much we want to cling to summer’s last remnants, Miss Autumn is here in all her glory, and we’ll have to depend upon the photographs, memories and souvenirs to remind us of those endless days of warmth and sunshine as we welcome cool mornings and crisp evenings to MI Town.

Our gardens are in need of clearing and cleaning up at this time of year, and it’s with mixed emotions that we dug out the squash plants the other day and added them to the compost area. There are only so many ways to cook zucchini, and I’m sure they were all tried during the last several weeks. The tomatoes are still looking good, though, and if Jack Frost will stay away for a little while, we can enjoy them fresh from the vine. I’ve found that putting green tomatoes in sunny windowsills helps them ripen, and with any luck we’ll enjoy them for some time to come.

Thanks to Jolene Guzman’s article on preparing for emergency conditions — specifically the 9.0 Cascadia subduction earthquake that is inevitable — it gives us all a kick-start reminder to get back to preparing supplies, foods, clothing and all those necessary items to keep our households going when all the city, county and state services won’t be available. It’s pretty easy to put together a container of Band-Aids, a wind-up radio and a couple jugs of water and call it “good,” but we need to be ready for more than a couple bumps and bruises, or water to drink for a day or two.

When we’re clearing out an area for our emergency supplies, it gives us the opportunity and perhaps the incentive to pack up all those items that we are never going to use again and donate them to organizations that can give them to people in need. You’ll get a tax donation, and it will feel good to discover and use that extra space in your garage or storage area.

Mark your calendars for this Saturday for the monthly community breakfast from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m. at the Monmouth Senior Center. Friendly faces and happy cooks will serve a hearty breakfast consisting of sausage, eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy on the first Saturday of every month. The price is right: $6 for adults and children older than 12, $3 for children younger than 12. It’s a great way to begin a Saturday for busy people of all ages and a chance to visit with old and new acquaintances.

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