We’re celebrating the return of many new and returning students to Western Oregon University, as classes began this week. As we say farewell to summer and those lazy, long evenings, we’re all a bit more energized to see and meet our new neighbors as they learn to navigate around their school-year community and settle in to university living for the next several months.

What could be more fun that a football game on an autumn afternoon? Our WOU Wolves meet Azusa Pacific this Saturday, at McArthur Stadium on campus. Round up the kids and pack up a blanket or two, and everyone can have a great time without a big hit to the wallet or a long drive.

Pianist Gayle Hennicke will be performing works from J.S. Bach at Faith Lutheran Church (200 Monmouth-Independence Highway) on Sunday. Ms. Hennicke has spent many years in Germany teaching and performing professionally, after receiving degrees in Music in the U.S. There is no cost for the concert, and people will have the opportunity to meet with her at a reception following the concert. Any donations will benefit refugees in Europe.

As we make the transition from summer to autumn, we’re spending less time outdoors and getting ready for the longer and darker evenings to come. After a busy afternoon raking leaves, preparing dinner and other household chores, it’s nice to curl up in a comfy chair by the fireside with a good book and a cup of tea. A sweet dog (or two) or a warm cat on your lap is optional, but very welcome in our house.

Those of us who have followed Kelly Williams Brown to becoming a published author, were pleased to read “Adulting” (a perfect high school or college graduation gift to daughters or granddaughters) a few years ago. Brown’s new book is Gracious, which I’m looking forward to reading very soon. Jules Cooper, who lives with husband Rick Cooper in Kings Valley has just published her first novel, “Marcea of the Dust: The Lost Girls”, and it’s now available at Amazon and other retailers. My dear friend of many years, Moma Escriva, has recently published her first book, “One Lie Too Many.” What fun it’s been to go with Moma on this extraordinary journey from writing class to seeing her finished work.

Let’s all take the time to get to our destinations these days and be extra careful when driving as there are more walkers and bike riders on our local streets and highways. Please be watchful and take care when venturing out into the world.

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