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This summer’s hot weather has inspired the cook to “just say no” to standing over a hot stove on more than one evening. We’ve sampled foods from faraway places without needing a passport or standing in lines at crowded airports. It would be difficult to name our favorites because we’ve never been disappointed in quality or service whether we enjoy Chinese, Italian, Mexican restaurants, or the more traditional American burgers, fried chicken or barbecue.

Another of the many joys of living in MI Town includes the opportunity to get to know your neighbors who own and work in our local businesses. There’s a special feeling of satisfaction when goods and services are delivered as promised, and everybody involved is a winner. It was not exactly a happy and joyful day when we discovered our refrigerator was on its last legs, but when one of our local merchants replaced it quickly and efficiently, things brightened up considerably.

It’s not too early to talk about one of my favorite summer happenings. This year’s Polk County Fair is Thursday, Friday and Saturday (August 10-12) at the Fairgrounds on Highway 99W in Rickreall. Be sure to check out the website and discover how you can get involved as a volunteer or exhibitor or just to enjoy the fun and many of the joys of summer. If you’ve never attended the Polk County Fair — this is the year to catch the enthusiasm and positive activity and enjoyment that is offered to people of all ages. There is nothing quite so tasty as corn on the cob washed down with a glass of ice-cold lemonade.

Our streets and sidewalks are busier than ever with children of all ages happily riding bikes and pulling wagons full of toys and sometimes little brothers or sisters, as they enjoy activities in the summer sunshine. Some children aren’t wearing bike helmets, and that just adds more potential to injury in addition to the skinned knees and elbows. We all need to be extra watchful for our little ones every day, and into the evenings as well. Where there are kids running and playing, there are also cats and the occasional family dog that has momentarily escaped the fenced backyard. When we’re in a hurry, it’s tempting to push the 20 to 25 mph speed limit in MI Town, and all of us – whether we admit to it or not – have done it.

This evening Sol Seed will entertain at Main Street Park in Monmouth. You’ll enjoy an evening of Reggae music from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bring your picnic basket or buy goodies from local vendors, and have a wonderful evening.

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