MI Town farewell



On Sept. 6, 2006, the Itemizer-Observer printed my first MI Town column.

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Dutcher

I’ll always be grateful to Dave Weston and Mark Henderson for listening to my request for a column featuring Monmouth and Independence, then inviting me to give it a try. Encouragement from my senior high school English/Journalism teacher (Mrs. Herrington), and professors at Lewis & Clark College has never been forgotten. I’ve traveled many roads and had many experiences since those younger years, but never let go of the dream to write for a newspaper. Dave, Mark, Kurt and now Emily helped make that a reality.

We moved to a sweet old house on College Street in Monmouth the summer of 2000, and it has been a wonderful adventure to get to know our neighbors, make new friends and get involved in the community. We’ve attended countless fairs, receptions, city council meetings, library meetings and senior center board meetings. It’s been a fun and busy ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

This will be my last MI Town column as we are going over the river and through the woods — and a mountain pass, to our new home in Prineville. We’ll be closer to family members and have a smaller house and yard, which is becoming very important to us as we get older.

There are so many people who we will miss as we make this transition. Susan King, realtor with Windemere in Monmouth, was the first person we met during our house-hunting journey, and she helped us discover our dear house. It’s somehow bittersweet that she has arranged for the sale of our house, as well, as we go on to new adventures. Meeting and getting to know people at the Monmouth Senior Center, where I initiated the Crafter’s Corner gift shop; serving on the Library Board and Friends of the Monmouth Library; being appointed to the Citizen Review Board, where I worked with other dedicated volunteers to ensure children in foster care in Polk County were getting all services needed; and serving on the Polk County Health Advisory Board have been very rewarding.

When my friend, Gene Lund started a yoga group on weekday mornings at the senior center, several of us became involved and have spent several years participating in yoga, then our coffee time following the sessions. Our group has been amazing, where we share stories of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Each of us has had our spirits lifted during times of sadness, worry and stress. We have laughed and cried and laughed some more. Everyone is always welcome to share our mostly-gentle workouts and especially the coffee times.

We’ll miss the WOU football games, where we’ve been season-ticket holders for all these many years. We’ll miss the Fourth of July parades and music in the park and all the good things about living in this wonderful community.

Thank you all for walking with me through the dark days of cancer diagnosis and recovery, for chatting with me in the line at the grocery store, and for reading MI Town all these years. Fare thee well.



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