We’ll bid a fond farewell to the wintry month of January in just a few more days. It will be good to welcome February, which will bring us more daylight, better weather and St. Valentine celebrations. Groundhog Day is right around the corner and we’ll see what the weather prognosticators have to say about the possibilities of six more weeks of winter.

In the Willamette Valley, we know that we’ll have more of the usual rain, along with occasional frosty mornings for the next six weeks, and then some. Even though we’re beginning to see the first hints of springtime with tiny buds on the trees and the slightest bit of what will become daffodils peeking out from the wet and occasionally frozen ground, it’s still a long time before we can relegate those heavy coats and wool hats to the back of the closet.

For those of us who don’t have reservations on the next flight to a warm weather paradise or a cruise in the Greek Isles, MI Town has some good alternatives — and you don’t have to have a passport or melt down the credit card to enjoy local and community events. Our university and high school teams are in the midst of another busy sports season, and community support is always appreciated. Whether your choice is basketball, wrestling or volleyball, it’s fun to get together with friends and neighbors and forget about these dark winter days.

Sometimes it’s fun to dress up and have a special celebration to chase away the raindrops. The Pentacle Theatre and Salem Symphony are excellent places to go for evening or matinee performances.

The Monmouth Senior Center has something good happening every weekday. Whether you are new to MI Town or have lived here for many years, it’s a great place to meet others and discover so many good things about our community. There are field trips for occasional getaways, the monthly Community Breakfast (Feb. 6), classes (from art to yoga — and just about everything in between), monthly potlucks and birthday celebrations, as well as the soup and pie luncheons and the Victorian Tea. The monthly newsletter can be accessed via the city of Monmouth’s website (www.ci.monmouth.or.us). For more information, please call Sue Teal at 503-838-5678 or stop by the center, at 180 Warren St. Business hours are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., weekdays.

Let’s all be hopeful that better weather days are ahead — and that if the groundhog does indeed see his shadow, we’ll have lots of things to keep us busy and happy in MI-Town.

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