Old Man Winter has moved to MI Town and it looks like he’s unpacked his suitcases and is planning a long visit this year. These frosty early mornings can make drives or walks to school and work an unplanned and sometimes eventful adventure. Brave and hardy souls who bundle up and are not deterred from those morning walks notice more slippery sidewalks and frosty streets as a part of the daily trek. Some mornings all our reflexes are challenged as we venture out into the cold and quiet day, and we need to take extra care to prevent a nasty fall on wet or slippery sidewalks. Let’s all remember to take a few extra minutes to be prepared before we set out on these cold and frosty days.

And while we’re on the subject, on dark and rainy —as well as those occasional snowy — winter days, it’s always a good idea to turn on the headlights as soon as you start your car, even though it’s in the middle of the day. It helps other drivers see other cars on the road and can prevent nasty fender-benders or more serious crashes from happening. Cheers to bicyclists who have added both front and rear lights. We want to see you get to your destination —and back home again —safe and sound.

One good thing about reaching this point in winter is that we are getting just a bit more daylight in the morning and some afternoon sunshine — on the days we can see that big orb in the sky — than we had even a couple of weeks ago. The first green tendrils of springtime bulbs are making an appearance here and there, which always gives our hearts just a bit more hope of the brighter season that’s just around the corner.

We can all keep our spirits up by following our local athletes who are participating in winter sports at both Central High School and Western Oregon University. Being in a good and positive environment where youth and ability combines to bring so much enthusiasm can be highly addictive, and those dark and dismal days will disappear very quickly.

Yoga group meets at Monmouth Senior Center at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays, and there’s always room for more. Coffee and conversation after a gentle session is a great reward.

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