Friday, January 9th, 2009
By Betty Lawrence
Finding beauty in winter's dreariness
  I have always felt the months of January and February were bleak, dreary and never-ending.
But due to circumstances beyond my control, I've had the rare opportunity these past few weeks to study what Mother Nature affords us in these early months of the new year, despite winter's wrath.
I have had a revelation, of sorts and now believe that January has a stark beauty all its own.
Last fall I decided not to cut back the dried perennials in my garden beds. The result has been worth it as the beds are filled with plants in many hues of brown, from dark cone flowers and black-eyed Susans to the much lighter tan-colored primroses. Against a blanket of newly fallen white snow, brown never looked so pretty.
Birds also love the plants, offering them safe haven against the cold January winds. And of course let's not forget the chamois-colored ornamental grasses that sway and dance in the wind.
A few days ago, ice encased everything outside, providing yet another brief (thankfully) natural beauty. When the sun began shining, the berries on the crabapple trees began dripping and the evergreens lost their acrylic look, but not before I had time to digest the wondrous scenery.
You know, maybe it's not a revelation after all. Maybe January has been doable for me because I haven't had to don my coat, hat, boots, mittens, etc. and trudge out into the frigid air each morning to go to work. And let's not forget cleaning the snow and ice off the car to get back home to do it again the next day.
In the near future, I will be hitting the office again each morning, which makes me believe that February won't be nearly as beautiful and reflective as January.
That's reality, but until then, happy winter.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Firefighters seek grant to upgrade well
• Health officials: Clean or close mobile home park
• Public to discuss sewer
• Investigators: Arcanum man's death likely heart-related
• St. Henry rallies late in fourth for road win
• Early spurt carries the Cavaliers past Panthers
• Defense paves the way for New Bremen
• Indians rally for win in the fourth quarter
Weather forecast
for Wednesday:

Mostly sunny