Plumb out of sugar plumbs, let's go look at plants

Kristin Gehring's big week

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What? Oh, hello. No, we're fine ? we just thought we'd lie down on the floor here for a little while. We're all tuckered out from all the holiday hubbub.

If you, too, feel like you've exuded so much festive spirit of late that you've just about had the spirit sucked right out of you, why don't you come with us to the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St. (386-4700), and stare at green things for a while. Just as soon as we get up off the floor. It should be nice and calm, with only the occasional comment from the birds or lyrical trickle of water in the pond to disturb the lush quietude. The conservatory is even open on New Year's Day, which betrays a depth of benevolence that takes our breath away.

And maybe we should go to the Labyrinth Walk on New Year's Eve at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St. (848-5860). We wouldn't have to talk much. Maybe walking the labyrinth and meditating would help refill our deflated spirits. We always feel dispirited after Christmas, thinking of all that normal life stretching out ahead of us in long, wintry tracts.

We've spent all our money, so we can't go anywhere that charges admission. Have you seen the exhibit at Oak Park Public Library yet? Well, let's go to that, then: Chicago Landscapes, paintings by Julie Sulzen and photographs by Dan Zamudio. Then maybe you could buy us a cup of hot chocolate at Caribou Coffee and point out to us that there's no reason to be sad.

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