The P/V Augustine passes by the M/V Statendam as the Alaska Public Safety boat leaves the Homer Harbor on Tuesday. Troopers provided security for King Harald V on his visit to Homer.-Photo by Michael Armstrong; Homer News

The P/V Augustine passes by the M/V Statendam as the Alaska Public Safety boat leaves the Homer Harbor on Tuesday. Troopers provided security for King Harald V on his visit to Homer.-Photo by Michael Armstrong; Homer News

Best Bets

If you’re like the Betster, you might have been putting in some extra hours lately. Hey, it’s summer, and you know summer. The daylight hours get longer and somehow so does the work. The garden needs planting, stuff needs painting and the punch list grows longer. Plus, it’s tourist and fishing season, when we power up our big economic engines. Someone has to pull lattes and cut bait. Yeah, that would be you.

On the other hand, oh my goodness, the weather hasn’t been too shabby lately. By Alaska terms, that means no freezing rain that slaps you in the face like a chicken halibut reeled in by an excited fisherman. If you can soak in at least a half hour of full sunshine, you’re golden.

With apologies to the Betster’s family and friends, yours truly might be a little grumpy lately. Every morning the B. finds a cure for that: the healing power of songbirds. You might think the golden crowned sparrow sings, “Oh dear me,” but what it really says is, “Buck up, kiddo. You live in a marvelous world.”

The best songs come around 5 a.m., or as seasoned citizens call it, the morning bathroom wake-up call. People privileged to have outhouses know how this works. In the winter you catch the northern lights and in the spring you hear the songbird symphony. Dedicated birders can identify birds just by their tunes: varied thrush, hermit thrush, snipe, fox sparrow and olive-sided flycatcher. Even if you don’t know your bird songs, that chorus can lift your spirits.

Take time to listen to the birds. That’s what the birds say to the Betster. Let us remind you of what matters in the world. Let us lift your spirits through nature. Let us help you set aside your worries.

We work hard to enjoy this amazing town we live in. We all have to eat, right? We’ll be working harder as the fish run and the tourists keep coming. Sleep next winter, right?

In the meantime, take a little time off, recharge that spirit and have a heck of a lot of fun, maybe with these Best Bets:

BEST GET READY BET: A fun way to get across Kachemak Bay happens with the annual Trails Day work projects on June 6. Meanwhile, be sure to get the project of your choice by signing up from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today through next Tuesday at HoWL Headquarters on Ocean Drive.


BEST HOO-RAH BET: Veterans, this is your weekend. No, it’s not Veterans Day, but Veteran Stand Down. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at the Homer Elks Lodge, information and services are provided for homeless and disabled veterans. Then from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, also at the Elks, the day starts with an honor guard and continues with more information and services — and a meal from 1-5 p.m. for vets.


BEST LOCAL TALENT BET: With all the awesome musical geniuses in our town — or visiting — who knows what you’ll hear at Open Mic Night from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Fresh Sourdough Express on Ocean Drive. Perform or listen, but expect some pretty good stuff.


BEST BIG OUTSIDE BET: The weather forecast calls for sunshine on Sunday, which is good, because that’s the second annual Dinner in the Street at 4 p.m. on Bunnell Avenue by Bunnell Street Arts Center. Yup, it’s an avenue, all right, because that’s what the Kenai Peninsula Borough renamed it on account of avenues run east-west, and who are we to argue with bureaucrats? Anyway, it should be a fine time.


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