Forget-me-notes bloom on June 5, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. The Forget-me-not floweer is the Alsaka state flower. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Forget-me-notes bloom on June 5, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. The Forget-me-not floweer is the Alsaka state flower. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Although this has been a fabulous summer, you have to admit that the rain this week has been welcome. Alaska has the most amazing summers anywhere with the right balance of moderate temperatures, long daylight hours and, of course, fabulous scenery. After a really hard winter, we expect Camelot summers, just like in the musical, where it never rains until after sundown (joke!). The weekends must be sunny or we just get downright surly.

But consider the advantages to rain:

• The wildfire danger is less. Remember last summer? Yeah, we don’t want that.

• It waters our fabulous flower and vegetable gardens.

• The rain washes all the horrid spruce pollen out of the air.

That’s a good visual reminder of what the SARS-CoV-2 virus does when let loose in our world. See all that pollen on windows or on your clothing and hair when you step outside? Imagine it’s COVID-19 bugs.

The weekend forecast calls for cloudy and rain. It’s a good time to mellow out, spend time with family and friends in our social bubble, and contemplate our strengths as we muddle through challenges.

One big strength: This town overflows with love and compassion, like how people pay it forward at coffee shops and breweries. People might be alone and distant, but any way we can, we make sure they’re remembered, even if we have to do it through a window at an assisted living home.

Still, if you can stand a bit of liquid sunshine, dance between the rain drops, maybe with these Best Bets:

BEST FREE AT LAST BET: Even after the Union defeated the Southern traitors and liberated the former slave states, it took two years for every slave to be free. We honor that day with Juneteenth. Join Homer’s first ever Juneteenth celebration with prayer and talks from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and music and food from 5-7 p.m. Friday at WKFL Park. Wear masks and practice social distancing.

BEST YOUR LAWN BET: Because of the pandemic there won’t be dancing on the lawn at Karen Hornaday Park, but you can crank up the speakers, dance at home and listen to KBBI’s Concert on Your Lawn on Friday and Saturday. Our local public radio station holds a pledge drive with live and archived music broadcast over those cosmic waves.

BEST GET OUT BET: OK, there are some safe, socially distant outdoor events you can do, like the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Early Morning Bird Walk from 8-9 a.m. Saturday at the Wynn Nature Center, Mile 1.5 East Skyline Drive. A naturalist leads the walk on the trails at the center. Bring your mask and binoculars and be COVID-19 aware. The event is free.

BEST HELP OUT BET: That staple of summer, the big nonprofit garage sale, can still happen in these times of pandemic as long as we’re careful. Check out the Anchor Point Senior Center Land & Sea Flea Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Road in Anchor Point. The sale features lots of items for sale, including fishing items, camping items and others to numerous to list.

A trumpeteer swan sits on a dock at Beluga Lake on Monday evening, June 8, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A trumpeteer swan sits on a dock at Beluga Lake on Monday evening, June 8, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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As a reminder to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Homer artist Julie Tomich painted face masks on the figures of Tom Reed’s mural, “Tribute to Performing Artists,” as seen on July 3, 2020, on Pioneer Avenue in Homer, Alaska. Reed painted the mural in August 1985 on a retaining wall in front of NOMAR (then Proctor’s Grocery), and updated the mural with additional figures in 2008 under a city grant. Using a chalk-based, non-permanent paint, Tomich got permission from the city to add the masks to the mural. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
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