Devil’s club leaves glow yellow on Sept. 17, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Devil’s club leaves glow yellow on Sept. 17, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

A few weeks ago the Betster wrote about the Fall equinox, and about how it can serve as a good reminder to take stock of our lives, possessions and activities as we say goodbye to summer and head for darker days.

Well, the Autumnal equinox came and went on Tuesday. We are now firmly ensconced in the chilly embrace of Fall — there’s no going back now.

The Betster wrote about finding light in the little things as we move closer to winter and the natural light arounds us begins to wane. This week: joy.

What are you finding joy in these days? Perhaps you are like the Betster and Fall is your favorite season. Congrats! You are already surrounded with joy. Mission accomplished. Go buy yourself something shaped like a pumpkin to celebrate.

Or perhaps you do not find Autumn to be the most enchanting of seasons. Maybe the colder mornings make it harder to get out of bed. Maybe the darker days mess with your mood and maybe you’re having to say goodbye to your favorite outdoor activities as summer and eventually fall slip away.

You wouldn’t be alone. Alaska is an enchanting playground by summer and a dark, icy challenge by winter. So for those of use who aren’t rejoicing in frost on the front lawn and the trees changing color, where is joy found lately?

Maybe it’s found in your grandmother’s soup recipe — never quite the same as when she made it, but hearty enough to fill stomachs and souls all winter.

Perhaps it’s in finding (or even making) the perfect Halloween costume for your child. What a perfect opportunity to let our adult imaginations free like a child’s.

Maybe the joy is in visiting (safely) with friends. As temperatures drop and the outdoors become less hospitable, retreating inside for conversation and connection can be joyful indeed.

Marie Kondo of Japan purports a method of organization and decluttering that declares: if something in your life sparks joy hold onto it. If not, let it go.

Alas, the Betster has recently been told one cannot use this method to throw out one’s propane bill. *Sigh*

Still, it seems like a pretty good trick to have up one’s sleeve heading further into Fall. Find the joy, friends. Leave the rest behind.

Maybe a little joy stands to be found in these Best Bets:

BEST BE INFORMED BET: The Homer Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Candidate Forum for the upcoming elections for Homer mayor and Homer City Council at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, at Land’s End Resort in the Quarter Deck room. The first hour will focus on the candidates for mayor. The second portion of the evening will focus on the candidates for city council. The event will follow state and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. This will include physical distancing, reduced room capacity and open windows and doors. Face coverings are recommended. The event will also be live streamed on the Chamber’s website at HomerAlaska.org and KBBI AM 890 will broadcast the event.

BEST GET OUT BET: These amazing fall colors and scenery just beg to be painted. Join local artist David Pettibone for “Plein Air Painting: Fall Colors” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Meet outside rain or shine at the HCOA parking lot on Pioneer Avenue for a determination of painting location. Supplies are not included. Pettibone will be demonstrating in oils though he is happy to work with you in acrylic, watercolor, gouache or casein. Masks are required for the demonstration. The fee is $75 for members, $90 for nonmembers. For more information, call 907-235-4288 or register online at www.homerart.org.

BEST LAST CHANCE BET: No, we’re not talking about the 1980s era vintage junk yard that used to be on the spot of WKFL Park. The Betster means the last chance to visit the Farmers Market with staffed booths from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday on Ocean Drive. Come on down and share your love of local food and local farmers this weekend. Alas, there won’t be the traditional Harvert Party with food cooked by the farmers, but stock up and make a hearty fall meal.

BEST YOUR UNIVERSE BET: As part of its “Inspiration and Adaption” series, Bunnell Street Arts Center periodically holds conversations via Zoom on a variety of topics. At 11 a.m. Friday, it’s the “Shared Universe Book Club” with Nathan Shafer, Melissa Shaginoff, Dimi Macheras, and Richard Perry. Register in advance at www.bunnellarts.org/inspiration-and-adaptation. In the conversation, the artists and writers explore these issues: How can we create stories from the most authentic representation? What does it mean to re-imagine modern storytelling with Indigenous authority, elder and youth contributions, and our own cultural competencies?

Shared Universe is a group of Alaskan artists, writers and knowledge-bearers who seek feedback from readers about their efforts to create, promote and distribute exciting comic book stories/new media/fashion exemplifying the rich regional cultures of Alaska in ways that both honor the heritage and forge new concepts to bridge the past with the future.

Fireweed has begun to turn purple on Sept. 17, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Fireweed has begun to turn purple on Sept. 17, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A Steller’s jay sits in an elderberry bush on Sept. 11, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A Steller’s jay sits in an elderberry bush on Sept. 11, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The leaves of a bush have turned red on Sept. 12, 2020, at the Russian River Campground near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The leaves of a bush have turned red on Sept. 12, 2020, at the Russian River Campground near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Some fireweed has turned to fluff on Sept. 20, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Some fireweed has turned to fluff on Sept. 20, 2020, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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