The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory is moored on Oct. 10, 2020, at the Pioneer Dock in Homer, Alaska. Fresh snow or termination dust covers the peaks of the Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay, a sign of the coming winter. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory is moored on Oct. 10, 2020, at the Pioneer Dock in Homer, Alaska. Fresh snow or termination dust covers the peaks of the Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay, a sign of the coming winter. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

The Betster shares your denial. The Betster wants to believe in the warmth of mid-day in October and not the chill of the morning. The Betster does not think the thick frost seen on windshields was actual frost, but a prank played by a playful neighbor defrosting the freezer who dumped slush on Yours Truly’s Subaru.

We do not believe our senses and pay no attention to leaves blowing away, grass turning brown and that mysterious white substance that has appeared on mountains across Kachemak Bay. Surely that is an atmospheric effect, some optical illusion like the clouds others mistake for flying saucers. In fact, “aliens did it” would be a good reason for why those mountains have changed color. Here in Homer, we live by the motto, “For every rational explanation, there is an irrational explanation.”

With so many conspiracy theories to choose from, why stick with the boring, pedestrian ideas suggested on obscure chatrooms of the web? We Homerites are far much more clever than any tinfoil hat keyboard philosopher in the Lower 48. It seems perfectly logical some sinister government agency has created an ice bomb that has trapped Kachemak Bay in a cold front, destroying the perfect weather we enjoyed all summer.

Surely summer cannot end. With all we’ve endured, from pandemic lockdowns to the unfolding surrealist drama that is Washington, D.C., why must we be tortured with the changing of the season? Yes, that burst of fall has been spectacular, but the Betster accepted it only with the understanding that summer would return once we’d had our fill of pumpkin spice beverages. And didn’t it get nice and warm and sunny this week?

Alas, just as jumping out of an airplane becomes a lesson in gravity if you don’t have a parachute, citizens, we must accept the winter to come. We must accept that the leaves will fall, the snow will fall on the mountain and winter will creep down the flanks of yonder hills to even our very beaches. It will get cold. It will get to below freezing. There might even be entire weeks where the temperature never rises above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is time, Betster persons. It is time to chop wood. It is time to do all those chores the Kachemak Gardener advises. It is time to put up the strings of white lights. It is time to dig out the big sweaters and warm hats. It is even time to put pile liners in your XtraTufs.

But not quite yet. There just might be a few warm, sunny days left, days to get out and enjoy the world, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST SWOOSH BET: That’s probably not the technical term, but as the Betster understands it, the art of Chinese painting involves a lot of thought and contemplation, and then in a few quick strokes, creating the image. Learn how from someone who knows, our own Sharlene Cline, when she teaches “Chinese Paintings: Orchids” from 5:30-6:30 p.m. tonight at the Homer Council on the Arts. She will cover concepts like expressive brush strokes, brush loading and color mixing. All levels are welcomed. Supplies provided. The class is $50 for HCOA members and $60 for nonmembers. Register at www.homerart.org or call 235-4128.

BEST DOUBLE DOUBLE BET: The Pratt Museum’s forest trail will be haunted this weekend by spooky beings right out of the imagination of William Shakespeare. It’s Pier One Theatre’s “Haunted Shakespeare: His Murdered, Ghosts, and Otherworldly Creatures,” performance walks that begin every 15 minutes and will be held between 5-7 p.m. Friday, 5-7 p.m. Saturday, and 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are required — you can make one by calling Pier One at 907-226-2287. Tickets are $10. Attend the performance with people in your family or a safe “pod” or bubble, a group who restricts contacts to a family or a small number of people. Masks are required while on the walk, with clear markings to keep a safe distance from one another or the performers.

BEST BRING HER HOME BET: The family and friends of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane are organizing a Walk & Vigil from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 to honor the one-year anniversary of her disappearance. The walk will retrace the route that Duffy would have taken on the day she went missing and the vigil will be an opportunity for community members to share stories and memories about Duffy. Volunteers 18 and older are needed to help, serving as street monitors during the walk in assisting walkers in safely crossing the streets, and as parking monitors, helping to direct people into parking areas. If you can volunteer in either capacity, that would be greatly appreciated. Please call Art at 235-1014 for more information and to sign up.

BEST VOTE NOW BET: Worried that a giant meteor might hit the planet on Nov. 3, totally messing up your plan to vote in the general election? OK, a giant meteor would mess up a bunch of other things, but never mind. What with the COVID-19 pandemic and all sorts of craziness that could happen as we citizens dare to exercise our right to vote, it’s probably a good idea to come up with a plan to make sure your vote gets counted. The Alaska Division of Elections and our own local government have teamed up to make things easier. Starting next Tuesday, Oct. 20, the day after Alaska Day, you can vote absentee ballot in-person at Homer City Hall.

Alas, we don’t have an early voting site on the lower Kenai Peninsula, so that means votes cast absentee ballot in-person will be counted along with mailed-in absentee ballots. Everything received on time gets counted, though. Absentee ballot voting in-person runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at Homer City Hall through Nov. 2.

Already have your mail-in ballot? Save a stamp and make sure the ballot gets received by dropping your absentee ballot off at city hall during business hours or in the secure city drop box outside of hours.

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