If you’re melanin challenged and got out and about last weekend, you probably developed a case of racoon eyes – you know, from wearing sunglasses and your face got a nice, healthy glow but the area under the sunglasses didn’t. Some of you might have gotten more than a healthy glow, which is why people of Northern Europe might want to put on some sunscreen.
Alaskans of the paler shade also have to worry about an Alaska tan. That’s sort of like freckles, because the tops of the goose bumps tan more than the bottoms. OK — joke! That doesn’t happen.
We’re now full on into the sunny season, or maybe not. This morning the Betster scraped ice off the Subaru’s windshield. Frost in late May. What the heck? Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be the traditional weekend to plant gardens. The weekend outlook calls for more sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s, so maybe that frost was one last gasp of winter. Alaska can do that to us.
This weekend also marks the full opening of the Homer Spit and the start of the traditional summer tourist season. Motorhomes already can be seen, and, yeah, all the associated bad driving habits. The other day the Betster came upon a rental RV parked in an intersection. “Ya lost?” yours truly asked. That’s code for “Just because you’re renting an RV doesn’t mean you can park any dang place.” They should print that in the visitor guides.
More important, and lest we forget, Memorial Day weekend is, well, the first long holiday of summer capped by Memorial Day. Remember what we remember and why. Overseas and in America, the some who gave all have their final rest. The brutal war in Ukraine reminds us of the horror of war and the bravery of those who fight for freedom. Take a moment on Monday to remember them, or better yet, attend the ceremony at 10 a.m. at Hickerson Cemetery on Diamond Ridge.
Violence haunts our world too much these days, and we have much work to do. May we find peace in the joy of family and friends, and perhaps in the blessings of shared community like these best bets:
BEST CALM YOUR MIND BET: There’s a peace in Chinese painting that comes from preparing the brush and hand to make a stroke of a painting. Learn about the in Chinese Painting Class, taught by Homer artist Sharlene Cline today from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homer Council on the Arts. Students will use traditional techniques of brush loading, color mixing and careful brush strokes to paint fish. All levels are welcome and all supplies are provided. The fee is $50 for HCOA members, $60 for nonmembers. Call 235-4288 for more information.
BEST IN FLANDERS FIELDS BET: The traditional token of remembrance on Memorial Day is the poppy. The American Legion Post 16 Auxiliary will sell poppies to wear at Safeway in Homer on Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28. All donations will provide support for the future of veterans, active-duty military, and their families with medical and financial needs.
BEST THEY’RE BACK BET: You can’t have a real Homer house unless somewhere in your home you have an original, hand painted plate from the Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Plate Project. If you need to start your collection or add to it, check out Bunnell’s opening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday for the 28th Annual Plate Project. Pick a plate when you join or renew your membership at the $125 or greater level. Swing by from 4-5 p.m. when Jazz/blues vocalist Susan Butler joins Brad Somers on rhythm guitar for a performance.
Plates can be viewed in the gallery and online at https://www.bunnellarts.org/plate-project/2022-plate-project-gallery.
BEST WASH AWAY THAT GRIME BET: Don’t want to tackle the big job of scrubbing your sweet ride? Let the kids do it. The AKtoDC 2023 gang will hold a car wash fundraiser for their 2023 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 28, in the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot.
BEST INTO THE WOODS BET: Curious about the forests and gardens at the Pratt Museum & Park? Take a guided tour today from 11 a.m. to noon and learn about the amazing plants and trees on the grounds. Pratt staff offer an interpretive introduction to the broader ecology of the Kachemak Bay region and describe the ways that we incorporate the plant communities of the region into the Botanical Garden at the Pratt Museum. Botany experts and novices alike can find delightfulinsights as we explore the interactions and dynamics of our local ecosystem.
BEST ALL THE BOATS BET: Want to learn the difference between a halibut boat and a seiner? Take the Pratt’s Homer History Harbor tour form 3-4:30 p.m. Friday at the harbor. Walk the docks, check out the amazing boats and learn about the boats, fishing and some of the characters that shaped Homer’s vibrant maritime history. The fee is $10; cash only.