Best Bets

Another day has been put to rest in the prolonged stretching of the red sun’s light beneath the horizon. Our gardens are hidden beneath layers of snow outside our houses, and our coats are warming in the boiler room or by the fire place.

Is there anything we can find inside our doors, in the darkness, that would not be available otherwise? Where do we turn when the world outside is closed for the day, and the linings of our house appear boring?

The holidays serve to entertain us, among other effects, but the anticipation can only fuel an evening for so long. Only so much decoration or preparing can be done.

What about the preoccupation with purchasing gifts? Is this the way to fill our winter evenings, by scanning through prices on the internet or in the store shops?

What would happen if instead of searching for something to do, scrolling online or through all our streaming services, we chose something else? What if we sat and thought of another approach?

Would we spend the whole winter thinking? By the time something worth doing rolled around, the snow would be melting and the sun would be beckoning us back out again.

So how about we approach what we already have, and already do, in a new way? It is easy to talk about mindsets and their impacts, the way they change, how we can “improve” ourselves, but putting this into practice is a very different matter. To drink the cup of coffee you have every morning, or to sit in the same old chair or eat a tired meal, can be very tiresome. How do we bring light to this while there isn’t even enough to give us eight hours outside?

Rather than searching for a new hobby, we could stop and examine our current positions. How can I look at what I’m doing differently? What have I been overlooking which deserves more attention? Are there parts of my life this winter that could be appreciated more, or brought to my attention?

Change, or finding novelty, does not need to come from us. Change will always come, whether we enact it or not. Some advise directing change, molding the progression in a way which creates something desirable. But how do we know what is desirable?

How do we know what seeds we want to plant in the garden once spring comes around? How do we know where we need to travel, or how we need to build up our homes, in the summer time?

The winter can often force inaction, but that does not mean it is forcing inability.

For ways to get out of your house and be with the other winter-farers of Homer, check out these Best Bets:

BEST POETIC BET: Want to continue tinkering with that writing piece you’ve been creating? Do you want another set of eyes to look it over? Get ready for the 25th Kenai Peninsula Writers’ Contest by writing poems and flash prose with Mercedes O’Leary! 1-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Homer Council of the Arts building. Attendance fee is $35. We will gather to conference and revise. You can get feedback on your pieces and explore strategies for revision.

BEST STRING QUARTET BET: Please join the Pratt Museum & Park for its third annual Glacier Salon featuring Homer’s own Glacier Salon Quartet for a performance of Hayden String Quartet Op. 76 #4 “The Sunrise” and Dvorak String Quartet Op. 96 “The American,” at 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Pratt Museum & Park. Members of the Glacier Salon Quartet are Marcio Candido on Violin I, Daniel Perry on Violin II, Nancy Darigo on Viola, and Mannfried Funk on Cello. Wine and dessert will be available following the performance. RSVP to A suggested donation is $100 per person, but more importantly, every gift is needed and appreciated. Seating is limited so please RSVP today.

BEST TALK ABOUT IT BET: Looking for a channel to pour out some of those feelings you haven’t gotten a chance to share? There is a group of people who feel the same, and are looking forward to listening to your and share their own experiences of grief. Hospice of Homer is hosting a community open mic session where anyone can share their expressions of grief, whether it be in a poetic, sung or otherwise spoken way. The event is 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 – Into the Dark: An Open Mic on Grief and Loss. Join hospice for exceptional coffee and catharsis at Ano Kissaten.

BEST BIRDER BET: In preparation for the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, The Kachemak Birders and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are sponsoring a Winter Bird Identification class on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Dave Erikson, local compiler for the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), will go over the common birds we see around Homer in the winter months and how to identify them using simple field marks. He will also cover how to separate closely related species, differences among male, females, and juveniles, and differences in seasonal plumages. There is no charge for the class. Masks are encouraged.

This class is designed for beginning birders, birders new to the area, and is a good refresher for more experience birders. Everyone is welcome. The class also helps prepare people for the 123rd CBC, which will be held in Homer on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People should meet in on the morning of the count at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. People can also participate in the CBC by monitoring their bird feeders and reporting the birds that visit the feeder on the day of the count day.

For more information on the class, please contact David Erikson: 907 441-7931 or or Lani Raymond: 907 399-9477 or or check out the Kachemak Bay Birder’s website at:

BEST SPAGHETTI BET: Help support the Share the Spirit movement this holiday season! The Spaghetti Feed is back! It will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the local Elks lodge from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. To-go orders will be available and can be ordered the day of, from 8:30 a.m. to noon by calling 235-2127. but better yet come join us for lunch or dinner, or both and enjoy local entertainment, including the wonderful Homer High Swing Choir! Many volunteers are needed for this event and volunteers are asked to call 907-235-7466, leave your contact information, we will call you back!

Photo by Christopher Kincaid
Young dancers portray mice in a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, for the Homer Nutcracker Ballet held at the Mariner Theatre in Homer, Alaska.

Photo by Christopher Kincaid Young dancers portray mice in a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, for the Homer Nutcracker Ballet held at the Mariner Theatre in Homer, Alaska.