From left to right, Ray Troll, John “Johnny B.” Bushell and David Montgomery play at the Cook Inletkeeper Splash Bash July 31 at Bishop’s Beach. Troll of Ketchikan and Bushell of Homer play with the Ratfish Wranglers, and Montgomery of Seattle plays with Big Dirt. Both bands played at Salmonstock last weekend. Montgomery, author of “King of Fish,” also spoke at the Splash Bash and Salmonstock.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

From left to right, Ray Troll, John “Johnny B.” Bushell and David Montgomery play at the Cook Inletkeeper Splash Bash July 31 at Bishop’s Beach. Troll of Ketchikan and Bushell of Homer play with the Ratfish Wranglers, and Montgomery of Seattle plays with Big Dirt. Both bands played at Salmonstock last weekend. Montgomery, author of “King of Fish,” also spoke at the Splash Bash and Salmonstock.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

Now would be the time when the Betster does the annual summer punch list column. As kids prepare for school and voters steel themselves for round one of elections, you’d expect the B. to get all snarky about the chores not done.

Nope, not gonna do that.

Having traveled the universe on more than a few revolutions around the sun, the Betster now understands this wisdom: You’ll never finish the punch list. Between things you want to do and things you have to do, the punch list keeps growing and growing. It’s kind of like the myth of Hercules and the hydra, where when he cut off a head, two heads grew back in its place.

Consider your average Homer owner-built project. Phase 3 of your home can be described as “the point when we ran out of money,” also known as “sweat equity.” It’s a qualification of Homer residency that you be able to do finish carpentry. So over the years you might knock off those projects, a stair rail here, a bit of trim there. Let’s suppose you even get all the trim done, and not in the six months before you decide to sell your home. You know what happens?

Entropy happens, that’s what. Things fall apart. The house needs painting. The floor needs refinishing. That erratic yard you planted by sprinkling grass seed over the dirt pile left behind by the excavators has turned into a chaotic weed garden. And then you get a summer like this.

Holy pushki! You know what has kept the Betster from knocking off items on the punch list? The pushki-fireweed-bluejoint grass jungle that ate Detroit, that’s what. It has been a weekly battle keeping vegetation at bay and carving out defensible space around Chez Betster. Stuff grows pretty fast in a normal Alaska summer, but this year? This year if you blinked while weed-whacking, you had to start all over again. Now the Betster understands why some people decorate their lawns with junk cars. It’s not to save them for parts, but to keep from mowing.

So, pat yourself on the back if you got anything done on the punch list. The Betster is just glad to have put down a few sticks of trim that had been lying in the corner of the living room since Christmas. It took all of an hour, but that’s Alaska summers for you. Time doesn’t just fly. Time takes a hyperspace jump shuttle at warp factor 7.

But summer isn’t over yet, and won’t be until the last sandhill crane flies away. That’s at least six weeks away. You have time to enjoy this amazing land and get out and enjoy life, maybe with these Best Bets:

 

BEST DANCE DANCE BET: Homer dancer extraordinaire Breezy Berryman has put together a week of awesome dance classes. It’s all dance, all the time 10 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Friday through next Wednesday at Homer High School. Classes are $10 each or $75 for the series. Email dancehomer@gmail.com or call 299-4629 to sign up.

 

BEST DA-DA-DON BET: Yup, those are the opening bars of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” one of the classic pieces the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mariner Theatre. It’s the finale to its annual Summer Music Festival. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors and KPO members and free for children 18 and younger, on sale at the Homer Bookstore.

 

BEST PINK DAY BET: With the fireweed in bloom, we’re covered in pink already, but the town will be even pinker on Sunday for the 20th annual Breast Cancer Run. A fundraiser for Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic breast-cancer screening, treatment and education, the sponsors have added a new twist this year. It’s not at the beach, but on it. Meet at Mariner Park for a run, walk and bike ride at low tide. The race starts at 9 a.m. and registration is at 8 a.m., or visit kbfpc.org to preregister.

 

BEST PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS BET: Homer and Colorado writer Donna Mack has been writing for decades. Her first novel has been published, which just goes to show that great literature takes time. She reads from and discusses her book, “Whispered Secrets Whispered Prayers,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Public Library. 

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