Homer’s Best Bets

Some of you seemed surprised recently when a big howling rainstorm blew in over town last week. Whoa! How did that happen? Well, it happened because a) it’s September in Alaska and b) also moose hunting season. The whole idea of moose hunting season seems to be to pick a time of the year when hunters most likely will get drenched by a cold, miserable rain.

Getting drenched by a cold, miserable rain also applies to the creation of art. For most of last week the Homer Volunteer Art Department run by HVAD Chief Mavis Muller suffered marginal weather while building this year’s Burning Basket, Expand. It cleared up nicely last Friday and Saturday so Mavis and her crew could finish Expand. There was a minor setback when a lowlife scum knee-high to a slug thought it cute to try to burn the basket prematurely. All turned out well and the burn went off as planned on Sunday.

Except, of course, it rained like Noah’s launch party. Mavis likes to say a storm on burn day separates the hard-core burners from the dilettantes. The hard-core burners just put on oilskins and kept drumming harder. A good rain goes well with an impermanent art event that at its heart celebrates creativity, but also helps us release our burdens. People sometimes cry at these things when they start adding up all the beloved friends lost over the year. “Too many” is the short answer.

But big storms bring big sunshine and bright moons that fill the sky with light from Poot Peak to Point Pogibshi. That’s sort of the idea of things like the Burning Basket. Change will transform us and turn darkness into light, storms into sunshine, and despair into hope.

So endure the storms for the beauty that will come, and a life blessed with friends, family and fun things to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST CHILL BET: Stressed out? On the edge. Chill out, dudes, with today’s Thriving Thursday class, “Using Biofeedback to Reduce Stress” from 6-8 p.m. at the SVT Health and Wellness Center. Acupuncturist and quantum therapist Dr. Cheong S. Han, Ph.D, presents the talk.


BEST IT WAS 10 YEARS AGO TODAY BET: Ten years ago we didn’t have iPads, Snapchat and the Grubstake Avenue extension — but we did have the new Homer Public Library. Celebrate the big shiny building on Hazel Avenue with a party from noon-3 p.m. Saturday at the library. Rumor has it cake will be served.


BEST PROST! BET: Clink your beer steins and drink to Oktoberfest. If you can’t make it to Munich this year, check out the Oktoberfest fundraiser from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Elks Lodge. There will be beer, brats and music from the Alaskapelle Band. Admission is $15 each or $40 a family of four. Proceeds support the Homer Middle School 8th graders’ trip to Washington, D.C.


BEST FISH ON BET: Don’t have a big fancy boat to catch those winter kings? Who needs one when you can fish from a kayak. Learn the basics of fishing with kayaks, including how to be safe, in a workshop Saturday and Sunday at Land’s End Resort. Rudy Tsukada teaches the class.