Snow covers surplus newspaper boxes at the Homer News earlier this mont, a reminder of how much snow fell in Homer before a post-Christmas warm spell melted the snow and turned streets icy. The weather forecast calls for snow and then cold, clear weather for the new year. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Snow covers surplus newspaper boxes at the Homer News earlier this mont, a reminder of how much snow fell in Homer before a post-Christmas warm spell melted the snow and turned streets icy. The weather forecast calls for snow and then cold, clear weather for the new year. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer’s Best Bets

It’s been a rough two years, Betster persons. Last year turned into isolation and despair as a worldwide pandemic washed up even on the shores of our far-off cosmic hamlet. It’s like that hot new movie, “Don’t Look Up,” except that instead of a comet hurtling toward the earth, we got tiny little viruses. Huh. Come to think of it, the coronavirus does look like a little comet ball. You think the movie might be an allegory?

Nah. We didn’t have people denying the reality of COVID-19. We didn’t have politicians ignoring the good advice of scientists. We didn’t have citizens not taking precautions. We didn’t have crackpot billionaires trying to advance some weird scheme that could lead to the destruction of our planet.

Or, as the Betster’s mom used to say, “Over the left.” That’s an expression she learned on Tangier Island, Virginia. It’s the equivalent of the Bush “I jokes.”

But here’s the thing, citizens. While some people have not taken this pandemic seriously, day in and day our health care workers have been taking it dang seriously. They’re the ones who tried to keep us alive before we had vaccines and good treatments like monoclonal antibody infusions. We had public health officials who have been studying epidemics all their lives, and who have written plans in anticipation of a pandemic for which no one had immunity. They were ready.

That we didn’t die by the millions, that we’re slowly emerging from the pandemic, that we have better tools, is testament to the intelligence and foresight of doctors and nurses and scientists. It’s a testament to communities and neighbors who have cared to keep each other safe.

You made sacrifices. You stayed strong. You cried when people died or got sick. We’re almost there. We can get through this next wave, hopefully the last one.

Celebrate our successes and strengths, maybe with these best bets:

BEST DAY BY DAY BET: You don’t have to get stinking drunk to ring in the new year. If you celebrate sobriety, or need some help from those who do, check out local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Anchor Point Group of Alcoholics Anonymous continues to meet in person at the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce at 34175 Sterling Highway (north of Chapman School) on Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. These are open meetings, and alcoholics and non-alcoholics are all welcome. For more information, call 907-223-9814.

The Homer Unity Group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 6:30 p.m. downstairs at Homer United Methodist Church, 770 East End Road. All meetings are open to anyone wanting to learn more about recovery from alcoholism. More information and online links to meetings can be found at www.aahomer.org.

BEST FAREWELL BET: The Anchor Point VFW is hosting a family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration on Friday, Dec. 31, that is open to everyone. The Post’s doors open at 3 p.m., and events begin at 9 p.m. with the flag retirement ceremony. Fireworks will follow at 9:30 p.m. for all to enjoy. Hot chocolate, cookies and finger foods will be provided and a champagne toast will ring in the New Year. The Anchor Point VFW is located at 72551 Milo Fritz Ave.

BEST KABOOM! BET: Homer’s Fourth Crowdfunded New Year’s Eve Fireworks FANTASTICAL! is back. The fireworks start at 8 p.m. Friday, New Year’s Eve at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit, but get there only to get parking and a good view. There will be a food truck and kids can get glow sticks. Help support the crowdfunded event by sending donations to organizer Aaron Weisser. See story, page B1, for details.

BEST GET OUTSIDE BET: Celebrate First Day Ski & Snowshoe at Eveline State Recreation Area starting at noon Saturday, Jan 1. Join Alaska State Park & Friends of Kachemak Bay State Parks for the first ski and snowshoe of the year. Meet at noon and guides will lead you on skis and snowshoes around the beautiful Eveline trails.

Or volunteer, to be a guide. Hot drinks, hot dogs, sweets, finger foods provided. Bring your skis, snowshoes, and water bottle. Dogs must be on a leash. Donations welcome. Directions: drive 13.8 miles on East End Road, watch for the State Park signs and turn left at Alpine Meadow Drive. Go about .3 miles and pullout on the left.

BEST SPEAK IT BET: Rep, Sarah Vance, R-Homer, holds a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Captain’s Coffee on Pioneer Avenue. Get a preview of the Legislative session before Vance heads to Juneau and let her know your concerns and issues.

The event also will be broadcast through Facebook live on Vance’s page at https://www.facebook.com/akleg31st ^ .

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