Seashells and kelp decorate a driftwood tree at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. An unknown artist made the sculpture, and beach walkers have been embellishing the tree since it was first put up earlier this month.-photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Seashells and kelp decorate a driftwood tree at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. An unknown artist made the sculpture, and beach walkers have been embellishing the tree since it was first put up earlier this month.-photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

As our planet rounds the point on its revolution that we arbitrarily call a new year, you might think to yourself, “How did I get here?” Three-hundred sixty-four days ago there you were, chowing down on Hoppin’ John and starting the year.

Now here you are, the end of 15 years into the 2000s. No one has figured out what to call this decade. The Tens? A hundred years ago no one cared, so busy were they trying to stay alive during the Great War. Now we worry about not losing all those nifty electronic devices so critical to life in the 21st century.

We don’t have World War problems but First World problems. Does that selfie make me look too fat? Did I use the right Instagram filter? Can I afford more bandwidth so I can binge-watch Breaking Bad?

Oh, but here at the end of the road we face Real World problems. We might think we’re hip and modern, but not really. As the Betster writer this a storm system roars up Cook Inlet. Oh em gee! The power might go out. That reliable and easy natural gas stove might stop. You might wake up in the morning with no running water and have to wash your hair with bottled vitamin water.

How did you get here? You put one foot in front of the other and kept walking. You got up every morning, put on your pants or skirt or kilt, ate a hearty breakfast and dove into life. You persevered, that’s what you did. This little old earth spun and whirled and here it is, the cusp of a New Year.

You survived. That’s reason enough to celebrate, citizens. Lots of people barely pulled it together, and if that’s you, bless ya and hang tight. Sing Auld Lang Syne and drink some bubbly, alcoholic or not. Celebrate a new year and a new life, maybe with these Best Bets:


BEST CELEBRATE SAFELY BET: Sure, it’s a long-standing Homer tradition to visit our fine drinking establishments and, well, drink. All the bars have a midnight toast, and one, AJ’s OldTown Steakhouse and Tavern even starts the evening off early with an 8 p.m. toast on New York time. Have fun and be careful. Local taxi companies offer free rides home; see the ad, at right, for details.


BEST DANCE AWAY BET: The Ecstatic Dance sounds like fun — a little dance in a sacred space with room to move. It runs 7-9 p.m. Friday at Refuge Chapel on Pioneer Avenue. Enter through the Klondike Avenue entrance. A $5 donation helps support Nepal earthquake relief efforts.


BEST HIT THE RINK BET: With this crummy weather and slippery ice, the best way to get some exercise might be to embrace the slick stuff. Now that you’ve honed your skills walking across parking lots, head to the Kevin Bell Ice Arena for public skating and curling. Skate sessions are 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday and 3:15-5:15 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 and $3 for skate rentals. Curling is at 8 p.m. Saturday, with the first session free.


BEST BIRDS AND BEES BET: Ready to have The Talk with your child? Learn about sexual health and how Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic’s Sexual Health Peer Education team discusses the issue. Much has changed over the years, but the good news is that Homer has some awesome resources for promoting safe sexual health. The team holds talks 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Chapman Elementary School and 6-8 p.m. next Thursday at Homer Flex School.

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