Homer’s Best Bets

The other day while toiling away in the word mines, the Betster experienced something unknown since last summer. I got hot. No, we’re not talking the heat of grinding brain cells or from snuggling under six layers of comforter, blanket and big dog. We’re talking solar heat, a blast of thermal rays roaring through the western windows here at the intergalactic news headquarters on Beluga Lake.

Holy Danny Fahrenheit! That evening sun heated up the office so much that the Betster broke out in a sweat. With these longer days and sunsets past 9 p.m., it felt like a banya.

Of course, no sooner had the Betster experienced that warm glow from the evening sun then instinctively the Betster cursed the weather. How dare it get hot when it had been comfortably cool? It’s just not the Alaska way to be satisfied with the weather. 

Also, for the record, we Alaskans are not satisfied with our choice of winter boots, fishing lures, boats and politicians, which is why we change them so often.

Anyway, the Betster got so hot yours truly had to take a long walk on the Spit to cool off. A lot of other people had the same idea. The Spit sure looked different with the jack-up rig Endeavour-Spirit of Independence gone from town after seven months. Just when you get used to something, pfft, away it goes.

Sort of like winter. That’s always the surprise of spring, when grass re-emerges. Bare ground has been gone for so long you forget what it looks like, and then there it is. In a few weeks (more, if you live in the hills) the last patch of snow will be gone, the trees will start budding, the dust will be swept up and we’ll deny we ever had winter.

This is our time, Alaskans. This is our moment that no snowbird or tourist can ever appreciate, the glorious, wonderful ever-changing days of break-up. Embrace your inner mud puppy, perhaps with some of these Best Bets:


BEST EVERYTHING RISES BET: Flannery O’Connor wrote some pretty darn good fiction, so if Nancy Zafris won the Flannery O’Connor award, you know she has to be a mighty fine writer. Listen to Zafris read at 6:30 p.m. today at the Kachemak Bay Campus. Books will be available for sale and for her to sign.


BEST HIT THE STREETS BET: What better to do on a fine spring evening than stroll through Homer’s art district and visit First Friday openings? “Art district” isn’t just Pioneer Avenue and Old Town, though, and with the Paul Banks Elementary School Art Extravaganza, you want to head out East End Road, too. Don’t miss the Jubilee art openings at the Homer Council on the Arts and the Pratt Museum. See the list, page 14.


BEST POUND THE STREETS BET: Why stroll, though? The Friday Night Fives 5k walk-run event starts this week. Meet at Two Sisters Bakery a little before 5:30 p.m. Friday for the run through town. The Kachemak Bay Running Club is the sponsor.


BEST DUCK DUCK SWAN BET: Here’s another cool kids art event, the Homer Council on the Arts-Pier One Theatre Youth Theatre production of “Honk!” Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Ugly Duckling,” the play opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Christian Community Church, with performances also at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday


BEST LEARN LONG AND PROSPER BET: It’s logical: Keep learning, keep living and keep prospering. Celebrate lifelong learning — and a few lifelong learners — at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Library. Awesome Olympic skier Nina Kemppel is the keynote speaker.


BEST FREEDOM! BET: Celebrate the contributions of Scottish Americans and the Scots-Irish Americans for Tartan Day this Saturday with a — what else? — Scotch whisky tasting. Sponsored by the Kachemak Celtic Club, the event is at 6 p.m. Saturday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Whisky and appetizers — and maybe haggis? — will be served. 


BEST SUNSCREEN BET: The skiing is awesome, just awesome, up there in the hills, so just because the snow is melting fast downtown doesn’t mean you have to give up on winter just yet. Catch the Kachemak Ski Club Rope Tow from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday on Ohlson Mountain. Don’t forget the shades.