While you were away dealing with important issues like the syntax of Donald Trump’s Tweets or the recount in Wisconsin, something amazing happened, Betsteroids.
It got cold.
We’re not talking “OMG I have to scrape ice off my windshield cold,” but serious cold, like one bitter December day 37 years ago when the B. first arrived in Alaska from Florida and experienced the joy and wonder of single digit temperatures. If your former concept of cold involves being forced to put on a sweater, single digits can be brutal.
We got single digits this week. Normally people would be kvetching about the cold and how it can take 15 minutes — an average Homer commute — just to get the Subaru warmed up. Homer arborists got trés excited about this cold snap. It turns out prolonged temperatures below 20 degrees just hammer the heck out of spruce aphids.
Those tiny green bugs have been chowing down the past two years on our spruce trees — the same trees that survived and thrived after the spruce bark beetle infestation of the 1990s. Many of our trees have been reduced to pathetic, scraggly timbers not even Charlie Brown would take home for Christmas.
With this cold spell, our trees might have a chance. The aphids might get exterminated with extreme prejudice and never live again to devastate our landscape. Our trees might come back, stronger, better and greener.
There’s a lesson in that, something to do with if you just endure and hang in there, providence will throw you a boon and save the day. Anyway, the forecast calls for snow, and while the Betster doesn’t look nostalgic on those good ol’ days of digging out in 6-foot snowdrifts, a little more snow sure would make the skiing better.
So button up, throw on a scarf, dig out your long johns and enjoy this awesome weekend to come, perhaps with these Best Bets:
BEST ART SHUFFLE: If we get enough snow, we might be tromping through the slush for the monthly First Friday art walk. Check out the listing on page 14 for all the details, but don’t miss the Homer Connections art show from 3-4 p.m. at All Hopped Espresso.
BEST 700,00 WORDS LATER: Did you finish that epic novel for National Novel Writing Month? Rock on, writers, and celebrate your good work with the Homer Public Library’s NaNoWriMo Wrap-up from 6-8 p.m. today. Share your tomes and stick around for the drawing of the big prize.
BEST MAKING A LIST BET: Shop for those Share the Spirit presents — or maybe something for that special someone — at two big indoor markets this weekend. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday it’s the Alaska Wild Emporium Market in the old Alaska Wildberry building. From 11 a.m-7 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. it’s the annual Homer Nutcracker Faire at Homer High School. Support local artists and craftspeople and give a locally made, handcrafted gift. Oh, and don’t forget to shop local businesses and keep those sales tax dollars local.
BEST BLACK AND WHITE ALL OVER BET: Don’t adjust your peepers. The opening act of the Nutcracker Ballet is supposed to be in black and white. That’s the magic of the annual ballet done Homer style: creative and unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The ballet shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and shows at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Mariner Theatre.
BEST BAG IT BET: Council member Donna Aderhold will read through a 300-page council packet and every line of an ordinance and catch a key typo like a misplaced decimal. In other words, she has an eye for detail and, as they say in New England, is wicked smart. Pick her brain for how the council works and discus some of the issues the city faces for Lunch with a Council Member at noon Monday at the Homer Public Library.
BEST DON’T FORGET BET: If you were alive 75 years ago on Dec. 7, your world changed completely when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The Greatest Generation dug in and fought and eventually liberated the world. Take a moment to think of your parents and grandparents, and if you see an old vet still running around, thank him or her for keeping us free.