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Winter in Homer

Truth be told, I love winter in Homer more than summer. I think I’m a rare breed that way.

I love the dark here in Alaska. I love gazing at the stars, the milky way above me and the spectacular Northern Lights shows. Going for walks at night with my headlight on and snow crunching beneath my feet makes me happy.

I love the cold, crisp air and the quiet that comes with falling snow. All the different kinds of snow make me happy, too. The light fluffy stuff, the wet snowball stuff, the icy-on-top stuff that lets you walk for miles and miles on its crust.

I’m back at work after school break. We had an amazing time on our little staycation. I bought skates for the kids at a second-hand shop and we skated at the local arena before the cold weather hit and then out at McNeil Canyon School and Lampert Lake when things froze up. I bought second hand skis for my oldest and we tried them out at the local ski trails.

We went sledding with and without sleds at the West Homer Elementary and snowshoeing at Wynn Nature Center. We visited friends, baked pillowy loaves of bread and gooey cinnamon rolls, played soccer in our cul-de-sac and read some amazing books.

For those new to Homer and considering Homer and wondering about winters, here’s my quick guide to making winter a favourite season:

  • Apps for Sky Watching: Sky Guide by Fifth Star Labs is a phenomenal app for identifying the stars above. Aurora by the Alaska Geophysical Institute will tell you when to set your  alarm to get up for a light show put on by mother nature.
  • Winter Gear: Play it Again Sports in Anchorage is a great place to stock up on skates and skis and all sorts of gear for growing kids and dabbling adults. The Clymb is one of my favourite Web sites to get gear for less.
  • For Cooking: We make a lot of granola in winter because there’s nothing worse than running out of fuel. This is my favourite, The Best Granola Recipe, it’s easy, delicious and makes enough for the week. Purity out of Canada has the best bread recipe. It makes four loaves easily. I’d love to say that lasts a week but it doesn’t.
  • For Outdoor ideas: Homer Folk School is offering some great classes this winter. Erin Kirkland at AKontheGo is a wealth of information for things to do all winter. The Kachemak Nordic Ski Club has a great ski trail map of the area. Kevin Bell Arena has a lot going on in Winter from open skate time to curling to hockey for newbies, check it out.
  • For Reading: We are super-lucky to have a vibrant bookstore in Homer. Bookstores make me happy. Over break I devoured Fredrik Backman’s My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also A Star. Both great reads.

Winter is anything but a down time in Homer. However you do it, I hope you make it your own. This is a remarkable place to live.

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