Palmer Buzz

Can you feel the extra daylight with each day? It’s a teeny, tiny addition of minutes and kinda difficult to track. But the increase is there if you monitor such things.

For the most part of our daily lives, dark is still the king, right now. Most of us are accustomed to it; however, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of how to successfully navigate the January dark times. The holidays are over and light is slim. Over the last week, many collective Palmer recommendations have been offered on this subject; I will collate them here.

Palmer Active Moments Outside—During the day time, go into the light.

Find an outside activity that you love. It could be an active sport such as walking, skiing, skating, hockey, snow boarding, ice fishing, dog racing, snow-machining, fat tire biking, or skijoring. Try to do something daily and get a bit of sunlight and plenty of fresh air. For these activities it is essential to have a good head lamp, good footwear and warm clothing.

Palmer Passive Moments Outside—Getting in your car and driving somewhere—in the daylight—is another way to get outside. Pick up a coffee and a snack and go to a scenic view point. Drive in a different neighborhood. Watch some birds downtown. Sit above the Matanuska riverbank. Gaze at a sunrise or sunset and watch the valley bathe in sequential light patches.

Palmer Downtown—Many of the holiday lights still remain up in Palmer. Make sure you appreciate them this month before they are removed. The Visitor Garden, beside the Museum is quite beautiful, at night.

At home, Outside, Make Darkness Your Friend—Hot tubs, barbecues and campfires are all delightful ways to enjoy the dark. Building your own spruce torch and lighting it from your own bonfire is a primal thrill and turns the dark into magic.

Watch and treasure the Palmer’s Deep Night Theater—It is so easy. Just look up. We have a full scene of stars, planets and northern lights. If you’re downtown, then just go up the road to Hatcher or out to Inner Springer.

Sit and Stir in the Sunlight—If you’re at home or in the office, sit by the window during the daylight. Watch a snow fall. Watch the ravens argue. Watch the sun skip between the mountain ridges.

Cultivate some Hobbies—Cooking, baking, making music and listening to music, crafting, painting, knitting, photography, puzzles, card games, Parcheesi, woodworking, embroidery, legos, spinning, and kitchen dancing are all joyful. Nurture your indoor plants with full spectrum lighting. Play a nightly game of backgammon with your partner. All of these activities have a comforting effect.

Palmer Spots—Palmer has tanning beds, gyms, and yoga studios. All of these are highly recommended destinations if you are dealing with the dark blues.

Big Recommendations—Take extra Vitamin D supplements. Use bright colors and little hopeful lights in your home. Add Happy lights and special bulbs in room lights. Take time for extra sleep and naps because it is hibernation time. Cuddle up in fuzzy socks. warm sweaters, and soft blankets for the cozy time. Eat thick stews, hearty soups, home made bread, along with hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

Create Cozy and Keep Connection—Reading, praying, writing, and knitting are meditative activities. Plus you will be enriched if you keep a connection—by visiting with your friends, family, neighbors and pets.

Unsurprising crowd sourced recommendations included: alcohol, wine, beer, weed, whiskey, cookies, ice cream, Netflix, video games and trips to Hawaii. These aren’t all bad at all but they aren’t very inventive and they really don’t take advantage of our Palmer place.

Wash your hands, stay safe and dance with the dark!

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff in the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz Column in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group.. Contact at bhunt@mtaonline.net or text 907.315.3222

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