Palmer Buzz

Why do you live in the Palmer area? Why did you move here? Why do you stay here? These are good questions. During times of community upheaval and introspection, these questions recirculate on the internet. And answering these questions personally are a source of satisfaction and contentment which goes with peace.

We will explore this curious yet familiar subject in this column of the Palmer Alaska Buzz. But before we do, I must give credit to the thousands of readers (and the commenters) of both this newspaper column and the fb social media site, of the same name. Much various commentary, perspectives, ideas and contributions spark the thought-process, along with wonderment and appreciation of our Palmer place.

How Palmer Survives Winter—We don’t survive winter: we celebrate it! All around Palmer is “Nature in your Face.” And it is beautiful in all the seasons, snuggled at the base of all our beautiful mountains. A major, repetitive suggestion is to “Go Outside Every Single Day.” You can walk in the winter and the only essentials are bundling up and wearing good foot gear. If you walk in the dark then lighting and lights are important as well. A little light for your dog’s collar is also helpful. A nice walking stick with a pointy tip is also reassuring. Maybe you want to do more outside. You can make small bonfires or go skating. Snowshoes are not difficult for anyone although cross country skis require a bit more talent. Ice fishing, sledding, dog sledding, fat bike riding, and snow-machining are all favorites. Making snow folks, snow forts, ice sculptures, and snow angels are all part of the winter fun. Plus there are the frozen tricks to wow your friends involving frozen balloons, bubbles, and boiling water.

Palmer’s Night Sky and Darkness—There is something tremulous about the deep night-sky. You feel like you can see into time and space. You can see satellites, stars and spot planets. You can whistle for Lady Aurora. You can actually see the silence of the mountains in their dark white shimmer. Watching the quiet is a part of our meditative winter in the Palmer area. We deliberately remove the distractions of busy life and have time to focus on the hush. When you hang out with—just yourself— in the echoing Alaska darkness, it is both a truth time for a special prayer and a personal meditation.

Local Shops Deserve Our Loyalty—Our Palmer businesses have, like you, had a really difficult year because of the Corona Virus. Now is the time to share the jingle and the bingle and the gift certificates. We have fabulous small businesses with remarkable items including bikes, shoes, furniture, decor, oils, cooking supplies, lingerie, puzzles, guitars, coffee, kombuchu, skis, chocolates, books, clothing, toys, and art. We have a terrific selection of restaurants, breweries, bars and cafes, each with signature dishes and spins. We have more services to choose from then many similar sized towns. There is yoga, art, music and dance classes, suntanning beds, car mechanics, and hair salons, all owned by local proprietors.. Purchasing gifts and vouchers from any of these wonderful shops is a loving investment in both the shop and Palmer’s future. Don’t hesitate to invest in our P Town.

Palmer Loves You—I know this sounds like a cheap valentine, but the love is really quite apparent when you look at the Palmer services available to everyone, without cost and without obligation. The library, parks, sidewalks, festivals, fireworks, parades, museum, bike station, trails, play grounds, flag poles, train engine, skate park, picnic benches, gazebo, food trail, showcase garden, trees, plantings, crosswalks, street lamps, holiday decorations, lit trees, volunteer events, and even our own radio station. All of these extras are little signs of love from Palmer to each of us, whether we live within city limits or not.

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 or text 907.315.3222

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