Palmer Buzz

We all know we’re grateful for our town, community connection, neighbors, friends, pets and family. But Palmeranians are also grateful for some unusual things. Here are Palmer crowd-sourced answers:

The question was posed, “For What Unusual things are You grateful? Here’s the Palmer Area responses! Sanded roads; the “OFF” button on the television; No wind; Home-cooked meals (suggested by college student;) pen pals that eventually become sweethearts; business trips which introduce Palmer to the unknowing; music to soothe the soul; travel to Anchorage without mishaps; no ice, no snow, no rain and no wind; clear skies, furnace and water and dirty laundry (this comes from someone who formally only had a wood heat source); ice, snow, wind; electricity; well-built cars; angel soft toilet paper; kind husbands; the Palmer Pioneer Home; talented husbands and skilled mechanics; and “Water, without it, nothing in life flourishes.”

More Palmer answers included perspective; caller ID; time with one’s Dad; adoption of feral cat; interaction with 800+ middle school students; yarn and a crochet hook; daylight; heated home; nice neighbors; straight floors; ketogenic diet; Instant Pot; Face-time for parents away from their children; bathroom doors; stubbed toes which cause one to slow down; colorful warm socks; large squeeze bottles of acrylic paint; authentic people; Cappy’s sourdough bread; happy well-fed llama; mental health joy; play; hay in the barn; Kindle; emotional healing; confidence and support; everyone and everything….except mice; house purchase, move to valley, met girl, adopted dog, bought camper; accidental unplanned spots of time to share a meal; yoga pants; regularity; and Alaska adventures year-round.

There were some more responses which aren’t appropriate for publication. But perhaps the most meaningful of all these great answers is this: the kindness of strangers, good neighbors, resilient hearts, grace and mercy are all quite usual in Palmer and for that we are grateful. Happy Thanksgiving.

Palmer Small Business Saturday—is a delightful event this weekend. It focuses on the small, dependable, locally-owned shops in our town. These shopkeepers keep our downtown alive and provide continual services. They are the ones that offer donations to your sports teams and nonprofits. They are the ones that are open in icky weather. The owners are your neighbors. Small Business Saturday celebrates the local merchants. (On the converse—Big Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the consumer focused on big box stores and online shopping—which, frankly, isn’t Palmer, at all.) You need to make your choice and spend your clams locally if you believe in local sustainability or our town. Here are some of the Palmer super specials for you—from a few of our small—yet remarkable—retailers:

NonEssentials has so many delightful kitchen gifts—all the time—but this weekend it will have free gift wrapping, samples, Farm 779, Seeds and Soil Farm with fine ferments and a fresh produce mini market.

Backcountry Bike & Ski is taking 15% off everything in their shop—including the popular Fat Tire Bikes. Plus they will have hot coffee and cookies.

Poppy Lane will open two hours earlier. In addition to their gorgeous merchandise, they will have store wide sales, a Giving Tree full of hundreds of dollars of gift certificates, music, hot cider and tasty snacks, and fresh, homemade Christmas wreaths in the parking lot.

Palmer Fireside bookstore opens at 7am. You will receive a free five dollar gift card with every purchase of a $50 gift card. All Fireside Books Gift picks will be 15% off. Plus all cookbooks, picture books and board books will be on sale.

The Annex is going to have wonderful masseuse Kim Neil in the house to do welcome massages and there might be tables for rent.

Whimsy’s and Northern Lilly is having discount cards and sales. Whimsy’s is going to have a chocolate fountain with treats and warm drinks And Northern Lilly will have hot chocolate and free massages from 10-2.

Palmer Ale House will have a great selection of hot totties, tomato soup and grilled cheese &bacon sandwiches. This shopping sustenance is necessary and there is free hot chocolate for the kids.

Active Soles starts early on Saturday. From 7-9am there is a 30% off sale of any one item. All day long large discounts are available on footwear and smart-wool apparel.

Peak Boutique is opening Palmer’s Secret Treasure basement—an adventure shopping experience-down under—from 11-4. This is only for the brave and hardy. There will also be storewide gift drawings accompanied by hot cider. This precious shop will be open from 10-6.

Misfit Moffits Consignment will have a 35% off sale and a discount on gift cards.

203 Kombucha is stocked with all the favorite flavors and selling art night raffle tickets because they love supporting Palmer neighbors businesses and artists all year.

Special Saturday Palmer Fireworks—Saturday is the annual 7:19 firework show, thanks to Stan Guthrie, owner of Country Cutts. He has singularly purchased and produced this permitted community show for years and years. It has significant meaning for him personally but he shares his joy with the community.

PS.— I am grateful for you, the local readership of this newspaper. Our hometown paper is what captures those small, little things, which are really big things in our lives. Thanks also to the editor, staff and publisher.

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. Her “Palmer Buzz Community Calendar” is available at Palmer shops and the Palmer museum. Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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