Palmer Buzz

Can you even imagine, back in January or February, if someone told you that our world would be totally shut down in Mid-March—would you have believed them? The viral threat has dramatically changed our Palmer Alaska’s rhythm, life-style and outlook.

Palmer remains Kind-hearted— There have been wonderful things happening, despite the pause, caused by the virus. Dozens of people have been the surprised recipients of “pay it forward” gifts of groceries, meals, and care packages. This seems to be part of Palmer’s caring nature in both good times and bad. There are at least a half dozen Palmer facebook groups which are volunteers—focusing on needs for: children, supplies, elderly, poor, face-masks, healthcare and first responders, and single parent families. There are even more neighborhood groups focusing on individuals and neighbors in need. Folks are stepping up to offer transport of goods to the needy, hungry and to food banks. Compassion is plentiful in the Palmer area.

We are Becoming Wiser—Perhaps this odd time is teaching us something about self preservation and self sufficiency. Without a doubt, we are learning about sharing and group responsibility. We are learning important steps of preparation and how to choose our Palmer community over individual selfishness.

Gift of Time—During this period of social isolation, we’ve been given a rare gift of time. None of us asked for it. None of us really anticipated it. Many of us were totally unprepared for it. How we use this precious time is perhaps the most important decision we can make. Regardless of your age, this is the moment for contemplation.

As we pause, let’s be grateful we live in such a place as Palmer, Alaska. Let’s support our shopkeepers and service providers so they can continue. Let’s take some time to breathe out generosity in our community. Let’s thank our grocery store workers, our health care providers, our law enforcement folks, our firefighters, our utility folks, our newspaper delivery folks, our waste management staff, our local leaders, our truckers, and our postal workers.

Don’t get Lost in Technology—We are so lucky to have information technology during this unstructured space of unplanned time. But it is so easy to overdo it and get lost in it. The internet —which connects us so well—can also damage us, without a bit of discipline.

Have you seen all the free offerings of lectures, classes, Broadway shows, operas, rodeos, dances, movies, operas, castle tours, musicals, site walks, classical productions, western films, singers and theater productions? It is a deep rabbit hole of wonder. It’s educational and valuable and the amount of available material seems endless and free. But, there is a cost. When you commit your time to all of this fascinating and/or mind-numbing material, you are restricting your ability to just be.

Springtime trumps Screen-time—We are in Alaska’s springtime stages. It is so wonderful to be outside in nature. The sun is hot on our shoulders, the snow is plentiful, the skies are bluebird, and the air is clean. Animal tracks are plentiful, birds are busy, a few swans have returned, and the snow-fleas are active. Snow-fleas are those little, tiny blackish blue bugs that seem to jump around on the snow surface in the warmth of the spring sunshine. They are also known as springtails or Hypogastrura nivicola. They are curious creatures because scientists say they have some sort of anti-freeze in their system, which allows them to grow and play in the Palmer’s freezing temperatures.

This Week in Palmer—Enjoy the pause, wash your hands, and be kind. And don’t worry, Palmer, Alaska will make it through.

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 bhunt@mtaonline.net or text 907.315.3222

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