|"Late Summer" painting by Bev Bunker|
Summer, you were so much fun back in May. Now, if I may state things bluntly, you suck. Go home.
Harvest is in full swing out in the vineyards, and the 105-degree temperatures mess with the work schedules of all involved, since that's just too warm for anything to really do well out in the fields -- both the humans as well as the grapes themselves. And to have this kind of late-summer heatwave (a regular, normal occurrence around here) hitting when pumpkin spice everything is clogging up the shelves in the shops, and when the grocery aisles have featured products staged on clumps of fake fall leaves and hay bales, well, it's just depressing. For me anyway. It's like the best event is going on someplace, but not where you are, and you know you're missing out.
But at least there's a partial remedy for the frustration. And that is for me to take down the summer garden. Because if I've had it with triple digit temps, it's a pretty good bet the squash plants I put in last spring agree with me. Oh, they're still producing squash, I'll be honest. I'm guessing squash plants will keep on producing after the last nuclear holocaust happens on Earth. The Bible is wrong -- it's not really the meek who will inherit the earth -- my bets are on the squash.
But right now if I see another dish with squash in it I'll scream. Ditto for eggplant. Tomatoes are not high on my list of favorite foods right now either. They, like the party guest I mentioned in the first paragraph, have just spent too much time here and need to go elsewhere to continue their show.
I hear spring is just getting started in New Zealand, so may I suggest there?
But as far as taking down the garden goes, some rituals are held not because of a season, but in anticipation of it. So although it feels nothing like fall here right now, I will take out the garden because I know, sure as the sun rises, that fall is coming (someday, hear oh Lord my prayer).
But I will tell you that although I know the change in the seasons is most assuredly coming, it does nothing to decrease the resentment and restlessness I feel every late summer when I see all those hay bales and pumpkin-spice flavored crap in the stores everywhere. Because fall is my favorite season, and I know its happening somewhere. Just not here.
For now though, here in wine country we'll keep our shorts and tank tops on, harvest the grapes, and just dream of a place where pumpkin-spiced stuff seems right for the time of year. And maybe drink some wine to console ourselves.