Perhaps it's the standard post-vacation letdown, or the fact that my stomach has been in a serious state of disarray for the past week (reasons unknown), or the low-level stress that's run like an invisible but annoying thread through the past several days. It might also be the truly sucktastic "summer" weather San Francisco's been mired in lately, complete with more fog and wind and brutally chilly temperatures that anyone in the northern hemisphere should have to bear in August, or the fact that I woke from a pleasant dream this morning to the realization that it had in fact been only a dream, and thus all of the pleasantness was more or less blown to bits.

Whatever the reason, I've been exceedingly grumpy lately, which makes all of the above even more difficult to put up with than they'd normally be, which in turn makes me even grumpier, and so on and so freakin' on. Here's hoping the tide soon turns, that my whinging interior monologue stops, that I stop cringing every time I get hit in the face with a gust of wind, that I remember that crappy summers are the price we pay here for the ability to hike in shorts come January.

Off now to enjoy our daily half-hour allotment of sun. Dammit.


In Season

Val and I went to the Center City farmers' market this morning, where I was somewhat surprised to find a new crop of apples already out on several vendors' tables. Though I'm sure I should've learned otherwise by now, I was fairly well convinced that any apples one might see during the summer were sure to have come from cold storage, while the new ones wouldn't pop up until next month at least.

But there they were: beautifully variegated new apples, their skins taut and matte, their flesh firm under a thumb press, their scent vague but sweet. I picked up a few, considered buying them, thought about how nice it would be to once again be able to toss a piece of fruit in my purse without having to worry about the mangled pulp it would be when I pulled it out again. (One does not, if one is smart, heave a ripe piece of stone fruit into a bag with any other contents.)

There were the peaches, though.

Across from the stand with the loveliest new apples was a table with fat yellow cling peaches, which, as a sign above them noted, were "Almost like mango!" And it's true: they were dense and juicy and a crazy shade of yellow-orange not often seen in the peach world. They had the feel and taste of summer on the tongue. They carried the suggestion that although San Francisco may be dipped in fog, although our moments of daylight may be slowly ticking away, although there's been a slight downward pull to things since I got back from vacation--that despite all of these things, summer is still very much with us, fall still somewhere uncertainly down the line.

The apples were beautiful, and tempting in their new ripeness. But I know they'll be around for months to come, while the peaches, one of these Sundays, will quietly fail to appear, and all of the berries will be gone, all of the plums done for the year.

While there's still time, then, I opt to fill my bag with those hefty yellow globes, to gingerly carry them home so they won't bruise, to lean over the sink as I bite into one, feel the juice run down my hand and splash onto the white porcelain below. While there's still time, then, I hold what will soon--all too soon--be little more than a memory.