Another summer is on its way out. Even in Oregon, where locals continue to insist it never gets hot enough for air conditioning, I find summer’s cheery disposition has overstayed its welcome shortly after my birthday in mid-August. I crave silence, darkness, and cool.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that Professor X and I are not outdoorsy, and we don’t have a yard to maintain. I’ve imagined both scenarios though, and concluded that a person has to like summer in order to enjoy those activities. The lack of humidity here certainly helps, but, as one of my uncles is fond of saying, “I don’t stick my head in the oven and think, ‘Ah, that’s nice!'”

It could also be due to the fact that Professor X is not a vegetable eater, and finds summer fare unsubstantial. If someone serves him caprese, there better be a burger nearby. Chaat is also not a home cooking pursuit where we live. These things put a kink in what remains of my kitchen rhythm.

Aside from calling in delivery and holing up in the AC, the summer was about remembering the Midwest; where July smothers you like a hug from a menopausal aunt, and people generally take no bullshit. My mom discovered a hidden gem of a Nepalese/Tibetan restaurant in Gahanna, OH. We went directly to Himalayan Grill from the airport, and gorged on momos and khasi ko sekuwa. On that same trip, we stopped for an unplanned 24 hours in Chicago where we hit up Bistro Bordeaux in Evanston. (Thanks, United Airlines!) The roast pork with prunes on my list of cooler weather weekend projects. We also grabbed coffees, and a selection of pastries from La Boulangerie in Lakeview for the train ride north from our hotel. The El trundled through its stops, and it was all suddenly too familiar – one hand on a hanging strap, hot coffee in the other, the wish for a third so you can eat that petite tarte au citron without losing your balance.

Our landed friends are hauling in the last of their summer harvests, canning, and planting their winter crops. The gigante beans that I co-grew with a friend are a mixed result. My earth is poisoned from a long gone walnut tree, so my four plants produced one pod with two beans; not even enough to trade for a sick cow. A’s farmlet is more fertile, so she got enough for ten sick cows, maybe a healthy one. She’s moved on to an Italian cabbage called”January King.” The English consider it tastiest at the market.

I’ve got chilis to string, but the harvest Professor X and I hope to reap are more administrative. His PR visa will have some kind of outcome in the next few weeks. If the outcome is good, we can start planning other aspects of our life. The proposals he spent much of summer writing will hopefully bear fruit come winter. Needless to say, it’s been a hell of summer and our stomachs are shot.