welcome, fall.

back when we lived in new york, by the time fall came, i craved it. the nights were sultry and the pavement was hot. under ground, where soil is supposed to be cool and damp, instead was multiplied in temperature. i took more showers than is reasonable. and when fall came–late, usually, later than in minnesota–the cold air was more than welcome.

in minnesota, our summers are less forthright. as indirect as Minnesota Nice, sunshine enters slowly in the north, and we don’t tire of it easily. thunderstorms are dramatic and unyielding. humidity is blessedly thick. and the nights are cool, filled with cricket song.

so you’ll forgive me when i say that i haven’t been greeting summer’s end with the eagerness i used to. it used to signify a return to my studies; brand new classes and the promise of a better, more informed me by the end of december. this year, fall signifies B’s return to med school, and the subsequent loss of his time and his energy. my work provides some cyclical excitement, but politics in this election season offers more tearing down of community than thoughtfully considering the future of our nation and our people.

i had imagined summer to be a time of recharging. time with friends and family, time to check things off my “bucket list”, time to enjoy B and his last-summer-off hurrah. i did some of those things. but as i’m learning must often happen in life, some of those things didn’t happen. more than anything, i found myself lacking in time to care for myself: to write, to read, to play my guitar (which i don’t play well, but i do enjoy pulling out now and again), to sleep, to walk, to talk, to cook, to eat. i did invest time in those i care about (but not as much as i wanted), and i took up a new, valuable hobby that is good for my body (aerial arts).

still, today was the first day in a long time that i was able to actively relax. i slept in, spent time with B, went to the farmer’s market, worked on my potted garden, watched a little tv, and made dinner. a GOOD dinner, one that consisted mostly of vegetables and took me longer than 30 minutes to cook. heck–one that i cooked MYSELF.

stuffed baby eggplants, bought at the farmer’s market. based off this recipe, i stuffed them with wild rice, brussel sprouts, onion, chicken, feta cheese, mushrooms, apples, and a dollop of butter for good measure.

they were good. they were REALLY good.

i bought one fuzzy pink flower at the market, and picked some wild prairie flowers down by the mississippi, near our apartment. we set them on the table as we ate.

and capped the meal off with a glass of whiskey.

okay. NOW i’m ready for fall.

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