What Do I Love About Summer? Well, It's Complicated

What Do I Love About Summer? Well, It's Complicated

Dana Velden
Jul 24, 2013

I guess I love summer, for all those obvious reasons like the tomatoes and the stone fruit and that deep green, pungent field basil that's so much more robust than the pale, delicate, hothouse variety. I also love the possibility of picnics and my once-a-year funnel cake indulgence from the Alameda County Fair. Hmmmm, what else? The chickens are laying more eggs, so the pasture-raised eggs are easier to find.  And...

Can you tell that I'm trying to talk myself into this? Because right now, even though its the end of July, I'm wearing socks and a sweater and having a bowl of soup for supper. Because it's a cool, foggy 62°F in my Oakland, CA neighborhood.  

I know, I know. Those of you lassoed by the latest heatwave are groaning right now. But it's true. Summers in the Bay Area mean cool, foggy mornings and cool, foggy evenings with some nice, cool sunshiny hours in-between. It's really nice, if you generally like it cool, which I do. This natural AC, marine layer weather is one of the top reasons why I live here.

But it's also the reason why my relationship with summer is complicated. The seasonal shifts here are less dramatic and while the days are longer and the seasonal produce from nearby valleys is amazing, summer doesn't seem to mean quite as much as it did in my Wisconsin childhood. When I think about what I love about summer, I think about some of the things I miss from that time: fireflies, warm evenings and dinner alfresco (we can do that in Oakland, only we're wrapped in hoodies and blankets), an endless supply of sour cherries that cost much less than $10 per pound.  I wouldn't change my life in Oakland for the world and yet ...

Me, summer and the Bay Area have a complicated relationship.

(Image:  Dana Velden)

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