Almost Endless Summer

The rains have set in, and they mean business. Though they are a necessary turn toward normality for the region, I greet them with complicated emotions. But I never met a feeling I couldn’t mix.

I know it’s time for my daughters to return to school. We have visited friends, swum, hiked, eaten ice cream, camped, played, leapt into waterfalls and gorged on watermelon. It has been glorious, but at this point, I am not sure my youngest even remembers how to read. But the rains must come (an eighth of Washington is on fire) the children must return to school, and I must turn another page.

Oneonta Gorge in Oregon with Meg and Jesse

But transitions, well, I am always and ever to be dragged, kicking and, if not screaming, at least muttering, into each new phase. Partly, I am not ready to hop on the jolly carousel of choir, piano lessons, meetings, volunteering, picking up, dropping off, arranging…Yes, I know, I had children and now I have to see it through; but surely it’s time they started handling all these details themselves.


When my girls were babies they would sometimes laugh and cry at the same time, unable to decide which way they felt. We would say “Oh no!  She’s happy/sad!” These days I never feel that strongly, I am sort of alright/glum.The corners of my mouth alternate between a slight upturn and another expression almost like the first one. The weather has turned, but classes haven’t started, and I am marking time in a desultory fashion. Also, I don’t have a new job yet, and I am afraid the girls will go back to school and I will be expected to clean the house.*

The first round of autumnal obligations includes a potluck at my older daughter’s school. Raised as I was on Lutheran church potlucks, where marshmallows can be spread in a layer over absolutely any dish and topped with crushed potato chips if it’s Christmas, the offerings at this annual shindig are a delight. Is that marinated tempeh on that bed of greens? Do I spy home-cured prosciutto that hung in your laundry room for eight weeks? What?! You make your own pear cordial?!  It’s an arty crowd of do-it-yourselfers, and I can’t wait to partake of their homebaked focaccia.

As for me, I won’t experiment. I will be bringing my tried and true cabbage salad. It’s easy, especially if you know how to use a mandoline (count me out, I nearly removed my eyebrows with one). If I am going to have to leave my house, (prefer not to) be in a crowd, (please don’t make me!) and appear inoffensively social, (I am a faux pas factory) I will not add to my stress by trying to make my own kimchi roll ups. Purple, people. It’s the new green.

Purple is the New Green Salad

1 head purple cabbage, heavy for its size
1 bunch scallions, sliced, then washed and drained
About a half cup peanuts or cashews, toasted
A handful of sesame seeds
About a tablespoon of sesame oil
sweet Thai chili sauce
rice vinegar

Slice the cabbage and toss it with the sesame oil, Thai sauce and rice vinegar. Do this bit by bit with each ingredient until you get a good balance of flavors.  Sprinkle the green onions, nuts and seeds over the top. I suggest toasting the nuts and seeds ahead of time for maximum flavor. This is also wonderful with sunflower seeds. Cilantro is delicious here, though not necessary.


*.Disaster averted!  I have secured paid employment so the housecleaning can wait another year.



3 thoughts on “Almost Endless Summer

  1. Oneota Gorge! We visited this summer as well. Beautiful waterfall, but I didn’t really like the hike. My kids LOVED the hike, though.

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