I like to pretend that my favorite time of year is summer, because if I don’t, I’ll spend the whole summer lying face-up on the sidewalk in my underwear, crying about how cruel the universe is to have created humidity like we had a few weeks ago. I know, I know. We don’t get it as bad here in Chicago as some other places in the country, but I have a hard time tolerating it.
The big secret is that fall — the like two weeks of it that we generally get here, although autumn is shaping up pretty well this year — is my absolute favorite time of year. It’s back-to-school season! So many different produce items are in season right now! I can leave my apartment without instantly dying, which isn’t true in summer or winter! Halloween is coming up! It’s liberating!
Here’s my to-do list, now that it’s fall:
1. Make apple butter. All I need to get is a crock pot and I’m set! Apple butter is almost as easy to make as butter-butter, and if you happen to have a canning system (of course I do) you can make enough to last you MONTHS. Put that shit on your toast, in your oatmeal, or eat it straight.
2. Start sleeping without my shirt on. Oh, you think it’s convenient to do that in the summer? Hell no. You either have small or no boobs and do not know the horrors of underboob sweat. My tank tops act as bras in the summer. If I wear a loose shirt, I invariably end up tucking it under my boobs during the night.
3. Ride my bike. Similar to the shirtless-at-night issue: No, I do not always enjoy riding my bike during the summer. It’s gross out. It’s hard to breathe. I spent most of this summer doing marathon training, too, so I have had no patience for continued exertion and have opted to buy monthly Ventra passes instead of commuting by bike when I deign to leave my home. It’s not too cold to ride your bike until it’s like 5˚F out. Now all I have to do is replace the tube in my front wheel.
4. Start making and eating soup. The three best forms of food are: 1. Butters. 2. Cereals. 3. Soups. Between soups and apple butter, I consider it nigh a moral obligation to have an immersion blender, because blended soups are the best of all soups. Need some recipes? Here you go.
5. Going to the gym. Half because of marathon training (which FINALLY ends in mid-October [I’m getting to the point that I just want it to be over]) and half because the early-morning weather has been conducive to exercising outside, I’ve been drastically cutting back on my strength training. Once the marathon is over, it’s HIIT and barbells all the way for me. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the bracing cold on the walk to the gym at 5:30 in the morning five days a week. What better way to wake up?
6. Drinking chai. I hate iced drinks because they’re a goddamned waste of money but I’ll be damned if I’m going to drink hot drinks when it’s hot out. I refuse to drink a pumpkin spice latté because I tried one last year and it tasted like poo. Why don’t you guys just drink chais or dirty chais if you want a spicy drink? Plus, soy chai foam is the best thing in the entire world.
7. Wear pants. How do guys wear pants all summer? I’d die. I finally put a pair of jeans on a few days ago and it was a revelation. All my cute shirts really only look cute with jeans. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the shorts aesthetic and I managed not to purchase any skirts this summer.
8. Reading a lot, to make up for the fact that I’m no longer in school. I get all warm and fuzzy over memories of school. I’d go back if it’d be worth my money — and now that I’m thinking about it, that might be because I have spent 24 of my 27 autumns in a class of some sort. Even last year, after I graduated, I was invited to a writing workshop at my alma mater. Yeah, now that I think of it, maybe it IS time for me and academia to part ways for a while.
How about you guys? Let’s make the most of the season!
Original by Rebecca Vipond Brink