Summer and autumn collide in San Francisco this time of year. Our summer weather shows up just as the sun starts setting earlier. When I get out of yoga these days, it’s dark and warm out. We’re finally getting a chance to wear sundresses right when the Decorative Gourd army starts putting pumpkins out on their front porches.

There’s a mix of fall and summer foods this time of year at the market and the difference is even more pronounced this year given California’s cool summer. Last Saturday at the farmers market, there were both winter squashes and watermelons, peaches and pears. I brought home corn, zucchini and a gray-green pumpkin (to eat, not for my god forsaken front steps).

We went to Santa Cruz one afternoon a few weeks back because swimming in the ocean was on my summer to-do list and because neither of us could remember the last time we’d swam in the Pacific. It felt like fall on the beach — there was a bit of a breeze and some clouds covered the sun — but we jumped into the water anyway and then sat on the beach watching the pelicans, dolphins, and seals.

Still in our swimsuits, we stopped for beer and burgers on our way home. I ordered a Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin beer and sat there puzzling over the feeling of summer in the salt on my skin  and the sand in my hair and the classic autumn taste of the beer.

This week, as a ridiculously early winter storm rained down outside, I stood in our kitchen eating fresh strawberries and realized that these might be the last strawberries I eat this year. We are heading out of the country this week so we’ll miss these last gasps of SF’s Indian summer. Although it’s supposed to be fairly warm in Spain and Portugal this time of year (I’m packing my swimsuit in the hopes of getting in one last swim), I know that when we come back to SF, fall will be more pronounced, in the light and in the food.


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