How to Ship Dead Leaves
Posted by kristipetersenschoonover
My sister Missie, who lives in Texas, misses autumn in New England, and she’s been a little down lately. “I really miss the smell,” she said.
I joked and told her I could send her some dead leaves. That night I was on my way up to an old cemetery I frequent at this time of year.
“Even better — especially cemetery leaves!” she said.
It didn’t take long for me to stop thinking of it as a joke and realize it wouldn’t be a hard thing to do, and it just might cheer her up.
It seemed silly to send a Tupperware full of dead leaves, so I went ahead and got some additional autumn items to fill up the box—one thing in particular that was important were Entenmann’s baked goods (they don’t sell them in Texas) which, fortunately, had just put out its autumn editions like apple cider donuts and pumpkin cake (even though as kids we were just big fans of their regular old crumb cake—Dad always had it in the house).
Her reaction was better than I expected! She said it made her whole day or even month. “Do you remember when we used to play Leaf Monster? It smelled just like that.”
I hadn’t thought of Leaf Monster in years (and now that I think about it there just might be a short story in there somewhere). But that isn’t the point. The point is that doing something positive for someone—even if it’s small—can change the course of his day, I need to do it more often.
So…to whom will you ship some dead leaves?
 Leaf Monster was a game in which my siblings and I (often three of us) would hide in one of various piles of raked leaves while one person looked. If you found the “Leaf Monster” and he caught you before you got to a “safe zone,” you were next to hide in the piles. It was like tag, I guess. Except with dead leaves and I’m sure we came inside covered in not just dirt but bugs too. Our parents must have loved that.
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About kristipetersenschoonoverA ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, is a co-editor for Read Short Fiction, and co-hosts the Dark Discussions Podcast. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her horror novel, Bad Apple, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info: www.kristipetersenschoonover.com
Posted on October 13, 2014, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff and tagged Autumn leaves, cemeteries in fall, Entenmann’s cider donuts, leaf peeping, maple bacon cookie dough and frosting. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.