October 21, 2008

Fall in a box.

I grew up in Arizona where Fall is a bit of a misnomer. There are few, if any, leaves falling from trees and you're really just hoping to see a few days under 100 degrees.

I remember one Thanksgiving when I convinced Eric to drive with me to Jerome, about two hours away, where I was sure we could find beautiful Fall leaves to decorate our Thanksgiving table. We came home with a few branches with dead, brown leaves but not a single real Fall leaf. Autumn really is hard to find anywhere in Arizona.

Autumn is everywhere here in Chicago.

The leaves change colors here in waves. First it's the Elm trees that turn golden-yellow, then the Lindens and Ashes follow. Soon after, the show-stopping Maples start turning orange and fire red. Right now there are trees that are still green and ones that are yellow and orange and red and brown. It all looks like something straight off a postcard.

Michal and Kenna love the changing leaves. They jump in them. They try to catch them as they fall from the trees. They kick them into the air. They scoop them up with both hands and throw them as high as they possibly can. Today we walked to our downtown and by the time we reached our destination they each had a handful of leaves that they clutched for the rest of the day. Leaves, it turns out, are treasures to be cherished.

As we were walking today I told them that I didn't have leaves to play in when I was a little girl -- at least a little girl over the age of six. They were appropriately shocked and horrified. (This will have to be my walking-in-the-snow-uphill-to-school-both-ways story.) They have now decided that they should send Grandma Jan and Grandma Marilyn, both of whom live in Arizona, some leaves so they can enjoy Fall too. I didn't tell them that the leaves actually do change a little in Sedona, where Grandma Marilyn lives, since it would have spoiled my no-changing-leaves in Arizona story.

So Grandma and Grandma, look for a box coming your way. It will be filled with some pretty great treasures to be cherished -- or at least jumped in and thrown in the air.

You can thank me later.

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