Tag: leaves

Fall Troubles

It is fall, and that means a change of wardrobe for the flower fairies. There are just a lot fewer fresh flower petals to stitch into stylish fairy dresses. And so, they’re left with colorful but stiff and scratchy fall leaves.

Of course, some fairies gather the long blades of grass to weave into lovely gowns. Unfortunately, this means that they are up weaving before dawn to get dressed for the day. Getting up early is difficult when so many fairies stay up late to dance by moonlight.

They know it won’t be long until it’s too cold to be out at all. By winter, the flower fairies will all be burrowed deep in hidden nests to sleep through the winter. The frost fairies will take over their duties while they’re finally able to get some much needed rest.

The flower fairies are so tired in the fall after using their earth magic to help things grow and bloom and painting the world with color and singing with the bird choirs and encouraging baby birds and butterflies to hatch. Tired fairies having to dress up in itchy scratchy leaf dresses means the fairies are very grumpy in the fall. Grumpy fairies often play mean tricks.

This is why you set something down somewhere safe in the fall and you can’t find it again for months and months. You won’t find it. The fairies hid it and won’t give it back until they wake up feeling guilty in the spring.

This is also why your yard is filled with leaves an hour after you finish raking. And why your dog barks at nothing all the time. And why your never-fail cookie recipe goes completely flat when you need the cookies to turn out well.

You may think that this means that grumpy flower fairies are to blame for all of the pranks that happen around Halloween. Actually, they love Halloween when people are happy and sharing with their neighbors. They love the positive energy, and those nice big pumpkins with warm candles inside are the perfect spot to gather and tell stories.

There are also pieces of costume and small candy wrappers left around for a silly evening fashion show. They especially love the shiny metallic wrappers that look like the reflective surface of a perfectly still puddle. It’s even better if the wrappers still smell sweet.

Flower fairies don’t hang on to their treasures. But it is fun to dress up and compare looks and tell stories just for one night. They know that soon, very soon, it will be time to sleep for a season.

Many people put out birdseed for the birds during the cold weather. Some people even put out food for stray cats. But not many people remember the poor flower fairies.

Consider planting some flowers that will bloom late. Sunflowers are a good choice. Some varieties of roses bloom late, too. Do a search and plant some seeds if you are able. The fairies will be grateful, and you may be able to find your car keys when you need them. It’s worth a try.

Charlie’s Room: Fall Doldrums

Marianne and Charlie were working in the garden. Isaac was inside, trying to convince himself to get something done. So far, he wasn’t very successful. After lunch they were going to a local harvest festival, so he needed to get his to-do list done soon.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to do anything. He very much wanted to sit down with the mystery novel he was in the middle of reading. He wouldn’t say no to a nice cup of cocoa, either.

Unfortunately, he needed to do paperwork and dishes and vacuuming before lunchtime. Normally, each job wouldn’t take all that much time. He just couldn’t seem to get started.

Isaac didn’t mind dishes, and the sink wasn’t really all that full. Vacuuming was one of his favorite jobs. It was always such a zen moment to trace lines into the carpet and listen to the chant-like hum of the vacuum. As for the paperwork, well, normally he could at least sit down and power through it all.

Today he didn’t want to do any of it. He considered bribing himself with chapters of his book between chores. They didn’t seem any more appealing.

Maybe he needed a short nap before he started? Isaac changed into his pajamas and climbed into bed. He laid there and tried to shut his mind off. Nope. He wasn’t at all tired.

What was wrong?

He changed back into his clothes and made the bed. He wandered into the living room and looked out the front window. The street outside was lined with trees, and most of them were dressed in brightly colored leaves.

A gust of wind blew through the trees, and red and yellow leaves tumbled passed the window. He watched them twirl down the street. It was definitely fall.

Isaac snapped his fingers. Fall. That’s right. It was a time of year when nature slowed down, and Isaac had always been sensitive to that.

Unfortunately, at the same time as the world seemed to move more slowly, people sped up. There were so many holidays to prepare for. His schedule seemed to get so much busier this time of year. Maybe he was pushing himself too hard.

Could the tasks wait? Probably. But he really should make the attempt. Especially with the dishes, as they tended to pile up quickly.

With a sigh, he decided to at least start the chore. He called Cousin Reginald and worked while he listened to Reginald’s latest adventures. He finished the last dish as he listened to the story of Reginald’s annual protest at city hall for pumpkin rights.

He started vacuuming as Reginald sang the song he’d written that he was sure would be a critical success and ignored by the ignorant masses. He accompanied himself on his out of tune accordion. Isaac finished vacuuming at the same time Reginald’s very long song ended.

“Dissonance is so underappreciated. There really should be much, much more of it in modern music,” Reginald said.

“It certainly had a lot of dissonance,” Isaac agreed as he put the vacuum away.

“Were you humming in the background? It was a nice touch. I knew you would appreciate my work.”

Isaac decided not to mention the vacuum. “I’m always impressed by how much you manage to get done.”

“Well, it’s harder in the fall, of course. But I rebel against all of that. Changing seasons won’t keep me down! In fact, I think I’m going to go march through the local park to make sure all those fall leaves can see that they can’t stop me. Bye.”

Isaac put his phone away. There was just the paperwork left. He looked out the window. Brightly colored leaves flew passed the window. Were they watching him?

Maybe Cousin Reginald had the right idea. He grabbed the paperwork and brought it into the living room. He dumped it all on the coffee table and moved the table right in front of the window.

“Look at this,” he told the leaves. “I’m getting my chores done and you can’t stop me.”

It was kind of fun to be defiant, even if he was fairly certain the leaves didn’t care. Every time he finished filling something out, he held it up to the window. “Hah! I got this done, too!”

Sooner than he thought, he was done. He checked the clock. He had plenty of time before lunchtime, and nothing else he really needed to get done right now.

And so he curled up on the couch with cocoa and his mystery book. The leaves continued to pass by the window, but Isaac ignored them. Fall had no power over him today.

Grandpa Talks About Money

Carrie had a doctor’s appointment. She would be getting her immunizations, and so both mom and dad went to try to protect all the doctors and nurses. Carrie was scary when she was upset.

Grandpa came over to keep an eye on Lynn and Jim and Neal. They were all a little nervous about how upset Carrie would be when she got home. “We could hide under the bed,” Neal suggested. “I don’t think she’d find us there.”

“That’s no good,” Jim said. “It’s at her eye-level. I think we should hide on the top shelf in the pantry. She’d never look for us there.”

“If we weren’t in the house, she would be guaranteed to be unable to find us,” Lynn said.

Neal sighed and his shoulders slumped. “Yeah, but do you know how much it costs to get a passport?”

“Everything costs more nowadays,” Grandpa said, patting Neal on the shoulder. “I think it’s because young people don’t know the value of money. When I was younger, I could get ten pairs of shoes with a penny, and I’d still get change.”

“Wow.” Jim’s eyes were wide. “How could you get change for a penny? What’s smaller than a penny?”

Lynne rolled her eyes. “Nothing is. And while things cost more now than they used to due to inflation, you couldn’t ever get ten pairs of shoes for a penny. That’s ridiculous.”

“Actually, we used to use leaves as change.” Grandpa smiled. “I’m sure you’ve heard about money growing on trees.”

“I thought money didn’t grow on trees,” Neal said doubtfully.

“It doesn’t anymore. People liked the metal money, because it kept them anchored to the ground better during that unfortunate period of time when gravity wasn’t working so well.”

“Really? Could you jump really high like astronauts on the moon?” Jim asked.

“Of course. The problem wasn’t jumping up, it was coming down afterwards. That’s why people talk about lucky pennies. It would surprise you how many people were saved by having a few pennies in their pockets. I’m sure the moon is full of people who just didn’t happen to have change in their pockets when they tripped.”

Lynne snorted. “Gravity doesn’t change like that. It’s constant.”

“Then why is it different on the moon?” Neal asked. “That doesn’t make sense.”

“Quite right,” Grandpa said. “Of course, I found a real lucky penny once. I knew it was lucky, because it looked like a quarter to everyone else. I was afraid to spend it though, because once it belonged to someone else, it would look like a penny to them. Then they’d think I was cheating them.”

Jim leaned forward. “Do you have it now? Can I see it?”

“Of course I do.” Grandpa reached into his pocket. “It’s right here. See?” Grandpa held up a quarter.

“It’s a quarter,” Lynne said in a bored voice.

“It really does look like a quarter!” Neal looked excited. “That’s amazing.”
Jim held out his hand, and Grandpa dropped the quarter into his palm. He turned it over and over. “It looks just like a real quarter.”

“That’s because it is a quarter,” Lynn said. “Not a penny.”

“Could you give it to me?” Jim asked. “Just for a little bit? I want to see it look like a penny.”

“No, because then it would still belong to me. I’m not really willing to give up my luck just yet.”

“We’ll need it when Carrie gets home. Maybe we could disguise ourselves, like the lucky penny,” Jim said.

“Carrie hates strangers,” Lynn pointed out.

“Good point,” Jim said.

“Back before there was money, we didn’t buy anything. We just traded for what we needed. Of course, you had to find people who had what you wanted. People would put big signs outside their houses listing what they had and what they wanted to trade. You could walk around the neighborhood reading signs. It was hard to be strangers when you read everyone’s signs.”

“That didn’t happen,” Lynn said.

Jim frowned. “I thought there was a barter system a long time ago.”

Lynn took a deep breath. “There was a barter system a long, long time ago. Grandpa isn’t that old. And there weren’t any signs and…”

Grandpa was looking out the window. He interrupted Lynn. “I think your parents and Carrie are driving up the driveway. Who wants to go for a walk?”

Everyone ran for their coats.


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