Winter falls suddenly in the midwest, snow drenching leaves before they have a chance to settle in for rest. There were plenty of leaves on Carolina Washington’s land.
Carolina lived in a farmhouse 80 miles outside of Omaha, on the Iowa side. The farmhouse had sat on farmland, as proper farmhouses do, for most of its 147 year life. Since the Washingtons had stopped farming (when they were no longer ‘The Washingtons’), and then she had stopped leasing out the farmÂ (it was no longer worth the bother to negotiate with those good-for-nothing-(we’ll just leave it at that)), more and more trees had encroached on the farmland. At present, 75 percent of the farm was forest.
Hence the leaves. Blown hard against the farmhouse, their sheer mass started making it difficult to open the door. When she reached 74, ten years a widow, she decided to stop bothering. Every mid fall, as autumn is called in the midwest, Carolina would avoid risking a nasty fall (another reason to use ‘fall’), and stock up on supplies for the winter.
She would purchase months supplies of food, medicine, a little hooch (as alcohol is called in the south, where she was from) and read in her library while energetic, watch TV while catatonic. She opened the windows, to, in her words, “let some happiness in” every morning.
If you must have a description of her, she was 5’2″, had grey hair in a bun, and always sharply dressed.