Growing up, fall was a special season. Yes, it did signal that I was back into the school grind, but it also meant burning piles of leaves in the street in early November, before the snow would fly. On Stevens Avenue, we had quite a few maples and even some towering elms, before they all died off, that left our front and side lawns cluttered. The entire family did their part raking the leaves into the street or into the long driveway. We got them into large piles, stuffed newspaper into the bottom and got ready for a night of tending the fires and the sweet aroma of burning leaves. I loved that smell all over my clothes, and the fact that Dad gave me the responsibility of tending the fires well into a school night. The next day, in Ms. Storer's English classroom, I'd sniff my flannel shirt sleeve, and the smoke smell would still be lingering, as I took back the memory of the previous night's fires. The kid, inside of me, holds tight to the sights and sounds of those late fall evenings.