Leaf of the Month
1997 - present

I had the joyous opportunity to "turn over a new leaf" last Monday (Aug 21st) while visiting the Yakima Indian Heritage Center in Toppenish WA. My wife and I and our 2 granddaughters (10 & 8) had spent the morning at Ft Simco State Park and were in Toppenish to see the center and the murals. The Girls had been somewhat spirited and had a small "attitude" which I had let influence me in a negative way. I had become somewhat "grumpy" and short with them. We parked the car and as I got out and closed the door I noticed the leaf laying beside the curb near the front wheel. I first thought that it was something that the center had placed there. I reached down and picked it up and discovered "a new leaf". That moment truly changed me from the "grump" to the "gramps". What a delightful way to reach out and touch someone. Your gift gave all of us the "warm fuzzys" I kept in on the dash of the car for the rest of the week. If anyone seemedd to be getting "grumpy" someone would pick it up and say "Time to turn over a new leaf!!"
Thanks for reminding us that life is too short to be a grump!!!!

Dear Ms Newsome,

I'm sorry I have not contacted you sooner, but I did want to let you know I found one of your "new leaf" paintings.

The one I found was in an arbor at the Museum of Welsh Life in the town of St. Fagan's, which is in the countryside near Cardiff, Wales.

It was a partly cloudy day, Sunday, 10 September, 2000. I was walking back from the far side of the open-air museum to meet my friends at the entrance. As I passed the manor house, I decided to wander through the gardens and found myself in the arbor at about 3 PM. It was quite dim under the canopy, but I noticed something green amidst the shadows in what was essentially a brown tangle of branches. Although there were some plants and trees around the estate that were still green, this particular spot in the arbor was pretty much devoid of greenery, so I was curious about this bit of color.

Upon investigation I saw it was a green leaf!! At first I didn't realize it was a painting on a wooden block. My first inclination was to leave it alone, thinking it must be part of the arbor exhibit, but then I decided that didn't make any sense. So, I picked it up, and being curious, of course, I turned it over.

I was amazed and fascinated at the message on the reverse side! My first thought was that this was incredibly serendipitous, as this trip was to celebrate my upcoming retirement from the United States Navy...... truly a "new leaf" type of event!

I was very pleased that you allowed the finder to keep the leaf, although for just a moment I considered putting it back for others to find! Then I re-considered the circumstances under which I had found the leaf and decided it was meant for me!

I joined my friends and much animated discussion (with some jealousy!) ensued.

Thank you for making my retirement trip extra-special. I shall treasure my new leaf!
The reason I am writing at this time that I have now actually retired, and have again turned over the leaf as part of a plan to improve my health and well-being..... something I have neglected for some time due to the rigors of Navy life. I expect to turn over my new leaf periodically as I find things I need to change!

Thanks again! If you have the time, I would certainly appreciate a return e-mail explaining the story behind your leaf project and how it has evolved.

Below is a picture of the spot in which I found the leaf!


Captain, United States Navy (retired)