My Favorite Tree and Memories of my Grandpa

November Memories of my Grandpa

The Tiniest Tiger's ginkgo tree

My grandpa’s ginkgo tree

October has passed by and now there is a short lull before Thanksgiving and onto the rush of the Holiday Season. I like this break between Halloween and Thanksgiving, while we prepare our habitat for winter.  Thicker and softer blankets come out of hiding and my heated thinking circle takes its place in the sun room.  Even though the sun begins to play hide and seek with us  for the next few months, the warmth of my heated circle allows me to close my eyes and pretend the sun is shining down on me.

As the days shorten and the temperature cools, the leaves on all the trees around our home begin to turn color and then float to the ground. Some leaves are super spooky, like the giant Maple tree leaves that scritch and scratch across our porch. But my favorite leaves dance and float down to the ground from the ginkgo tree.

I have a great view of the ginkgo tree from the front bay window.  I know that sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving depending on the temperature fluctuations that the ginkgo tree will perform a mesmerizing leaf dance as  she sheds her leaves for winter.  The  leaves twirl and float down to the ground forming a golden blanket upon the ground. I must stalk the tree, because once the dance begins, it continues until all the leaves participate and take to their winter resting place.

Paul and Gracey watching ginkgo tree

My dad and me waiting for the ginkgo leaves to dance

The ginkgo tree is extra special to me and my family.  You see, my grandpa planted and loved this tree.  He nurtured her from a sapling and made sure she was protected and able to grow.  Today she is a mighty tree with strong limbs and gorgeous leaves.  This tree stands as a living memory of my grandpa and we feel his presence every day when we come and go year round.

But in November, when the  ginkgo leaves turn gold, memories of my grandpa turn bittersweet. Our hearts feel a little heavier  remembering the November  the ginkgo leaves performed for us when my parents came home from Grandpa’s funeral.  The sun was shining, the leaves were dancing, and I was waiting in the bay window for my mom and dad to come and watch with me.  And just like that,  in the middle of our heartbreak. our spirits were lifted watching his tree and feeling his spirit dancing  with the leaves.   Grandpa lives on in our hearts, and we dance in November.

Here is my tribute video

My grandpa was a teacher so I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you what he told us.

The Tiniest Tiger logo with glasses

This is Thinking Gracey. When you see this image, you might want a “thinking beverage” and/or a nap.

The stems of leaves on deciduous trees ( trees that lose their leaves)  are known as petioles. Before leaves drop in the fall, these petioles produce a protective layer of cells that  protect trees from diseases entering through the exposed tissue.  Maple trees produce these protective cells  over several weeks with the decreasing daylight and temperature.

As leaves drop and expose interior leaves to colder temperatures, these interior leaves form new protective layers, and additional leaves drop until the  hard frost forces all the remaining petioles to form a protective layer and the remaining leaves to fall.

Ginkgo trees are different. The petioles of ginkgo leaves form the protective layer all at the same time and then the hard frost is the signal for  all the leaves to drop at the same time. This is what enable the leaves to dance and form the golden blanket around the tree.

My grandpa was also a dachshund guy and not so much of a cat guy. But sometimes when he thought my mom wasn’t looking or couldn’t hear him, he would pet me and tell me that I was really ok ….for a cat.  hahahhaha.  He even let me sit on his lap and  watch the backyard birds sometimes.

Thank you so much for reading my story.

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  1. queencatlady says

    Gracey, your Grandpa sounds like he was a truly special man, your tribute is beautiful. I wish I could sit with you while watching the leaves fall, you are a doll. <3

  2. TXLadyPatriot says

    Awww … Gracey, this is so sweet! As others have said, you are truly a special little kitty – and we love you! Thank you for being a part of our lives. 🙂

  3. Michele C. Hollow says

    What a beautiful tribute. You really are special, and I count myself lucky to call you my friend.

  4. Gracey, what a wonderful picture you have painted in my mind with your memories of your Grandpa and the Ginkgo tree. Oh how I wish I could give you a big hug right now and sit with you, watching the Ginkgo tree leaves do their dance. Together we could remember our Grandpa’s. Many, many years have passed since my beloved Grandpa passed, but it does not lessen the memories I have or the ache I feel in my heart every October. And then November comes and the ache still remains, for that is when my beloved husband, Bill passed away. December is no easier, for that is when I lost my beautiful Grandma. But each year, when I feel the Autumnal changes, I am glad that it is here again. The most beautiful time of the year. The memories of my family are good, as they warm my heart and soul, preparing me for the winter months ahead. xoxoxo

    • queencatlady says

      Elizabeth, this is lovely. I’m so sorry for your many losses, I can tell how much you loved each of them. I hope your holidays bring you much comfort and wonderful memories of your loved ones. Ms. Phoebe and I send you and the Shadow Dance kittehs much love. <3

    • Elizabeth, thank you for reading my story. I wish I cold give you a big hug too. I am so sorry for the loss of your loved ones. I am thinking of you and sending you our love this season and always.