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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Lessons from Grandma's Autumn Stories

Yes, Fall is here. In SoCal we're kind of on a seasonal roller coaster. The weather is not totally prepared to put on a coat of many colors just yet. Summer days keep springing up on us. Nonetheless, some leaves have un-sprouted their greens for golden feathers. Dad enjoys the cooler evenings and sits in the front garden among withering branches and pretty sunsets. He likes to wave to the neighbors and graciously they wave back. 

My friend and fellow writer (we are patiently waiting for her first book) has much to say about Autumn and wisely finds those nuggets of wisdom in our everyday lives. Here's one such story. 

From Guest Blogger, Marianne Croonquist

This morning as I left home, there were a few crunchy leaves greeting me as I groggily walked from my apartment to my car. I like Fall.

Well this morning’s experience launches yet another Grandma story.  

I was on pick-up duty last Monday, after Trevor’s first official band class. While loading 9-year-old Trevor, his rented trumpet and new music stand into the car, he wonders aloud, “Why is there Fall  Grandma?” 

“You mean the season called Autumn or Fall, Trevor?”

“Uh huh.” He nodded.  

Grateful he wasn’t asking for a theological treatise on mankind’s fall from grace. I grinned in the rear-view mirror as I buckled myself in. “OK, let me think a minute.” 

Well, I love science! I recall the joy I had when I really understood how this whole seasonal thing worked. My 6th grade Science teacher, Miss Galloway, had this intricate moving model of the solar system, and she used a flashlight as sunlight to show us the ways seasons occurred. 

So, without much hesitation I excitedly launched into a way-too-scientific explanation of the earth’s rotation on an axis, the angle of the sun, and different hemispheres. In my forward view from the driver’s seat I could not see, only feel, the glaze-over happening in the back seat. Once I again, I learned, too much information—pay attention to your listener. Life lesson #92.

“Let me try a different way to explain it, Trevor. Remember when we cleaned out your drawers?” 

“What does that have to do with the leaves falling?”

“Give me a minute to get there.  We figured out the pants that were too short, and the t-shirts that showed your tummy if you raised your hands.”

“You always tickle me when my tummy shows.”  

We both smiled knowingly.

“And then, once you became a 4th grader, I sorted through all your school papers from 3rd grade, keeping only the most memorable essays and artwork.”
“You said you have a special box for my best things.” 

“Yep, sure do.  One for Eevee too.”

“We took out of the house many clothes and old papers we didn’t need anymore.  That’s what happens to trees in the Fall.  They get rid of parts of themselves that were once useful but not anymore.”

“Yeah, I don’t need my multiplication chart anymore.”

“Just like that, the trees don’t need the leaves to carry the energy from the sun anymore.”

“So, the new leaves can’t come unless the old ones drop off, right?”

“Yes, but remember, there is resting time for trees in Winter, before the new leaves come in Spring.” 

We stopped at the daycare center and picked up five-year-old Eevee who jumped into the ongoing conversation.

“So crunchy leaves are dead, Grandma?” She matter of factly asked and answered simultaneously.

“Yes, they are dead.  In order for things to grow bigger and stronger, there has to be some ending to the growth that’s happened.”

“Do you think it hurts the tree when the leaves fall off, Grandma?”

“Probably not, Eevee.  It probably notices the loss and empty space, but it doesn’t hurt.”

After a quiet moment, she pronounces, “God must have made trees with hope inside.  I think God is smart to think of Fall, Grandma.” 

“Me too.”

“Me three,” quipped Trevor.

May we willingly drop the no longer needed leaves in our lives. May we notice loss and empty space without much pain. May we realize because of Jesus we have hope inside.  

An emerging writer, Marianne Croonquist, MS MFT spends her days as a Marriage and Family Therapist in a private practice in San Dimas, CA. She teaches classes at her church and edits other writers' projects.  Invited to be a healthy Mom to a single mother, Arlene, 6 years ago, she cherishes time now as family to Arlene, Trevor, and Eevee. 

Please Stop by The Caregiver's Workshop

From the Caregiver's Workshop

Take a look at our Autumn/Fall Mugs collection.


  1. The scientific parts and explanations of Autumn escape me. But I love this Grandma-story and how trees shed leaves because while they were once useful, they are no longer needed. And love how Eevee adds how God must have created trees with hope inside. Maybe. But He sure created people with hope inside!

  2. I'm with you Karen, and I so totally love the part that God created us with hope inside. It's like He planted a little of Him in our hearts.