My father and I did a lot of talking about his dad, Henry V. Beck, while we were in Berlin. We wanted to see where he was at this extraordinary time of his life as an army man stationed overseas. I have some of these old photographs – we always love to compare how much my brother looks like him – and a very real and moving poem he wrote while so very far from the ones he loved. These artifacts sat for decades in an old army trunk in his closet and are now some of my most beloved possessions of this thoughtful and very elegant family man.
This summer the most amazing thing happened to me…I became an Aunt for the first time to the most beautiful baby twins: a boy named Ethan and a girl called Emma. It’s been an interesting experience. At first I wasn’t sure how these two little peanuts could ever survive; they looked so fragile, so new to the world. But they did. Now 5 months later they can laugh and smile, they are trying baby food for the first time, and their little personalities are shining through. I can’t believe how fast they grow. I keep waiting for them to stop, but everyday there is something new, making me realize how fast time flies. It feels like we are riding on the highway of life and I have the two most beautiful passengers in the world.
Hope your holidays were wrapped in love…
Very recently I lost my hero, a woman instrumental in raising me and a beloved Grandma to all who knew her – family or otherwise. It was the most difficult goodbye I have ever experienced and just writing this post tears stream down my face. She taught me how to write my name, how to turn caterpillars into butterflies, how to sew a pillow, how to love family unconditionally and how to make potato soup on a cold day. She taught me that no amount of money can ever be more valuable than what you have inside you. Kindness, creativity, thoughtfulness, the choice to do the right thing, and how you treat others is what is important.
Photography is a tool that can be used in many different ways. For me, I had to take photographs as a way of expressing outwardly what was happening inside, a way to cope with grief, to see and understand through the viewfinder what was difficult in the present. The sound of the old, large Hasselblad shutter slamming down was therapeutic. A show of respect. This is important to me, you were important to me with each click. It is painful and beautiful to look at the images so raw and real, a universal experience we all as human beings share. Thank god for photography…it has saved me so many times.
She was beautiful and wild, she had her father’s green thumb, she was amazing at crafts and I’ll ALWAYS miss her potato soup and cornbread, the memories of standing in the kitchen together, and most of all she loved her family past and present.
To every spring, my Grandma, I will think of you when the garden starts to grow. To every red bird that sits on my windowsill I will think of it as you stopping by to say hello.
Much love until we see each other again.
To my family – though my work takes me far away, I carry you all inside my heart and think of you often, as I hope to be half the woman she was.
“The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer gods heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth…”
While in Texas visiting with my Dad I went and sat at my Papa’s desk. Although he is no longer with us it doesn’t change how much we love him. My Dad kept some of the things left by my Grandfather in their place as he had them. A little stamp collection, random keys, a well of ink, old accounting papers, banking bags, business cards, the notch in the wood where his chair hit the desk time and again, a traveling type writer and rubber stamps hanging as they were. When you open one of the drawers the smell of his old pipe billows out and you feel he is still there. As a little girl I used to come in his office and sit in his lap while he worked behind this desk, I’d give anything to be able to do that again.
So there I am in my Santa Claus sweater my grandma made me some years ago when people could still by Polaroid film at the grocery store. Going home means finding little gems like this and creating new ones as time goes by.
We got new family stockings this year, I requested our names to be written on them as they’ve always been.. I’m special though, I got puff paint.
Grandma and Grandpa adorn the tree as we gathered for Christmas lunch at my Grandma & Aunt Sherry’s house.
My gift in this year’s White Elephant game. Growing up my Step-Dad used to draw cartoons on my brother and my lunch sacks so I had him draw Manhattan as a clue to what the gift was. I gave an original print and I won a pressure cooker!! Never used one before but they fascinate me on Iron Chef.
Grandma and my brother Justin on Christmas
My Aunt Deb and I got to babysit the newest baby in the family, Jake (or Jake-y, Jake the Snake or Jake Grant depending on what he was up to at the moment). I found him to be a complete lady charmer which can only mean trouble.
While I was home my brother turned 30, a milestone I could not miss.
I gave him our Dad’s journal from when he was born which talks about seeing him for the first time. I’m such a good sister… The restaurant the family went out to celebrate in Burleson called Babe’s makes birthday boys (my uncle’s birthday as well) dress up like chickens and dance. Genius.
Christmas with the family