Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Archive for May, 2011

John T. Becking

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Over the past couple of days, whenever I think of Grandpa, for some reason I have two basic visions of him:
Grandpa of My Youth
Grandpa of My Kids
I don’t seem to have many other easy recollections of Grandpa and me as an adult, it’s just those two visions.  And of course a lot of those are shared with Grandma.
When I think of Grandpa of my youth, I remember a big, towering man.  Tan and strong from life on the farm.  Big forearms.  A tattoo.  Him not taking it easy on me when I was stuck in a game of dominos.  Him coming in for dinner to what seemed like the biggest glass of tea in the history of all glasses of tea.  Seeing them at church and being held in high regard there.  I think of Grandma always calling him “Beck” and me being so dense that I didn’t realize until years later that it was a nickname for Becking. 
And then I have lots of recent memories with our kids.  Maybe he didn’t pronounce Adelaide’s name right all the time, but he always tried to engage her.  Or played ball with Jack Thayer, the JT Becking of northern Missouri.  I remember both kids hanging out with him in the sun room, playing whatever games, and having fun.  I remember Grandma and Grandpa talking about their wedding reception once, or maybe a pre-wedding party, and that they had both soft drinks and hard drinks there.  And I was shocked, first because they had “hard drinks”.  But mostly because I never realized that’s where the term “soft drinks” came from.
Yesterday afternoon, as everyone came together at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, it just seemed like a day Grandpa would’ve enjoyed.  There was lots of food, lots of dessert, lots of kids playing.  There were something like 12 of their offspring playing horseshoes at one point or another.  There were people to harrass in every room and in both the front and back yards. 
Maybe it comes with age, but I’m less confident of what I “know” now than I used to be.  I do know that Grandpa would’ve enjoyed yesterday.  I also know that he’d have been outraged to learn I paid $3.89 for gas.  I know that he was proud of Jeannie, Judy, and Barry, and all the grandkids and great-grandkids.  And that he might have pointed out a few flaws in some of us yesterday, had he been able.  I know he was proud of his service in the US Navy.  And I’m pretty sure that he was maybe a little embarassed of whatever they made him do on that ship the first time it crossed the equator when he was onboard. 
I don’t know, at all, if now was the right time for me and the kids, and all of us, to lose Grandpa Becking.  But I’ve given up trying to figure out when the right time is.  I know people go out of their way to tell me how wonderful they think both Grandpa and Grandma Becking are, and I’ll remember that.  I know Grandpa would’ve enjoyed being with everyone yesterday, and I’ll remember that.  I know that I’ll never leave that house without looking over to see him waving at us as we pull away.

Edited to add photo of JT Becking that ran with his obituary, the obituary is listed as a comment here.

Written by Jason Becking

May 13th, 2011 at 7:42 am

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Artful Gardening Mother’s Day

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Every year, as part of Partners In Education, Grant Elementary students’ artwork is selected for the “Hall of Fame.”  About 20 pieces are displayed first in the gallery at Boone County National Bank (Grant’s Partner In Education).  After about a month, the artworks is moved to Grant where it will hang in various places around the building for years to come.  At the “unveiling” each student stands in front of their artwork and talks a bit about it.  All in all, a cool thing.  Below are a couple of photos of Adelaide and “Baton Twirler” and from the event.

Five years ago, many friends and family combined to contribute time and money to finish a flower garden or three that Sarah had started, as a surprise for her while she recovered from the surprise surgery / diagnosis (which was five years ago today).  As Spring also finally arrives around this time each year, I try to make sure it looks decent again.  It’s all in thanks for those that donated at the time, in honor of Sarah still, in order to allow me some time reflecting on everything, and an excuse to be outside during these nice days.  Below are a few pictures of that (imagine everything more fully bloomed, better manicured, and with some real grass growing).  Contrary to a few rumors, none of it is meant to make the house more presentable because we’re selling it (we’re not).

Weird Panorama


Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and grandmothers, but especially to all those in my life.  With the present making at school and the various plans everyone discusses, it’s a day/week that I worry about the kids quite a bit.  That worry is mostly pointless, as they continue to do well.  (But what better way to honor their mother than to worry about them.)

Written by Jason Becking

May 7th, 2011 at 4:08 pm