Saturday, May 21, 2016

CANCER - Now What?

Cancer . . . Now What?

They found a growth in my kidney. Did my life change? Not really. Hey, at 76 stuff is bound to happen. I’m so grateful that the tumor was found early. I even heard the word “curable” - not treatable, but curable. A blessing right there. 

I got two kidneys. I know I can live with just one - another blessing. Looks like stage one, they say - another blessing. I should be able to walk out of the hospital within four to seven days, no therapy afterward - another blessing.

However, as a human being I also realize at my age it could be worse, a lot worse. Words like aggressive, spread, swollen nymph nodes, chemo are often used with the word cancer. To be honest, I really don’t know what may be hidden.

So I start to think about what comes next. I’m not talking about the operation or the recovery period. I’m thinking about the term everyone seems to mention . . . “He or she is in a better place.”

To the public at large, Christians included, the words “a better place” is used so flippantly. It generally suggests that death is a step into the right direction and everyone, from your cat, to the crook, to the pedophile is heading there after they leave this earth. Hog wash!

The devil is not in charge of “The Better Place.” He has been twisting the Truth since the beginning trying to fill his place, a place called Hell.

Broad is the road that leads to destruction, and narrow the road to everlasting Life.” the word of God says.

Everlasting life, or Heaven, is where I am going. Prepared for me by one named Jesus, who has atoned my sins and calls me son.

So I got to ponder what my better place, my heaven, is like.

Pearly gates and golden streets are nice. No more tears, heartaches, or pain is great. Not only will I be with my Savior forever, but everything associated with evil will be gone.

I broke this glorious thought down even more. All communication and intent will be positive.

I went to the dictionary and looked to words that start with “de-”. Just a small section of the tens of thousands of words - words that have negative meanings and will not be in use or be necessary to describe anything in my Heaven.

Here are a few:
Debility, decay, decease, deceit, deception, decline, decompose, decrepit, deface, defame, defeat, defect, defiant, deficient, defile, defraud, degenerate, degrade, deject, delusion, demean, demise, demonize, deplete, depress, deprive, deride, despair, despise, destroy, detest, devious.

In my Better World there Satan is not in charge. It is a perfect world, a world without evil. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

We Had a SMOKING Thanksgiving

Funny - Funny

We had a SMOKING Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day, Carol’s family was to arrive around 5:30 for turkey, ham, and all the trimmings.

A bit after lunch that day I decided to lay a fire in the fireplace. I started out by wadding up several sheets of our Local Astonisher, went outside and collected a bag full of dried pinecones and dumped them on the crumpled newspaper. On top of that, I placed a few sticks of dried pine, followed by three split logs of dead dry pine. 

Hot dog - Good job I thought - Ready to go for when the time came to start the warmth and add to a pleasant atmosphere.

I left the damper closed so the heat would not go up the chimney until the time to strike the match.

I was in town to pick up a few items, about a half hour before the expected crowd was to arrive.

Still 20 minutes away, Carol called. “Help!!!   The fire is shooting out of the fireplace!!!   It is hot!!!   Smoke is thick!!!  The alarm is going off!!!”  

“Open the damper!” I suggested hoping to calm her a bit.

“Too hot! - I thought you had it open - Too much smoke!”

“Dump some water on it,” I advised as I stepped on the gas breaking the 55 mile an hour law.

About that time Carol’s brother and his wife arrived. She heard the car come and rushed to meet them.

“HELP,” she yelled out the door. Please hurry! Help!” The smoke billowed out the open door to greet them.

Carol ran to the kitchen and got a bucket of water. Bent down, her brother tried to fight the heat and smoke in front of the belching inferno. He frantically reached for the damper. No luck.

Whoosh - was the answer to the slosh of water as everyone hacked, coughed, and gagged. The steam of the sizzling water, added to the smoke, turning all into a large smoke pit. The three persons in the room found out quickly that perfume and shaving lotion are no match for some good-old-fashioned smelling country smoke.

Now Carol’s sister arrived. Before she walked into the house, her brother said to his wife and Carol,  “Lets just act like nothing is wrong.” They cackled and agreed.

“Hi Donna! Good to see you!” She coughed, rubbed her nose, her hair blowing from the ceiling fan at high speed.

“You all alright?” she asked with head cocked to one side.

“Sure. Dinner is about ready.” 

Her son arrived. The front door wide open. He walked up and thought we added a new screen door. The smoke was so thick he could not see into the room.

When I got there all the windows and doors were open. The ceiling fans roared, the smoke detector dangled from the ceiling and also gasped for a reprieve.

Dinner was great. Even the turkey tasted smoked. We all laughed, chucked and giggled over the frantic actions of a bunch of grown-ups.

Two days later, the curtains and cushions of the entire house still smell like smoke.

It too shall pass. Thank you Lord for all the blessings.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Loyalty of a Dog

This daddy went to work every morning, kissing his wife and giving his four-year old daughter a hug.

Before he went out the door he gave his little girl an Oreo cookie; they were her favorites. "Mind your Mom and I'll see you when I get home," he said before he went out the door.

The Dad did this every morning. The daughter expected the treat and promptly enjoyed its sweet flavor even before Dad's car left the garage.

Let me tell you about another man. And this is a true story.

This man, in his early forties, lives by himself. He has never been married, has a nice house and a spacious yard.

About a year ago his dog, who had stayed in the house with him, died at the good age of twelve years old.

This man got him a new dog at the pound. A medium sized dog, fluffy as a mop, frisky as a hyperactive squirrel.

Mr Bennette is his name. He listens good, does his business outside, and stays in the house all day, by himself, for sometimes more than twelve hours. He never has an accident in the house and always watches for his Dad to come home.

Mr Bennette also gets a treat every morning. He gently grabs his treat with his mouth and promptly lays it on the floor near the front door where his dad is about to exit for work.

He wags his tail and gets one good final rubbing before his Dad and master shuts the door for the day.

Mr Bennette does what a house dog does, all day, always alert, he waits, all hours for his Dad to come back home.

Finally the front door unlocks, his Dad is home. Mr Bennette is all wags and wiggles as he gets his reward by being rubbed, scratched, and patted.

After that joyous greeting Mr Bennette then gets his treat from this morning and lounges on the floor and eats it.

The dog had all day to eat the treat, but didn't. Why?

His Dad's coming home is more important to him than the treat in the morning. Mr Bennette did not eat his treat during the long hours - it was parked at the front door. As a dog lover, I know the pup would never have eaten the treat had his Master not come home. The dog loves his Dad more than anything the world can offer.

Is that loyalty, or what?

The dog is not the man's whole life, but the man is the dog's whole life!

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Sunday, May 3, 2015


The following is an excerpt from my book "After The GIs - The Immigrant".
The time was in the mid to late 1940s in Post War Germany.


In the front hall, under the attic stairway, we stored dozens of bundles of kindling wood. When grandfather was not visiting, either mom or I chopped the collected twigs into kindling in the backyard. The bundles were tied with green, flexible fir boughs and schlepped upstairs to the front hall.
We soon learned that the piles of kindling provided an excellent place for rats to build nests.

Those grey varmints sure got aggressive when the bundles of kindling were moved and their nesting places were disturbed. I remember one particularly large joker bounded out of the woodpile and darted around the front hall. Mother went after him and clubbed him to death with the straw broom, but not before he ran up the walls in big semicircles. She sent me to fetch the dust pan, which was not a dainty one. I held the pan while she swept the dead rat onto it. The thing was as wide as the pan, and its entire tail hung over the edge of the pan. We politely pitched him out the window. He landed in front of the stables where Mr. Beier had a chance to contemplate its beauty. (Mr Beier was the landlord who refused to sell us milk for my twin sisters.)

The rats never diminished. Through holes in the wall they came down from the attic and elsewhere, they seemed to prefer our kindling stacks as nesting places. I venture to say, it was a bit warmer in our front hall than in the cold attic, and safer than in the stalls below where weasels and owls had a chance at them.

Mother did not fancy getting her fingers snatched by a rat when she removed a bundle of kindling. She thought it necessary, when the kindling pile began to dwindle and the rat con- centration intensified, to borrow a friend’s Ger- man Shepherd dog. We kept the dog in the front room for a week, and supplemented his diet of rats with fresh bowls of water. However, during the following summer, as the kindling pile be- gan to grow tall, oodles of rats once again built their nests under the attic stairway.
I don't remember ever having mice. I guess the rats ate them for dinner.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

In The Classroom

The following is an excerpt of my expanded childhood autobiography. This story happened in 1952, Munich Germany. Mr Kurtz was my sixth grade teacher. 

Just think, this may not have been the best way to teach respect for authority, but I sure learned it then and I still respect all authority. My parents, my teachers, my boss, my police department, and most of all my God.

Mr. Kurtz was a tough teacher. He had to be. With so many schools bombed out, the class sizes often topped fifty students.
Two kids sat at a slanted desk which had the bench attached to it. Two ink wells holes and a fountain pen rest were on the upper portion of the desk. A little pot of ink nestled in each hole. The aisles between the rows of students went
from front to back and were just wide enough for the teacher to ease through.
Mr. Kurtz often stood at the back of the room to observe his students during dictation or quiz time. He was a stickler for making sure no one dared to do other than the assignment at hand. If one whispered, or even turned their head, he would approach from behind and grab the person by the short hair behind the ears. He’d pull quietly and steadily upward until the lad was in a standing position. Then for good measure he pulled a little higher.
His pointing stick, a thin hardwood rod, also substituted as a formidable disciplinarian. To receive this prize of correction for your mis- deeds, one had to stand before the class, stand erect, hold out your right hand horizontally, and receive a minimum of six lashes. The fingers smarted mightily after such a licking. Every fin- ger swelled and together the whole hand trem- bled. However, pain or trembling was no excuse for poor penmanship. Penmanship was always graded, and proper spelling was always ex- pected whenever we wrote anything at school, including notes and homework.
One day, during a class-wide written test, with the teacher seemingly busy at his desk, I
thought it safe enough to get a boy’s attention in the next row; for what reason I don’t remember. Mr. Kurtz spotted my misdeed as I reached across the isle with my foot to touch the other fellow’s leg. I didn’t realize how big a crime I had committed until he called me to the front of the class. As soon as I stood before him he gave me a wicked blow across the face with the back of his right hand. This made my nose bleed pro- fusely. I stood at the classroom’s corner sink as blood poured out of my nose. For many minutes I dripped while the rest of the class finished the test.
I was still bent over the sink after the lunch bell rang and everybody had left the classroom. I do not recall when the bleeding finally sub- sided, but my mother and the school’s headmas- ter came to the classroom and called Mr. Kurtz out into the hall. As Mother and I exchanged quick glances, I could tell she would have liked to mete out a lashing herself. Not to me, but to the teacher.
That evening at home I asked Mom how she knew I had been struck across the face. As it turned out, a friend of mine gave up her lunch period to run home to tell my mother. That friend was Monika.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Didn't Say Enough

I Didn’t Say Enough

We recently had to have a small repair performed on our vehicle. The SUV stayed at the shop for several days.

During the repair work the men had to keep the door open for an extended time. This drained the battery. Since we were gone for most of the week, the additional time and cold weather totally drained the little zap that was left in the battery.

I drove Carol to the repair shop the day we picked up the completed vehicle. I went into the shop while Carol enjoyed the warmth of my truck outside. It was a cold day.

A couple of the worker finally brought the SUV around for Carol to drive away. I stayed in the shop knowing the owner and some of the employees. We had a jolly good time talking everything from eating beyond capacity, fishing, and other bloopers of years gone by.

It was not long after Carol had gone for gas and a few groceries that I received a phone call that the car does not start. Typical, that from a man, I simply said, “Just get out the jumper cable, stand outside of your car, wave the bright yellow cable and surely someone will soon stop to help.”

Well, that didn’t sit to well. Carol made a point, and correctly so, that she is not going to stand outside and wave a yellow cable.

Carol had left the shop and went less than a half of a mile. She was stuck at the Walmart gas station. She had turned off the ignition, as instructed on a sign. When she finished pumping, and turned the key to start the car, all she heard was a series of tick-tick-ticks.

I had just arrived home when her phone call told me of her predicament. It took me ten more minutes to get there and begin to quell the situation.

When I got to the gas station, with my 22feet-long pickup, there was no place for me to get into position other than block two lanes of gas pumps.

The cables were under the back seat of her car. Easy–? The battery was so dead it did not even let her unlock the rear door for me to retrieve the cable. Carol was in the driver’s seat. Being of a short stature, her seat was well advanced forward, with her elbows resting on the steering wheel.

How dead was the battery? So dead she could not even move the seat back.

So, how does one get the cables from under the back seat when the door is locked and the driver is up against the steering wheel?

Nimble is the answer. With great vigor Carol stretched, wiggled, and writhed her way slowly down to the floor in back, to reach under the seat for the cable.

Finally, like a participant of one carrying the Olympic Torch, Carol emerged from the back of the seat with the cables in hand.

The rest was routine. I should have told her not to turn the car off. After all, I did see the men having to jump-start the SUV at the shop.
Maybe I was a bit too busy telling tall tales to the guys in the shop.

Truth is, I didn’t say enough to Carol.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Good Review

I've received many nice comments on my books. Then there are times when a reader really connects with the stories I portray. 

My first book, "A Time And Place, The Making Of An Immigrant" exposes the hard times a family has without a father, the bread winner, in the home. My father was sent to the Russian front in 1944 and never returned. Missing In Action, they said.

This prompted me to write a novel Red Solstice imagining my father was not killed but had a chance to make a new life, such was allowed under Communist Rule.

Here is a summary of why I wrote the book:

Red Solstice is a unique work of fiction because of the relationship of the author with the main character and the time and setting of the story. The anxiety of not knowing what happened to his father weighed heavy on the heart of the author for decades. This, coupled with the experience of immigrating to the United States as a teen and flourishing in American freedom, contributes to a personal investment and passion for the story seldom found in today's fiction.
The main character is the author's father, who was thrust into service by a desperate Third Reich, from which he never returned to his family.  Missing in action.  Red Solstice tells the tale of this soldier—his suffering, desperation, and indomitable spirit. In so doing, the novel communicates a sharp warning that complacency and dependency on a political system can lead to tyranny.

The following comment by a reader highlights the essence of the novel.

Dear Mr. Beisser,I just finished reading “Red Solstice”,a remarkable book, very moving. I could not put it down, it was fascinating, thrilling, very emotional. There are so many truthful facts--- Russia, the poverty, secrecy, dominance --- a lot of it so true. Coming back to Germany, adjusting to a new life – what a challenge!Then at the end --- Berlin, the wall, the terror --- I remember so much of it.It is a wonderful story and definitely could have happened.What you told abut Russia,I heard from my Dad who was a POW in World War I  in Murmansk, and he escaped after 2 years, walking home almost all the way!----Both books have brought back so many memories,good and sad. I am very happy to have met you, and was able to read these great books.Please, stay in touch! Friederike