Thursday, December 26, 2013

Grace, Joy, and Family

Christmas Eve 2013. A time when the Beissers came together to give thanks. 

Grace, the gift of God, is what we did not deserve. Jesus, God with us, is what gives us the Joy. The Joy of knowing where our Hope lies, and the joy of giving thanks for our family.

The tree reminds me of my childhood; the tinsels, the the shimmer, the glow of rejoicing.

Dozens of goodies graced our table. This one especially cute. Little Santa hats made with a slice of banana, a strawberry, and topped with a small march mellow, held together with a toothpick.

The highlight for the men is our traditional Weisswurst. It is eaten with a special German potato salad and dipped into course-ground horseradish mustard, toned down with brown sugar and mayonnaise. The pot, especially designed for this sausage, came from Germany.

The grandchildren present that evening:

Chloe, Rachel, Megan, Sarah, Laura, Heidi, Julia.

The grandsons Josiah, and Jacob. The youngest and the oldest of all the grandchildren.

Never loosing an opportunity to show off, Luke and Eli.

And our newest member of the family: Jafar from Nigeria, 6 feet 6 inches tall, and basket ball star for LCA in Lynchburg.

Decked out with Lakers cap and Kobe Bryant shirt. What a blessed day we had.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We Lost Our Faithful Friend

Sebastien, mighty Mr. “S”, was our little dog. He left a void in our midst after more than nineteen years.

A funny little pooch was he. He made us smile so many times, not only with his antics, but also with stubborn attitude.

I wrote several stories about him previously. I especially love the one where Mr. S wound up at a wedding rehearsal 15 miles from the house while Carol and I went to the grocery store.

I remember him hiding under the bed. The only way he would show his face was when we bounced a tennis ball. He loved his ball, and often slept with it next to his body.

He would get mad when he found his food bowl empty. He’d whack at the bowl until it flipped up-side-down. If that racket didn’t result in instant attention, he’d attack the small trash container near his bowl, dump its contents, and tear to shreds all that was in it.

One time, during one of his rants, he grabbed hold of the toilet paper and dragged a long strand of it, for twenty feet or more, all the way into the kitchen.

One time he stole a box of small chocolate donuts from a grocery bag sitting on the floor. For days, Carol could not figure where the donuts went. Until one day, Mr. S emerged from under the bed with an odd smile on his face. Carol noticed his chops were puffed and she could not see his teeth. He was savoring one more donut in his mouth. One that he, at the time, was unable to consume.

Carol had to reprimand the little fellow once with a fly swatter. It was not long after, that mighty Mr. S attacked the swatter and tore it into a thousand pieces. Nothing but the wire handle was left.

On our cross country trip he gained four pounds; to a whopping total of 18 pounds. I had built for him a pedestal type of box to rest in. The elevated box was in between the front two seats. It had his water and food bowl in front of him. The sorry little pooch didn’t even have to get up to eat and drink. All he had to do was stretch his neck and partake.

He loved to help sing. Whenever I cut loose with a high-pitched diddy, he would chime in like a jackal howling at the moon. The grand kids coaxed him to do the same. He would howl like a mighty wolf. The kids loved it.

Mr. S knew his territory. One time a plumber came to the house. I knew the man. He had two large dogs living with him. It did not take Mr. S long to establish his territory. Mr. S simply raised his leg and peed all over the man boots. 

“Now take that, Mr. Plumber!”