Fear Not

Good Morning Everyone,
There isn’t an excuse, but a number of reasons for the delay in this communication. If you remember, in a previous blog, I took the privilege of a diversion and had mentioned that a cousin of mine had cancer and his brother was just diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Not news anyone would like to hear, but surely news that tests one’s faith. Well, my cousin passed away, a man of faith, who now is with his dad and Father in heaven. His brother is putting up a valiant fight and time will tell if and when he could be told the word healed. His family is carrying on with the resolve only a family of faith can –our prayers and best wishes are with you all.

I just returned from the hospital, another reason for the delay, and by the time you read the next blog, I will know if another surgery for me will be needed. As always time will tell and one must never forget that it is not my plan or yours, but His. Now, for the continuing story of travels, business and faith.

My recent time in Germany passed far too quickly. Before you knew, it was time, once again, to board the airplane. Although not all the business was completed as hoped for, enough was, and with unforgettable memories I proceeded home with great anticipation to tell my story. Dr. Schmittmann and his brother Dieter were wonderful hosts and hopefully, their cooperation was evidence as to what the future would hold. As my flight was nearing its first and only stop, I would be anxious once again to be home. New adventures await. See you on the way.

The past weeks reminded me of the Biblical promise – “Fear not for I am with thee” now and always.

Until We Meet Again

In His Service,

Opa

Posted in Faith

Get Ready and Go

Good Afternoon Everybody,

With only two more days left, this visit brings on a new and deeper meaning. Remember what you see, write down the important memories, and listen to the words spoken about business matters The ride was most enjoyable; each comment made by Dr. Schmittmann was like a new book written just for me. Each new sight and each new business was a new continuing chapter in a book that will continue to be written with each upcoming visit—what memories! It was a beautiful crisp fall day and I took special note of each moment—like a new day dawning. The clean forests and all the orderly situated businesses, located in the Rhine Westphalia Area, the Hilly District, will leave everlasting impressions on an eager mind to learn. How different than what one remembers about the United States. Much smaller and what seems to be more orderly. Showing how the German People were able to deal with a much smaller land mass on which to build and function on, a visual story that tells one just how the German People live a life that was a representative picture of their thinking.

Each day was filled with new sights and a visit to new restaurants that offered new insights as to what the German People ate. One evening offered another new experience—Steak Tartar. I had never eaten this dish before, but I would be an Adventurist and give it a try. It was a meal to be shared with Dr. H.B. Schmittmann and me. The meal consisted of raw ground steak, much like hamburger, formed on a wooden platter, and along the side, a basket of toast with pads of real butter. Following the lead of Dr. Schmittmann, I proceeded to eat my first, and certainly not my last, Steak Tartar. A small amount of butter, spread on a piece of toast, followed by spreading an amount of raw steak on the toast, with all its spices and seasonings and proceed to eat it. One would follow this procedure, intermingled with a sip of fresh Pilsner Beer, until finished. I soon learned that this meal required a learned taste appreciation, one I soon learned and enjoyed. After finishing dinner we proceeded to the hotel—tomorrow at mid-day I would be leaving for home. I must say that my time in Germany was an enjoyable experience and I look forward to returning to new friends, a new country, and new adventures.

Thought: I felt that the time spent in Germany was by divine appointment.

Until Next Time,

In His Service,

Opa

Posted in Random

Merry Christmas 2013

Good Afternoon Everybody

This blog will be a diversion from the normal because of the season. I trust that you will find the following quotations will fill your hearts with JOY:

“The Very First King Sized Bed:

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary,
To one without faith, no explanation is possible”. Thomas Aquinas

Thought: “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” Roy L. Smith

Thought: “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Andy Rooney

From Dear Friends:
“Everybody have a Wonderful Christmas Season, Good Health and Good Friends” Jim and Carol

“The Rev. Gilley Myers, of the Church of England, came to the following conclusion. That it is only in celebrating the whole liturgical year that we maintain balance. You cannot skip a thing. IF Christmas is ignored, then you’re ignoring the truth that God is with us. If Lent and Easter are ignored, then we’re stuck in our sins. If Pentecost is forgotten, then we’re powerless to serve God.”

“This month, we rejoice in the good news that we are not alone! Immanuel! God is with us.” Timothy Merrill

Merry Christmas Everybody

With God’s Love to You All

Until Next Time,

In His Service

Opa

Posted in Faith

Awake And Be Aware

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Thought: Always keep your eyes open, new sights and new people will be today’s gifts

The window had been kept ajar and the fresh air that permeated the room brought one to an awareness that you will not soon forget. It was time to freshen up and then go downstairs to wait for the Schmittmanns to arrive. After making my way downstairs, I had to wait but a few minutes to be picked up. The cool fresh air was what greeted me as I made my way to the car. This evening was going to be a night of firsts for me, going to a small local pub just outside the City Center of Velbert Centrum, and partaking of the specialty of the house, Mussels. Since I had never had Mussels before, I would follow the Schmittman’s lead and follow their example in how to eat these little morsels, that looked similar to clams. The Mussels came out in three large bowels, warm and sitting atop a white wine sauce, white bread along side an empty bowel used for discarding the shells of the Mussels after you had eaten them. Even though this was a new experience for me, I must say that I enjoyed the meal very much. In addition to the Mussels, we each had an Alt Beer. Somewhat heavier in taste to that of a Pilsner Beer, and as the locals would claim, also healthier for you. I had found out that the drink possibilities offered at dinner were mineral water, lemonade, coffee or tea, coke, or the least expensive, beer. I found out German people drink beer as much as the French people drink wine. I also found out that the German and French people didn’t drink their natural water because of the high mineral content and unfavorable taste. All in All, a very enjoyable evening. Before departing, we agreed to meet in the morning at 8:30 A.M. for breakfast at the Hotel and then a day of seeing the area and local industries.

Since I would be leaving in two days, it was determined that by seeing the area I would begin to have a familiarity when I returned home and would have references when further discussions by mail and telephone would take place. A learning process that I enjoyed.

In closing: “Praying this Christmas Season
you’ll have time to reflect upon
the goodness of God
and enjoy memorable times
with family and friends.”

Christmas Blessings

Until The Next Time

In His Service,

Opa

Posted in Business, Faith

TITLE: You Can’t Walk Alone

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Taking those first steps into Dr. Schmittmann’s office was a memorable event in that I was walking in an area that someday could be shared by me. I was introduced to the ladies of the office, only three, and proceeded to meet Dieter in the office he shared with Dr. Schmittmann. They asked me to have a seat  while the Doctor explained their operations to me, Dieter opened the daily post {mail}. It was interesting to learn that the Dr. H. Schmittmann GmbH Chemische Fabrik had gone through a major modernization program the previous year and doing so automated all aspects of their business. This is why they were able to function with so few office personnel and only four manufacturing personnel. After some discussion, the Doctor suggested he show me the manufacturing, laboratory, and warehouse facilities. One could tell that they were proud of their facilities and offices, after all, the company began in 1650 and with staying on top of  things they were able to have a continuing operation, under one family for many years. After seeing their facilities  we went back to the office, had some discussions concerning Africa and the opportunities available there. When we finished, Dieter suggested that we go to lunch and we went to one of their favorite restaurants in the city center. We all had the restaurant’s menu special, Calves Schnitzel. It certainly was good and the Schmittmann’s both said that in outlying areas of Germany, a Schnitzel was as popular in Germany as a hamburger was in the states. With potatoes from the pan, red cabbage, bread and drink, it was  a little more formal than what we were accustomed to in the states. After lunch the Schmittmann’ s suggested they take me to the hotel for a little rest and that they would pick me up for dinner at 5:30 P.M.. The quaintness of the hotel, once again, greeted me when they dropped me off. I was on the third floor, no elevators, just a stairway, so I started my climb up to where my room was. The bed was inviting and I soon laid down for a small nap, so I thought.

Soon I was in a deep sleep and as I now write this blog, dreams bring memories forward about things that occurred early in my German experience and before. If you will let me divert a bit, I will let some memories tell a story second to the main theme of this blog. It was in 1988 that I was having dinner with Dr. Shmittmann’s oldest daughter and her husband and his parents when I had to excuse myself for some fresh air. We were having dinner in a historic, converted castle, restaurant. I stepped outside,leaned up against the building, and immediately felt all my muscles tighten up. Knowing that something was wrong, but not what was wrong, I asked for help from those I came with, they obliged and brought me to my apartment, some three floors up. Fortunately the Doctor’s son-in-law was a big strong man and he assisted me up to my bed. It was some seven years later, after returning to the states, that I found out what had happened that evening. Seeking some medical advice, I found out that I had Multiple Sclerosis, a Non-Curable Neurological Disease. This was not good news. Before, at age 32 and 40, I had had my first two Heart Attacks and thought that after surviving these two attacks, there would be no more challenges. Wrong. A simple skin exam determined that I had Melanoma Skin Cancer. Another exam determined I had Squamous Skin Cancer Both warranted surgery and after each surgery {some 2 hours each} it was determined that each Cancer was Surgically Cured. Now M.S., what next? In looking back in time as all Neurologists ask you to do, to try and determine when the first “Flair-Up” occurred. M.S. and Germany would now always be linked together for me and be a big part of my life. As I continued my visits to Germany, as well as other International Flights, observers would comment, after finding out that I had M.S. the question would invariably be asked. Why do you look so healthy? I would answer the question directly and honestly. The conclusion that I arrived at, after much thought, was as follows. First was Faith and prayer. Second, Acceptance. Third ,Follow your Dr.’s therapy instructions. Stay physically and mentally active. Following the above and having a good attitude will help you along the way.

It is time to wake up and go to dinner with the Schmittmann’s

Thought: Remember, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.

Until Next Time

In His Service,

Opa

Posted in Faith