Friday, August 22, 2008



A couple mornings ago, Tropical Storm Fay made landfall about 10 miles south of Naples. She mightily blew and copiously wet our whole area with 8"-10'' of driving, sheeting, pelting rain in as many hours, so temporary street and yard flooding was rampant. But this is not about Fay. This is about Alcoholics Anonymous, right? And recovery. Right? Yesss!

Our wonderful 24-Hour Club in Naples closes at 11 PM, and opens at 5 AM--I know this because I'm there shortly after, for the 6 AM meeting. Imagine what some of my normal friends would think if I told them we meet at 6 AM and talk about tolerance, patience, faith, hope, LOVE, and 'spiritual lines'. They might well think it's a new brand of Cocaine I'm using!

Because of T.S. Fay we lost power at the club, and the dozen or so daily meetings either were canceled or we just sat around outside. This B.Y.O.Coffee thing went on for two days before power restoration. The groups which did come together met alfresco on the 'smokers' porch. One afternoon I attended a 5:30 PM meeting, and--as we all can say at certain times--"it was one of the best meetings EVER." The topic was "Change", since this was a 'big change' to meet without coffee pots, air conditioning, toilets, tables, books, etc. Some of these guys are old like me, though ALL the girls are young (and stay pretty, y'all--now, who says that?).

Many of the fifty of us spoke in turn, concerning the changes in our lives, whether we had been six months, or forty years sober. I heard of countless reconciliations of partners and friends. I heard how families had come together, how long-owed debts were paid off, and how many a life had been turned around, thanks to our Twelve Steps, our inspired program for living and giving, our fellowship, and our helpfulness and love for one another. Near the end of the hour, it occurred to me that NO one outside of our fellowship, would EVER believe that fifty recovering alcoholics had been sitting around in the Florida late-afternoon heat, discussing for an hour such lofty words as described in paragraph two, above....and that not ONE PERSON mentioned, or probably even THOUGHT of--ALCOHOL! What a stupendous testament to the nature of our God-given way of life. I, and others, were overwhelmed at the profundity of the hour just quickly passed, and the porch overhang resounded with the Lord's Prayer.

Want another spiritual happening? Here it is: without word nor hint, I realized that not ONE person lit up their Lucky Strikes during this hour, although we WERE in the 'Smoker's Area' outside the building. How is THAT for Higher Power action?

May the God in each of us, bless the God in each other today, and may I be with you all in that blessing.

Steve E.


Shadow said...

just goes to show. if you want to go, you'll go, tropical storm, no coffee, nothing will stop you. and wow, no smoking, that is mind-blowing. hope the storm is over now...

J-Online said...

Even a hurricane can't interfere with recovery if you really want it. What a blessing.

Syd said...

Steve, that is a great testament to the wonders of the program. Coming together to help each other and share E, S, and H. Thanks for what you wrote today. It was powerful.

Chris Cade said...

I really enjoyed this story - it's candor and honesty comes through, along with a clear anecdote of how the human spirit and God can become known and seen even in what many would say is an 'unlikely' place.

Although anybody who has seen darkness and great pain will attest that arising from those moments of sorrow are when we are most aware of God's presence.

Thank you for sharing.

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~Tyra~ said...

Nothing shows dedication like meeting during a tropical storm. Have a great weekend!

Zane-nawwaa said...

ESH. It just doesn';t get any better than that.

dAAve said...

I hope you get to enjoy a dryer weekend.

PATRICK said...

AlkySeltzer said...

Yes Mary...I do know, you know...and as I know about me, and see that old bottom down there, God DOES come to me and takes away the behavior that I am entertaining, at that moment.

My meeting this morning was on Step 7, a room of about 60 people, LOTS of long-term sobriety. And Step 7 DOES work, when I have become humble and know and TRUST that God will do for me what I cannot do for myself

Patrick said...
Is Step 7 in the BIBLE?


Mary Christine said...

I guess the closest we get in Colorado are the meetings in a blizzard. They are some of the best ever.

My old homegroup was a smoking meeting. After one of our members got emphysema, we would say at the beginning of each meeting... Although this is a smoking meeting, our group conscious is that we step outside to smoke. And no one ever smoked in there again. Eddie is now gone, and Colorado is now a non-smoking state, but I will always remember the generosity of spirit we showed by doing that.

Sounds like there is plenty of that in Naples.