DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Friday, November 28, 2008

GOD'S THANKSGIVING SURPRISE GIFT

"Going, and almost gone, said he....but WAIT!"

GOD'S THANKSGIVING JOKE
(A SURPRISE GIFT?)


It is not really a joke, but it does show me that God is not above a little humor. Thanksgiving Day we drove to Tampa FL, to have some 'family' time. A daughter and son invited us to share the holiday dinner with them this year. Wonderful! (Well, I guess so...)


At first mention of us going out of town for this Thanksgiving, I felt a knot in my stomach. For twenty-some years I have spent at least part of most holidays at our 24-Hour Club. There I've always been surrounded with a couple hundred 'friends' and we have eaten, laughed, and 'caught up with each others' lives.

And I might miss all that, PLUS a 1PM Speaker, plus maybe an extra AA meeting or two? As it turned out, I did miss all of the above, but it was not a big deal. After all, have I not prayed to my Creator, "to do with me whatever He willed, for ONE REASON ONLY! Only one reason am I asking for help, and that IS that I may show others the great works He has done in *my* life. That I may help others to know of God's Greatness, His Power, His Mercifulness, His LOVE. This shall be the ONLY result of doing His will. My sobriety and changed life come to me from Him only through you people, and other people, maybe even animals, maybe even trees? (And I thank Him, of course!)

Well, you all KNEW there'd be a 'punch line' here somewhere (like the joke: kid digging in pile of horse manure, saying, "There's GOT to be a pony in here somewhere!")

In Tampa we were assembled, for the family celebration, but one person was still missing--a friend's father--who most of us had not met...yet. As I am that kind of guy, yeah!--with another, I got out into the street to wave the fellow in. I could see 'signs' of behavior, that indicated he "might possibly" be 'one of our kind!' And he sat down right near me. Someone mentioned to me that he attended AA meetings. OhhhKaaaay!


This man told me he'd been in AA for about 20 years. Well folks that word "about" tells me something usually...so I quietly asked him "How long you been sober *this* time?" His answer brought out the bumps of geese on my arms: "about Two Weeks." WOW!

So, inwardly I said to my Higher Power, God, "You 'fooled' me! You let me think I should be somewhere else, when RIGHT HERE is where You wanted us to be! Oh, thank You, my God. And so I 'went to work' on (let's call him) John.

John and I got along marvelously for the rest of the day...through dinner, dessert(s), and after. During two football games. People all around us. Doing all kinds of things, being busy. We simply talked the evening away. I felt SO as if I had known this man all my life, and that's the way we both talked. It's almost like a boy and a girl, who 'meet'--across a crowded room, who have eyes for nothing else but each other...well, not QUITE -grin-we're both guys, ya know?

Anyway, we were more or less oblivious to the goings-on around us, as we talked 'recovery' and 'program' and 'Steps', traded war stories, phone numbers, and Email addresses (he lives in St Petersburg). And so, my blogging friends, so ended one more HAPPY THANKSGIVING for me, steveroni. Wish that everyone could have had as filling a day, with turkey...and as *fulfilling* a day with a PIGEON (NOTE: Dr Bob's name, for AA beginner!).

Peace...and Love to you all, from
steveroni

(NOTE: Picture was removed from Internet before I got a chance to copy photographer credit)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

GRATEFUL WORDS, 2008!

Worth a thousand words? YESSSSS!

Hand-Made for me by my ever-so sweet
Paramedic-Firefighter daughter, K.
I LOVE her!

AM I GRATEFUL? YESSSSS!
  • For LIFE
  • For WIFE--"Prayer Girl"
  • For two early wonderful AA meetings
  • For Thanksgiving Day trip to Tampa
  • For dinner with the children--we are guests!
  • For trip back to Naples, same evening
  • For Home Sweet Home
  • For my violin
  • For people, who still want to hear me play
  • For winter in Florida
  • For the beach
  • For grass
  • For slow growth of grass in winter
  • For little children with eyes wide open
  • For their smiles of innocence and trust
  • For FAITH instead of FEAR
  • For HOPE instead of despair
  • For LOVE instead of lust
  • For giving instead of getting
  • For Motor-biking to AA meeting with Prayer Girl
  • For Dinner after meeting
  • For Perkins restaurant Eclairs and Pies, WOW!
  • For LOVE (I know, it's listed above -grin-!)
  • For Peace and Serenity (usually) in my life
  • For bessings of Blg, Blog, and Blong
  • For Happy Blog Friends (and those 'not-so-happy'--special love)
  • LOVE...in case I forgot!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!
steveroni

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gratitude




HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Jumping the gun, I know, but music and other stuff is keeping me hopping, not time for bopping--or shopping, for that matter! So just in case I don't comment ya until Saturday...please, when you pray, mention me, Steve. God will know who you mean.

Truly, I love you all, more than you'll ever know. But time is scarce for me this week. Gotta sleep sometime!

I'M SO GRATEFUL FOR:

Tylenol: Last night after rehearsal I had a great fall in a dark parking lot. A tuning fork fixed the violin's problems. Tylenol fixed mine...hopefully.

Prayer Girl's Children in Tampa cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

We are their guests

Our beautiful Alcoholics Anonymous Program

All you wonderful Superb Bloggers from S. Africa to Austr,--NO! WAIT!, to Texas, to NY, to Colorado, to Canada, to the U.K., to India, to Egypt, even to Florida!

My BERGMAN Motor Scooter, I LOVE--except its speed limitation--it'll only do 120 mph.

Freedom

Freedom of the SEAS biggest passenger liner in the world (sigh, memories!)

God's Friendship

Peace

Serenity

Health

Big Book

Florida Weather--I alone LOVE this!

My Mother, who forced me to practice the violin (in all my affairs?) against my will--not the affairs, the violin practice

My violin, and the Music I'm privileged to play still--at my age--today

Our Computers

Life here and hereafter

The belief that we are all one with God, but will not realize this spiritual union until the hereafter. What a surprise awaits us (My Opinion Only!!!)

So we'd better "be nice" to one another (again, my opinion! -grin)

LOVE!

May god bless us all today, and every day.
wet-eyed-a-roni




Monday, November 24, 2008

MUSIC AND AA AND ME

G F Handel's MESSIAH--by G F Handel! -grin-


For several days I have been immersed in violin playing for one or another entity. This afternoon I was part of an orchestra for a performance of Handel's MESSIAH, by Handel (little joke!)--for chorus, orchestra and soloists. It was G O O D, guys. Good for the audience, good for the performers, good for me. I have not been in orchestral situations lately, and it was like being "back in the saddle again", know what I mean?


Go back a day, when we had a long rehearsal--only one--and it was like old home week, for me, and others. It was like--well--when someone who used to be a regular part of my AA group, who moved to a distant city. Several years later he returns, only to find but few left of his old friends. But those who DO remember him are all over him with handshakes, hugs, smooches, and invites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, what have you. He is even offered a place to stay.

THAT'S what it is like when musicians congregate, who have wandered apart for a time, doing gigs in different locales, or traveling, or cruise gigging, or just been laying low. It is a wonderful feeling, difficult to 'splain unless ya "been there"!

All that being over with by 5 PM Sunday, I felt nervous--for no reason. Then it dawned on me, I'd missed my regular meetings two days straight. So, on the way home, I stopped in the 'Club 24' and attended a 5:30 meeting. Fellow bloggers, your steveroni was happy as a recently escaped butterfly. And I'm still bubbling over with gratitude, that no matter the time--morning, noon, or night--there is always a meeting just concluding, or just beginning. Just as sure as there is a blogger on the Internet!

Somewhere in this town there is always a place for me to walk in and "know that I am HOME". A place where some will smile and say, "What are YOU so happy about"? And they will listen to my story-of-the-moment. During the meeting they will be quiet while I share, and at least pretend they are listening! After the meeting they will ask questions, or answer some. And I am sober. And I feel love...and loved! How GOOD is the God Who brought me here to these people!

steveroni

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A BLONG: WHO'S DRIVING THIS BUS?

Who the heck is driving this machine?


Following article is intended solely for informational purposes.
In NO WAY is it intended that any of the ideas presented here,
are to suggest a consequence to my blogosphere friends,
who I cherish greatly, as you know!

Please do not shoot down the messenger.


A NEWSLETTER FOR PROFESSIONALS:
ABOUT AA: FALL/WINTER 2002

Singleness of Purpose
George E. Vaillant, M. D.
Class A (nonalcoholic) trustee
A.A. General Service Board

"Singleness of purpose" is essential to the effective treatment of
alcoholism. The reason for such exaggerated focus is to overcome denial. The denial associated with alcoholism is cunning,
baffling, and powerful and affects the patient, helper, and the
community. Unless alcoholism is kept relentlessly in the fore-
ground, other issues will usurp everybody's attention.

Mental health workers, however, have great difficulty with
A.A.'s Fifth Tradition: "Each group has but one primary pur-
pose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers."
Since mental health workers often admire the success and geo-
graphic availability of Alcoholics Anonymous, they understand-
ably wish to broaden its membership to include other substance
abusers. They also note that pure alcohol abuse is becoming less
frequent, and polydrug abuse more common. In addition, mental
health workers sometimes view singleness of purpose as outmod-
ed and exclusionary. They worry that the Tradition is a holdover
from the early days of A.A. and that the young, the poor and the
minority with a criminal record will be barred. Besides, when
there is no professional drug treatment center or Narcotics
Anonymous (NA) group easily available, mental health workers
find it hard to understand why A.A., with its tradition of Twelfth
Step work, won't step in and fill the breach.

As both a mental health worker and a researcher, it seems to
me that there are two arguments that trump these concerns. First,
the Third Tradition of A.A., "The only requirement for A.A. mem-
bership is a desire to stop drinking," renders A.A. nonexclusion-
ary. Each year A.A. welcomes many thousands of minorities,
many thousands of poor, many thousands of alcoholics with coex-
istent drug problems and tens of thousands of convicts into its
membership. Nobody with a desire to stop drinking is excluded.

The second argument, that "Singleness of Purpose" is neces-
sary to overcome denial, is even more compelling. Given a
choice, nobody wants to talk about alcoholism. In contrast, drug
addiction commands newspaper headlines, research funding and
the attention of clinical audiences. After two years of work at the
Lexington, Kentucky Federal Narcotics Treatment Center, I, a
mere assistant professor, was invited around the world to lecture
on heroin addiction. In the late 1990s, as a full professor and after
25 years of research on alcoholism and its enormous morbidity, I
was finally asked to give a medical grand rounds on alcohol in
my home city. My assigned topic, "Why alcohol is good for your
health!" In short, the greatest single obstacle to the proper treat-
ment of alcoholism is denial.

I first began my psychiatric career at a deeply dedicated com-
munity health center. The community had voted alcohol abuse as
their biggest problem. After its first ten years of operation the
center was still confining itself to addressing the community's
most pressing second, third, and fourth problems. No resources at
all were devoted to alcohol treatment.

I moved to another community mental health center that had
listened to its citizens and had opened an alcohol treatment cen-
ter. In being asked to fill the position of co-director of the clinic I
was the last staff psychiatrist hired by the mental health center.
Significantly, I had had no experience with alcoholism, but no
one else wanted the job.

With the exception of cigarettes, alcoholism is a bigger health
problem and family problem than all other drugs of abuse.

Alcohol abuse costs the nation more than all lung diseases and
cancers combined. After smoking and obesity, alcohol abuse is
perhaps the nation's third largest killer. But it is terribly difficult
to hold this danger in mind. Alcohol abuse claims 100,000 lives a
year, and on medical and surgical wards it costs two to six times,
as much to treat the 25% of patients with coexistent alcoholism
as to treat the other patients.

Yet cost conscious 21st century
medical and surgical residencies steadfastly exclude alcoholism from their curricula. There is not enough time, they argue, to pay attention to alcoholism. To combat such denial the principle ofsingleness of purpose becomes a necessity.

Put differently, the experimentally documented success of
A.A. in the treatment of alcoholism is in part because A.A.
groups are the only place in the world where the focus is on alco-
holism and nothing but alcoholism. There is simply no other way
to overcome the denial.

This newsletter may be duplicated for distribution
without obtaining permission from
A.A. World Services, Inc., Box 459,
Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163


Saturday, November 22, 2008

FIRST 24 HOURS--- WHO? ME?

NOW! Finally, I know what is meant by "cleaning my clock!"
They meant Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and TEN!
Holy God, if I had known that....well......??


FIRST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS SOBER!

I am Soooo tired tonight, and have a plateful tomorrow Sat., I am going to cheat. But if I announce it, is that cheating? ("I did not have sex with that woman...")

So I'm posting the URL to my 9th day of blogging with you beautiful people in hope that someone may read, and enjoy, and maybe even identify with it. That is my prayer tonight. Also I pray for you ALL, even Michael Patrick--well, I'll mention his name first and get him out of the way, as un-Christian as that may sound. The remainder of youse guys, I wish to keep in my thoughts, as I drift off to sleep.......

If you go here, remember that I DID blog this in mid July 2008. I still love you all, as I did then...I did not realize I was so filled with love that long ago. Peace.

blog-a-roni

Friday, November 21, 2008

FEAR AND LOVE




FEAR AND LOVE


If someone has posted this recently, forgive me NOW,
please. Found in my files, I just wanted to read it again--
and wish you all to read it also, carefully, slowly,
and with love for others in your hearts!
Peace and Love.
I mean that.
-steveroni


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;

it is in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously

give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.

A RETURN TO LOVE - Marianne Williamson


If possible, be silent for 30 seconds,
please. For a special intention.
NOTE: NOT for me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ANOTHER "M" WORD--WHAT IS AN "M" WORD?

"Not much...but it's home!"


OMG, ANOTHER "M" WORD?
WHAT IS AN "M" WORD, 'EMYWAY'?



TODAY "M" STANDS FOR MEDICAL!


All my known life, I've had a healthy, fairly low, blood pressure reading. Even when I turned 75, after all kinds of medical crapola, the old BP was the same: 115, or maybe 120/58 or 60. Some doctors will admit that is good for a 75-year-old male, who had two heart attacks before he was age 35. (See what Alcoholism did for ME?)

Well, one month ago at a grocery store, my BP reading was 179/78. Now that is very high for one who had never the problem of blood pressure. So finally, after four weeks of this high testing I made a doctor appointment--they tell us in AA to "take care of your body". They say it, like "BOOAWDY", all strung out (like my booawdy!)

So, my doctor of 20 years (that's why I can call him "my doctor", I own his lanai and swimming pool) who knows me so well, was really astounded--because there are no symptoms--well, maybe he was surprised? And so, along with the old usual "blood letting" I got me some pretty pink pills for BP. I read on Internet, they are good for a host of other things also, but when I called the company, I found they have not yet cured "alcoholism" -BIG grin-- Also they can give me a host of things, like Liver Disease, Lung Disease, Heart Disease, Low blood Pressure (Hey, that's what I wanted!) Poor vision, Headaches, Earache, (No, not earache)...anyway, get the picture?

So, I've taken this pink pill (REALLY don't like pills of ANY kind) one day, and at drug store my BP read 129/62...NOW we're talkin'! But a 50-point drop in two days seems kinda extravagant to me. So, for the time being, that is of no concern.

Funny thing, though. For several weeks, wherever I found myself, at the beach, in church playing violin, at a rehearsal, at an AA meeting, at home in front of one of the computers, riding the bike, at the library, I had always for a brief moment, the thought, "Is this where I'm going to die?"

And I'd look around to see who might be horrified, or calm, or unconcerned, in case I left us. And do you know, it did not bother me--otherwise--for even an instant. That is because each day for the past three weeks, I've been "ready". Not on purpose...it's just the way it IS.

This program has been so good to me, means so much to me, that I revel in living it, as it was taught me--and is still being taught me, by God Himself, Who speaks to me--I want to say 'only'--through other people. YOU, people of my blog world, you talk/write daily, and SO often, it is God I hear.


Frequently I am amazed at the God-Moments, coincidences (some call them 'miracles') which I experience here, AND in AA meetings, and even in the Hardware Store, e.g. God is everywhere. I remember the short-lived TV show "Joan of Arcadia" and, although I now watch about 15 minutes every other day, THAT was a show I did not miss.

I will not "blog ya to death" if that has not already occurred. And so it is goodbye, until next time, in Peace and Love.

health-a-roni and happy-a-roni and serene-a-ro
ni

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THEY "TALK THE WALK"

"Well, I've been around these rooms for a few twenty-four hours,
and I want to tell you what's wrong with Alcoholics Anonymous"

The following began as a comment on findon who
writes an interesting and sober blong--I just 'met' him today.
If ya don't know him, please pay him a welcome visit


Find-On, this is the second time today I've found myself on your blog, so it's time to comment. Yes, I also have heard, for years, how we try to maximize our good stuff, and minimize that of which we are ashamed. You have written today about these guys (yep, they're usually guys, I hate to say). I'm recalling some of the words I and you frequently hear --with translations under:

1. "I been coming around this program for about thirty years now..."

means, "I've been in this revolving door for far too long. I don't know much but I'm going to teach you anyway, "How It Works!"

2. "My first AA meeting was in 1960, but I haven't been sober all that long."

means, "I had my last drink this morning before the meeting. It was vodka, so I figure (wrongly) that you will not smell it.""

3. "I've been 'around' the rooms for a few twenty-four hours..."

means, either, "I'm ashamed of my sobriety date, OR "I don't HAVE one."

4, "I don't want to give out my sobriety date, I don't want to brag!"

means: see #3 above.

"I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous at the age of eighteen, now I'm sixty-four..."

translated, means, "I just have a little snort now and then. No big deal!

____________________________________________________________________________________

Well, I've been IN the rooms and SOBER! for 12,664 Twenty-Four Hours. God I wonder how many hours that is??? ..Almost 304,000 hours. Wow! It's about time for me to go 'out' and test the waters see how things are now "out there"???

But, ya know, the 'fakers' have been doing that for years, It CAN hurt new members, because some might be misled into choosing a sponsor who might in time, accompany them back out for a drink.
I laugh at the stupid statements these people make. At the same time, I pray for them and their denial----pride-based. And I understand.

I do understand this, that God is IS IN CHARGE, and I am not. So full of gratitude am I when I hear the phrase of a returning alkie, which does NOT include a sobriety date, as he tries to "give us" what HE has, instead of 'wanting what we have'. And I could be there also...tomorrow
!

scary-thought-a-roni

Monday, November 17, 2008

TUESDAY: AN "M" WORD

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS HAS TAUGHT ME
HOW TO BUILD BRIDGES INSTEAD OF WALLS


MEETING NEW PEOPLE

At mass Sunday morning, my music director introduced me to a lady I've 'seen around' for awhile. Her name is Madeleine. She is a survivor of a German concentration camp--and has some stories to tell, you betchum. I'm going to interview her next week. Already she gave me to recall how I was told how the reality of WAR is unimaginable, so as to defy description. I could see it in her eyes. She must be around age 90 by now.

Also, a little girl I'll call Abby has attached herself to our music group (I play a violin) at Sunday's masses. She likes to sit with me during the homily, etc. And she holds a song book, trying to sing along. She is so cute. She is about age 9. She wants to help me put my violin back in the case after mass. God, then I think, in ten years I might meet her in the rooms, recovering from some drug or other....

So, I'm still out "meeting the girls", one age 90, the other 9. Of course, our music director is about age yt7f23pw {now, what happened to this keyboard?} and she's awful nice also, very helpful to old fiddle players!

Our beautiful program of Alcoholics Anonymous allows me to interact with other people, colorful people, each of whom has a story for telling--all they need is a listener. And some times I can be that one who hears their truth. And as often as not, I also wind up carrying a message of one kind or another.
A message of HOPE. A message of GOOD CHEER. A message of PEACE! A message of LOVE!

Thank You, God--for putting all sorts of people in my path. And thank you, AA members, who taught me to recognize the goodness I now see in others.

meet-a-roni

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?..."










STEVE--
WHERE WERE YOU?


Well, without any intention to do so, I just did not blog yesterday. And, you know...that's OK. Because I have learned, finally, the hard way (God had to 'use' someone to awaken me from the deep sleep of childhood) --that it REALLY is not "all about me." In fact it is not at ALL...about me! What a burden has been lifted from my shoulders, to know that I can now be just myself--like it or not--and not constantly and continuously be "someone else" to you, my real world.

However, it is difficult to not cheat just a tad, when blogging, because y'all don't really know me. I could be a bank robber.

So when someone wrote "Where is Steve?" it reminded me of one day in the winter of 1948, at inner-city St Xavier High, when I decided to be AWOL. The next day I was ordered to write 500 words relating my downtown experiences, of the missed school day.

500 words--What did I do instead of show up for class?

Write 500 words, oh, my!---What DID I do when I didn't show up for school? How about:

"Well, I met this sales person on a street corner in the seedy part of town. He was well-dressed, wore several thick gold chains around his neck. But it was those shiny shoes that hollered out, "Look at us!" I had never seen patent leather like that pair, which seemed as if they might walk by themselves. But, let this parody on the 'poem?' SIMPLE SIMON speak for me.


"Simple Steve met a dealer going to his lair;
Said Simple Steve to the dealer "Let me taste your ware"
Said the dealer, "Simple Steve, show me first your dough, Sonny"
Simple Steve said to the dealer "Sir, I have not the money!"

So, we glided away in his Citroen, to the bank for some money. The teller was very courteous to me as she kept eyeing the gun that my new friend, 'sales person' was holding...

(I will not bore a reader with the next 400 words HERE............................................................)

And so that is how I came to be wearing these extraordinary patent leathers to school this morning.

NOTE: The sales person (dealer) really wanted me as a 'regular', a pot-headed customer. However, I wished to remain lawfully careful, a law-abiding Freshman at St X--who drank only legally (except for my age), the booze which gave me courage, self-esteem, security, and that instant good feeling we know so well. A polite tall glass of White Port in the morning, and nothing until 4 PM--then, whatever I could find in the barns around the farm.

Hired hands left their half-emptied bottles lying around in the horse barn and the maintenance shed, forgetting usually where they hid bottles, and how much was left in them. DUMMIES! They were probably some stupid Alcoholics!


So, as the memories return, they do not haunt me now. The above story is not altogether true...the dealer really drove a Ford Pickup!

And, looking back (only momentarily), I find it the one TRUE miracle in my life--that I have not had a drink since the day before my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, March 18, 1974. and believe me, at least for this day, (sigh!) I feel the Power of God everywhere around me. I'm going over to a 5:30 meeting...it's where I need to be. Love you ALL!

BTW, I was NOT involved in a bank heist--all fabrication--thought ya knew that...

atpeace-a-roni




Thursday, November 13, 2008

FRIDAY: DAY AFTER CHOCOLATE CHIP BASH
















GOD WILL GROW IT, IF
STEVE WILL HOE IT



When I told my mother that I am an alcoholic, and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I expected her to say something like, “That’s wonderful! My prayers have been answered!”


Instead, she said, “That’s wonderful! Let’s just not tell anyone else about this, OK?” (My parents are now deceased.)

Since I live 1,150 miles from my family, we all get along now pretty good. I Email them a “family” letter about every six months. Somehow, I just seem to be too busy. However, I realize, this is a defective trait of MINE, not theirs. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, OK? -grin- Yep, Steve, God will do the growing in your garden, but YOU gotta do the hoeing.

Another topic: Another Alkie from my past called late last night (no one can believe I rise and shine at 4:30 AM (Eastern). He is the only one I ever knew (I was his sponsor 20 years ago) who officially "resigned" from Alcoholics Anonymous--I have the letter to prove that. Maybe some time I should just publish that, with names changed.

He has been in the revolving door pattern for lo, these 20 years! Last time I saw him, I figured would BE the last, he looked so emaciated. But evidently, God had other plans. He smiles a bit now, has a sponsor--a real taskmaster--and I pray he keeps coming back. (Note: I'm not a 'rule maker'. If ya 'do-it'--*four-letter word*, fine. If ya 'do-not'--*five-letter word* OK by me. I'm stayin' sober!

This re-run has asked me to supply him with copies of a CD on which I am SO SOLD: The Alcoholic speaker's name is Father Bill Wilson, a catholic priest, who has a H.U.G.E story to tell--full of miracles. Big ones. (As if there is such a miracle as a "small one" -grin-!) So I will show up at the "cookie" meeting tonight with his CD's, and hopefully he will be there. Who knows? God knows! And I have confidence in God...not much else, though. At least, I am confident that God will see to it that someone (hope it's Polly!) brings some chocolate chip COOKIES! Didja hear that. God?

LATER: Polly did NOT make the cookies tonight, but she did me one better. She wrote out her recipe for her very own special (I had asked for this a week ago) Choco-Chipo Cookies, on the back of an envelope (during the speaker meeting...shhhhh! Don't tell anyone. Please.) So now, I may just buy those ingredients and build me a platter of cookies! I do not think the microwave will do the job, though. So first, I'll have to learn how to turn on the oven, etc.
Thanks, Polly. Maybe!

Only thing I've ever made in the kitchen is deviled eggs...but thy ARE good. Whenever I make them, they disappear quickly. Usually I do a batch of 70 for 35 people. Hey I'm serious, folks. I hear laughter, or is that snickering? Well, I'm gonna snicker out of here. NOW!

"Easy Does It!" ...Grateful and Sober today, OK?
steveroni

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

THURSDAY'S BLONG

No, guys...this is LAST year's tree!


A "BLONG" (long blog)
WHICH
GOES NOWHERE??

The house I live in is way large for two people. I love a 'way large' house. Some would say that communicating is a problem. I say, not if you want to spend quiet time. I know men and women who have to close the bathroom door to have quiet time, to pray, to meditate. All I have to do is walk to the other end of the house. Living in Florida, our house--like many older homes--is a single floor plan.

We have a two-car, two-bike garage which contains a warehouse of stuff. What stuff? Just stuff. Lots of stuff. In a few weeks, there will be less stuff. Some of it will be in our house, or outside our house. It will be Christmas. Soon after, as winter sets in for the long haul (Ha! we live in Florida, remember?), I'll fix the sprinkler heads and lay some piping. That means dig, dig, dig. The grass will grow, along with those weeds. And I can get out there and pull weeds, until all my frustrations are history. Until all the fights have been fought.

Realtors have implied--some have simply told me outright--that our house has lost market value in the past ten years. They say it is because of our neighborhood, which has become basically Latin. Our neighbors are Haitian, Jamaican, Columbian, Cuban, Dominican, and Americans. These are our friends, friendly friends. The kind of friends who knock on the door to inform me early one morning, that the water company is turning off our water. (The water company had hired a new guy who was working in our yard, the wrong house.)

Some say the neighborhood music is too loud. I *love* it. A few moments ago I stepped outside and somewhere up our street was playing VERY loudly, a medley of Christmas songs. Beautiful. Bing Crosby. Thank you, Haitian people! I wonder why, when I hear these tunes being played in Walmart in September, it bothers me..slightly. Yet, when it is blasting away in the 'hood, I am enjoying it. Immensely!

The peacefulness, the quiet of night has now descended, and "Silent Night" has made the darkness into something shining--or is that the loony moon? Maybe I am getting loony, it's been another of those WONDERFUL days. I wish I could remember all the beautiful happenings those MIRACLES of today. They come along so quickly, there is not time to jot them down. God works fast, when He is ready to "make His move". Too many miracles? Maybe it's NEVER "too many"!


I attended two meetings this morning, 6 and 7 AM. Then the Eye doctor...said I'm doing F.I.N.E. (Syd , thanks for that!) and my sight IS improving, week after week. Thank You, God! Another miracle!

Had late breakfast with a sponsee this morning 11 AM. He's recently returned from their home on a Colorado mountain (Powderhorn, a bit east of Montrose, I'm sure *everybody* knows where that is-grin-). After breakfast, we went to the beach, sat in a garden setting, on a bench, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Ahhh! Peace (again) and tranquility! We talked, had a lot of catch-up to get done. He thinks I'm too spiritual. Or maybe Whack-o. He doesn't say so, but I catch that in his 'look-in-the-eye' moment of truth, which we all can recognize. We get along real well. We understand one another. We became very close today. He has 23 years sobriety.

Wish the 'other' sponsee had some...he has 22 years' experience in Alcoholics Anonymous, but not "SOBER" experience. At least every time he's near death, he returns. He has been a good lesson for MANY beginners in our rooms.

It has been a long day, and I'm wandering in my head. This Blong IS long! Sorry 'bout that. Also sorry I did not get to read the blogs today. Maybe tomorrow I'll read and comment, and not write my own , for a change! I truly love you ALL, and that's about all I have to give you...except HOPE. Whoever is hurting, suffering, or white-knuckling it, I wish to give you hope, that if *I* could do it , I KNOW you can! Just Let God in.....


Whoever read this far SHOULD receive an award.
Or maybe a reprimand for not doing something useful! -grin-
roaming-a-roni

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

STEVE EATS ITALIAN SAUSAGES--FOR GOD, OF COURSE!


















THE CHURCH FESTIVAL

Every catholic parish has its unique money-making scheme. Every parish calls it by the unique name FESTIVAL! Each church has its unique cuisine, a "speciality of the house", a unique sausage sandwich, with the generous lump of sweet Italian sausage well hidden under a pile of compost. A short twenty feet across several huge power cables lying in wait--a death-watch?--on the ground in the unique darkness, is a little outhouse-looking building, the name of which must be Elephant Ears. That's what the signage leads one to believe. I call it by a unique name, the "Unique-Sugar-Dough-Shack". OMG, I forgot the mountain of
"fries-with-that"--we needed a wheelbarrel to haul them to our table!


This 'happening' seems to 'happen' just following another eating contest--like a Caribbean cruise?. So, to support our church, I added five pounds to my waist--for God, of course! *grin*

So is set the scene which Anna and I faced the night we embarked on a trail of food, fun, food, walking, food, photo shooting, food, compost, and several elephant ears--which could not, even through MY vivid imagination--be called 'food'. Actually, the 'food' tasted so good, I ate two or three of those generous hidden lumps under dead vegetation, and at least two ears, or three, or four? My memory was failing by that time because my brain was listening to its growling stomach. To be honest, my memory failed in the year 1968 or maybe 1947 (as best I can remember!). That IS another topic!

Let's see, we did NOT ride the whirls-and-hurls (I stole that line from SYD, thanks!). But just watching the whirls-and-twirls almost forced me to hurl, and that was before devouring (savoring?) the rotted stuff and ears. But the sausage was "out-of-this-world GOOD". And that might be the only truth to be found in this post.

Every catholic church, except the Greek Orthodox (whatever that means?) has its colony of Italian female cooks--and cook, they do. In fact they cook so good, that some of the stuff tastes almost Greek!

Actually, this was the church's 27th annual Festival, and I've been to most of them, and I absolutely LOVE those affairs...and the food, of course, of course--for God, of course! *grin*

Festival-a-roni

Monday, November 10, 2008


AWARDS NIGHT AT 'RONI'S PLACE


Gabrielle has "tagged" me. No, wait. She awarded me something--I forget what it was, but I do remember well our first meeting. Well, maybe I do not recall events as they really happened, but old people (think they) can get away with that!


Seems that Kristin went to a women's meeting which was not on her schedule of 'regulars'. And someone mistook her for tall, and pretty G., as she walked in the door. Later, a tall and pretty girl walked into the room. Now, the punch line: This girl was the 'real' G! Kristin met her look-alike one year ago September, and they have been fast friends ever since. Here's the STORY...

That very day (evening) G was linked to Kristin's blog , asked us to visit, and we went over to G's blog, "All Who Wander Are Not Lost" And many of us came to love the lady G, in a few moments. Gabriella, as she is now known, has come to be among my most favorite blog people.

So...SIX people. Right? Well, since Gabriella has already been accoladed above, I've got one down. These awards are for Brilliant Weblog Authors (I think!).

2. Mary Christine probably has 30 of these already, and deservedly so. She is so helpful to so many in our sphere, having given energetically of her limited time to her own blogs, and commenting on others'. I was made to feel so much at home last June, when she helped me get started here, She made me feel unique (my ego?) and then I discovered she helped at least a dozen others get their blogs rolling. Thank you, Mary C. I find your active presence to be that special glue which holds together our small community.

3. Kristin will one day be in the "Coffee-House" business. Where? I do not know, and neither does she. But this, we both know...I'll be there to help celebrate her opening day, drinking a double cappuccino and playing my violin. (Note: This had better be in the next ten or fifteen years, because my violin keeps getting older, ya know!) Also, we have a return trip planned (who knows when?) to Akron, to visit again Dr Bob's Home on Ardmore Ave. and a gas station where you can find "HAG" --Oooops--grin.

4. Mary Louise: Before I read my "24-Hour Book" each morning at 4:30 AM, before I read my "Daily Reflections", even before I, well...anyway, FIRST thing I go to is the blog written so capably wonderful, so descriptive, so full of insight and inspiration, posted by Mary Louise . Each morning I want to move to Africa, savor the serenity, the peace, the God of Nature, and/or the Nature of God. Exquisitely writing, she puts me in that mental place which sustains me until my first coffee, my first greeting, my first meeting. I thank God for her talent shared with us, and her spirituality, also shared with us. Bless you, Louisey!

5. Hank ...what can I say. Hank (Indistinct) and I have corresponded a couple times. He gives me (and all of us) thoughtful insights on any and every topic. He is open to suggested thoughts. He is VERY spiritual in his thinking and writing, and has helped me often to straighten my brain, but he doesn't even know that. Thank you Hank, for being here or there, one of the few guys. We need more, you know.....BALANCE?

6. Jenn1 is a girl who is close to my heart. Really. We have talked on the phone a couple times, and have written, and believe me, she listens, and then acts. It is a sincere pleasure to 'meet' and know someone who is so open to suggestions, who is SO willing to do well, who SO wants to 'get better', and who is doing her utmost to overcome difficulties (we all have them?) and live this program. Anna and I both love her...much!

Jenn 2 Having just 'met' Jenn 2 (I already have a Jenn in my heart!), I can say that EVERY man should have TWO 'Jenns'. #2 is sober and smart, and gifted, and sober, and smart, and loving, and sober, and also grieving (so I'll forgive her for being 'smart'!). She is also a giving person, and is only in her 7th day of blogging with us, but I sense she's here for the duration, whatever that is! I guess you can tell that Steveroni LIKES her! And I know she is worthy of this award.

7. DAVE: Here is another man I just met, Dave who is now writing on our monitors. He has a lot to say, and had already begun saying it, then we lost him. I'm sure he's still here, and by the tone of our Emails, he displays an enthusiasm which is catching. We used to call it "Gung-Ho". Dave has a lot to offer, and since this is his first award here, I hope he cherishes this moment in his career of sobriety.

I wish to God I was allowed THIRTY names, because that's how many are on MY favorite list.

Now, what are the rules? Well, this might be difficult for the newer bloggers here, but what the hel*, GO for it! (I'm winging it here, guys!)


1. List six (hope you can count better than I) names who are deserving of this award.
2. Say something nice, if possible.
3. Notify them to visit your site to receive (download the award?)
4. Move on to the business at hand...stay sober...be grateful...love everyone.

award-a-roni

READ 'EM (AND DON'T WEEP!)


READ 'EM (AND DON'T WEEP!)



Surely EVERYONE reads Mary Christine's "
ONE SOBER ALCOHOLIC" blog daily, maybe even twice...like me! But just in case someone out there has missed it, Mary has begun Sunday November 9, a twelve-day "course of action." She is taking the time (of which Mary has oodles to spare? NOT!!! -grin-) to post a 12-Step Commentary, one each day (Today, Monday, is Step 2--do not miss YESTERDAY's Step 1). This activity--IMO--is truly in the realm of 'Service' in Alcoholics Anonymous.

After all, the Twelve Steps ARE our program for recovery. They are where we find, not the 'answers' to our living problems...rather we find the SOLUTIONS, how to solve the problems!

In fact, one of a sponsor's primary functions is NOT to answer my questions, or solve my problems of romance, finance, etc. A sponsor can best help me by SHOWING me where, in the first 164 pages of our Big Book, or the 12 X 12, I can FIND the solution.

Here I am again -grin-, almost trying to sound like a 'teacher'...but really my only intention here is to insure that all in our blogosphere (spread the word!) is aware of this fine opportunity to learn how to apply the steps to my life. For this, I thank YOU again, Mary Christine!

gratitude-a-roni

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New GUY blogger...also ALCOHOLIC

VISIT A GUY NAMED DAVE

Hello Everyone, I received an award from Gabrielle, and will get to it next day or two. Are we still doing that? Actually, I didn't care for it at first...but now that I've been included as a recipient, it seems like more fun. Hmmmmm! Same old, same old!

This is a tired day for steveroni. Busy and tired. Skipped morning meetings.
Played mass at 7:30 AM, enjoy that very much. REALLY! Going to bed early.
Catch up with everyone tomorrow, hopefully. I feel with certainty that the
AA blogosphere will survive. Flurry of Emails with several of our number earlier...and later. That's fun, too. REALLY!

I DO wish to introduce a guy, folks. Named Dave (another Dave, yayyyy!) Don't know a lot about him, but if I know y'all, it won't be long before I DO. Please, if ya have a moment, go over and say Hi, and welcome Dave to our small world. Well do I remember when five months ago, someone named Mary Christine did this for me, and it changed my whole outlook on life (sound familiar?), and has positively increased my spiritual awareness, on many levels. I'm grateful.

introduce-a-roni