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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY SOBER NEW YEAR!!!

The Step (One!) is a gift from my daughter the firefighter,
she made it just for me. It weighs about 60 pounds.
What I'm wondering is.........would this photo have
qualified
for "hAAlf nAAked Thursday"?

OPINION

Our Alcoholics Anonymous 'Big Book' (which originally WAS a big book, because it was printed on cheap, thick paper) contains early in the introductory pages, a chapter titled THE DOCTOR'S OPINION. Without going into the merits of this entry by the wonderful doctor friend of AA, I wish to single out a small phrase, which took me a number of years to understand. Sure, foggy brain was partly the problem, but I have since thought the doctor might have edited or added a couple words. You may see what I mean.

Six words found in 3rd Edition at bottom of p. xxvi, and in Fourth Edition at bottom of p. xxviii. The words are: "They are restless, irritable, and discontented..." For at least twenty years I thought I 'knew' this was a reference to the drinking alcoholic--the sick drunk--always "restless, irritable, and discontent".

In fairness to the doctor, the words, in context, read: "They are restless, irritable, and discontented,
unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks..." (I believed he could well have inserted just before the quote, "When not drinking--they are restless, etc....")

I also knew that I had NOT been "restless, irritable, and discontent", until I stopped drinking! THEN it happened. My life came apart at the seams. Days and nights became long hours of total chaos in our home, at my workplace (I was a bartender!), and in the daily business of living. I became reclusive, fearful and totally paranoiac.

(You who 'followed me' all around my daily activities, must recall how I'd duck behind vehicles, and double back my route, causing me to spend lots of wheel-spinning time. Many activities took me twice the time they should have, due to "making myself invisible"-type antics.)

In reality--to me--my problems began when I stopped drinking and drugging. That's funny, when you'd know the common mentality is that drunk alcoholics are almost always in trouble. Well, maybe that's true, but when I was drunk...did I care? Ha! Nope.

But when I sobered up, there was no more running away from the problems, they were like the beat of the feet in the Hound of Heaven.


And for the rest of my life, I am honored to follow the AA program for living, a way of life in which I anticipate with true JOY what God might have in store for me tomorrow. Can't wait!

Let's all have a New Year's Eve full of HOPE, and let's all stay sober, OK? "I mean that now, people!" HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Love and {{{hugs}}} to all you wonderful bloggers, especially pg

Who published this, and when???


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TURKEY IN THE STRAW???


NOTE: My writing on these blogs usually has
to do somewhat with recovery from alcoholism.
But I'm gonna deviate one day (maybe two)
and write about some things a bit more personal.


HEY FELLER! DO YA KNOW HOW TO
PLAY "TURKEY IN THE STRAW"?


If it might interest anyone: My violin is a Chanot (Georges), made in Paris (France, not Kentucky, guys!) in 1856 (before the Civil War?). It is a beautiful red color, the back is one piece, and the tone is superb.

Of course, the old joke is that someone will say, "Your violin has such a wonderful, resounding, clear, and mellow tone!" And the violinist (me) will put the violin up to his ear, shake it a bit, and say, "Funny--I don't hear a THING!"
(Maybe ya hafta BE there?)

I've been playing since age five--that's seventy years (Why am I telling YOU this?), and you'd think I would know HOW to do it by now...Hmmmmm?

The TRUE story is that after not drinking for about six weeks, my sponsor asked me, "How is that violin sounding, now that you've stopped drinking?"

I had to answer truthfully: "Jim, it's terrible. The vibrato is wobbly, the tone is bad, it's out of tune, it sounds scratchy..."

And he answered without a second's hesitation, "Well, being sober has cleared up your HEARING, then!"

So, if you're following this far, I'll tell you that even my violin playing--which is much better these days--I attribute to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

So now I play weddings, funerals, a stage play or an opera now and then, the annual MESSIAH, A Baptist Living Christmas Trees (eight performances to 16,000 people) and lots of masses at my parish church. Of course, always I'm ready for club dates, as a strolling violinist, where I play show tunes, classical, and just about anything. Yessss, including "Turkey In The Straw"!

Thank you bloggers, I love you all, especially PG!


Who posted this blog?

Monday, December 29, 2008

GOING TO ANY LENGTH?

WHOOO? LOOKING FOR A MEETING?


GO TO ANY LENGTH!

The following 'memory' of mine was recalled upon reading Banana Girl's blog, and Jeanne's adventure in finding a 7:30 AM meeting new to her:


The AA Clubhouse in Gatlinburg Tennessee used to be located way above, and in back of a cocktail lounge. Up many, many stairs, almost a scary walk, up a steep hill. We habitually made the trek there each year as we traveled through the mountains.


One year we found the clubhouse closed, and the bartender on street level gave us some vague directions to a new noon AA meeting place.


All we could find at the given address--and it was already past the noon meeting time-- was a real estate office, so I asked the lone Realtor if she could direct us to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I just 'knew' she thought she had a couple 'live' ones looking to buy a log cabin site, up on one of those beautifully located, lushly forested mountain tops.

Instead of showing disappointment, she jumped up, turned out the lights, pulled on a sweater, closed the blinds, turned off the A/C and said, "I thank God that you stopped in. Follow me. It's been a whole week since I've been to a meeting and I really need one today! Let's hurry--we're late."

Two minutes later we were sitting in chairs surrounded by all the familiar accouterments of a typical AA room, including--but not limited to--some wonderful alcoholic friends, of whom several we remembered. And I thanked my Higher Power for looking after us, for doing for us what we could not. And the whole roomful of about twenty men and women thanked Him with us. Amen!

search-and-find-a-roni
PHOTO CREDIT:
deanofdevon

Whooo posted this...and when?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GOD HELPS THEM THAT HELP THEMSELVES

HELPING OTHERS?

This picture is steveroni playing violin for a class at an
all-girls' high school in Cincinnati OH

GOD HELPS ME HELP OTHERS--HELP MYSELF



All day Friday I was in a rare (for me) funk. Of course, I did not tell you all about it, because (some) men do not like to admit they are 'depressed'. Me, well, I just like to 'suffer through it', never knowing for sure the cause, although many friends (and wife) are ready with quick responses for: "Why is this happening to me?" Usually my 'off' days are just that...one day.

So, I asked David (Prayer-Man?) at a meeting to pray for me, that I was in a bad place--the day after Christmas. I DO know why, though...now! Self centeredness brings on--in me--an unawareness of certain behaviors, of which I an shamefully aware of later, e.g., the old story: I am hardly ever home, and when I am at home, I'm still 'not home'. Didja understand THAT?

So, Friday evening I was depressing and riding my motorized scooter down the busy Parkway at about 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, when my cell phone burst forth with it's beautiful melodious tones. When my phone goes off, other drivers leave me alone, it's quite a blast. On the other end of the line was an out-of-work, out-of-jail mechanic, needing a ride Saturday morning to a meeting...brand new to AA, well, as it turns out, brand new AGAIN!

Also I'm to meet with another out-of-work mechanic at the same meeting. Guess what I'm saying here is that God is doing for me what I could not do for myself--which is, lift me out of my 'black' mood. So, to shorten the story, blah, blah, mechanic #2 called saying he had a job interview. Good, I can sure appreciate that.

By the end of the meeting I had ascertained (big damn word!) that the other one, mechanic #1 was a no-show, also a no-call. So I called him and said that It didn't bother me if he stayed sober, or drank, or drugged, but it DID bother me that he didn't have the human decency to call...he will call next time, if there even IS a next time. I kinda hope there is at least one more time....


However, the whole situation got me to a terrific meeting that I used to attend with regularity. And it was GOOD to see those 19 guys and 2 girls still hanging in there sober, helping one another, and sharing like they were 'family'. And I'm back to my old self. And I can hardly wait to tell David that YES, his prayer was answered! And I am happy to report that God IS accessible to the troubled, and the untroubled.

BackAtPeace-a-roni

Friday, December 26, 2008

THEM AND ME ARE THE SAME...

Christmas Dinner?

THEM AND ME
Ya know, sometimes during these holidays I get really lost in being happy and expressing good wishes to those who are also busily being happy.

I tend to forget those who are out there--some even in HERE!-- who are unhappy, who cannot shake their past, or whose present lives are in chaos, or who are just so depressed that there seems no way out!
And for them I also pray. I know them well.
Them WERE......................ME!


Love them!

P.S. Played violin for two masses on Christmas Eve, and one Christmas Day. Also attended two AA meetings, and an "Open-House" noon buffet at our 24-Hour Club (Actually open about 17 hours.). Also got to eat (whew!) with Anna's daughter and her 'Dearest One'. Lots of nice presents all around. Thank you all for comments, Emails, and good wishes!

Who posted this blog?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

THAT GIFT? SERENITY? AGAIN?




One of my Grandaughters

Let's see...oh yeah, about serenity!


Monday: Suzuki bike battery dead--just how dead IS a doornail? -grin!


While battery was on 14-hour "tickle" charge, I had to use the truck to get to a rehearsal. Well, the truck began losing power, and I kept it going for a mile until I could barely guide it off the road. Also, 'Truck' is just recovering from a recent dry-rotted, flat tire.

Tuesday: Bike runs F.I.N.E. and by late afternoon (and almost $600), truck was back on the road. It will probably sit in our driveway from now on, because I ride the bike everywhere, even on violin gigs which require tuxedo garb or full-dress (tails flapping in the wind!).

Tuesday at 5:30 meeting I was sharing about how good God is, and how He took control of several reconciliations in and with my children. I told them that I had neither high nor low expectations (meeting topic) but in leaving it up to God, I just let Him be in charge--so I needed NO expectations.

One very grey-headed, retired university professor, age 75, who has great trouble believing there is a God (also great trouble staying sober!), wearing a dirty-haired pony tail tied with a bandana--does anyone know the type?--said something which bothered me.

Right after I had told the group of 60 recovering Alcoholics that I had NO expectations how my two weeks might turn out, he said the following: " I (pronounced "oye") am so tired hearing some of the ass holes in here who claim to have no expectations, and who consistently parrot the program, always taking the "party line", who never have an original thought..."

Well, your steveroni had to ask the guy sitting next to him, "Did he just call me an ass hole?" Several people around nodded affirmatively. I tried and tried to pray for him. With everything else that had happened the earlier 24 hours, I do here and now admit it. I failed. At the end of the meeting I still wanted to jump up and throttle the old guy. I'll keep on "trying" to pray for him, that he gets everything I'd want for myself. (Is it OK to wish myself dead??? -grin!)

And so, dear fellow bloggers, Mr Imperfect is now admitting to possession of a character flaw--certainly not the only one--but today's prize winner.

PUNCH LINE: I'm still happy, at peace, and ya know what? I'm serene! Yes, I have to admit to that also--that gift from God--serenity--simply will not go away yet...........YET! And, as long as I stay close to you people, and my groups, and my sponsor, and my program...as long as I trade hatred for LOVE, as long as I pray, as long as I am ..."willing to grow along spiritual lines..." serenity will be mine.

And my Christmas wish for EVERYONE, is that serenity be yours also. That is my prayer!

Peace, and LOVE!

WHO posted this blog?

Monday, December 22, 2008

HOPE, HOPE, and HOPE!



HOPEFUL THINGS

  • What does it take to hope? EVERYTHING!
  • Hope means never ceasing to be amazed.
  • Hope means wearing my SOUL on my sleeve.
  • Hope means holding my breath while I'm waiting to hear--"I love you, too!"
  • Hope is believing that tomorrow will be better than today.
  • Hope is believing that I'll get a second chance.
  • Hope is knowing I will make a difference.
  • Hope is knowing that I matter.
--Lee Ann Womack (with Slight edit by steveroni)

Prayer Girl and I attended a Party at the home of B and K this afternoon and evening. Most of the more than dozen guests were members of my 6AM Group. We laughed, did a Chinese Gift Exchange, ate great dinner, laughed, ate more dinner and some great desserts, loved and laughed
some more. It showed me again, what I've known for years, that ya don't have to be 'bombed' to enjoy life and each other. Thank You, God!

Love you, Bloggers!
There is enough HOPE for all of us!

WHO posted this blog?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

AND GROWTH IS THUS


AND GROWTH IS THUS


Yesterday was my son's birthday. We took him and his wife out to dinner, and had a (lovely) nice time, steaks, etc. You know, real FOOD, and "Longhorn" good. And we laughed a lot.


We had not seen each other since last May. And they live less than a mile from our house--not like it's 191 miles, although it might as well have been.

Remember....my sponsor told me I've been neglecting my children--and he is SO RIGHT ON! Well, it's time to change (Ughhh! Again!) He said I should begin to SHOW them I love them, not just TELL them once a year! Get the picture?

I asked my son what he would like for Christmas. And here is what he told me:

"Pa, you know I have almost everything I really NEED. What I would really LIKE
as a Christmas present, is for us to meet like this throughout the year, have dinner, talk, laugh, relax, enjoy, love, and just BE with you and Prayer Girl. If you would just invite us out to dinner periodically, now THAT would be the best Christmas
present ever!"

And you know what? THAT'S going to be his present--a commitment--to show my love for my family, just "be with" my son and his wife.

ALSO I want to mention here, that my daughter is coming to visit US today, early afternoon, and bring her Christmas love (and lots of COOKIES!) into our home. Ain't that neat? As you might well guess, this Christmas is being created for me what I'd certainly call a
MERRY CHRISTMAS!


LOVE, from

peace-a-roni

Friday, December 19, 2008

PLEASE READ WHAT MY HEART IS SAYING

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT AWARD

My TRUE THANK YOU to Jess for sharing the Christmas Spirit Award with me. I am so grateful for those who share so willingly of their experience, strength and hope...and this award gives ME another one of those moments to express my caring, my sharing.

OK...MY sharing the SPIRIT OF THE AWARD: In the spirit of our Beautiful Twelve Traditions, I'm not going to designate certain award "winners"...so, if you have not yet received this award, consider yourself one of MY FAVORITE PEOPLE (you ARE, you know!), copy-and-paste the award using your Blogger Dashboard. Thank you SO much, and join us here.

These are rules: Shhhhhhh: -whispering-"I don't DO rules very well!"
* the person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas

* link back to the person who gave you the award

* list 5 things that you love about Christmas. if you can’t limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! steveroni ran out of SPACE!!!

* pass the award along to as many people as you like. that can be 1 or 50 to keep the Christmas cheer going!

* let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment

SHARING THE SPIRIT OF LOVE
(This is my kinda topic--"sharing love")


1. RIDING MY SUZUKI BERGMAN during this Christmas season, I'm out in the open on the roads. I like to look around at stop lights, and smile and wave at people. They cannot mistake the love I'm experiencing. Invariably, they wave back, or open windows, and say "Howdy", or "Have a safe ride!". I figure they just cannot believe there's this old guy out there being so happily ensconced, and enjoying life, no matter what...even a blong, red, stop light!

2. CASHIER @ Sam's Club was having an obvious 'bad hair day'--and he was bald! So Prayer Girl said something to him, and it turned out he was NOT angry with working through the holidays, or angry with 'uncouth' customers. He had a bad cold, he thought it might even be the flu, and he was suffering physical pain in a couple other areas. We left him laughing, happy that he had come to work this morning. WHAT POWER You let pass through us, my God!

3. DURING THIS SEASON I have learned that I can have conversations and maybe a--{{{HUG}}}--with my friends, and it means no more than that--we are good friends, staying sober and helping one another one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year, one decade at a time.

4. CHRISTMAS season allows me to realize the gifts God has bestowed on us all. That all through my drunkenness, He was working, using me, working through me. It did not matter to God, that my way of life was not to His liking, He still "brought me home",
as it is thus
with all of us.
we are now back home
to no longer roam
but to live with joys
all us girls and boys.

5. THIS SEASON allows me to return my thoughts to the good things in this world. And I can then be Oh so grateful. And one of those
things I so often forget...is to remember
those who did first set
in motion this sharing,
this wonderful caring
for one another
like sister and brother
this blog community
wonderful unity.
coming apart? but no!
God must will it so
to be for more than three.
for this, God, we thank thee.

I am referring to those who decided a number of years ago, to blog with each other, keeping alive the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I do not even know who they are. I can guess though, that some are from--God, I hate to use the word--Texas, maybe Houston? And some from Colorado? And maybe Illinois? I know who these, our pioneers might be, but I do not thank them, can never thank them enough.

I have been to other blogs now, and am convinced that God directed me here. He did use a couple people--one in particular--to help me along the way to this magnificent place. Thank you, Mary C! For me, there is NO PLACE like our little blogging community, in which you've allowed me to participate.

Admittedly, it seems to have grown far out from its originally imagined and intended bounds. Growth is painful, change is painful, but the results of each can be a new freedom, a new happiness, and new opportunities for me to serve my Higher Power--God--and to spread His message of our Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, our paths to sobriety, peace, serenity, and happiness, those qualities of my new life which surpass all my understanding. Thank you BLOGGERS, thank you AA, and thank You God.

I love you all...really I do.
Your blong-a-roni












Thursday, December 18, 2008

AWARDS NIGHT FOR steveroni


HONESTY? WHO...ME?


It has been forever--never?--since I've been dubbed "honest" then along comes this Linda S. girl, from "Psyche Connections" who obviously knows me not, with an"HONESTY" award for me.

Being unaccustomed to receiving such accolades, I am overcome with Thanks, Gratitude, and Happiness. I shall write out ten long ones before Linda changes her mind.
Might I say that it IS about time someone out there recognized true great honesty, when it speaks through the printed word.

Actually, from here on, I am trying to BE honest--but it IS long--I warned you, Linda! -grin.

Love,
steveroni


First rule for this award looks easy.
Second rule, I would not know where to begin, since I believe this has gone around recently? 1. List 10 honest things about myself (TRUE and interesting things - not just the color of my socks!) 2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers

TEN TRUTHFUL THINGS:

1. (Gosh, do I hafta?) I haven't mowed the yard for more than a month. Now, I'll have to visit
"Rent-a-Cow"...let's see, we've got 16 telephone books. Now where did I put them?

2. A young girl school teacher, age 40? (well. it's Polly--again!) utters a favorite phrase, whenever she thinks someone has shared exceptionally well. She says, "That was 'good shit'!"...and she said that to me one time! -grin.


3. My computer desk, my 'regular' desk, and a L A R G E coffee table nearby are all LOADED with 'stuff', just laying there helter-skelter, and piled quite high--picture a movie scene of an aged reclusive guy in his room for the past 20 years (Hey! That's ME! -grin). Today is "Clean-up-and-throw-away" Day, for me. Under one pile of 'stuff' I found that old statement from State Farm, saying we had seven days to pay...or else! No wonder we had to switch to Allstate!


4. About every two weeks, when my "facial hair" (that's what my mother called a beard!) becomes really a grey-white color, I use some 5-minute light brown beard-coloring stuff. Funny, a day after, some guys always ask me, "Are you REALLY 75 years old?". Hell, I act young, might as well look young. I call it 'young', others call it 'immature'! ...And I could not care any less than...you know what.


5. (See #3) Still cleaning up the table tops: I'm finding (My next blog' title will be "FIND-ON II"!!!) more and more things which I had 'lost'. Here is an American Express Card, a favorite pen (I love it!), some misplaced prescription eye drops, my checkbook, one of our three wireless telephones (ringer silenced--GREAT!). I quit for now.

6. Shopping is not my bag (pun intended, if ya c'n find one!). I ALWAYS have a complete list, because I do forget things...everythings! So you would think I'm "good-to-go", right? WRONG! the problem is, I drive 15 miles to my favorite store, like Sam's or Costco. Well, that's still not the real problem which IS...I forgot my list! So I end up buying loads of stuff for people, stuff they'll never ever want. ORrrrrr, I buy loads of stuff for ME, stuff I didn't know I wanted, only to find out that it's TRUE...I DIDN'T want it. So, I leave shopping to my wife, who forgets HER list, etc., etc.


7. When my wife asks, "How does THIS dress look on me?", I finally have learned to say always...ALWAYS, "Just GREAT, Dear!" Then, when she asks, "Are you SURE", I've learned to say "Yep!", as I am speedily leaving the premises to mow grass or at least go somewhere and THINK about mowing the grass. With my luck, she'll be reading this, and "the grass will be my ass, and she will be the lawn mower." Hoo, boy!

8. Many things which lots of people take for granted as everyday "do-it" stuff, are activities which I put off. Procrastination is a real defect with me, I do not put off until 'tomorrow'. *I* put off until FIVE YEARS FROM NOW! But then, once I get started, I say to myself, "Wow, that wasn't so difficult now, was it? Why oh why didn't I do this five years ago. I'm talking about maintenance, fixing the sprinkler system, starting the 3-yr-old-but-still-brand-new gasoline generator, to be certain it will work in an emergency, things like that. One more example: winter is our 'dry' season, really. So why should I fix the roof when it ain't leakin'? I'm afraid to go up and walk on it, I might fall through the rotted part.


9. No, I'm not mentioning the color of my sox, except it is not unusual that one may view a different color on each foot. At least now they are clean! Several months ago, on one of the "honesty" thingies, I posted that I wear the same sox for four days without washing. SIX GIRLS dropped off my blog roll the next day. I won't ever EVER make that mistake again.

10. I got to go do laundry now, excuse me. 12 pair of sox are waiting. Last secret--when I say "I love you"...I mean it, at least at that moment--to my never-ending detriment...I say this to males AND females, because I do REALLY love people, and I'm learning to let God show me the way and I'll walk it, come hell or high water...sounds like a joke punch line, which you are NOT going to read at this time. Are you fortunate, or WHAT?


Well, gotta go shopping, and have lots of musical events cropping up now, until 8 PM New Year's Eve. That means Prayer Girl WILL celebrate the new year with me...for once! She may also celebrate Christmas Eve with me, if she attends either a 3, 4:30, or 8 PM mass, with a pot luck dinner thrown in at 5PM. Lots of wonderful Italiano cooks in our parish...ummmmm!
Pretty sure PG will attend!

Tomorrow that Christmas Spirit thing (AWARD!) from:

Jess, Mistress of Mischief

And you betchum, Red Ryder, I love her TOO! Thanks SO much, Jess.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A SPIRITUAL RIDE--STEP NINE!

$40 Christmas Tree (Two for $80!)


A SPIRITUAL RIDE--STEP NINE

A perfect day for riding was Tuesday, and again Wednesday, and I took advantage. Visiting my daughter in Lakeland, is one pleasant enough thing, but having to make an amend, and successfully realizing that an amend is not about "Sorry Charlie"...but rather, "I'm going to change, Charlie".

Truly, I can say (and I DID receive a "truth" award from Linda S Socha, over at "Psyche Connections"), truly, I can say that the man who left that house of his daughter's Wednesday at noon, was not at all the same man who went INTO her house on Tuesday about noon.

God did (again) for me, what I simply could not do for myself. He put words in my mouth which were the right ones. And He taught me to "listen" carefully, at what another was saying.

I AM happy, serene, at peace today, and all the more grateful, that this day was a spiritual success for steveroni. Thank you for all your prayers. Really! Sincerely! That is such wonderful support!

Also, at the finish-line of this busy and blong day, I got to play violin at St Elizabeth Seton for our annual Parish Renewal. It was really a knock-out, knock-down--not really--spiritual hour.

I am so tired tonight, I'll have to postpone answering those three or four(?) "honesty" things about myself. Meanwhile, all you late-night bloggers, enjoy life, get plenty of rest (look who's talking!), and don't forget to pray, and stay sober--every one of us!

This was posted by WHOM
?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What a Wonderful World "II"!

This reminded me SO much of a father
watching over his child,
caring and loving one another,
even their differences. --steveroni



://www. What a Wonderful World!

THIS morning I'm readying to "ride"...about 3 hours north of here, to Lakeland, FL. Getting ready consists (for me) of attending two meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous this morning, and packing up some Christmas gifts which my wife and her sweet daughter have so beautifully wrapped. Then I'll gas up the bike (cost, about $5.60) and gas up the driver with Starbucks finest "regular" (cost about $2.80 for giant sized).

Weather purports to be prefekct, not hot, not wet, and not not. So I'll ask God to ride with me, and ask a few others to ask their Higher Power to help out also...I believe in "WE"! And I shall arrive--sober--at my daughter's house. NOTE: My daughter, who is not AA, but also does not drink, I have chosen to give today an "AA-type" name. MsSoberFireFighterParamedicGirl will meet me, and we'll enjoy together whatever meal of the day is appropriate.

We'll also enjoy taking her big dog "Chief" out for his daily routines, he loves to catch (and eat!) frisbees. Actually, he's--not surprisingly--a very good jump-and-catch-high-in-the-air kinda pooch.

At first I was very afraid of him. For years dogs and I felt intimidated around each other, until Chief, that is. He felt no intimidation whatever, also no compassion for the intimidated--(ME)! He's a trained attack dog, and Ms.sffpg is who he answers to, with, about, from...and also who he defends, with his life, if need be.

We will enjoy the day, and each other. I am SO looking forward to this visit, it's like a 'turning point' in later life, and I need not explain that to you 'turning-point' people.

If our day of enjoyment ends before sundown I may head back home, otherwise I'll just spend the night at her house, and head back in the morning to greet my wife, read some of your blogs, comment on a few, and get my day rolling.


I'm not even going to LOOK at Wednesday's schedule, for fear I could just decide to continue on traveling wherever the blue highways might lead. JUST KIDDING, PRAYER GIRL!

So, I shall see you all sometime Wednesday...please have a whole lot of new blogs for me to spend Wednesday afternoon, evening, and night, and Thursday morning reading. AGAIN, JUST KIDDING, PG!

Yeah, right! (I believe we have some shopping to do.) I don't mind 'shopping', as long as the store has a nice men's lounge with LAZ-E-BOY furniture, and I have a good book. NOTE: Who am I kidding now? Me, with a good book? Crapola, I wouldn't know a good book from THE Good Book!


The following request is not because "all else has failed", but rather, that "all else is being fulfilled."
The request is: "PLEASE SAY ONE PRAYER FOR MY SAFETY, AND ANOTHER FOR THE OUTCOME OF MY PURPOSE". Me, who does love you all so much. I'll be thinking of you on my ride which begins within the hour.

WHO posted this???

Monday, December 15, 2008

IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER...

Haze over Cincinnati--
I prefer Moon Over Naples!

IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER WHEN I
MEET WITH MY SPONSOR


In Cincinnati OH, my birthplace, there was begun a tradition of wonderful Spaghetti Dishes, Chili- Dogs, and the like. The carefully guarded recipe is a Greek chili, melded perfectly with fresh, raw onions, baked beans, spaghetti, and topped with a true mountain of finely-grated sharp cheddar. This beautifully tasting plateful is called by a name worthy of a gourmet dish by a fine Paris-trained chef.

Named "FIVE-WAY" (FOUR-WAY would be without onions), this is what I introduced my sponsor to last Friday.

We had just enjoyed a noon meeting called "Brown Bag", and for some reason, that meeting always makes me hungry. Maybe it's the name, suggesting a lunch bag--or could it be that the meeting ends at 1PM, and that is usually a long time from last night's supper!

So we said, "Let's meet, and let's eat!", and it was F.I.N.E. It is always a good day when I can meet with my sponsor face-to-face. Nuts to the old phone calling. That's for the beginner (and ME!) who needs hourly validation that he IS an alcoholic, and cannot have a drink--cannot have a drink, CANNOT HAVE A DRINK...until one day he wakes up to realize--to really know--that he finally can!....................finally CAN!----(what?)--------NOT HAVE A DRINK!

Back to meeting with my sponsor--it is highly recommended, for both sponsee, and sponsor. I know, because I too, am a sponsor. Frequently, when I meet with my sponsee, I benefit more than he, I'm certain of that. Because I walk away thinking, "Wow, I never thought of that!" Or..."Thank You, God for sending me such wonderful people with which to work, play, learn, and most importantly, EAT ICE CREAM!

Other than the 'personal' stuff my sponsor and I discussed, e.g., my character defects, my obsessions, my sex (Ha!) life, my continued self-centeredness, my Pride, stuff which would never interest you all?...We did talk about my favorite topic--God. Yes, that God, Who resides within the heart of EACH ONE of us. And since I believe He is there, it behooves me to treat each one of us--you--with respect, attention, and love. And I am doing that today. Tomorrow???

Peace, and LOVE, from
("posted by" WHO?)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

GOD IS CALLING!


One of my daily morning readings is GOD CALLING, by A.J. Russell. When I read the following post for Dec 13, I had the feeling that it would hit my blog one day soon! And heeeeer's God (Calling!):

"Perpetual Guidance"


"Fullness of Joy. The Joy of Perpetual Guidance. The Joy of knowing that every detail of your lives is planned by Me, but planned with a wealth of tenderness and Love.

Wait for Guidance in every step. Wait to be shown My way. The thought of this loving leading should give you great Joy. All the responsibility of Life taken off your shoulders. All its business worry taken off your shoulders. It is indeed a Joy for you to feel so free and yet so planned for.

Oh! the wonder of this, a God-guided life. To think anything impossible in such circumstances is to say it cannot be done by Me. To say that is surely a denial of Me."

A LITTLE BIT OF GRATITUDE HERE:


I am so grateful for DAILY Inspirational Readers like GOD CALLING, which I have been using (finally recently got a new one!) since 1980. I am also grateful for:

A concert of music tonight by Naples Philharmonic and the Phil Chorus.

That the Director of Music (Eileen M) at the church where I regularly play mass, gave us two tickets for that concert (She sings in the Phil Chorus.)

For ability to still play violin gigs at age 75. Thank You, God, for allowing this.

For the Living Christmas Trees performances.


That I've been hired to play rehearsals and performances of opera (La Boheme) in January in Naples. I love opera, and to play in the pit is another dream again come true.


That I trust God will grant me the strength to do these jobs which He has given me.


A no-nonsense sponsor, who tells me how it is, what to do about it, then leaves me alone--to deal with the issue.


That I had BETTER do what he told me, and deal with the issue--or else!


That I live in a town where there are approximately 250 area meetings each week.


That weather is nice enough to "ride" to meetings every single day, except during hurricanes.


That our house is paid for.


That's ALL that's paid for.


We're saving for a trip to San Antonio in 2010 for the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous.during AA 's 75th year.


We're also saving for ANOTHER SOBER GRATITUDE CRUISE the same year...in early November


Anna and I are in fairly good health.


We are HAPPY, that's for sure! And I am at peace much of the time. Anna can speak for herself on this!


That there are still many items for which to be grateful...saved for another list, another day!

Peace, and LOVE!

NOTE: The "Meditation part of daily readings in the 24-Hour Book (Hazeldon) is usually excerpted from the same day of "God Calling"...someone out there may not know that--and someone else may be not interested in the least. -grin. NOT "grin-ch"!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

WENT OUT OR STAYED OUT?

"Come with me...have a drink, friend..."

"EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS!

EVERY NIGHT IS NEW YEARS' EVE!"


Why Oh Why do people drink more around holiday/Holy-Day time. Is it like a reprieve from sanity? It's like a "Get out of jail FREE" card, which often turns into a "Go back to jail" card.


Literally, every time I turn around these days, I'm confronted with a new wet one, or a returning wet one. And they seem to gravitate towards steveroni. I do not hold up a sign, "Pick me!" I do not EVER respond when a chairperson asks, "Whoever is willing to be a sponsor, please raise your hand..."
Yet, when a beginner or returnee walks into the room , they invariably find the chair next to me, and claim it for their own.

This past week one day, at a 5:30PM meeting , it was time for my third cup of coffee. And in walked J, a guy I'd seen each morning for about 30 mornings during September. He had not 'been around' lately, and the smell, as he walked into the big room, well...it changed. He sat nearby, and when he spotted me, he immediately moved over and slid into the vacant chair next to moi. Well, I could smell the strong odor of alcohol, and as I was trying to decide what brand of cheap vodka he had been drinking, he gushed out s few words: Hello, Schtefe, yu 'member me, J?

Yep, I remembered.


I figured, "I'll show this guy how to stay sober if it kills me." Instead, J showed ME a few things. He was unaware that anything he said might have had an affect on me that afternoon, but here is the very short of it, what happened.

J started crying after we went outside so he could smoke (they all smoke, it seems). He told me he stopped going to meetings because everything seemed to be working OK in his life. Got his good job back, his wife acted happy (key word "acted"?), the police had ended the stakeout on his house, you get the picture...things were looking up for J. Up until that very morning. J felt so good, that a little celebration was called for, just a simple pint (only 16 oz., sheeesh!) of cheap vodka, no big deal, for a fellow who was used to nearly two quarts per day, just for maintenance.

He told me "All I had was one F***ing PINT, for God's sake! One lousy F***ing pint, and it ruined the rest of my whole life. I drank one little pint, and my wife left me, my boss fired me, the police are trying to nail my butt to a cot in the jail, this (AA Club) is the only place I could come, and be welcomed. Among more tears, he said to me, "Don't let it happen to you, Steve. Also, I need a sponsor."


Four days later, this afternoon, at the 5:30 meeting J was outside the hall. My sponsor was the guest speaker at this meeting, and J chose to spend his time with the "real winners" sitting outside. (WARNING! A "Steve" Judgment coming:) These people regularly choose to not attend meetings...and so goes another short story of another drunk, who is being offered--again--the gift of sobriety, and who seems to be spurning it. I'm certain God will take good care of J. My father, who was sightless, said many times, "God watches over drunks, and blind people".

But God just maybe will not keep J out of jail one more time....God insists that I, and everyone else, including J, cooperate--even if only a little bit--with His gifts, in order to achieve one day their fulfillment.

steveroni prays now that active and inactive drunks everywhere find and accept that inner peace which IS available, if we only embrace a few simple principles, follow a few simple rules. These Steps will lead to a complete psychic change, which is my/our goal. I hope that word "COMPLETE" was copied!


PHOTO CREDIT

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Really not making fun--just found this
suitable for the blog

VENTING AND RANTING AND RAVING
WARNING--A BLONG (LONG BLOG) FOLLOWS


Ya know, I don't much care for 'ranting', raving, OR 'venting', because my whole remembered life before Alcoholics Anonymous was ONE BIG RANTING,RAVING, VENTING, DRUNK. So, I've designated one day a year, December 11, as my own special RANT-AND-VENT-DAY.


STEVERONI'S 10 (OR FEWER) RANTS

1. At the end of a meeting we say the Lord's Prayer. That's OK, people can 'do it' or not. However, my rant is with one who precedes it with e.g., "Let us pray for the poor suffering alcoholic, the soldiers in the field, the children of alcoholics, the PETS in alcoholic homes", and/or "I've been told that when we join hands, etc., etc." (Ugh!)"...and on and on, you get the picture?

2. It's becoming a habit, that at the end of some meetings--right after distribution of the chips, someone shouts, "If you haven't had a drink today, give yourself a hand!" Wait! WHAT? What in the world am I hearing? Pat my SELF on the back, because I did NOT do something (drink?). I try not to pat myself on the back, even when occasionally (rarely?) I DO...do something right!

So some have changed the words to: "If you haven't..........., then give your Higher Power a hand!" Ya mean I'm being asked to applaud God? Does He need that? I believe He needs me to carry the message, human-to-human, and to show by my example (if I have one) how to forgive, how to live, how to pray, how to love, among other things, maybe. EDIT: Maybe, yes, maybe some day I WILL learn these things, before it's too late--I feel today like I'm Scrooge in the story. If ya get down to #4 you'll see why!

BTW, my sponsor--kind of a rough guy with a heart of gold, the kind of sponsor THIS errant alkie needs--anyway, my sponsor chaired one of the meetings this morning. At the end, after chips have been distributed, HE said, "IF YOU HAVEN'T HAD A DRINK TODAY....DON'T!! How ABOUT that?

3. One of my rants is bloggers (who ARE allowed to, and DO have free will, I'll admit) who read a blog (well, MINE, e.g.!) for several months, then suddenly STOP. Could they at least offer me a reason? Maybe they were offended in some manner (Boy I'm good at THAT!) in which case I'm sure of being a greatly misunderstood writer, thinker, communicator on occasion. But I would think something could be worked out. Of course, it's not 'all about ME!' at least that's what I've learned here in AA AND on the blogs-- I must say, I'm trying to learn.

The other (on this topic, is the blogger who reads a blog (OK--moine!) almost every day, and NEVER leaves a comment, like "Hello, "F" you, or "You must be drinking"...NO, not that!...or SOME THING? This would be a blogger who DOES comment on many others' daily postings.

I must agree though, that "Whatever floats yer boat" is sort of my own blogging rule, and THANK GOD I have a sponsor today. After you read #4, you may understand WHY.....

4. My final (for this year) rant, rave, and vent IS...ready for this? It is a FATHER who got sober many years ago. This father was one who DID pat himself on the back for not drinking. This father was brain-numbed for SO many years after stopping, and he DID try his best--in AA--to "work it". Father became one of those 'game-players' we see all the time in Alcoholics Anonymous. He set up defensive machinery to keep him from exposure to reality. He used double-meaning-type words and phrases, he hid behind comedic acting--I see him on almost every page, between xiii and 164 in our beautiful Big Book. The man of whom I speak, often says to himself, and others, "It's not 'all about ME!'"...while secretly, yet even now, unknowingly, displays to the world that, "It IS 'all about me!' And don't you forget it!"

This father spends much time volunteering at church, goes to between 18-25 AA meetings a week, is retired but works jobs which require lots of time, spends between four-six (or more?) hours each day and night, blogging, commenting, reading: all IMPORTANT stuff. Right?

Yeah, RIGHT! Read on. This is a father who has told his family, if they wish to communicate with him, read his blog. (How so full of humility is THAT?) He has not really talked to his grown daughter for over six months. He has not really had a serious, REALLY serious talk with his daughter for years--if EVER? And his son, who lives less than a mile from the father's home, has not had any REALLY substantive communication with the father since the son was three years old.

I LOVE YOU just does not always mean, "I do love you, I will be there when you are hurting, when you are sad. I want to see you--often! I want to know who are your friends. I want to know, "Do you HAVE any friends?" I don't care how we DO that, but it must be done."

I LOVE YOU does not always mean, "I want to share my LIFE with you, I want to BE with you, I respect and love the GOD within you (for that's where I believe God IS!).

I LOVE YOU does not always mean, "I am SO, so VERY SORRY! I have been NOT a father. I have denied you, my children--and you, my wife--the time, the sharing, the 'being with'...the KNOWING, and the real and TRUE LOVING, which you all needed and deserved for SO long a time. What has happened to me? I just do not know".


As you must know by now....this father is me, steveroni. This blog is to let you all know that steveroni is not the person he thought he was. In all fairness to myself, I must tell you that I had NO CLUE that #4 was in the wings, waiting to be brought out of the depths, until AFTER the first THREE had been written. I had entertained the thought to DELETE the first three, because they are somewhat meaningless in company with #4...but what the hell, let 'em be.

Right now I feel vulnerable, unsafe, tired, and I'm having spasms of guilt and shame. And yet, I AM happy, glad to be still alive, ready to deal with life on life's terms. I am still sober since March 18, 1974. to all you, my blogger friends, please know I did not lie to you at any time...I just did not KNOW any better. It is not necessary to ME that you comment on this blog, because I do not need validation here, (a little support though, maybe?)

NOTE! I cannot SEE any more through my tears--of sadness, of joy. Hope you understand that, also!


Peace. I love you all, yesss, I really do, especially now.

steveroni

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

OLD TIMERS vs LONG TIMERS


My "TRUE STORY" from five days ago--steveroni

OLD TIMERS vs LONG TIMERS
MEMBERS OF THE JURY

In my early morning group of usual 60-80 people, we have about a third beginners, a third old-timers, and a third from five to twenty years. Myself, I prefer the term "Long-Timer" to "Old-Timer", simply because even at age 75, I really do not 'feel' old. When I was a child, age 75 was an unrealistic goal of a man's longevity, which was usually measured somewhere in the sixth decade of life.

Anyways, around one far corner of our huge circle of tables sits what some of us call the "jury". Now this is a group of about four really old-timers, of whom it's said, if one of them smiled, you might hear the noise from a cracked face, maybe a mile away. Actually, they are all well-meaning fellows, have been sober many years (from 29-38), show up every day. Amongst all the good which emanates from this corner of the room...leave it to steveroni to pick out the single fault, the one item which might be considered a failing--I say the only ONE!

That one defect is a tendency to (not quite quietly quiet enough!) snicker, to not silently enough, whisper, and to quite obviously roll eyeballs, sigh, shake heads, etc., as another member of the group is talking/sharing/pouring out her/his heart. If someone talks--even five seconds--past their two-minute limit, they look at their watches in expectant waitfulness of the closing sentence. You probably, from my description, know just the type of old guy (seems like never are they women who do this?) of whom I speak.

For months I've had the feeling that I was a target of this crapola, but was never certain. I figured, since I used to be "king" of paranoia, that my old nemesis was returning, and I needed some work in the 'fear' area--although I was not aware of any fear in me--recently, at least. So last week I decided to sit right behind this group in those chairs preferred by beginners--along the far wall? Ha! You DO know! That way, I could better note if they were secretly hootin' at moi.

Well, it turned out, they were. As soon as I began to talk (you guys know I don't say TOO much dumb shit, right?) the shenanigans began. They seemingly didn't even realize I was sitting close enough to give them haircuts. Well, I just spoke through it all, as if I was undisturbed--yeah, RIGHT!

It was good for me to find out that I--Mr Perfect--still had some anger and resentment inside me. Shame on God, I thought He had removed them all, for all time! ( See, this is a 'learning' experience I'm relating here.) Well, by the end of the meeting 8 AM, I was SEETHING!

My sponsor was not in the room that morning, so I sought out a female friend, whose sobriety I've long respected, and whose counsel I admired...and handed my problem to her, with the question (rather stupid?) "Should I confront these guys, should I ignore it, I'm really tore up inside me, etc."
And you know what she said?

J. told me, "Pray for them. They are sober, sure, but they are very immature and judgmental, and maybe even envious of you and others. So, yes, pray for them, wish for them all the nice things you'd wish for yourself today."

I got on my scooter, and began praying. One minute later, before I had reached the edge of the parking lot by the street, my resentment, anger, and fear, and paranoia, were gone. Completely! And I felt GREAT again, just like (almost) always! Thank you J., thank You, God, thank you, Alcoholics Anonymous! And the whole deal was lifted and is still gone. Completely!

End of the story is that J. told me EXACTLY what I would have told anyone else who might have come to me, with the same problem. I, without even thinking, would have said, "Pray for him or them!"

Well, I'll say it again, my favorite line: "Ya Never Know!"

happily and gratefully submitted by steveroni


Monday, December 8, 2008

OMG! TWENTY True Things

Anyone seen a thorn bug like this. And how do you get rid of them?
I used to squish them, but now there are a billion of them all over my
Wild
Tamerind bush--just killing it.


Seldom do I recommend a 'www' (What a Wonderful World, had to throw that in -grin), OK, a 'www' site to others, because we each find our own beautiful paths on the Internet. However, we are all doing at least ONE same thing on here, and that is called 'writing'. So stop here when you have a (HA!) spare moment. OMG, now steveroni is pretending he is a teach-a-roni....

TEN TRUTHS ABOUT ME--

OR IS IT SEVEN?
I LIED (AGAIN), IT'S TWENTY!!!


1. I'm a darn good violinist


2. I AM married to the bestest woman in the world (for me)


3. I wear black jeans with my tuxedo jacket on gigs--nobody ever notices


4. I have LOADS of fun, almost all the time


5. I ride my motor scooter everywhere, even on gigs, with the tails of my full-dress suit blowing in the wind, the violin strapped on rear seat


6. I say lots of things which are true, but make them sound untrue, so I guess that's like...lying?


7. #6 is more facetious than it is lying...I think, think, think? (Now, from where did that come?)

8. I cannot pass a counter full of blue (or black) Levis without buying two pair--the word "pair" to me MEANS two! Right? Same with shoes, I buy two pair--or none. Always shirts by the twos! Same color.

9. Blue! Tried Brown last summer--have six brown trousers with matching shirts which I never wear

10. I lost 57 lbs in seven weeks (49 days!) by not eating ANYTHING--NOTHING! Drank lots of coffee and water, plus vitamin pill, plus doctor-supplied MEDIFAST supplement, plus weekly visit and blood test

11. Only once in 60 years did I miss a rehearsal or concert--for any reason. Even when I broke my wrist, they let me sit in back of the section in Cincinnati Symphony orchestra--and pretend I was playing. It hurt like hell! (Union rules allowed me to get paid.)


12. I go many nights with four hours sleep--thanks to reading and commenting on blogs


13. I live on coffee from 5AM until noon every day.


14. I like GOLD, it doesn't have to be "real" though. Gold goes good with Levis IMO


15. Once when I was sober about 20 years, someone switched a drink with me, on a music job, I had water with lime--it became gin and tonic. I immediately put down my violin, rushed to men's room, spit it out, and rinsed my mouth r e a l good. Only time in 34 years, since my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that I came close, and I SURE didn't crave it...


16. That night I dreamed about it, wondered next morning--did I DO it? Did I drink? Answer: "NO!"


17 I love 'warm'. I love 'heat'. But I sure won't tell that to St Peter when we meet at the Pearly Gate.


18. I speed on my 650cc Suzuki scooter--regularly do 15-20 over the limit, all over town AND on I-75. It may kill me some day. Cops will ask Prayer Girl, "Why (in death) is he smiling?" I smile and laugh a LOT! I really INSIST on loving life, I'm NOT a "glum lot".


19. I'm a lot older (75) than I think...or feel...or behave, believe ME on this

20. Last one--gotta be good, OK. My wife, Prayer Girl will read this, and so I had to stay close to the truth! I sincerely LOVE everyone in the blog world, especially those who are troubled, physically, mentally, or spiritually, and pray always for your PEACE of mind. Thanks for reading this stuff.

--steveroni

Sunday, December 7, 2008

NEVER AGAIN????

AM Radio


SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY

We had finished milking the cows--for the second time this day--on a Sunday during a cold winter snap. Winters in Cincinnati were always "pretend" winters, seldom, if ever, a real, lasting snow, only freezing rain, sleet, you know what I mean. Dreary, dreary, and more dreary--days upon days of it. Oh yes, we got our share of cold, and as a child , I HATED that! My fingers froze from morning until night. I mean, a cow really *jumped*!--when *I* started pulling on her teats, to squeeze out the last quart of milk (called 'stripping').


Dinner was early, so that live-in hired hands could enjoy what was left, of what most people called their "day off". And we all gathered around the 'Heatrolla', a coal-burning stove for a large sitting room. Most of the men--and me--read the funny paper, a couple of the old guys (aged 35-45!) kept up with the weekly news in the paper. On the radio in a few minutes would be a favorite show, maybe Jack Benny, or Fred Allen, I do not remember.

I am a bit confused as to the timing of events, for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941, a Sunday...and I thought I recall hearing President Roosevelt speak on Sunday, but his famous "Day of Infamy" speech happened on Monday December 8, 1941. It was a day, much like Sunday.

EDIT: I remember NOW--all day Sunday Dec 7, music was played on the radios all over the nation. Sad classical music. It was beautiful. A nation mourned, as it whimperingly licked its wounds.

Whatever!--This I DO remember--and shall NEVER forget, "A Special News Announcement--Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States". And, gathering close, so close, to the radio, we all listened intently, young and old, my sightless father (farm manager/owner) and crippled (Infantile Paralysis) mother. We heard the President tell us a few of the the awful consequences which were in our immediate future.

Everyone in that room shivered at the president's words--not because of the cold. The coal had been burning fiercely, we were warm.

We had been attacked, our Navy had suffered what many expected would be the end of our fleet in the Pacific. Many of our own people had been killed or terribly hurt, limbs torn from bodies, and the horrors of war were being realized at once by us all.


The next two days saw four of our younger workers leave for an induction center. It seemed as if everyone from ages 18-45, was enlisting in the military. Two of those four hired hands I would never see again, they were buried, one on Guadalcanal, the other at sea (live-in farm workers had become like family, they WERE family to us children--I was 8, 'going on' 9!) Since our family had a large presence in Cincinnati, my couple hundred relatives knew each other well, most worked in the family businesses in the city. Six or eight of my relatives went to war.

Believe me, I shall NEVER forget, what those men and women did, what they stood for, and I will remember always their bravery in action, their courage, and their spirituality, when facing seeming unsurmountable odds.

Not because of the war, but it did happen about that time, that I began my career as a drunk, stealing the 'new hired hands' wine bottles. See, I KNEW their hiding places even before they knew them. It was MY home, MY barn(s), MY hunting grounds, MY woods, etc.

And it was the beginning of MY alcoholic life, which would last for about thirty years. I'm certain now that God (or goddess?) was watching, saying "Well, this has to happen. I have plans for this boy, of which he knows naught." And naught I did know. That was good. Because else, I might not have found my way here, to AA, to blogs, to a happy, often useful, very busy life. Thank You God, and thank you, AA! And thank you, blogeronis!....
Peace...and Love


steveroni

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Little Mistake--Big Consequence


Life isn't a matter of milestones,
but moments. -Rose Kennedy

ANOTHER REASON WHY I DON'T
LIKE EMAIL OR BLOGGING

BUT I DO BOTH WITH OBSESSIVE PASSION


Two months ago, a friend "T" asked me if I'd help her find a job. Also she wanted help with a certain guy on which her eye had fallen--that he might take notice of her. Well, I told her the best I could do was to pray for her, that God could and would...if it was His will at which we were looking.

Several weeks later, she was still out of work. Whatever got into me, I do not know. (Pride, maybe?) Anyway, it was a Thursday, and I put myself far out on a thin limb, and said to "T" that by Friday of the following week, she would have a job. Though this could be a lengthy yarn, I'll shorten it...the day BEFORE my prediction, she got a job, which suits her well. Soon after she acquired the boy friend--but a "much better" find--"J"--than the one we had prayed for, we agreed.

So this lady now not only 'believes in prayer', she also believes in 'Steve's prayering'. I don't really need that kind of pressure, ya know? However...here I go again. I wrote her a note about certain things, including this statement: "...IF you wish it, I can 'see' you and "J" spending many happy years and tears, of future...etc.....".

NOTE: Anyone who knows what's happening here wins a prize!

Since "T" now believed in my capabilities in 'praying' and even maybe 'seeing', she was greatly troubled (really!) over my message to her. One week later (I had no idea what was transpiring, OR what had transpired). And she wrote me, "What did you 'see' in our "many happy years and tears", what kind of tears? How many years?........

All I could do was laughingly point out to her that on my keyboard, the letters "T" and "Y" sit almost right in each other's lap. So "Years" and "Tears" (should have read "years and years"!) was a slip of the finger, a 'human' (I hear you snickering there!) error. And "T" fretted over that for a week, before questioning it with me.

If there are any two-fingered, keyboard-challenged bloggers out there, he or she might identify. And now I understand that it is quite understandable to be misunderstood. I just hope I do not screw up when talking with my Higher Power, as I ask Him for His will, and for Power, for continued sobriety, and for many other things.

Wonder of wonders, that I am allowed--frequently these days--to experience true glimpses of God's helpful graces in my own life. Although everything may not be as I wished for--in human relationships, e.g., all will be sorted out by Him, Who knows all, Loves all.


Meanwhile, all I have to do, is to simply Trust God, Clean house, and Help Others--and, of course, stay sober!


Peace...and Love, from
grateful-a-roni

Friday, December 5, 2008

STAYING SOBER ONE ALKY AT A TIME

TWO GUYS TALKING ONE ON ONE


ONE AT A TIME IS HOW I STAY SOBER


This morning I saw a new--to me--fellow sitting alone, and looking 'alone'. I know the look, the feeling, I had it for so long a time--isolation...maybe that's why today, I feel responsible for stretching out my hand.


I'll call him "Roger". He told me he'd been 'around' Alcoholics Anonymous since 1981, so I translated that to mean he is still looking for "it"! And so, I've got me a new friend, Roger, who's 'been around the block'. Great...and listen to this: Roger just got out of prison after 42 months, and he's been a non-drinker for 30 days! HEY, GUYS...HE'S ONE OF US!!!

My heart beat faster as we talked, and I was SO GLAD that--at this AA meeting--I had left my favorite chair, between my two favorite guys, to go and welcome a beginner. And we stepped outside for a couple
smoker minutes.

I don't know if anything I said registered with him. But I know that something he said registered with me. He said, "Shhhhhh!", and so I "Shushed", and all I could hear was the distant, echoed sound of an airplane engine. He said, "Do you hear that airplane? It has been more than three years since I've heard that sound."

Well, just about everything Roger sees, smells, touches, and hears, is like a new experience for him. I said to myself, Wow! Imagine, someone relishing the drone of plane engines in the quiet of morning.

So we discussed the "new" sounds he's re-experiencing, traffic (he loves it), sirens, (he loves them), motorcycle engines roaring over all other traffic noise (Yep, a favorite sound), children laughing and playing in the park (he loves that), AA meetings with girls at the tables (he LOVES THEM!).

It made me realize, since I've never been locked up over night, a whole other world of incarcerated people live out there somewhere--those who have "really" lost their freedoms, even though through their own behaviors. And I never want to be there, fingerprinted and cuffed, humbled, to listen as jailers throw away the key to my cell..

How much more grateful am I tonight for AA, for the God or Goddess Who brought me here. I'm grateful for all my friends I see every morning in the meetings...and in front of all that, at the front of the line, a special gratefulness I have for and to all my blogger friends. How I miss you all. I hate lurking, commenting a bit, and then running off to take care of business. I need to let you know how I'm doing, and I need to know how YOU are doing. Really, I need to blog, it has become a habit--part of my sober life.

Maybe I cannot blog every day. Y'all understand. I know. That's what friendship is about, even more than love and service. Understanding! That is a"god-like" trait.

I am 'recovering'...and for me, IMO (In My Opinion), that does not mean I am 'recovered'! It does mean that God can--and does--use me to do some of His work, especially with alcoholics. And it is a thrill to be available for that. Amen!

still getting well-a-roni