Thursday, March 12, 2009



Visiting an AA Room? From out of town?
Try a Little Humility...

Topic yesterday at 5:30 PM meeting was a bit unusual: "If you could have but ONE and only one of AA's tools, which would you pick, to help you stay sober?" I was thinking, "Here we go again, some egomaniac chair person is working to find topics which are "far out" so as to make an impression."

As the sharing traveled around the room, it seemed as if the folks were giving quite a lot of thought as each made the singular choice of one tool only, to keep.

Slogan after slogan was quoted as important to some, also virtues, also certain steps to others. Finally my turn, and I held up my nicotine-stained, cellophane-covered Big Book, stating that it had everything in it that I needed to know and do, in order to stay sober, and it has done so quite well for a very long time.

Don't forget, I've sat in this very room for many years. OK, a burly, mountain-climbing visitor from NC chimed in right after me, actually making fun of "...some of you people who are Big Book Thumpers, holding that thing up, and think you know everything...etc., etc." (Huh? Who? Me?) Thank God, no anger, no resentment, etc. When did THAT happen?

Well I learned something, but I do not think the mountain climber did. That something was, "If I am ever visiting in an AA room, don't start in picking on the guy (humble me?) who just about everyone there knows, trusts, and loves! It is not the way to get invited to dinner after the meeting with the girls and the boys"!

Ave Maria Town

What a wonderful ride from our house to the town of Ave Maria last Saturday! Perfect weather for riding, and perfect timing, between meetings and mass. The 28 miles takes 40 minutes--since Prayer Girl was riding 'shotgun' (WITH a shotgun!)--and joggers were passing us, it seemed. -grin!

Long before we were in the town limit, we saw in the far distance, the tall cathedral-type oratory, with its buttressed interior, standing sentinel in the center of our county--Collier County is larger than the state of Rhode Island...but that ain't sayin' much, of course!

The semi parish church--surrounded by a town rivaling Disney World's "Main Street"--is guarding tomato fields, and lots of 'other' fields..you can figger it out. No nooner mass, but there are three others at variously-scheduled times. We could not stay. Lots of foreign visitors, almost like a pilgrimage atmosphere. And well it should be, this is a most beautiful new--old fashioned--church, spacious interior, you need opera glasses to see the choir loft.

During the week are scheduled two Latin masses, and one on Sunday. I mean, the university choir sings the old Gregorian chant masses which I learned and loved as a child--and still love, YESSSS!
Oh! so beautiful!!! Heavenly.

Forgot to mention this is all surrounded by Ave Maria University, dormitories, all the popular facilities, where not too many moons ago was....nothing! Amazing!

However, the most important building, and the most sought, the most appreciated, is the town's only coffee shop, The BEAN of AVE MARIA where mass is celebrated on the TV screen's EWTN station. A sign announces, "Do Not Change The Channel"...

Anna and I enjoyed our two-hour walk around the town and visit to the oratory, and also enjoyed our ride home. We learned that an AA group is beginning within a couple weeks (wonder what's taking them so long? They ARE catholic, ya know!) I will get out there and see if I can help. It will be a nice, slow, peaceful, stressless ride.

I'm happy to be home with my computer...next one HAS to be a laptop! Teemed up with a Blackberry or an iMAC or some such.

Bless you all
In love and service,
Steve E


clean and crazy said...

gorgeous picture!! Woody over at "Sobriety" said this one tonight and it makes me think of your meeting you shared about, have you ever heard the term "Spiritually Retarded"? Oh so true, I love it i will think of it when i encounter such people in the program, so I can just smile or giggle or on a not so spiritual moment just laugh out loud. Thanks for the double post, it has been a busy week!!

vicariousrising said...

Isn't the Big Book qualified to be a tool of AA?

I would have been inclined to be a smartass and ask someone to please point me to the official tool list so that I might make an appropriate and sanctioned choice.

Shadow said...

you've one whale of a week, haven't you. i'm looking forward to retirment now, heee heee heeee

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...


Cat said...

Welcome home Steve - I am glad your back!

Mary Christine said...

Steve, can you honestly picture someone being so rude at an AA meeting 20 or 30 years ago?

I didn't think so.

I need to go to Ave Maria.

dAAve said...

I can't imagine saying something like that.
I'll admit though, that I have thought it a couple of times about a couple of people who talk out of one side of their mouth and then do the opposite.

Syd said...

I like the BB story. I can't figure why someone would make such a statement after what you said. It is the baffling part but not the cunning and powerful part by the guy from NC. The BB has everything that is needed for a good sober life. I'm glad that you said what you did.