Friday, July 31, 2009


A bit early, Okay?




At my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, I didn't wait for someone to "give" me a Big Book. I bought one. I wanted it all--right now!

When it was announced that people could borrow a long-timer's book titled "A.A. Comes of Age", I got in front of the line. I devoured the contents of that book in two nights. I was not a reader then, nor now. But I wanted it all--right now!

My second meeting, one week later (this was in March 1974), I discovered the GRAPEVINE, and became a subscriber immediately. I wanted all of it--NOW!

The August 2009 Grapevine I am holding in my hand at this moment has some special significance for me. The theme for this month's 'special section' is THE JOY OF LIVING.

My father, an extremely active deaf-and-blind guy, died in 1978. Two nuns wrote a book about him--self-published--titled LIVING WITH JOY. Imagine!

Each time I have run across those words (The joy of living) in our AA literature, it has occasioned the memory of my Pop who could not fathom people having a problem with alcohol...other than that they were spineless creatures who could not control themselves.

Example: I was "dumb" for drinking too much, and creating problems all around me and my family, later with my friends, and more later, with fellow students in high school and college, and after that, bigger problems with co-workers, then legal problems.

Pop said often to me, "You can do everything...everything, in moderation. If you cannot do that, you are nothing but a weakling.

He, who, all my life--in German--called me "500 dumb asses" many, many times in public until he died in 1978...is probably one of the reasons I stayed alcohol-free from the night before my first AA meeting. I would stay drink-free in spite of his crap, I decided. He was my "enabler"--my father enabled me to stay sober! How about that? Thanks, Pop! I sincerely mean "thanks".

Stay sober with me today...please? I need you all to be here where I can read and learn, and change.

I am grateful for a growing list of grat'es...but this blog is long enough (again!). So, another time. Thank You God! For all of this "everything"! WWW--What a Wonderful World!

Peace, Bloggers!
LOVE, Bloggers!
from Steve



For two blog-days I have been seriously into the Big Book "Alcoholics Anonymous" because that is where I wanted to be. That is where I needed to be. It is comfortable for me to be studying our literature. Did anyone ever say to you, "I have forgotten more about (whatever) than you ever knew"? Statements like that used to piss me off. But you know, I believe it is possible.

I can "be into" something so much with my time, effort, thought, and work, that I am capable of losing sight of what it was about, in the first place. This happened in the catholic church I have always loved. I "forgot" that I was there to love and serve God--in the person of His people. Then I left the religion, when there seemed nothing 'for me' there. Then I learned that it is not supposed to be 'for me', it's 'not about me'! I learned that in Alcoholics Anonymous.

So, many years after, I joined back with the people of faith, and worked hard there, gave of my services daily (and more) wherever it seemed appropriate. I became so busy there, that in just three years--again--plumb forgot what it was all about. I do know now, that my own slight mission in the church has not changed. It is to share whatever I have with others, and give others--especially the elderly, the wheel-chaired--hope and comfort. It is just that I "forgot". And that leaves me here. Now.

I am most happy, most serene, most safe at an AA meeting. That is where are my true friends. Of course, there are AA members who do not like me--just a few. But even they wish me continued sobriety. I like being with friends who care, who are there, and who love. I have NOT forgotten why I am in AA. I am an alcoholic, and AA is where I belong, to live sober, to be willing to grow along spiritual lines, to trust God, to keep on cleaning house, and to help others. That's about it. That's about a LOT!

As I write a blog or mail my blogging friends I am happy, sometimes overjoyed--especially when I witness growth, change, happening right here on my monitor--with peeps who are staying sober, No Matter What. Again though, it happens that occasionally I lose sight of exactly why I am here doing this (remember the "How" and the "Why" of it from yesterday's blog?).

I began blogging "to expand my circle of friendships", to 'talk' about recovery in AA with others of like mind. I FOUND a few dozen highly intelligent persons, with sense of humor, talents for painting, guitar playing, poetry writing, and exquisite prose. And I loved what I discovered here much more than if it had been what I envisioned. And I still DO love it--all!

Is Pride rearing it's ugliness again? Well, I have dealt with Pride often enough, I know where to go. It IS in our Twelve Steps, and...and...AND in our invaluable Twelve Traditions. Just as one might before a college exam, I am doing a review of the 'whole course'. It is amazing already to me, the different perspectives which are showing themselves.



God's gift to us--this AA Program

GPS (Global Positioning System), thanks to US Defense Department, (and your tax dollars)!

Cell phones

My family, and my AA family

A FIRST great grandchild to arrive August 11 in North Carolina!!! Maybe I'll get to hold this little one September 1, plus-or-minus a few days??? God, are You listening?? Hmmmmm?

Electric 12-cup coffee-makers (also 36-cup for hurricane days?)

A God Who is Trusting, Forgiving, Merciful, All-Knowing, a Loving Father--Abba, Poppa--to all.

Finally, you Bloggers. To me, this blogging is still the most AWESOME happening in my whole life! To read, comment, share, beware, care, talk, and pray together, and stay sober together. Thank you ALL, who come here today.

from Steve

More "Gratitude List" on Saturday's blog. I have much for which to be grateful, but not much room left on this blog!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Intergroup Office and Map of AA in Greater Naples Florida

(Formerly Valerie-Lynne)
Thank you very much for this "Superior Scribbler Award" (see on the right hand sidebar). I'm not an "award" guy, for a number of reasons. However, since you do not know me well enough to withhold this award, I WILL proudly post it in my sidebar, and link to you, Sharon Faith. Thank you SO much and God bless you!

The following sentences in blue color are taken from the book "Alcoholics Anonymous", pages 62-63. These are my all-time favorite pages, as they pinpoint my defects precisely...and lead to Step 3, and a wonderful program of recovery:

"This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom."

A child asks, "How, Daddy?" or "Why, Mommy?" Those might have been my questions when I walked through "the" door of AA. How do I stay away from the first drink? They told me to quit my job as bartender. I did not. Why do I have to come back next week? They told me if you want to stay sober, BE HERE! I did.

I did have questions, I had no 'answers'. They showed me--in time--the paragraph above, with the answer, the solution: "This is the how and the why of it..." It is indicative that all these years later I'm still reading--and writing--the same paragraphs. The simplicity of this program was a difficult concept for "my complicated, complex mentality" --grin! But I AM still here, by God's Grace, and your consistent and constant helpfulness. I did pass to freedom from alcohol through that archway--God is not named Steve.

"When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn."

For many years, I experienced that rebirth, a result of showing up for work every day with my new boss, God. Somewhere along the line after about thirty years of being sober, my nemesis PRIDE reappeared in all its exquisiteness. And I lost some of my former enthusiasm, faith, hope, lust for life, through complacency. Oh, I attended meetings, many of them. I wanted to visit with my peeps, my friends. However, I lost my activities of daily spiritual maintenance, which, with God, is the only source for my daily reprieve from this disease, alcoholism--it no longer had anything to do with drinking. That is never to say Pride could not lead me to drunkenness.

Anyway, I wish you all to know I am getting better in more ways than I choose to write. Better in ways I never imagined! ...and the beat keeps on!

No alcohol or unauthorized drugs today...Okay? Okay! Me, too!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009



Following sentences in blue color are taken from the book "Alcoholics Anonymous", pages 62-63. These are my all-time favorite pages, as they pinpoint my defects precisely as a Cyberknife seeks out the implanted seeds of gold. (Sorry, that's the best analogy I could recall.)

"Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt."

This is SO me...hopefully, interred in the past. It is time these defects be cast aside, by the grace of God.

I am sick, and I keep trying to prove it. Of course, I'm glad to be here with "my own kind." --grin!

"So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God's help."

Yep. Mr Chaos. That was me. There is still an email address with my user name: TRBLMKR1... My prayer: God, please send Your Peace to those I may have hurt. Help me to do my part in any repair...or let it go! I am at peace. I am ready at any time to face the future, whatever is there. Your Will be done!

By the way, I am a VERY tolerant alcoholic--it's just that nobody has recognized that fact...yet --grin!

God cares for you and me...(Step 3, "Turn...over to the CARE of God...")

God loves you and me...(Tradition 2, "A LOVING God...")

And Steve loves you all, and wishes for you all--PEACE!




Hopefully before September, probably on a Sunday morning, I'll head across the state of Florida to Boca Raton, to a noon meeting. It will be the first leg of a 2,500-mile, solo scooter ride. I shall be alone--not lonely, just alone. It is time.

Purpose of this ride is to meet and greet people, participate in as many daily catholic masses and as many AA meetings as possible all the way up the east coast to somewhere in Virginia. If I want to ride more...or less, it is my decision-of-the-day. (Great to be "in charge"! --grin! Well, God...of course!)

I have long desired to stop--while on the road--at many of the beautiful churches along the way. But I've always been speeding by about 80 mph. As for AA meetings, there are very few on I-95 or I-75. So the Blue Highways are a priority for this ride. Maybe I could call it "MEDITATIONS: The Less-Traveled Road". That might pass the copyright-law muster.

It is also my great hope to meet face-to-face with some bloggers along the way. Any of you bloggers who live along the Boca Raton , FL--to Richmond, Virginia corridor, and would like to join me for coffee, please let me know by email, so we can try to meet somewhere. I'll be on the motor scooter!

Having never ridden more than 200 miles in one 3-hour stretch, I am prepared for some soreness after a few days. I'll have a nice little GPS, and the most essential non-toy, my laptop--with computer access at Starbucks everywhere.

There is no timetable for this scooter trip, except where weather forces a layover.

I just wanted you all to know what I've been considering for many years, and planning for about six weeks. Any advice from bikers will be appreciated. Zane? Hellllp!

More on this another time, if anyone is interested in it...

Love ya, bloggers!
Steve E

Sunday, July 26, 2009




WOW! Saturday morning I woke up at 11 AM. For a solid 12 hours, I was in the limbo of replenishment of mind and body. It is one of the few times in a year I've slept more than 3-5 hours. (LOADS OF COFFEE!!!) Except 4 nights in June on top of a mountain. Maybe I should live on top of a mountain?

Let me examine momentarily some symptoms resulting from a solid night of rest.

1. "Upon awakening"...my physical balance seemed restored.

2. My feet and lower legs were reduced in size to normalcy.

3. In the mirror, I wondered to whom belonged those dark blue and white eyes. They have been "rose-colored" for many months.

4. My monitor was free of all those "cloudy" areas.

5. I did not require a nap in the afternoon--I had just got up!

6. My mind could think clearly of an answer when a new AA member asked me one of those questions they always ask a long-timer:

Q. "How did ya do it?"
A. "I didn't."
Q. Oh yeah! Well....?
A. "God did it."
Q. "And?"
A. "I simply cooperated."

7. No bullshit today. Straight answers. Right out of the Big Book.

9. "Ya forgot number eight!"

10. At my age, I'm cut a little slack on not remembering. I'm cut a little slack on a lot of things which are not entirely "mea maxima culpa--or--through my own most grievous fault".

11. I have faults, failures, feelings, funcky days, fabulous moments, a fantastic life--and for far more years than I ever imagined.

12. "Upon awakening" after 12 hours, I realize (means "make real") that a replenishment of mind and body is accompanied with a re-nourishment of soul.

13. "Upon awakening" I am seriously grateful to God for my sobriety, and for yours recovery also, whoever, wherever you are, in God's Name.

14. After 12 hours' in my private 'coma', I ask again that God puts someone in my path today...someone who needs to hear what God wishes to say to him/her. And that God will use me as He wishes, to say the words of encouragement which will help another, maybe even lead to an enlightenment. It does happen!

8. I am writing this early, (so I can get to bed -grin!) but my prayer is for us together, to stay sober today, and for all tensions to be eased--God can do this. And possibly a continued spirit of helpfulness--I pray--will find its way throughout the AA blogs, in whatever manner it shall be.

Last one: 15. For me, the blogs are more than "how many hours of sleep I got last night!". These daily thoughts of 'mine-on-line' I wish were more about "How does AA life affect me, and how do I affect AA life?" And "Do I allow God into all these stories, quips, trivia, blunders, bon mots(!) attempts at helpfulness, and public prayer?" And, "How can I be completely honest without hurting another?"

God will show me the way for all to be accomplished which falls into conformity with His Will.

Bless you all.
Peace to you all.
I Love you all.
Steve E

NOTE: One of my incoming ISP's is not responding, since I--yessss?--due to sleep deprivation, I FORGOT to pay the unsightly annual fee of $60--"unsightly"--grin! I will take care of that Monday morning 10 AM. If some comments and emails do not make it through...cut this old guy some more slack, Okay?

Saturday, July 25, 2009



This is a true happening of one year ago. Following is my blog from July 25, 2008 (It is in my archives on sidebar) This is a slightly edited version. Please read the UPDATE at the end, for the good news we all love to hear. steveroni

Friday, July 25, 2008

POLLY'S COOKIES...and "K"....

I spoke at the AA "cookie" meeting last night for about 20 minutes here in Naples, Florida......and--the cookies were DELICIOUS.

And the "cookie girl" (An anonymous sweetheart named Polly H!) gave me a little doggie bag, for home use. Which brings me to the SECOND part of this blog. At home was my sober (23 years) wife, Prayer Girl, in the living room, speaking in low tones to a girl who God had dropped into our laps--well, our HOUSE--for a one-niter.

I'll call her "K". She is from a northern city, age seventeen, passing through Naples, an admitted "person with a drinking problem" and a real darling, intelligent girl with a magnetic personality. And she is a drunk! Also neither PG nor I had ever met her before. How she arrived at our door, clean and pretty, with bag in hand, is a mystery only God knows whereof. Well, we know a few specifics, but the enigma was for certain a working of God.

And so, as you might have guessed by now...the three of us enjoyed non-stop, wonderful, nearly all-night conversations learning of each other--eating Polly's (Ummmm!) cookies, with an amount of ice cream thrown into the mix.

"K" agreed to join my early-morning schedule, and so PG brought her to my 7 AM meeting. God was with us this morning. K was surrounded by a gaggle of girls (I had alerted some of them beforehand and at the 6 AM meeting!) and she told us that she enjoyed her first AA meeting...But...YOU know.

"K" smiled often as only the newcomer--and the old-timer--can do (hiding all the BS which is lurking behind the facade) and I noticed her attentiveness and "saw" her listening to each one who shared on this, our "Step-Day" (Third Step! How wonderful is THAT?).

It has GOT to be impressive to a serious, first-day someone, who gets a little silver chip, for first-week, etc., and then witnesses sixty-five people at 7 AM on a Friday morning, laughing at themselves one moment, talking next of their life-and-death disease, and then laughing out loud...and then, oh my! Talking about God...and Prayer and Meditation! A bunch of CRAZIES?

"K" found understanding, love, and PEACE in that room this morning, and as I write this about our experiences the past twenty-four hours, it's all I can do...to not cry with happiness. I love you ALL.

Posted by Steve E. at 2:51 PM Friday July 25, 2008

JULY 26, 2009 SUNDAY

UPDATE: "K", our niece from Virginia, had her last drink five days after that 7 AM meeting in Naples FL, one year ago yesterday. Her One-Year Anniversary will be July 30, 2009. She now is age 18, attends a drug-and-alcohol-free Christopher Newport University. I have just talked to her on the phone. ("K" is SUCH a sweet, spiritual girl.) She has the same sponsor she started with, they spent yesterday at the beach. Please Pray for "K" that her journey will be traveled with God at her side. Thank you!

As we live this Sunday, stay sober, and be happy!
Peace and Love is for you all, Bloggers!
Steve E



Wow, six is easier than fifty-five!
(That's my first ever six words)
Or were seven words written there?

The real thing is posted here:
I don't drink, No Matter What!

I just LOVE you peeps who
put me onto this fun gig!

Peace, and Love

Friday, July 24, 2009



A wonderful girl was sober and clean several years. In May she moved to a state far away. I loved this girl, Prayer Girl did also. And we watched her grow from day one. She has done what alcoholics and addicts sometimes do when they leave their home, when they move away from the support and love they had become used to, returned to old habits and ways.Text Color

A relative who was dropped onto our doorstep last year, is still sober! She lives near Washington DC. Now age 18, she will celebrate her 1st Anniversary July 30. And she begins school this August in a zero-tolerance (alcohol-and-drug) college.


And on this Friday night, I wish to say "Hello" to "YOU" in detox tonight. I know you are without your computer. Your being there can be part of a gigantic miracle, God moving (again!!!) behind the scenes! Bless you. Prayers. Peace and Love, from Steve


A sponsee was not "getting it" ya know, and I tried to find out why. I should have known. "I told him, 'What IS it with you, ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'I don't know and I don't care'."
Actually (honesty, right?), that was spoken at a meeting yesterday.


Reading the Big Book is difficult--because I already know what it says.

For me to instruct you about Finance and Romance should be a FELONY

I'm too busy to go to meetings!

Lack of alcohol--that was my dilemma.

Bottom: Bad things happened faster than I could lower my standards.

"Please straighten out my life: Pay my bar bills."

"SHE" got pregnant.

Said to another (me?): Just "act like" you want to stay stopped. C'mon, you've been a phony all your life, so just "do" act normal.....

First eleven steps are HALF the circle--if I wait until I'm "ready" to sponsor someone, I'll DIE!

Go to work. Stay at work. Work at work.

Society used to support addiction. Now it supports illness. Are you sick? Let's give you a pill!

It is easier to do the steps than to change.

The Big Book is the menu, not the food.

Long-Timers are leaders whether they want to be or not.

When I came into AA, I was so depressed, thought so low of myself, that my sponsor told me , "Aspire to attain low self-esteem".

And I will stay sober with all of you today, No Matter What!

More Peace. More Love.




Sometimes I wonder,'What did I do to deserve this?' or 'How or Why did I Fk up this time?'


A teenager tells her Mother how everything has gone wrong. She is failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away. Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like some. The daughter says, 'Yep, Mom. I DO love your cake.'

'OK, have some cooking oil,' her Mother says.

'Oh, Yuck' says her daughter.

'How about a couple raw eggs?'

'That's gross, Mom!'

'Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?'

'Mom, that is all yucky!'

Mom answers: 'Sure, all those ingredients taste yucky all by themselves. But when I put them together in the proper order, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! '

God works the same way. Many times I have wondered why He lets me go through such bad and difficult times, often of my own making. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! I just have to trust Him and, eventually, somehow, they will all become something wonderful!

God is crazy about all of us. He sends us flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever I want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, yet He chooses your heart, my heart.

God can be forced out only by my willful Pride. Immediately I can feel the separateness, the exclusion, the coldness of being completely alone again (in a crowd?), atop my swirling, bottomless sea of nothingness. With no life raft, no anchor, no support. Without His outstretched loving Hand.


The moment is here for me to kneel again before the Almighty Creator, and know that He is God...not ME! And I allow Him to enter my heart today. And I praise Him, and thank Him, and beg Him to let me experience anew His gentle, tender guidance. That, for me, means working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, God's Gift to me.

He brought me here, He wants me here, I am here. Why? To show others what He has done for me, to me, by freeing me once more from the bondage of myself. I know I am here to do His will. No other reason.

Love. Peace. More Love.
Steve E

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


"Another one bites the dust..." Ughhhh!


RETURN...YEAH! Ya know what? I am so F'kn tired of reading that people miss me, etc., When the truth IS: I am missing YOU! If you'll let me back in, I want to blog some more. Is it Pride? Who cares? Maybe, that is not my gravest concern at the moment.

Whether it is humiliation (I'm experienced with humiliation--read the blog) or Humility, or EGO (I don't think so!) or simply wanting to stay in contact, because I NEED YOU PEEPS! This is part of my survival, nothing more.
Whether ANYBODY reads, comments--good or bad--none of that matters any more to me. I need it, it's here, and I'm staying, NO MATTER WHAT!

If ya don't like that, well Fk...don't read it! Simple? This blog is about me...not you. If someone can be helped by staying sober with me today...have at it. Welcome, friend.

The shit in my brain is not too deep though, so NO DIVING! Let's get on with this crap. Just delete the blog prior to this one, OK? I'm fine, wife is fine.
One more thing. Someone named LYN (I don't think I even 'know' her, but I will!) commented on my 'Last Blog' posting
..."another one bites the dust...".
THAT DID IT! I simply CAN NOT, WILL NOT, be "another one" who bit the dust. I hate dust, It makes me sneeze. Thank you Lyn...we usually never know what affect our words have on another--right? Well, you do now! Blessings for you, dear.


That first sober summer was for me spent in escape, at first by sleeping, then by working. I was so run down physically, and was mentally an imbecilic and an Einstein during any ten-minute period.

Some inconsistency might be seen in a description of myself on the one hand my being nearly a vegetable, and on the other hand, playing violin and tending bar, with deftness and skill. I had developed a great tolerance for alcohol over a nearly thirty-year piece of my life.

But today I wish to relive the experience of my first attempt at being a meeting chairperson. Sometime in the fall, Betty B, a long-ago (1934) student nurse who had worked in Dr Bob's operating room, decided that her friend Steve E (me) should chair an AA meeting.


Sober six months, and more wobbly than a brand new-born colt--I mean I could hardly walk without holding onto something--she gave me two weeks to "prepare".

I gathered together a meeting topic, all my assorted pamphlets, Big Book, 12 X 12, As Bill Sees It (then called "A Way of Life in AA"), AA Comes of Age, numerous articles, photos, and my very own yellow legal pad with enough written on it for TWENTY meetings!

I was armed, and ready, to teach these old guys and old girls all what I had learned in six months. I was age 41 at the time of all this. When I began the meeting I said, "Let's begin with the Serenity Prayer." Then I forgot how it started, and I said out loud, "Oh God!!!" and everybody said at once as one voice, "Grant me the serenity to accept.......etc." It was my moment of triumph. I knew God was with me. Was He?

Unknown to me, interspersed around the crowded room at the newly constructed 24-hour club, sat Twelve men, mostly older, all in suits and ties. (These were "Dixon's Dirty Dozen, a group of AA men who enjoyed traveling, and playing lots of golf and 'crashing' AA meetings.)

As I began to read something lengthy from one of my documents, I realized this was the "Finest Moment" of my "Finest Hour"...I had arrived, and my body language showed it. It was certainly the defining moment of my place in AA history.

One of the strangers in a suit stood, introduced himself as "Bill D, from Pittsburgh", and he began to talk. Since I was so full of patience and tolerance (and Bull Shit--grin!), I let him ramble on. Then, before I could say, "OK people, this is MY meeting....", another stood, then another. These alien creatures had invaded earth to harass me and my meeting. And there were Twelve of them...12 Steps? Was God playing a trick?

It was the second of only two times in my life when I was visibly shaken, crying like a pooped baby, yet had a huge SMILE on my face as if to say, "I planned this whole thing Ha-ha-ha!"

Well, ya know? I got through it, cried all the way home as I felt I had been made a laughing stock (years later I found out that was true) of the group of AAs in Naples FL "Naples Group", my home group today. This was not humility, this was humiliation.

But whatever, I passed several liquor stores that night on the way home--I even stopped in the bar where I worked on the other six nights a week,
to see if I could get into any trouble. I did not drink, then...or now. I had never heard the words "No Matter What" but that's what I DID--"Not drink--No Matter What."

And that's what we'll all do together today...right?

Peace and Love
Steve E

Sunday, July 19, 2009



Betty B was a student nurse at City Hospital in Akron Ohio in 1934. She worked in the operating room, where Dr Bob sometimes "officiated". She had no idea Dr Bob was an alcoholic, but did recall that his hands shook sometimes, and his eyes were nearly always red, bloodshot.

She thought a lot of Dr Bob. She said , "When he walked into a room, he brought 'something different'". She could "feel it".

Only many years later, when Betty B herself came into the AA program, did she then realize that City Hospital's Dr Smith, and AA's Dr Bob, were one and the same.

She said that he was the "kindest man, especially to all the nurses and really so to the student nurses".

Betty Brooks was kind of short, with the most beautiful grey eyes. They sparkled as if she had dusted them with some magical powder--like those Tinker-Bell pictures I remember. Her eyes matched exactly the color of her perfect, tightly-wound hair with a bun on back.

And her smile...her smile was a genuine outpouring of wordless things, like, "Come on in. It will be all right. You can do it. You are loved. You are respected. We all know you here. Come back next week. Don't drink between meetings." While others were saying these things with near-rude gruffness, this old woman, Betty, simply smiled those words lovingly while nodding her head at a newly sobering alcoholic.

How do I know this? Betty was my first AA friend. I did have a sponsor, Jim, right off the bat. He and Betty worked together with me, and it worked! It seems to me now, that AA people worked together more then, than now. The year was 1974. My brain was pure mush..no exaggeration, and my life was chaos, but I was unaware of that. All I desired was a gallon of White Port to get me through this AA business this night. Betty helped me so much. I now know why she was present at every meeting I attended.

Betty and her husband Paul occasionally sat at the bar where I worked, offering me support with glances of encouragement, or a few (private) AA bon mots during the evening. I also played violin behind the bar at that time.

Warning...digression coming. Reminds me...for those who have been following all year this is an old story:

My sponsor asked me once if being sober for 4 weeks affected my violin playing. I told him definitely, in a negative way. My vibrato was slow, notes out of tune, bow scratching produced a bad tone, and a weak sound was all I could get out of the box. Without missing a beat, he said, "Oh! Your hearing got better!"

Translated, that remark meant to me that my life all along had been a real mess, but that I did not know it until I sobered up a little. Awareness had begun to happen.

And this is how that awareness is today translated: The second part of this blog will be tomorrow night...or I'll be again into Blongsville. NOTE: A "Blong" is a looong blog.

To all peeps: Let's stay sober today? That is NOT a question!

References to BettyB and Dr Bob taken from "Dr Bob and the Good Oldtimers" Page 46 and 48.

Saturday, July 18, 2009




Walking up the road this morning brought to me memories of more than 60 years ago. Each Sunday through the summer months there happened about one mile up the road from our farm, what we called a "picnic" in a place called a Grove. It was really a miniature carnival, with lots of food, booths, bingo, and a very sparse assortment of "kiddie" rides, and a nice small pasture for our horses.

The main attraction was--what else?-- the BEER tent. It commanded the central piece of acreage. Being very young, I remember this home under canvass, being like an acre in area. (It was not!) Whatever, it was the most busy place, with hundreds of men, mostly farmers and suppliers, very few women, standing around talking extremely loud from 11 AM until 10 PM. Every summer Sunday.

These events were sponsored in turn by Kiwanis Club, Democratic Party of Delhi Township, Republican Party of Delhi Township, Masonic Temple--you get the idea. Small town beer brawl.

My father and I walked many a Sunday to this affair, sometimes accompanied by my year-younger sister. When we began these adventures we were about ages 10-12. Often we (my sister!) would hook up one of the mules, Jack or Kate, or sometimes one of the horses, Pete, or Jerry. We had an old-fashioned, covered, small, wagon-type vehicle with four wide-rimmed wheels--about four feet in diameter. I DO recall it had a one-horse-power engine, which used as fuel a product called oats. These were fun days before alcohol became a real problem for me.

However, I did display alcoholic thinking--without the heavy daily drinking--at this time. The world revolved around King Me! It was common for us kids to have a beer or two, or more, in my case. The sponsoring organization of the day had a "Twenty-One-For-A Dollar" gimmick, whereby anyone and/or everyone could participate. It was easy. By paying a buck, their name, or business name was announced over a terribly loud speaker system. 21 beers were sent around the tent's yardage of plywood table. And anybody could just amble up to the plywood counters, grab a beer, and have at it. And I did. And I spent most of my day there. it was exciting to be around the "Big Boys".

I remember being 'adopted' by a group of older girls (ages 15-17--I was 12) as a kind of mascot. They liked me (my perception?) to hang around them--drunk. that's when I learned a few things--how to hug, how to cop a feel, how to kiss, and etc. Needless to say, this was all part of the "happy" part of my childhood--grin! How I hated to see summer end. But there was always next year, next summer. And I lived for Next Year, believe me.

A SIDE NOTE: My "next years" turned into nightmares of a "maintenance" daily gallon of White Port, OR a daily quart of Vodka, plus a lot of other drinking--so I became a bartender!

This story so far is lacking an important ingredient. My father. Amid all this: the walk or buggy ride, the music, the noise, the constant free-flow of malt and hops, the girl-gang who "liked me" (Ha!), Pop--as I called him--remained always a constant anchor. The end of our stay would arrive--we always made our exit before the party became a small non-atomic war.

My father had by then bought his share of TWENTY-ONES FOR A DOLLAR...on "Steve Elsaesser Dairy Farms...Buy Direct and Save".....and we all drank MORE than our share, I guess--after all, I was not concerned about who else was drinking...or not. I know Pop came home with us--he, sober, more or less. And we had only one mile to walk, or take our "fun" buggy ride in the dark. The engine of "one-horse power", had waited patiently in the shade for us.

My father would say to me, "Are you OK to steer this thing home? Did you water the horse?" I'd answer "Yep!" Understand...that this man who operated a large dairy farm, who advertised his business with "21-for-a-dollar" beers, who made certain his children were having fun, who somehow coaxed us home and into bed--this man, my father--was sightless, totally blind!

He always...always told me that I was not an alcohlic, that all I needed to do was drink in "moderation". Oh, how I hated that word!
Because, unknow to him, there was no "moderation" in my dictionary.

He had not yet totally lost his hearing. That would come later. That story is worthy of a blog. (Hey, THIS story turned into a blog. Whaddaya know!)

Peace and LOVE, and sobriety today, Peeps
Let's get out there and DO it!

NO TRIVIA TODAY, maybe I shold just leave this out. After all, what the F'k does it have to do with alcoholic recovery, helping others, God, spirituality, or even anyone's interest???



5 AM in Naples FL

Early Friday morning, in the dark, I sneaked out to check if there were any movements of concern in the duck nesting at our front door. Did I really hear a "peep"? YES! There were several peeps (not YOU "Peeps!) as the ducklings were hiding under Momma Muscovi.

I spoke gently to the 'family' and told them I'd be right back with camera in hand. They waited patiently. For I knew they would soon be gone. Several eggs did not hatch. I believe she chose poorly her incubation place, upon--and in--rocks (egg rocks--coincidence?).

So now they are gone, it is Friday night. And you know what? Neither Prayer-Girl nor I have even thought of using our front door throughout the day. Already a habit has been set! Probably never use it again? NOT!

Is it not interesting that we have avoided use of our front door for 30 days, because of the hatching process? And it's non-use has already become a habit?

Is it not coincidental that if I stop drinking for thirty days, one-day-at-a-time, I may well stay sober?

For years--only because it would mean a change in my thinking--have I fought against the use of phrases like "Do ninety meetings in ninety days", and "Bring the body, the mind will follow".

These sayings were not in common use when I got sober. I did not hear of "90 in 90" until I'd been sober ten years, and then thought it ridiculous. Working six nights (bartender) I would have had to turn away from AA if 90 in 90 were a rule in those days...no daytime meetings in Naples at that time, either.

Well, those recommendations now make a lot of sense to me. Imagine, it took God, speaking through a DUCK, to get it through this numbskull the benefits of HABIT. Habit-forming behavior! How important that is to many of us alcoholics, who did not receive a blinding-flash-of-light-spiritual-type-experience. We did not receive that instant release from our compulsion-obsession, and so we accepted it slowly over a period of days, sometimes months.

This duck sat on those eggs day-after-day-after-day, until it happened, the release of her babies from their confinement. So my alcoholic desire was released from me after days of sitting, not on eggs, but on my HANDS!

From this Momma Duck I learned the meaning and the reward of persistence. In thirty days I learned appropriate defenses (from taking a drink), daily practice of being satisfied, humility to do the job in front of me no matter what it is, and this duck also taught me again how to give love to someone outside of myself. Momma Duck denied herself many of her natural luxuries, just to do as God intended, sit on those eggs until their time had arrived.

She taught me that when I speak loudly, (she) the listener might become offended, defensive, frightened, or just "tuned out". She taught me that when I speak softly, gently, she listened, 'smiled' (well, you know!), was unruffled, and might even have heard what I was saying -grin! (Just like at AA meetings!)

I should be as true to my God as is Momma Duck, and I'd be a saint. She did more than her "job"...she took on the work of teaching a human how better to live. And I begin thinking now that all nature has lessons for me, if I but open my eyes, my ears, my mind, my heart.

And I'd better hurry, for time is gushing, rushing downstream to the dam below...see? Do you SEE? Already I forgot to observe nature, which is unhurried by time or seasonal passing. Nature is the teacher par excellence of patience, unhurried in it's march of praise to God, its Creator.

Peace, and Love, Peeps!


Q. Didn't Roy Rogers once make a gay movie?

A. What's a gay movie? In 1952 he starred in a film called "The Gay Ranchero". But it had nothing to do with sexual preferences.

Thursday, July 16, 2009




My 7AM meeting Thursday was interesting--to me. It is speaker plus discussion The girl speaker told of how being a GSR (she is new at it) was so good for her. A whole new level of activity which many AA members do not realize exist. She mentioned her service several times, and how it has enhanced her program--immensely!

Well, it came time for me to talk--I couldn't hold it back. I told the roomful of alkies that for several years I had been "considering" "trying" service on the District level (as if there are 'levels' -grin!). Just like the guy who sits in back, and says "I'm just here to audit, I don't think I'm a real alcoholic." That's the way I was about being a GSR (General Services Representative). So I told them I had received that final "push" I needed this morning, and I was going to ask my Home Group if they'd like me to assume that office.

Please understand that I have been in AA service in the past, many years ago. This is simply a return to service, filling a certain emptiness in my life, and that of my group. And so I am familiar with the benefits...

We have not had a GSR for several years. I do believe it is a necessary function of AA, so that a group knows what is going on around the counties. Also so that the other groups know what is going on in MY group.

Well, I'll get to the punch line here. The chairperson of my group--the "cookie" meeting--was in the room. Polly is her name, maker of the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. She shared and during her short speech, she yelled out at me..."YOU'RE HIRED!" Of course, everyone laughed because they knew I had just talked myself into a job which not many are standing in line for, GSR.

Just wanted to let you all know what is happening to this old guy, who seems to never want to quit. I have seen not a few, but many, MANY guys stay around for my length of time, wither, dry up, blow away, and die. Not drunk...but not really happy.

I want to be happy, I want to live, I want to do what our Big Book tells us..."We absolutely insist on enjoying life." So long as God gives me health, and after, I intend to live my life for Him...so much of my life was pure sewage. Alcoholics Anonymous is the way I can best do this, is the way I see it today.

Tonight at that same "cookie" meeting I get to tell the traditional weekly joke, and this one is really funny. I may blog it the next time I'm too tired to sit without laying my head on the keyboard. Two hundred people will be there...I hope there are some cookies left after they all dig in--lots of our peeps there are from treatment centers--but that's another blog also.

Let's all stay sober--with me. We did a good job of that yesterday.

Peace, you all!


We keep up with things here: The standard biblical punishment for adultery was to be stoned in the marketplace, or wherever. More than half of the national population now think that sounds like fun.



6 AM in Naples FL

This morning I went for a short walk up the road--up is not the correct word, there is no "up" or "down" here. You might refer to us as Flatlanders. It is a word I detest, because I love being in--or on--mountain(s).

It seems all nature has or should have ups and downs. All being level, flat, is boring. But, I do ride a scooter. The only hills I get to travel are traffic fly-overs, and that is fun. Yesterday though, it seemed as if every one of those had a cop sitting at the top, looking for guys like me, who have taped over their speedometers.

I've been working in the yard these days, sometimes too much. Today I shall buy a power saw, because cutting tree trunks with a hand saw has been taking too much energy, and time. At the rate I'm going trees will have grown back, where I have sawed down at ground level.

Yesterday, I attended three real good meetings. Of course the best was one I chaired -grin! (humility here) I used the reading from "God Calling" and peeps were eating it up (the topic). Then one fellow spoke up, almost shouting to the 45 people there, that "Some people (me!) should be more careful about what they being into an AA meeting. You should be ashamed of yourself for reading out loud from material which is not 'Conference Approved'" And he ranted on a bit about that. Actually I was shocked at the outburst of negativity.

The guy was sober 10 years, which matters not, but thankfully, in my (many more) years, I've learned to keep my mouth shut when attacked, and God may take care of things. Well, God did! Each person who shared after that expressed happiness at "being at that meeting, that day, at that time in their life, etc." By the way, I had announced at the beginning that I was reading from "sponsor-approved" literature! And my old sponsor was sitting there also!

Right now I'm sitting here before sunup, feeling sorry for the guy who actually made an ass of himself. At the same time I'm thanking God, that I was allowed to keep silent, as it states in our Big Book:

"And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned." --BB. page 84

Well, I don't know about the "sanity" part for me, but I have been slowly giving up the "fighting" part. Arguments for me are just bad--I still have not learned how to handle them. Some people are born "mediators". I was born a "Caesar" (do it my way, and we'll get along).

This would bring up that topic of "Change". Which is a big one, for me. The Doctor's opinion is "...unless this person (me?) can experience a complete psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery." BB Page xxix.

So here is my change for today. I am kind to everyone I meet today, and I greet even strangers with a smile, and let them see not me--but the God within me! (Come to think of it, that's a GREAT change from the "old Steve", I don't even know him any more.)

Peace and Love, Blogger Peeps.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Steveroni just WIPED OUT tonight...back tomorrow. Sorry, peeps!
Bless you.


Earthworms are 72% protein, and less than 1% fat. If they were prescribed as the only food in your diet, you'd lose weight, sure enough. I'd starve maybe!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009



Momma Duck "Smiley Face" is still sitting on her eggs, sometimes standing over them, as if they're ready to hatch. I'm betting sometime within a week. She goes off nest twice each day to look for water, and a bite to eat--she refused our Ezekiel Bread! It will be fun to send you all a photo of the ducklings. It will also be fun to use our front door again.

The males have left her alone now, never see them "hangin' 'round any more". She is V.E.R.Y. protective. So when I approach Smiley, I talk in a gentle voice, reassuring her that I mean no harm, that all is well, that God will take care of her and us, and not to fear me.

Know what? She just settles in there and looks at me like she understands. All those years on the farm, ducks were just egg factories and/or dinner. Smiley has become one of the family. (I even told her I love her, and I believe she winked!) F.Y.I.-- PG did hear me say that to Smiley!


For today's blog I just had to get un-serious for a change. OK?

TEACHER: Remember children..."I" before "E", except in Budweiser.

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
-Dave Barry

"Cocaine isn't habit forming. I should know, I've been taking it for years."
-Tallulah Bankhead

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
-Ernest Hemmingway

"You can tell German wine from vinegar by the label."
-Mark Twain

"I would never do crack... I would never do a drug named after a part of my own ass, okay?" -Dennis Leary

I drink to forget I drink

Alcohol was necessary for me so that I could have a good opinion of myself, undisturbed by the facts.

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober. - William Butler Yeats

Liquor made me feel the way I ought to feel without liquor. – Henry Lawson

I’m not as think as you drunk I am. – Unknown

I don't suffer from stress. I'm a carrier.

This is me: "I don't get resentments. I give them." (That's the truth! I'm not necessarily proud of this.)

And here is my favorite "truth"...spoken by a recovered alcoholic:
"The dead drug leaves a ghost behind. At certain times it will haunt the house."


Note: Do not know if this is still true:

Police in Helsinki, Finland rarely give parking tickets. They just let the air out of the tires.

Will y'all stay sober with me today? GOOD!


Note to "xxx"
...Forgive easily, laugh joyfully, and serve
others with Love and compassion.
There happiness is.
And keep writing.


Tuesday I chair the 8 AM "Early Risers" AA meeting. It is the one for which I was a 'no-show' last Tuesday. Do you remember the meeting in which I apologized the next day, and they looked at me as if to say, "Whatcha talkin' 'bout, man?" What a beautiful moment in my week! A moment of virtue being learned.

Anyway, topic tomorrow is about FRIENDS in AA, and what they mean to me. My AA friends mean more to me than all 'friends' before. These are the people--finally--who accept me at face value, who neither fame nor defame, neither applaud nor blame, neither rate, nor berate. They only share out of love.

Friends, the night after my first AA meeting--I did not even know their names--came to the cocktail lounge where I worked and sat at the bar, in what I figured was the AA way to 'police' their own. How wrong was I! They (usually three guys) came in to be supportive for me, at my job, which was pouring a tank-truck-load of alcohol into glasses for people to drink. In fact, these bar visits by my new AA friends probably are a huge reason why I did not drink since the night before my first AA meeting, a long time ago.

So many who helped, spent time--and money, so many who lent their expert advice, so many who did actual physical labor at my house, so many who patiently tolerated my ranting , my lengthy 'shares', my stupid perspectives, my truth-stretching, so many of these are friends today. Most who were here when I first walked into the room, have passed on. But I find myself frequently quoting them, verbatim, though I do not remember who said what...nor when.

Without friends like mine from sober day one, I would not have had "sober day TWO"! I would not be here today. And so for me there is but one goal left...that is to pass it on, help others to recover from alcoholism. And I only can do that by practicing certain principles in ALL my living of life today. Yep, those Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A spiritual way of living.

In several areas (family?) I have run into brick walls, walls that maybe I have built. God will either remove them, or let them be. He has not yet 'talked' to me about that -grin! Or perhaps I've not listened to the Spirit-Voice.

Back to topic: FRIENDS.

Fellowship means Friendship. I prefer the friendly term, maybe because I felt so friendless for so many years. So empty. So alone. So forsaken, so abandoned. SO DRUNK! I chose the prison I had built for myself, to be the place where i should die. Death did not come. It did not happen. God intervened. New friends, many of whom had lost everything, saw in me something worth saving. And there I was. God intervened. And here I am.

Two of the alcoholics I know have mountain homes, one in Colorado, one in North Carolina. We have a standing invitation to visit, and enjoy what they have worked so hard for. Isn't that just miracle stuff? For me, it is.

And now, with some years of sobriety, God has sent me to you bloggers. What a profound difference you have made in my life. I have a new motivation to write, to learn, to share, to just be among you. I have learned how to better meditate, pray, spread happiness and good cheer, relate and identify with the new person in the room. I am learning where God is, and where He is not.

Without you bloggers, and our unseen but extremely personal and spiritual relationships, my life today might not be overflowing with love, and I might not be eternally grateful. I might never have translated gratitude into action.


Two specific matters in the lives of young people close to us which are very disturbing, will be ongoing for some time. And if anyone has room on their prayer list, please add our intentions. Thank you, dear blogger peeps.

Steve E


Did you know the literal meaning of Bethlehem? "House of Bread".


Monday, July 13, 2009



My Home group NEW DAWN is where between 60-80 people meet every day at 7 AM. For ten years this was a simple "meeting" without "group" affiliation. Last fall we became a Group, and that's when "stuff" began.

One faction (for want of a better word) was armed and ready for battle. They have pushed through a couple dozen "rules", i.e., nobody allowed to talk beyond 2 minutes. Each business meeting there are constructed and voted more rules, or simple changes in wording of former rules. (Reminiscent of a small

Another group wishes for the "old" days when we simply held "group conscience" meetings. They (we) realize the necessity of being a contributing group. Note that all the officer positions are filled, about 30 attend the business meetings, and that is all good. The rub comes here:

Each Thursday we invite a 'speaker' who uses about a half hour, then we discuss anything after that. The last two Thursday-morning speakers shared SO 'from the heart'. They are not "old-timers". Both were slightly nervous, and obviously not versed in the grand art of public speaking. But their (one each of last two Thursdays) messages were clear. They are truly loved by their AA fellow members.

(Briefly!) After each of those Thursday meetings, the chairperson received telephone calls (two different callers), saying he had better get some "better speakers". This has devastated the chairperson, and the speakers, and potential speakers.

Almost all members of the group find the behavior APPALLING! Fear pervades those who might be asked to speak. NOTE: the callers--who broke several Traditions--each are heavily influenced by this group of "old guard" long-timers. Bad scene. This self-righteous group of gurus is called by all--even themselves, proudly--"The Jury"...and yes, there IS a judge.

Maybe it is time for a serious "group inventory" or at the least, some serious 8th and 9th Step work.

We are handling it--you betchum, Red Ryder--but I wanted to put this out there, so every one of us realizes that AA with all its miracled wonderful goodness, experiences some member-waywardness now and then, usually at the group level. But there is not a single cold human heart which cannot be melted by prayer, talking, mediating, more prayer, and finally a splitting of a group...if it comes to that.

And as we know, NOTHING which happens now has not happened before. And survival of Alcoholics Anonymous has prevailed through all these nearly 75 years.

The marvelous miracle we witness daily here, upon which we all agree...is that miracle of one drunk talking to another drunk--and both staying sober. Praise God!

Peace and Love, blogger peeps...
Steve E


Unnoticed sounds pitched too low for the human ear to recognize, still can make people sad. How sad!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


(I know that is unhealthy)

Just some Saturday night thoughts--no story tonight. I'm in a reflective mode. Cannot say more, because 'Big Brother'--actually, 'Little brother' is watching...

First a short one:

A woman at a bank asked the cashier to cash a check for her.

Citing company policy, the cashier asked for her identification.

The woman gasped. Finally she managed to stutter, "But, but Jonathan, I'm your mother!"

While I might think this is funny, how is it then, I fail to recognize God? God, Who is "Always and Forever" Everywhere? God, Who's very Nature IS Love?

Love is everywhere. Once I have found it...never let it go. I need not seek it, nor discover it, just recognize it. Louis Armstrong sings:

"I see friends shakin' hands
Sayin' "How d'ya do?"
They's just sayin'

---"What a Wonderful World"

And if anyone is in a praying mode today (hopefully, every day?) please pray for PG and Steve E, and for other bloggers who are being challenged these days, and for Mary Christine's safe return home Sunday to those foothills somewhere in the Rockies.

Join TSR (The Second Road) sometime today--it's easy. Then come back at 8 PM and join the chat. I'm tellin' ya, if I can do it...ANYONE ( or their dog or cat) can do it! And it IS fun, we'll be there as well as a few other regular bloggers, who shall remain unnamed for the sake of animosity...Say wha?


"It is a shame that ATHLETICS have become professionalized." Some may agree with Socrates, who said that 2,328 years ago, "somewhere in the foothills of Greece's Pindus Mountain Range".

And yes, you blogger peeps!
Peace to you all, I love you all.
Steve E

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fourth Quarter



Even in grade school--although I was shunned as a baseball player--I had an edge on playing football. I could lob a pass whole bunches of yards, with fair accuracy. I could fire a short-yardage pass for a quick few yards, or a score. I loved it, (the girls loved it, too!), and, at age of 12, I felt good for the first time since age 5--before I had entered that horrible slice of time called "school".

The guys found out I could throw a football pretty good, and connect to a player at a designated spot, but then came the problem. Fearing injury to my "musician" hands, my parents would not sign for me to play football in high school. Those dreams of being finally accepted by my peers melted into nothingness. High school head coach personally approached to ask me to work out with the team. When I told him I played a violin, he called me a "Sissy", referring to the lowest form of life on earth (if you're a young man, age 14).

So after that, and for 60 years more, life happened. And my life is now in the fourth quarter. The game has not ended, there are passes ahead, yards to gain, downs to play. Every football game is decided in the fourth quarter.

Finishing the game is a matter of heart as much as talent because everybody is spent and this is where desire has to come to the front. You learn a lot about a player and a team in the fourth quarter. Also about life, what is needed to keep the engine purring, until it sputters and dies.

I am learning a lot about myself in the final quarter. There are still blue highways to ride, mountains to climb, sunsets to silhouette, colorful sunrises and flowers to admire, birds and animals to speak with, and peeps to meet and greet.

My very life I owe to Alcoholics Anonymous. I'd so like the time and energy to devote the first part of this fourth quarter to attending meetings up the east coast and into the midwest of U.S., God willing. To this end I am considering a solo trip--exciting to me--of 1000 to 5000 miles, riding my Suzuki scooter.

NOTE: I wrote "CONSIDERING!" OK? But each day I grow more in the belief this can happen. All doctor, dental visits are due within next ten days. And I now have a genuine U.S. passport--which will get me in and out of the state of Georgia -grin!


Prayers for me now, please. I need them. Thank you.
Steve E


Q. Isn't the Cape of Good Hope the southernmost tip of Africa?

A. Nope. Cape Agulhas, 90 miles away, is 32 miles farther south.

Source: L. M. Boyd's "CURIOSITY SHOP"