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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

LETTER "H"

THE LETTER H

Yep, I thank Judith "Vicarious Rising" for assigning to me the letter "H". And so I have listed a whole bunch of FAVORITE words beginning with the letter "H". I like this game, and the second time was even more fun than the first! Thank you and HUGS {{{J}}} to you--Vicariously, Judith.


Steve E.

Notice the "Lemonade" Award (upper right on page)...I am really happy with that, it's from Calli, who thinks I have an "attitude of Gratitude" (and most of the time, that is correct--I try to write that humbly, but there's no way!) Thank you Calli. This is one award I really appreciate!

If anybody wants to play this game, just ask me in 'comments', to send you a letter of MY choosing, ya heah, Zane! -grin.


HOME:
Home is where I live, where I am most comfortable, where I can be really, really me. Actually, it used to be the ONLY place I could be me, but now, just about anywhere is "home".
Home also has that very special meaning for me, as that moment someone met Anna and me at the front door of Dr Bob's house and uttered those words: "WELCOME HOME"...I got shivers and bumps of geese -grin!
Home is also the heaven, which--if there IS one--I wish to join in residence when the time comes.

HOPE:
When all else fails, when the dark times descend into my mind, my being, my heart, the single most effective action for me is to hope. Hope is this case means--to me--"trust". Trust, that God will provide, or He will soon remove my encumbrances. And I may then be again free. Free to seek His will for me, and free to ask for the power to do it. And free to be willing to receive that power, and use it!

HOUR:
The song goes, "What a difference a day makes--Only twenty-four hours..."! Well, what a difference ONE hour made in my life...that FIRST hour, that "DO or DIE" hour. I have heard frequently through the years in A.A. meetings, that we alcoholics have no "will power". That statement has no validity, IMO. My first few weeks of not drinking were precarious. Every fiber of my being CRIED OUT for alcohol. Of course, God's grace helped me, but it was I who had to "not take a drink, NMW...No Matter What!" And that took will power, of which it was said I had none! I told them I didn't drink for one week! they said, it wasn't you, it was God. Bull Shit! It was ME who sweat and strained, body aching and racked with pain. It was ME who toted the barge, lifted the bale. It was ME, already--so early in sobriety--doing God's Will, receiving His Power to help carry it out.

HABIT:
Not drinking became a habit--not much else did. Sleep became a habit, also even MORE fear, paranoia. NOTE: BEFORE I stopped drinking alcohol, I simply blotted out all those defective personality traits, ALL of them. So I did not even know I HAD any! Not that anything might become so habitual, that I don't even think of it...BUT...I am such "in the habit" of going to meetings, that if I miss ONE of my two daily, I feel a small emptiness inside me, like something of today is unfinished.
And I DO know that even though 'not drinking' is now a habit, I must be ever watchful for a shrinking of my daily "good" habits which keep me NOT DRINKING!

HEAT:
Oh, how I love to be warm. Moved to Florida 44 years ago to get warm, and been happy about THAT aspect of my life ever since then. I've often wondered why ANYONE would want to live in a "cold" climate...but that's just ME, I guess. I LIKE HOT!

HARMONY:
Since I AM a musician, a symphony violin player, harmony seems a likely favorite word. True I do enjoy beautiful music, and even not-so-beautiful (sometimes!). However, the harmony I REALLY am thinking of here, is harmony between PEOPLE. That recognition we see in a stranger's eyes, that "all is well" in God's world NMW (No Matter What!). NO MATTER WHAT! And our living together in peace and tranquility, whether at home, or at meetings, or at work or play, how we get along with others determines for me harmony or discord in MY life. True, all cannot be ALL the time "peaches and cream"...but the times of malcontent are so far apart, I do not remember them any more...until one rises. Then--it's "SPONSOR TIME" HELP!!! That's what I mean by "Adult Supervision"...when I behave like a child.

HAT:
I've always been a collector of hats. Shame! I have hats I've worn only one time. I like having plenty of hats--just in case, know what I mean? Big ones, little ones, warm ones, fuzzy winter ones, baseball caps, bike helmets...just in case.

HAY:
As a child on the farm, a big part of our summer was mowing, raking, loading, hauling, baling, storing at least 100 ton of hay. Working long hours, neighbors helped neighbors during critical times--e.g., sick horses, sick hired hands, sick US! Then, toward the end of the season was always a big hay ride, at least it seemed huge to a 10-12 year old. And it was at night. And I got to snuggle with my "older" 15-year-old girl friend, Nellie Jane (She's the one who traded gum with me AFTER we had each chewed it--true love, dontcha know?) I can today, conjure up the smell and feel of hay, in the fields, on the wagons, in the barn, in my ears, eyes, nose, mouth, shoes, and under all my clothing. I can even make myself sneeze right now, just thinking about it! How's THAT for imagination?

HEADACHE:
Don't get them, do not know the experience, except when I had shingles all over my head last summer--or when I fell down on concrete and hit my head several years ago. Thank God, I do not get headaches. I see how people suffer GREATLY from them.

HELP:
I could write a blong on the word "Help". If I want to stay sober, I MUST help someone, preferably help someone get, or stay sober. Or help an alkie with a personal problem (dangerous!). Or help a next-door neighbor lady move a little furniture (also dangerous!!!!!). Often yes, (yet?) I NEED help, and I find it readily available in the rooms--well, outside the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. ALWAYS ready to help, that is how you people ARE! It is wonderful!

HUMOR:
Those of you who "know" me understand that this is a difficult word for me. Humor just is not any more a favorite substance of mine than AIR! Didja GET it??? Actually--and truthfully--I THRIVE on humor, not so much to get you all laughing, but more to make a point, to hold attention, to produce relaxation, and to do God's Will in an easy, harmless manner. I LOVE, L.O.V.E. HUMOR. "We are not a glum lot." And, "We absolutely insist on enjoying life." (Both these quotes are referenced on page 132 of our Big Book.)

More favorite "H" Words of mine: Health, Heart, Hangover, Hearing,Hurt, High Tide, Hopeless, Helpless...and Harold (name of a grasshopper).

Just picture the usual, happy, grinning Steve E., wishing you all a Very Merry Ch--NO! WAIT! ...wishing you all a wonderful Sunday, maybe a little football, food, and fun--enjoy life!


Who published this--and WHEN?

TRADITION 2--MOVING RIGHT ALONG....



Parts of the following are taken from literature which is listed under the following copyrights:

Copyright © The A. A. Grapevine, Inc., and Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing (now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.)


Background:

When first I encountered in my dumb head that I might undertake to "explain" our Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous to you, my ahhhhh, wonderful blogger friends, it was with an intention of showing you how much I know. This afternoon I sit here and realize that I 'know' NOTHING!


The Twelve traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous were--I had thought--for the 'elite' of our program, the gurus, those 'bleeding deacons' we hear--or know--of.

I have come to believe the traditions are for ME! Ha! This whole program, of which they are a huge part--is for ME! It was given to me by God...through the minds and hands of Dr Bob and Bill W and those millions who follow in their path. So, given that light, my description of the Twelve Traditions--one at a time--is experiential, and not intentionally instructive in nature.

IF anyone wishes 'instruction'--and even if NOT!--I strongly suggest buying, borrowing, begging, or steali--NO!--the book TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, available at most A.A. meetings, and Central Offices and the many clubs where A.A. meetings take place. OK? GO!



TRADITION TWO:

2.) For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority-a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.

Steve sez:

I have an imagination that will not quit, ya know what I mean? Long ago, I 'saw' in my mind (I did not really SEE this -grin!) a few anthropoid apes (Pongidae) standing around some half-eaten legumes, deciding which way to journey that day. One of them sort of walked, hobbled in a certain direction, turned, ogled, and realized the others were not following. THEY then began walking in the other direction. The first ape had a choice, to follow or not. He wisely followed the group. NOTE: I always behaved like the first ape, except I did not wisely stick with the "winners"--had to be ever "different", the loner, the self-exiled "poor baby".....

To me, this (apes, above) was basic lower level AND higher level "Group Conscience" in action. And throughout history I see kings, presidents, godfathers, boards of directors, popes, and leaders of any description adhering to the advice of counsel, the group, the advisory committees. And so I see it within Alcoholics Anonymous.

Whether for a two-hour-knock-down-drag-out session, or a quick, two-minute meeting of the minds, our decisions regarding the exteriorities of our groups are made in loving prayer. Once a decision is thus reached, I've noticed, that is that. (Until the next time! -grin)

About thirty-two years ago I found myself in a small farming community in Northeast Missouri, where the dwindling membership of A.A. had stagnated to four people, who "ran" A.A. in that town. Two of us got together, started another group, and it became very popular. We had drunks coming out of the woodwork wanting "what we had"???--OMG! I had been drink-free only between 2-3 years, my partner one year!

One of our newly-sobered members was a professor in the nearby university, and he became group chairman after I 'organized' us in a slight fashion. He was a "student" of the Steps and Traditions, having memorized thoroughly the pertinent points. During a business meeting, he and I disagreed on some small matter, and I shall never forget how he screamed at me, "You're just a 'Bleeding Deacon', that's what YOU are!" All I could do was laugh--there I was 3 years sober, age 43, being called a bleeding deacon??? Holy Crapola! We laugh about that to this day...

And yet, our issue was resolved. Against "MY" better judgment -grin!, we held our B-B-Q at a public park instead of a private home--see what a little piece of crap WE were arguing about?

God's will was done, through a group conscience effort, and a prayer that God be there with us. As it turned out, the owners of the 'private home' would have been pissed off! Over 150 people attended--imagine what chaos would have been created in their beautiful thickly-carpeted home. Imagine the havoc, had I "got my way".

Wherever in these United States I have attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, it has always been the same guiding force--that Ultimate Authority, that Loving God and His Will, as expressed in the group conscience. Meetings on the beach, Candle-lit meetings, Meetings in church basements, parks, parking lots, living rooms, clubs, back rooms of bars, jails, everywhere it is the same. The group, guided by God, rules--ever so gently.

What I was told years ago, but am now finding out finally for myself, our Traditions are very much a part of my individual program, a real part of my everyday life...and a necessary part of my SPIRITUAL way of life. Ah! My spiritual life, that strived-for goal--perfection--which no matter how I try to hide it, keeps rearing its beautiful head, as I scan the horizon of life, only to glimpse far off in the distance, the barest of outlines, of our purpose, my purpose--God's purpose!

Please be at peace, be happy, serene, humble, prayerful, giving and LOVING to all. And LET'S ALL STAY SOBER TODAY! OK?

Steve E.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

TRADITION 1 LIVE OR DIE



Parts of the following are taken from literature which is listed under the following copyrights:

Copyright © The A. A. Grapevine, Inc., and Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing (now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.)


Background:
When first I encountered in my dumb head that I might undertake to "explain" our Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous to you, my ahhhhh, wonderful blogger friends, it was with an intention of showing you how much I know. This afternoon I sit here and realize that I 'know' NOTHING!

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result"...of this realization (-grin!) I plan to approach this brief look at the traditions in the spirit of my unwavering fidelity -grin! to myself. This means I will take time to tell you all about something, of which I admittedly know very little. That's what I as an alcoholic do BEST...tell you what I do not know! NOTE: I'll use the "long" form, it's not too long.

TRADITION 1

1.) Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.

Steve sez:

OK, here goes. When I walked into the rooms (three of them, a smoker-beginner, a non-smoker long-timer, and a smoker-discussion) Tuesday March 19, 1974, the Naples group of Alcoholics Anonymous had about 60 members. I did not know that A.A. was any more nor less than "right here, right now"... and maybe it wasn't / isn't. So I figured I was one-sixtieth part of this 'great whole'.

I had not the benefit of Treatment Center "Teaching" of our World-Wide Organization and it's A.A. Principles. First paragraph above is written, "....I 'know' NOTHING!" And that's exactly what I knew.


However, even in that small group, I sensed that we either will live together--or die together. These people were serious I had already been to hell, knew what THAT was like, so death held not much in the way of secrets, for me. I was ready to look at the 'other' side--LIFE! (Just a quick look, mind you...)

My two preceding blog entries have to do with my foggy brain. We talk here about a 'pink cloud'...I had been 'in the clouds' for between 20 and 30 years, who knows? It became time to climb back down that ladder I had climbed up 30 years prior, and hit the ground. I had to turn the "M" in ME upside down. They told me it was "WE" which would save my ass, not ME. They told me lots of things those first weeks, months, years. I talked very little (THEN--HA! -GRIN) and did listen, no doubt more then than now.

I was free to go or stay, free to do or not do (the Steps), free to attend the four meetings a week, or not. I chose "not". In order to keep my job, I could attend one meeting a week. they said, OK! (Surprise!) So I attended THIRTEEN meetings in NINETY DAYS! I had not a clue that "ninety days" had ANY significance in A.A. I now believe it still does NOT -grin (IMO!). Oh, it might to some, have a connection in some way, to a judge slamming down a gavel, shouting out "NINETY DAYS--NO BAIL"

"Ninety days" has no more significance than "Thirty Years" (IMO!). This moment is what really counts, it is all I have. I recall receiving my 30-year chip, everyone applauded (I don't know why?), and we ate cake. On the way out, I slowly walked through the crowded threes and fours, who were talking about Oh! so many important things. Not ONE person said anything like, "Come back!" "See ya later!" "Good going!" "Go FK yourself!" Nothing! (It was my own little experiment.) Sincerely, I really, REALLY DO love this program, life-saver, God inspired, passed on to me/us by Dr Bob and Bill W, through the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions .

Recently someone approached me, saying, "You are age 75, and sober 34 years...so what has Alcoholics Anonymous given you?" Since I thrive on verbal challenge, I responded (did not make this up) "Alcoholics Anonymous has given me 75 years of life, 34 years of them SOBER!" Who could ask for anything more?

I realized early in sobriety that I'd have to not only stay sober, but do some work--with other people, like a sponsor, a group, interactivity with members. IF I did not do these things, I would die. And it would not be pleasant. And I knew that. And I cared.

In other words, A.A. Tradition 1 allows me to DO or DIE. What a choice! And to implement (one time a guy asked me, "Just how do I implement the Fourth Step?" I answered him, "Don't 'implement' it...DO-IT" --a four-letter word!), to abide in the First Tradition of this program, I needed OTHER RECOVERING PEOPLE!!! Remember, turn the "M" in "ME" upside down to make the word "WE". We do this together, one-on-one, and group-to-one, and one-to-group...and yes, group-to-group.


My hand is always held out to grab yours! Is your hand always held out to grab mine? With you bloggers (God, how I love you all--you'll never know...well, I guess you do by now -grin!), with you bloggers I KNOW your hand is there for me and for each other--always! From "A" to "Z", "ATIYANNA" to "ZANE" (my "favorite witch" to my favorite.........-grin, "Chief Zane", who sleeps naked in cars!")

If this "Tradition" discussion seems worthy to you, I'll do Tradition TWO some time next week. Gotta lemme know, though, because, as important as the Traditions are--they are still not my favorite "writeable" topics...HOWEVER....Hmmmmm?


Who published this? ...and When?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

STILL IN THE FOG--A BLOG

Photo credit
One more "Foggy Morning" Story


BLOG: IN THE FOG,
THEN OUT OF THE FOG

A Bit Of Background:

Many moons ago I played violin in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. After one season of particularly drunken experiences, I decided I might just chuck it all and resign (before I got fired, of course--you know how we are?). However, I did not have the intestinal fortitude to carry out the action: standing in front of the Maestro, saying, "I quit!"


So the next best thing was to pave the way, so to speak. So, early one foggy morning, I woke up on the river (and that experience is heavenly, by the way!), gathered all my symphony orchestra 'uniforms', and put everything together in a pile on the front deck of my scow, THOR. THOR was 32' long, 10' beam, 12-ton, double-hulled plywood boat. It was powered by a Willys 60 hp engine, with a 2-1 reduction gear. It was as powerful as a 'dwarf'-tug. Had all the comforts of home, I mean things like a toilet, shower, kitchen--yeah, like I needed a kitchen!

It was 6:30 AM, and I was drunk out of my mind, but I do remember (and was informed of) a few things. By the way, my wife of the moment witnessed the whole thing. NOTE: My recollection is that I met her (for the first time) the night before in a riverfront bar, and we got married there an hour later. The bartender officiated. It was a lovely wedding -BIG GRIN!!! The honeymoon--and the marriage--lasted until noon the following day. Our whole relationship, from first moment to the last final heaving breath had a life of fewer than 12 hours. Thank God! And then she wanted "Alimony!" -grinning-a-roni.

A ceremony was in the making, since I intended to drown my past into depths of the Ohio River. At 7 AM on the dot, I laid my full-dress suit (white shirt, white bowed tie, stiff vest, silk black socks, patent leather black shoes (they sunk right away). Following that menagerie was the next act, my formal 'afternoon' suit, regular black shoes, four-in-hand grey tie, white shirt, keys to my locker at Music Hall, my Union card, and several things I cannot remember.

Of course, this action-packed earliness of the day left me without 'suitable concert attire'. To this day I thank God that I didn't have my violin on the stack of throw-away stuff that morning. One thing was left on my list of ugliness that day--breaking the contract with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. I did this with a letter to the manager, and the Maestro--I could not, was not man enough to face them. Conductor sent me a real neat reply, which I have kept, urging me to reconsider, saying how much he'd miss me, etc. I believe his main concern was finding a suitable replacement.

AMENDED:
Four years after this incident, the orchestra enjoyed a TEN-WEEK tour to many countries in Europe, Asia...literally around the world. A few years later the musicians were making about $80,000 a year! That was my first lesson (NOT learned!) regarding our common phrase,
beautiful, and so true: "Stick around until the miracle happens!".

My memory bank displays to me, even unto this very day, the following scenes.:

1. An eerie picture of my clothing floating lazily downstream in th fog, on top of the slimy, oily, filthy Ohio River waters....(I used to make coffee out of river water, scoop it up, boil it, drink, ahhhh! Never figured out what were those little flecks of whiteness in the water!)

2. The look on the face of my 12-hour bride, as she settled for a quart of Bacardi Rum (Dark) in lieu of alimony...

3. The feeling of complete FREEDOM, having shed my lady, my symphony job, and any reminders. Also I had enough money for a few weeks of booze, and I could always wheel-and-deal for some Valium, Librium, or any of the 'ums families of pills.

4. Two quarts of Smirnoff hidden under the generator housing on the roof on my shanty: emergency stash ONLY!

5. A climb up the hill to see what celebrities (the mayor of Front St and Bridge Ave, e.g.) were vomiting at the Do Drop Inn during early afternoon, and if any geezer was buying a 'round' for the house.

6. That sudden gleeful realization that my violin was still on board.

7. One full vodka bottle was still factory-sealed--my BREAKFAST for the following day. What COULD else--in the whole world--matter? You said W.H.A.T.???

Then God took over, brought me to my knees, and subsequently to Alcoholics Anonymous. AA took all that wonderful stuff away from me, and gave me what? Well.....GOD! SOBRIETY! COMPASSION! HAPPINESS! PEACE! SERENITY! LOVE! HEALTH! YOU! And God gave back to me......................ME! Thank You!

Love you bloggers, and now I'll arrange for some time to read and comment your stuff, on which I thrive....
OH! so much!

It's been a busy, tiring, FUN, and "Filled-With-Blessings" week--I MEAN that! Now I'll get back to normal, but thank You, God--for the abnormal!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

FOGGY LIFE--NOT!

Tug on the Ohio at Cincinnati

For several years I 'summered' drunkenly
(or "simmered"?) on a houseboat--THOR.
I lived right under this bridge.
Many early mornings looked like this photo.
Whether it was foggy or not -grin!
One of the "highlights" of my life, Drunken River Rat!



LIFE IS NO LONGER SO FOGGY!

NMW is a young, but long-time sober girl, new to blogging AND to our beautiful community of bloggers. I'm hoping you'll drop by her blog and say "Howdy" (or something more suitable). She is new to blogging. I met NMW about 21 years ago, and recently (happily!) got to renew our old friendship.

NMW sponsors people, has a sponsor, attends meetings regularly, is involved in service. In other words, she LIVES the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, as do the rest of us members in the "Winners' Circle". NOTE: you don't need to be a 'long-timer' to reside in the "Winners' Circle". One day of sobriety and open mindedness, qualifies any real alcoholic as a winner...my opinion. Anyway, please welcome NMW, a newcomer to the world of blogging, and a newcomer to our SPECIAL blogland.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS AA HAS GIVEN ME:

Our beautiful Twelve Steps, and first 164 PAGES in Big Book

Meetings, here in Naples, and here, on the computer.
(I realize these blogs are not meetings, because often they
are just SO MUCH BETTER than meetings! For me!)

A new friend who I love like a brother

An old friendship dating from 1964

How have I deserved TWO "best" male friends?
Answer: I do NOT "deserve"--these are gifts from God

How do I deserve 34 sober years?
Answer: I do NOT deserve them --They are
God-sent gifts as long as I cooperate with Him.

A new sponsee, 4 years sober Feb 7

A thorough emotional cleansing through my music

A "renewed" VERY PERSONAL relationship with God

A VERY busy wife

A VERY busy and useful life

A HAPPY wife

A HAPPY life

Blogger peeps from A to A (Africa to Australia)

I am asking today for you all: Understanding, Peace, Happiness, Serenity, Love, and SOBRIETY--and I also wish a share of those gifts.

Sincerely, I'm in love with God, AA, life, and YOU!

Peace,
Steve E.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

COMMENTARY

NOTE: In order to fully understand the following, it might be helpful to go read Mary's blog. I had commented there, and it was more than lengthy, so I decided to make it my entry for today. This is intended to offend NO ONE.

MY UNPOSTED COMMENT
ON MC's BLOG

Mary, your daily wise--and other--remarks on here give to a LOT of people--a LOT of help. Even your tired and "Grumpy" times -grin.


You frequently, somehow find a way to bring us to the old-time, "down-and -dirty" AA, the hard-core stuff with which many long-timers manage to stay sober No Matter What. (NMW)

I never watered down my liquor, so how come some of us try to water down our AA programs? Maybe it's that "easier, softer way" which is so attractive.

I (and you, and others) remember forever that alcohol is "cunning, baffling, powerful"...and whoever denies that statement only need visit a beginner's meeting. There do I find exactly what that means!


Mary, it is so helpful and supportive for many of us to realize (through the blogs of us long-timers, or elsewhere) that no matter how long we're sober, every day is not Christmas, and every night is not New Year's Eve! You are a most worthy blogger, indeed! IMHO!


Sincerely,
Steve E.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HANG OUT--AT THE OPERA?????

LA BOHEME (Puccini)

LET'S HANG OUT!

Several days ago I met this fellow (2 yrs sober) at a morning meeting. We 'connected'--you know how that is--and so we now sit together when we attend the same group. This morning we had breakfast after, and it turns out he'd been 'looking for' someone to HANG OUT with when he is in Naples. Lives in Chicago, but his elderly parents live here. I'm already enjoying this friendship.

Another guy was here couple weeks ago, and we somehow 'connected'. He is now back in Pennsylvania, but called me yesterday. How honored I was to be chosen as one of the recipients of his time, trust, and man-to-man talk. He'll be back down to Naples in December, and hopefully we will again HANG OUT for some hours.

Another man I met last week, (Isn't it funny? Wonder why none of these men have names? -grin) who will be in Naples until mid-February. He, well...he also wants to talk and HANG OUT, until he goes wherever he needs to travel. NOTE: I call HANG OUT..."working our 'beautiful' God-inspired, Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous". The men I know usually don't realize that when they use the expression "Hang Out" -grin!

Of course, most of you blogger peeps know that I am not in that group of "GLUM LOTS Anonymous". Where I would put myself would be in a group called the "Smiling Enthusiasts". Our MOTTO: "We absolutely Insist On Enjoying Life". We might regularly meet, but I believe we'd be one of those "LOV-NMM" Groups "Lots-Of-Visitors...Not-Many-Members" groups.

Anyway, I am really happy that God sends me people to be with, to talk with, and to share breakfast. NOTE: We went this morning to the restaurant where a group of about sixteen long-timers regularly eat after the meetings. One person--whose program I respect and admire--calls them the "INVENTORIES-R-US" Breakfast Club. (OUCH!) I hope one of them is reading this, YEAH! -grin.

ANOTHER TOPIC: OPERA

This week I'm really tied up in opera rehearsals and PEOPLE...I'M LOVING IT!!! Years have passed since I played Opera, in Cincinnati, Ohio during the summers. This one is Puccini's LA BOHEME, and is a very NON-boring type of entertainment. But I will see little of that from the orchestra pit (I play violin FYI).

Performances are Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Sunday night I PROMISE to blog about this experience, and a little bit of what role Alcoholics Anonymous had to play in my enjoyment of this new slice of life--which I thought was never again to be within reach. (BTW, I got comp tickets for Prayer Girl and a friend for Friday night.)

Between now and then, I'm sure gonna miss reading most of your blogs, and commenting in my (ahem!) usual one-or-two-word fashion...BIGGEST GRIN!!!

ONE SOBER HAPPY ALCOHOLIC is signing off for now, with L.O.V.E. for all that is God, all that is AA, and all that is YOU, my blogger FRIENDS, and, like it or not, I truly mean every word I write to you. SO THERE!

REALLY, I'm dying to meet f2f with some of you at Annie K's home 12-14 June, and crash some meetings together--and get a few hugs {{{}}} along the way -grin. And talk, and LAUGH, and talk some more, and...oh, yes, EAT! I'll bring my violin, unless there is an objection...

Who posted this?...and WHEN, did you say?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ANNIVERSARY

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

This is just an announcement, and it really gives me pleasure to congratulate ZANE on SEVENTEEN YEARS of sobriety today. Believe me when I write that I have learned SO much from you bloggers, and Zane's infrequent postings are special to me. Shhhhhhh! whisper: maybe because they ARE infrequent? -BIG GRIN

Zane I wish that we might meet f2f ("f" words?) one day, maybe at the AA World Convention in San Antonio in August 2010??? Hope so.

Here's some AA hugs {{{}}}} (I know they're lopsided--you pulled one arm away first! -grin)
From Steve E.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mmmmmm...LOVE that letter "M"


Mmmmmmm,

the rules of the game are simple. you are assigned a random letter and you should then post 10 things that you love that begin with that letter. if you read this and want to play, leave a comment that says so, and i'll assign you a random letter. and on and on it goes.


Ten Things I LOVE about the letter "M"

SHADOW played a game on her blog that seemed like huge fun, so i thought i'd play along...and she sent me the letter--well, you guess...

Meditation: Oh my! What a wonderful word for me, it conjures peace, tranquility, healing, prayer, a joining with God, which is actually (IMO) union with everyone, and all things created. Exquisiteness! The "practice" of meditating has come to be a transporting of myself into a realm of sublime happiness, if even for a short moment. As with prayer, though--WHY do I not do it more?

Meetings: Anyone who has been within a mile of me (or 9,000 miles, as in South Africa?) well knows my LOVE for meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. This God-sent fellowship of recovering men and women has literally saved my life, I would have died by 1980. I was killing myself, not slowly, but on a fast-track, intentional, suicide, 190 proof alcohol being my poison--that's 95% alcohol! I love to meet people who are now where I WAS, and meetings are where they are. Sometimes God allows me to help them, letting His grace do His work through me.

Meatloaf: Sorry, you veggies...but I love this dish prepared with ground beef, some Italian sausage, powdered Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Rye bread, plus whatever can be found in the kitchen sink, which has not yet been discarded. Ummmmm (more letter "M"s!)

Mushrooms: On just about anything or everything, I'll scoop them up, just have more in the ready.

Marriage: This I certainly believe in--I must, since I've been married four times. Not proud bragging, just a fact. It can be the BEST, or the WORST period in one's life, I have known both. Certainly there are occasions I wish I lived alone, but that is rare. I want company, need companionship, a MATE (Did I just 'see' another "M" word?) NOTE: Fourth time is surely the best!

Motorscooter: If you throw away my motorscooter, throw me away with it. This is not just ANY bike, this is my Suzuki Bergman Executive 650 (sound impressive?--it IS!). Flex and I have been through some narrow escapes which I do not talk about around here, but we know each other pretty well, and I LOVE her. "Flex" is also the name of my Guardian Angel. When we were doing 95 mph one day, she said to me, "Slow down, Butthead." And I did.

Magic: In the past 20-30- years magic has grown into the extravaganza era of planned events, e.g., moving the Statue of Liberty. All so phony-baloney, to me. I remember real magic, when at age six I marveled at the man or woman who pulled thirteen miles of silk scarves out of a coat sleeve. Or two dozen rabbits out of a hat, followed by sixteen blackbirds. Where did go THAT kind of magic?
Also, I 'm simply enthralled with card tricks--I mean the really good ones.

Mittens: "Back in the old country" (Cincinnati, Ohio!) mittens were a necessary part of any child's wardrobe. Well, even though we each had our own horse, we sometimes were without mittens, and that's why I'm living in Florida for the past 44 years--didn't need mittens. However, If I am riding a motorized two-wheeler, 50-90 mph, in 48 degree weather, on the way to a violin -playing gig, I need mah mittens! And I have never before been so grateful for those hand-coverings as now.

M&Ms: When I began computing c.1993, I needed help on occasion. I was told to buy a bunch of M&Ms and to always, ALWAYS, have a bowl of them on hand for the tech to nibble on while he was working on my computer. This action encouraged him to forget time, and I noticed as years went on, whoever worked on my computer gave me excellent service, as they emptied the bowl (I tried to keep it filled!). One TECH even said to me, "No, I NEVER eat sugar, and don't even like chocolate." Well, he emptied TWO bowls in two hours, then stayed on to chat as we both polished off another bowlful.
Now, when I go to help someone "setup" their equipment, I tell them I do not charge Money ("M" word) but I require a large bowl of M&Ms sitting right by the monitor!

Meander: This blog has been a meandering through some of my favorite "M" words. I'm reminded--not with any great glee--that much of my life has been a meandering between drunk and sober, between life and death, between heaven and hell. Even my AA program has somehow withstood a number of years of meandering. Only during the last ten or fifteen years has my life really improved, and even now, I meander somewhat--but comfortably...comfortably!

NOTE to Shadow...this has been the Most personal fun I've had with any of these "Blog-games". Thank you SO much for allowing me to play!
Love ya,
Steve E.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm Comfortably Stupid

THIS IS CALLED A "HEAD COLD"??


COMFORT FOOD... OR
COMFORTABLE FOOD


When we were kids and got sick, we were served the welcome "Chicken Noodle Soup" with lots of vegs, lots of chicken, lots of noodles, lots of salt, and lots of smell. It smelled so good, cooking half the morning (enough, of course, for four children, Mom and Pop, and six hired hands, and a live-in maid, assorted dogs, cats, goats, and whoever else wandered through the yard, neighbors included. And don't forget the "leftovers" for tomoorow!

Well, the BESTEST chicken noodle soup hereabouts comes from a restaurant called PERKINS. I'm sure it's a national chain. I'm not recommending anyone go there for dinner, because recommending an eatery is a dangerous undertaking. However, if ANYONE you know has a cold, get a quart or two of their c.n. soup, take it home, and you will be L.O.V.E.D.

Anna surprised me with that today, and WOW! I am sure a lucky guy to have found her about 20 years ago. She was sober only 3-4 years then, and didn't make much sense -BIG GRIN. That's how she came to marry ME. She said, one brightly lit, sunny Sunday afternoon, after a meeting--we really did not know each other-- she said, "We Have To Talk". (The four deadliest words know to man.)

NOTE: I always acted real 'cool' back then! Single and rarin to go! Even today, I wake up at 4:30AM like that sometimes (NOT SINGLE!!!), but by 11:30, I'm wiped out for a couple hours.

Another present she brought home was one of PERKINS Chocolate Eclairs, stuffed full of that wonderfully creamy-yellow stuff--NO, not butter, guys! And the chocolate on top of these whoppers, is at least quarter-inch thickness. Napkin is essential! And I keep forgetting that the slower I eat this thing, the longer it will last...one day I'll learn! Anyway, if I had to choose my "final meal..."

ANOTHER TOPIC:

Really I don't know if its my "cold", or if it's growing "old", but occasionally I'm known to send an Email to someone--which was meant for someone ELSE. I'm certain that had never happened to anyone reading this...NEVER? Is that true? Have I finally found my "uniqueness" here? Always wanted to be (and for years, thought I was) UNIQUE -grin.

Anywaysss, if this should happen to you, please respond, so I can un-baffle your baffleness. Thanks for understanding. Be thankful you're not my wife--who has to deal with this bad-memory crapola frequently during a given day.

Recently I even called her by the name of one of my ex-wives! How would YOU deal with that? Since we're both Gemini, we seemed to work it out, but I have my secret, lingering doubt...still.


So often, when I look at my blog to edit, it reads like a Seinfeld scene, all about nothing. And yet, if I were not sober, and VERY grateful, I would not even BE here. You bloggers--and people like you--have shown me the way, and I'm still learning, day-by-day!

Going to bed early tonight. Let's all stay sober today NMW (No Matter What!)

Tomorrow--God willing--I'll meet with a new guy at a Starbucks at 9AM and got to a 9:30 meeting nearby. You pray-ers might remember him when you do it. Thanks!
Love, Steve E.

Friday, January 16, 2009

NMW

NO MATTER WHAT!

Hi Everyone (sniff, sniff, cough). I do hope Mary Christine is better, because I woke up as the new owner of her her "snot factory". Anna asked me if I have a "head cold" and I told her Yes, but it's better decribed as a "body cold".

The following tells how I feel: I did not 'ride' today...yet. It's 9AM and I missed both my favorite meetings. Haven't even had my "drug", coffee. You Bloggers came first! (How's THAT for "sick"?)

I am not a complainer either, as MC has also stated about herself...but for some reason I want my friends to know how I am. As much as I SURE want to know how THEY are doing. I live to know your trouble, how you feel, what it's like at home, etc. This is how I know you. This is how I can better pray for you.

This morning, rehearsal at 10, and play a wedding tonight. And I will honor those contractual obligations. I was raised the "NO MATTER WHAT" way (thanks again, Zane!). You (not Zane!) milked the cows (50 of them) twice a day no matter what. You practiced your violin every day, no matter what. An acronym would be useful here NMW--no matter what!

Tomorrow will be here, NMW. I will write NMW. I will practice, NMW. And this blog has been "all about me"...sorry, sometimes that's all I got to write about. Oh well, if you read it, thanks. If you did not, thanks ALSO! I know you most of you pray, so when you "pray for all us bloggers" I'm already included. (Sniff, sniff, cough, cough).

Thank GOD I'm not a drunk today! If I was still a smoker, I'd have been up early, and out, to buy some KOOLs. Ya know what I mean?

That's plenty enough for this topic, this blog.

And I sure wish God's PEACE for all of you. And I sure LOVE all of you...NMW. Namaste...in the simplest sense!

Steve E.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Second Thoughts!

THINK IT THROUGH

Earlier this morning I had posted a "Blong". I was very tired while typing it out, and reading it this morning, it just didn't make much sense. So it is now in cyber-heaven, or maybe cyber-hell -grin.

Short gratitude List:

  • That I have enough sobriety to know when to delete (well, sometimes!)
  • For the cold air this morning
  • Reminds me of how wonderful is the warm
  • For a motorized scooter
  • To ride to two early meetings
  • GOOOD meetings
  • That I've been sober long enough to know the difference
  • For my wife, family, and friends
  • For bloggers, OH! how grateful!
  • For the new guy I may meet this morning
  • That I now believe in a God Who is directing me
  • That--so far today--I have 'listened' to God
  • That you do not care if this list is short or "Blong"
  • Music, all kinds
  • My gigs, and my French violin (c.1856)
  • That somehow time stopped enough so I could jot down this list
  • Maybe my guardian angel Flex had something to do with that -grin
  • to be born in United States at this time--or any time
  • That I still have a winter coat
  • Which I'm gonna wear now, as I bike outta here!
Peace and L.O.V.E., from
Steve E.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DOES GOLD GLITTER?



ALL THAT IS GOLD DOES NOT GLITTER


For Christmas holiday my wife gave me a special gift which I had picked, a gold cross. This is the first time in my life I've owned a real piece of gold. It feels so good. The cross is larger than what it seemed in the pawn shoppe (When something is named "shoppe" everything costs 20% more.)


Since the actual cross makes a startling appearance against a black sweater, I have listened to several confessions in the mall. People say "Good morning, Father!" in their early morning cheerfulness.
And I just walk around 'blessing' them. I hold out my hand, so they may 'touch' me, if they like. So far, no miracles have shown themselves. (You KNOW this paragraph was tongue-in-cheek, right?) And there WAS/IS one miracle:

I AM SOBER! Corollaries to that are: I am happy, I am free. I am joyful, to a degree. For all that, I'm grateful!

The following part-paragraph is from our beautiful Big Book, "Alcoholics Anonymous". It is written by a woman, but BEST--Oh! so best--describes my last years of that non-sober life, lived in a foggy state between half-awareness and oblivion, which some of us know so well. In the Second and Third Editions, page 224, and in the Fourth Edition, page 202 will take you to "ME". Title of story is "Women Suffer Too". My heart beats faster still, as I read this excerpt:


"And I remember the creeping horror of the interminable night, in which I slept for short spells and woke dripping with cold sweat and shaken with utter despair, to drink hastily from my bottle and mercifully pass out again. 'You're mad, you're mad, you're mad!' pounded through my brain with each returning of my consciousness, and I drowned the refrain with drink."

Every word is important, because each word harbors a meaning of truth for me, for the way life (slow death) WAS.


I must say to you, that from there ("I was alone and lonely...")--to here (enthusiastic joyfulness)--was not a one-day job. It took God, with my somewhat reluctant and sometimes half-assed cooperation, almost thirty-five years to get from there.....to here--wherever 'here' is. Here is where is the GOLD!

Do not ask me if I wish to go back to that life. Whatever I do today--I know what I'm doing. Seldom do I know WHY, but I do not want to know the answer to 'why'? So, please do not ask "Why?" Ask "What?" or ask "How?" or "When?" or "Who?".....or "Who cares?" -grin.


Gratitude I express now, with enthusiasm for my sobriety, for this Golden Way of Life--our program of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions--and reaching out to touch anyone who also reaches out for help, for support, or for me to (ahem!) "hear their confession" -BIG GRIN!!!


In Peace, Service (I guess we're ALL in the 'service' business!), and LOVE.


Steve E.
Who posted this, and When???

Monday, January 12, 2009

CAREFUL: GOD IS CALLING!


WATCH OUT! SOME "GOD" STUFF AHEAD....
GOOD STUFF?


What a wonderfully busy and spiritual weekend this was. For several years I've been more or less (MORE!) riding high on this 'pink cloud' of being happy, experiencing great peace, and sometimes even serenity (being at peace in the midst of turmoil). I thought three years ago I was going to soon die, because I figured the tranquility in my life at that time was reserved for the dead, not the living.

No longer do I believe that way. But my love for life has continued in an upward spiral. I ask some long-timers, how can this be, how can it last, my voracious appetite for wanting, desiring, yearning for a better life, when it is already "better"?

True, there are the continuing usual health problems, love problems, family problems, 'choice' problems (Prudence) and a lacking in the virtue, Fortitude. And I cannot forget my nemesis PRIDE--holy Sh*t! But at lease, at last, I know who am I, Who God is, and what God wants of me. And it is utter simplicity--the answer. How I so struggled for many decades seeking the solution to my dilemma. The answer, which has evolved for me follows:

I am an alcoholic. I am a part of God's Creation. God is a Spirit. God is without gender, neither 'She' nor 'He' nor 'It'. God resides deep down within me--and within each and every one of us...unless I forcibly, willfully, actively and continuously expel God. God is always waiting, ready, desiring with His Whole Heart, to reenter me. Thank God! -grin

I spurned God for many years, but always deep down, I knew He was somewhere nearby. I 'felt' Him, as in "God! Help me!" For me, it is as in the HOUND of HEAVEN.

Without my knowledge, God brought me to my knees, to the bottom of my pit, to my point of no return via my "other god"--alcohol. What horrors, the unchanging turmoil, constant bickering/fighting, the spilled blood, the horrors, chaos
, the unwillingness to change, EVER. I do not dwell on this period of my life, but I DO remember it, if needed to show someone else where I've been...and to where I've come to be.

Which is the next part. NOTE: Here, birds sing, vibrant colors break out of their mazes, into heavenly art, everyone loves everyone, we are all equal yet different, peace reigns, and I AM SOBER. Praise God! Yes, now I can truly say it was God Who brought me to Alcoholics Anonymous, and God used you people to bring me back to Him.

It is a comfortable place to be, today...sober, and with God. TODAY! When uneasiness enters into my life, due to any activity, I must (however reluctantly? -grin) check my motive for doing whatever is producing that feeling. Thank You God, for these Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, AA members, and especially YOU BLOGGERS! I depend on you--and that whole last sentence-- for my daily nourishment, and I wish you all peace, and I LOVE you all! AMEN?

Sincerely,
Steve E.


(Who published this...and WHEN???)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

THE GAMES WE PLAY

THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY


There’s a game going around. I found it at Shadow's blog. I was game to play so she sent me these questions. If you want to play too, check out the rules at bottom of page. NOTE: Please do not read my answers, though!!!


1. If your wife were to give you a surprise, in any shape, form or action, what would please you the most? (sorry, i just had to…)

ANSWER: 'Rena, you got me between a rock and a hard place (sorry, I just had to...) The following is not BS, but just the way I feel today. My bestest surprise from my wife would be for her to secretly organize a face-to-face get-together with some of my/our/your favorite bloggers (say, South Africa? -grin) or Dr Bob's House in Akron OH, or the International Convention in August 2010 (in some place called San Antonio, Texas...or Naples, Florida. Any time, any place, any year, a real surprise! THAT would be the MOST!

2. What favorite saying of yours drives your family crazy?

ANSWER: My "new" (since July '08) favorite saying is "F*ck"...and I learned that right here in AA blogland -grin! I have to place blame on SOME thing...after all, I'm an alkie, right?

3. If you could play any instrument except the violin, which one would you choose? and have you ever played it?

ANSWER: String Bass. I've always "heard" the bass line, when playing violin in symphony orchestras. It is to a work of music, like a foundation is to a building, all else is built upon it. Exciting. Besides, the String Basses play about one note, to every 101 notes played by violins. Nope, I've never played a bass, but probably could without too much training.

4. If you can change one decision you’ve made in your life. which one would that be?

ANSWER: In 1952 I would have joined the Navy. If I was destined to drink like a sailor, I might as well have been one. In fact, I got married, had a child, stayed in college and kept up my 4.0 grade average. In truth, this was my method of evading the draft. In those days, you didn't just run over to Canada (Nothing against Canada...I LOVE it, and the animals which live there...I mean people, I mean PEOPLE!!! PEOPLE...RIGHT, JOHNNY?

5. What one sure thing always lifts your mood when you are feeling down?

ANSWER: A favorite AA meeting and a glad, happy, knowing SMILE, and a big, true hug from a true AA friend--if it's a girl, maybe a peck on the cheek. OR an invitation to coffee and chat (AA). One other remedy I have, is quiet (if possible, isolated) peaceful meditation--just God and I, alone, not busily 'talking'. Rather just BEING with my God, the One Friend Who will NEVER let me down for too long

To play the game, here are the "RULES"

* Leave me a comment, below, saying: interview me

* Comments with e-mail addresses will not be published to preserve privacy

* I will e-mail you five questions. I get to pick the questions

* You can then answer the questions on your blog

* You should also post these rules along with an offer to interview anyone else who e-mails you wanting to be interviewed

* Anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog

* It would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger

So, are YOU up for it?? I hope so!

Might as well have fun--we are NOT a glum lot...in fact, we absolutely INSIST on enjoying life.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"I did not say a "bowl"...I said a bowl-FULL"
Zuppa Toscana by Olive Garden and ANNA


OK...DRINK THE SOUP,
BUT ALSO WORK THE STEPS!

Several evenings ago, PG and I went to an Olive Garden restaurant. I never look at the menu there, so when something changes (Oh! that word "change"!) it is usually a surprise to me.

My favorite of favorites there always was--WAS--cannelloni al forno, ummmmm, SO good. (Now, please someone, do NOT tell me it is cooked in wine or some such BS, because I DON'T CARE! My dinner, and MY sobriety, OK?) That's the kind of gaff I get from places where they say LOUDLY, "Meeting Makers Make It". And I usually say, "What about those who work the steps...do they make it also"? Well, Cannelloni is OFF the menu. SHHHIshkabob.

But there is, in the "soup" section of the menu, another of my old friends, Zuppa Toscana. If that were the only dish available, I could eat it every day for a year--at least. That IS the way I eat, so boring--one good item (like a tuna fish sandwich-grin), I will eat a few each day for a month. Don't get me started on Peanut Butter (Caps intended!).

Anyway, the Olive Garden Tuscany Soup is the GREATEST! I suspect that (chef extraordinaire) Mary LA will delete me from her blogroll--if I was ever on it -grin.

So, what finally happened? PG decided to make it, duplicate the OG restaurant soup. She found several recipes online and I am HERE TO TELL YOU,
she "got it right". I am so proud, and I can save $50 once a month by NOT going to OG.

Of course, PG will probably want to eat now at Ruth's Chris Steak House, where two people can eat for well under, say, $180. (Exaggerated, but not by much!)

However, the REAL story of our early night trip into town for dinner, is how (it had to be) God intervened, to save us both from being dead. In very heavy traffic, we were riding inside/outside, etc., according to the book, when a two-car accident happened just so close to the front of my bike, I could feel the vibes. I skidded around, and Anna therefore just missed ME. Thank God for ABS bike brakes! Then our immediate concern was whether the traffic BEHIND us could stop as shortly as we did. They DID. We are alive and well. Our angels were working overtime though.

Maybe we should opt for that insurance, after all? AND, I must blame this on Alcoholics Anonymous. Being each of us sober a good number of years, we had a "near-miss", instead of drunkenly totaling our bikes and ourselves. Thank You, God, for bringing me to AA, and thank you AA...for giving me back my God.

Peace and Love to you all, Bloggers.
Sincerely,
Steve E

Friday, January 9, 2009

DOES THE HORSE GO BEHIND THE CART?

Is this how AA will one day appear to the drunk at the door?


SINCE WHEN DOES THE HORSE GO
BEHIND THE CART? Hmmmmmm?

Friday morning I attended two really great meetings--they usually are! After B & B (That's Breakfast & Blogging! for you Benedictine addicts!), I biked to some errands. On way home from the bank, I passed a little meeting room called "The Serenity Club", just before 12 noon. What does one do, when a situation like that presents itself? Well, I stopped in.

Now, this is a place very near to my house, but where I seldom attend meetings--don't really know why, bad vibes from the past, maybe? Well, I knew several of the ten in attendance. The chairperson I used to sponsor (Mr.soberwetpants), couple years ago, until he fired me (something about a resentment? -grin). And the meeting was a 12X12 reading, then discussion.

Mr.soberwetpants announced we were on Step NINE, that he had several weeks before, started the step study on Step TWELVE, and was moving backwards. I truly thought he was joking, but everyone just turned to step 9, as if this was a common way to work and learn about the steps.

I hate to be (always, lately, it seems?) the "bad guy" and so I usually sprinkle lots of sugar on my remarks when I'm telling people they are waaaay off the beam. But I had to let them know that our beautiful God-given Steps, forged through the hard experiences of early members, were numbered in such a way as the plans for a building are numbered. Most of the guys there were out-of-work construction employees, so they fully understood the analogy of a solid foundation on which the rest of the building is placed.

So, I was more than attentive, as the small group "shared" on Step NINE. It seemed to be all about saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry", to all who might listen: family, friends, co-workers, strangers. And there was lots of talk about "forgiveness". Mr.soberwetpants said, "I first had to forgive myself"...UGH! I nearly threw up!

I HAD to let them know my incredulousness at how little was really being understood in this room, regarding this step. The fact that this--and the Fourth Step--more than all others, required a sponsor was unheard of. The fact that "Making Amends" meant that somewhere along the line a CHANGE was necessary, was unknown in that room.


This group meets in Naples, where AA and Alanon is much alive, very strong, showing muscle-flexing growth--in every way. To think I just "happened to be riding by" this particular meeting at 12 noon was, of course, a coincidence, as we all now know -BIG GRIN!

However, when I go there Friday, it will not be coincidence, it will be an act of willingness to do God's will, if indeed it IS God's will.

Funny thing, we'll probably be on Step EIGHT, where we "make a list" of those people to whom we "made amends to" the day before!


Hey, Blogger Peeps, I am grinning at the preposterousness of this "backward method" of working the steps. I just cannot BELIEVE it! But I can and do believe God is in charge, and that God works mainly through people, in God's Own Time.


"In love and service" (I don't use those words often, or lightly),
Steve E.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

God, I thank You for so many things:

  • The Air I breathe
  • Being old, yet feeling young (mostly!)
  • Being allowed to ACT young
  • Being allowed to make mistakes
  • Having a program to correct mistakes
  • My music
  • My fine violin
  • My fine wife
  • My fine bike
  • Signed contract to play opera, La Boheme
  • I get to Play masses every Saturday and Sunday mornings
  • Two wedding jobs next week
  • I can choose what to say or do (mostly!)
  • My 12-yr-old cat Burt
  • Letting me rescue Burt when he was 3 inches long
  • It was cold. He was soaking
  • It was raining
  • he was under a wood pile
  • Letting me sleep
  • Even when Burt does not sleep
  • Memories of St Xavier High School
  • Master's Degree in Music Ed
  • Never had to use that degree (Teach!)
  • My friends in and out of AA
  • Most IN AA!
  • Our Beautiful AA Literature
  • Our beautiful AA Program for Living
  • AA meetings all the time
  • Sunshine all the time
  • Wife in Alanon
  • Wife in AA (same wife!)
  • Wife in bed asleep (Yesss, same wife!!!)
  • Christmas tree still here in my Great Room
  • Solid Gold Cross--Christmas present from wife
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • 34 years sober
  • Wonderful Blogger Family
  • Nobody hates me
  • I THINK NOT, anyway?
  • I don't hate anybody
  • My children love me--a lot!
  • The sacraments of my religion
  • The Eucharist
  • That I no longer fear death
  • That I no longer fear LIFE
  • That I love God
  • That God loves ME
  • That God loves EVERYONE!
That this blog is finished--for tonight...

Peace, and Love, Bloggers!
Sincerely,
Steve E.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

For Wednesday Morning...ZZZzzzzz

Hey, everyone

Thanks to all who sent me jokes, some VERY GOOD. Special thanks to Dave who sent me a file containing about 1,000 jokes in various stages of undress--oops! I mean..er, of funniness.

I don't feel good right now, just SO tired, nothing more. Going to bed, no blog tonight. If I do not get to my meetings in the morning, I'll blog then. Sorry--hate to miss a day.
Peace, and Love, all you happy, joyous, and free 'loggers!
Sincerely,
Steve E.

Volunteer (you idiot -grin)

Line up, guys...It's "treat" time.
My Firefighter/paramedic daughter
feeds her puppies,
and they love her for it.
I even got along with that guard dog, Chief.
But she had to "introduce us" outside first!


WHERE IS THAT GUY WHO SAID
"I'LL DO IT"?


In 1974 one drunk--me...20 hours w/o a drink-- entered my first room and first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous on March 19 at 8 PM. The group, in Naples, FL, was uniquely named--well, what else?-- "The Naples Group".

For a number of years the Naples group has been meeting in a church hall in downtown Naples, and has become known as "the Cookie Meeting". Plus or minus 200 people attend our speaker meeting each Thursday night at 8 PM.

In latter part of February, we will host our 55th Anniversary with Dinner and a speaker from "up noahth". Tickets are sold out. This all sets the stage for my Tuesday blog:

Many of the 200 meeting attendees are from area treatment facilities, but there are about 50 members of the group at every meeting. However, and this should not be "news", at the monthly business meeting there were three in attendance, plus one who was, well, "auditing". The "auditor" was checking the group out, to see if he might wish to join. The "auditor" was me, steveroni. I had not been a member of this group for a blong time. (I'm changing Hone Groups, folks!)

Well, tonight Polly (of chocolate chip cookie fame--I've blogged about her) sent out an emergency note announcing a business meeting to fill necessary positions in the group. So, steveroni volunteered to be the librarian. The position of Librarian usually, traditionally, is not a very busy job. But in a group-size of 200 people every week, it is a bit demanding, giving out free Big Books to new people, and keeping track of Grapevine sales. We carry every AA book and pamphlet on record. (Umm, guess that means I'll have to order stuff, and keep records? Hmmmmm?)

When I "sat in" I told them that a guy (me) who has been "doing things" in AA for over thirty years, starting groups, chairing groups--anyway, you know what I mean--this guy should retire, and let the new people "DO-IT".

Well, they informed me that our program is a job to be worked 24/7 until death do us part. And you know what? They are correct! So AlkySeltzer , who has only been attending daily meetings, sponsoring, and speaking, will now, once again, be a contributing member in the "service" department.

I forgot! One more thing. The Librarian is responsible for telling one joke (gotta be funny, these are Alkies, ya know!) each week. Now, that sounds like a lark, but that's FIFTY-TWO jokes a year, folks!
I can handle telling them, but wonder if any of you will send me some? Gotta be short...and good.

Send to: fiddlemn@comcast.net

Cowboy Roy Rogers used to sing a song:

"Back in the Saddle, Again......
Out where a friend is a friend."

Again...you know what? It feels GOOD!

Just one more way,
to stay sober today,
in a workin' sort of way,
jus sayin'....


Peace, and Love.
Sincerely.
Steve

Who published this, and when...?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"BLONG" COMMENT

Thought it was time to put up (again) a photo of my
MOSTEST FUNNEST TOY' my Suzuki Bergman 650 "Executive


NOTE: Following is a "Blong" comment I made on Mary LA's blog this morning...


Good afternoon, Mary! Odd, to write that at 5:30 AM. Reading and commenting your blog daily has given me a new perspective on our small world. Seldom have I given thought to the fact, that as I rise (early) from deep slumber, others are having a nice lunch under the sycamore (well maybe not sycamore?)

Still others are having nothing to eat, wear, sleep on or in. Those same 'others' maybe even have nothing to DO. And time moves slowly, OH! so slowly, given those circumstances.

So I picture myself in both instances, and have great moments of thoughfulness, usually before dawn, each day in Florida, US.

Sorry--I got sidetracked from your blog--maybe not. I thought I held the record for a "blong", but Irish Friend has me beat. She does speak well and good. In any dissertation, it's the imported thought which I discern. And it is good for me...almost always!

Mary, you wrote: "If I could go and sit in AA meetings I think I would go twice a day for the rest of my life out of sheer gratitude."

Ya know, for many years I had two, sometimes three employments a day, and I remember driving a bus daily, saying to myself, "When I retire, I'm going to as many meetings as I can". Well, do you know, it happened! I am SO fortunate to go now to two meeting EVERY day, and sometimes three, or four.

And Mary, I L.O.V.E. them! I thrive on listening, hearing and understanding more and more about Alcoholics Anonymous, God, other alkies, and me.

I wonder if you can even IMAGINE my gratitude? I get to spend time with new members--right out of the woods (literally!) and long-time sober ones as well. I wake each day with anticipatory thoughts and feeling, my heart even speeds slightly, wonderingly, knowing that good things will be happening in me and around me today.

These will include--but not be limited by--writing you (pleasant moments for sure!), attending meetings, working with another, riding my bike (that's BIG 'pleasant'!) playing my violin, blogging, commenting, living, learning and loving...loving you, all the bloggers, and probably everyone I meet, and especially my wife, "One Prayer Girl" (Anna).

My regret of today (each day there are more than too many) is the frustration I feel in not being able to help those in dire need, e.g., those you so eloquently describe to us, mainly the CHILDREN, who have not asked for their lot, and who have no way to help themselves. Reminds me of many "bottomed" alcoholics.

Mary, I'm going to make this my blog for today, and I'll pray that is not offensive to you in any way.

Peace, and Love, from
Steve