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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GOD WORKING? ALWAYS!

God is in charge!


HOW DOES GOD WORK?
Who knows..."only God knows!"

About the year 1940 an extremely low-bottom drunk arrived at the door of AA. A priest, Father Ralph Pfau became the first catholic priest to join Alcoholics Anonymous. His story is legend in our fellowship. His bishop (Indiana) allowed him to devote his entire priest-life to AA, to helping others.

Recently I met a girl, Darlene, who I had known 46 years ago as a "real alcoholic", who went berserk now and then. She was (is) a periodic, as we all learned in later AA meetings during and after March 1974. She cannot get to meetings--actually "will not" is more truthful.

Darlene asked me if I remembered listening to Fr John Doe, as he was called in those early days of AA. I had all of his AA talks on big and heavy vinyl records. One day many years ago I bought a set of his tapes to play on my new "tape deck"! So, of course, I did recall. Well, I do not even own anymore a tape player.

Darlene asked me if I knew where she could get some of his speeches--because she said Fr John Doe had been her only "sponsor" for lo, these many years. His 'messages' were what kept her from drinking. Ya know what? I found those tapes, heard she was visiting Naples this week, and delivered them to th house where she was staying. Darlene was not there, but I know with certainty, she will be one grateful person later today.

She has evolved into a very spiritual personality, and will praise God in gratitude for Fr John Doe, years ago, having his AA talks recorded for whoever wants to hear some lively AA stuff, the "old fashioned" way. She will also be grateful that God somehow allowed me to keep those old tapes, to Ha! FIND them in our house....and that He allowed our connection to happen, to do this slight bit of work for God's Greater Glory. AMDG

So, among the many mini-miracles which I have been allowed to witness this morning, this was one which I chose to blog, and in some way realize that I'll never, ever know "How God Works"...only that He DOES!

Love, Love, and Peace for us all, praise God!
Steve

TRIVIA TODAY

Mae West stated she only liked two type of men: "Domestic and Foreign"

BACK LATER

Really,
I'm
sorry
about
this
but
I'll
have
a
blog
up
by
10 AM.


Peace and Love,
Steve

Monday, June 29, 2009

DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT

POPPA TENDS TO MOMMA--THAT'S LOVE!


DON'T DUCK THE LESSONS

SENT BY GOD


Is all nature committed to carrying out the will of God? Even the galaxies far away? Quasars included? All the animals, fish and creatures of the sea? Are all so dedicated to bending their patterns, their lives to fit God's wishes, God's Purpose? Is humanity the only entity which decides whether to do God's Will, or not?

Is my free will what sets me apart from the other animals? Is that all? If all of nature--except me-- is completely dedicated to my God, maybe there is something more for me to learn.

This line of thought came about when I spied "future Mother" Muscovy Duck on our front door stoop setting on her self-constructed nest, on her nine eggs until their quacking time is arrived. She sits there hour after hour, day after day, week after week, totally committed to carrying out God's Will for her.

There is a certain spirituality involved with the duck's knowledge of what to do, the exact time to do it, and the will to carry it out. More "duck" spirituality emerges as I stand, watch, consider, and decide that total commitment, total dedication, are what are missing in my life, in many areas, on many levels.

I had been ducking the messages God has been sending. It took a duck to bring me the message I needed to hear. A duck had to be used by God to awaken my soul from its state of sometimes semi lethargic aloofness, to an awareness that I, too, have a freedom to choose not only 'right' from 'wrong', but maybe even 'best' from 'better'.

I have freedom of staying on the nest of God's Will, or abandoning that nest, leaving eggs in the cold, to rot and die. My freedom has always been to do, or not do, whatever I believed. My choices were occasionally disturbing to me.


Amazing what I may discover when I "listen" to God speak--through a silent duck--Commitment...Dedication...To Alcoholics Anonymous, to my groups, to my church, my country, to my family, my wife, my health, my bloggers and special friends, to my God.

TRIVIA

And on a clear night, like tonight, I can spot the Spiral Galaxy of Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It sends out rays of light at a rate of 186,000 miles per second.

This light takes 2,500,000 years to get to us. It consists of over One hundred thousand million suns, many larger than our own sun. And, after a moment of silence--and I have once again put myself into perspective, it is time for bed.


And blogger-friends, you are thought of frequently, routinely, often, and typically regularly, with LOVE!

Peace, from
Steve

Friday, June 26, 2009

DETOX, ANYONE???


D-TOX! A FEW THOUGHTS

Now that it is Friday, I am particularly glad to be home, for it is my night to attend a small meeting at "detox". This is one of our locked areas of room-and-board in Naples where people go to slowly have removed from their bodies (maybe also their minds? No, maybe not!) whatever they were using to make themselves 'feel good'.

Their 'stay' is usually 4-6 days, and so if I see any of them more than once, it would likely be at an AA meeting, or when I pick them up to go to a meeting. A guy asked me this morning (at 6:30 AM) "Why do you go to detox meetings, after you've been sober for 35 years?"

Good question! With all the great wisdom I could muster, I told him, "I really don't know. It's been too long since I've asked myself 'Why' about activities like that. I've finally come to the point where I just do it. Whatever 'it' is.


(LATER) Wait! I DO know why I am drawn to detox for a meeting. That is where it all begins, for some. And I need to witness that beginning stage of "soberism". I have found that, for me, many years of sobriety can create a tendency to become distant from "how it was".

Sure, I attend speaker meetings, I sponsor a couple (three) guys, I get to lots of meetings, at least two a day. Big Book, Steps, and Tradition meetings are a regular part of my diet. Along with some service work, I still find that, for me, nothing, but nothing, brings my disease so close to home, to reality, as a meeting with those suffering in a detox unit.

This is where the hair on my violin bow meets with the strings on my violin. Without that 'meeting' there will be no music played. And so THAT'S why I feel so blest to be allowed to share my ESH with the newest of the new.

Lets go back to: "I've finally come to the point where I just do it. Whatever 'it' is.

NOTE: Sometimes as I look back at a particular 'it', I recall how embarrassed I would have been 20 or 30 years ago, doing the same 'it'. Because not every 'it' is commonly, usually normal. But at my age, at my stage, I just move on, trying to let go and let God take care of the outcome. Frequently I'll pretend I'm "looking" at God, and I'll say (not pretending!), "Are You kidding, God? You want me to do THAT? You want me to say WHAT? 'They' will laugh at me, God!"

But, when that (heavenly? Hmmm?) urge keeps rattling the brain, I finally say, instead of "Why?"...well, I say, "Why not?" And ....away we go.

At the detox tonight were 6 patients, and six of us from outside. Of the six incarcerated, two snored somewhat, one said he never had a drink in his liar--ooops, I meant, in his LIFE! And three seemed as if they figured we'd see them again.

Outside after the meeting, the six of us from AA had another shared thought--we knew we had been where we should have been, at least for one hour, today! Thank You, God. Thank you, AA. Thank you, blogger Peeps!

AND NOW...TRIVIA!

Barnyard hogs kill more people every year than sharks do.
--Taken from L.M. Boyd's Curiosity Shop

In love and service.

Steve E

FARRAH AND LOVE

"...and even the angels were put to the test."
Farrah Fawsett 1945-2009



The Open Door
(Photo: Frank Ockenfels III)

LOVE: IS IT ALL ABOUT ME? OR YOU?

A story:

A lover knocked at the door of his beloved.

"Who knocks?", said the beloved from within.

"It is I", said the lover.

"Go away, This house will not hold you and me."

The rejected lover went away into the desert. There
he meditated for months on end, pondering the words of
the beloved. Finally he returned and knocked at the door again.

"Who knocks?"
"It is you."

The door was immediately opened.

--Anthony De Mello, "The Song of the Bird"

AMENDED June 26 Friday

Shadow (and me)...sounds like "Me And My Sha-dow...", an old song-and-dance.

Several considerations. you brought me to give this more thought.

1. When two people are really, truly in love, they become as one.

2. Absence of my nemesis--self, or--self-centeredness would entail that I focus, not ever on ME, but on others always (Mother Theresa?), in this case, on the "you" in the story.

3. I just like the way it sounds..."

Shadow, of all who I might have thought would ask for explanations you
were not even near the list...because you ply us almost daily with those woven intricacies, which have me continually thinking about "could it mean "this" or "that"???

Bless you. Im sure i understand it better now also -grin!

TRIVIA


Q. When and where did the word "humongous" first appear in print?

A. In 1973. In a student newspaper at the University of Denver.


Good morning, Bloggers!
Peace and love---------"it is you."
Steve E

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GRANTING, GIFTING, EARNING, DESERVING

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven


Upon the place beneath:

it is twice blest;


It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:


Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice"





GIFTS AND GRANTS


Admittedly,the following is simply my opinion on the topic of granting, gifting, earning and deserving.


Each day I say our shortened Serenity Prayer (more than once!):

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

In asking God to 'grant' me this serenity, I am asking for an outright gift with no strings. I'm not asking for something for which I've worked. I'm not asking for something which I deserve. I am simply asking God to bestow on me a gift, for which I will not be required to pay a price.

The same for Courage, the same for Wisdom. I am not aware of a college degree in "Wisdom", or "Courage". I am not talking about the Land of Oz here. I cannot "earn" Wisdom, Courage, or Serenity. Certainly I have done nothing to "deserve" these free gifts.

The same is so with my sobriety. Having the obsession for alcohol lifted from me was a gift--but such a wonderful miracle of a gift! I did not earn it, I do not deserve it. It was given me by God, and I did take it, for a gift IS twice blest--in him who gives and him who receives. Without two parts, a giver and a receiver, there is naught but a non-gift.

I believe God offers this gift--and similar ones--to many--not all--of us. Shamefully, so few reach out and take it from their Higher Power. If God is capable of sadness (and I believe He is), I'm sure many God-tears are spilt over drunks who, in essence, refuse the gift, so freely given.

I guess one point I wish to make--and have not made here--is that we who have stayed sober for many years have truly been "chosen" to embark on this highway of sobriety and spirituality. And to a greater or lesser extent we have cooperated with God, in working our program.

There are many who had not nor have not the opportunity for a sober life which I enjoy, which I accepted.

My great sadness is for those who HAVE been given this gift, and who have simply refused to follow the path so well laid out in our Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In Gratitude then, at home or away from home, I try to carry the message of God's Great Gift to others who are still suffering--some new to our program, others many months or years sober. Length of sobriety does not insure against suffering. Working with others DOES!

Ya know I never once had the thought that I deserved sobriety, or that I earned it. At age 43, I "earned" a Master's Degree, and boy--earned--THAT'S the truth! I only wish that my degree could have been been in Wisdom, Courage, and Serenity. But I am using those gifts now, not at their potential, of course. That reminds me:

When I die...my tombstone should read; HERE LIES STEVE--HE HAD GREAT POTENTIAL 1933-2035.


TRIVIA

Tibet has an average elevation of 16,000 feet. It is not a likely candidate for a tidal wave. But ya never know--fossils of sea creatures have been found there in the rocks. It was under water at one time.
Parts of "Trivia" are taken from L.M. Boyd's "Curiosity Shop"

I gotta move on, but not before wishing for you all Peace, and extending to all you bloggers, "my real friends"...Love.

Steve E

GIVE YE HELP ONE TO THE OTHER

HELPING ONE ANOTHER


BRADY


There are those, too, who suffer from
grave emotional and mental disorders,
but many of them do recover,
if they have the capacity to be honest.
Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 58


About eight months ago, a young fellow, Brady, showed up at our early morning group, and he was decidedly "out of it". He was no more in or even near to reality than a cinder. It was obvious that his brain had been slo-baked over time, maybe a dozen years of time.

He kept to himself, spoke to no one, just sat in his chair wearing a painted, shit-eating grin on his face. His stare resembled that of a blind guy selling pencils on a street corner. Difficult to befriend, many of us--me included--sort of, well, I gave up on him. He would hence be tolerated, if only to sit quietly at this meeting for four years, or forty years.

Funny, he'd stand around outside the club before the meetings, just waiting for someone to say something to him. Anyone who tried was met with a completely blank stare of non-recognition.

Enter another guy, Joe. Joe was/is a very sick person also, diagnosed with severe depression, and so Joe had/has all the baggage which is required to battle his own illnesses other than alcoholism. Somehow, Joe found himself facing Brady alone in the smoking area. And somehow, that spark--of which only God could be the Author, the Creator--zapped between the two men, and a common ground for communication was instantly established.

Joe taught with a gentle firmness, with a compassion known only to a sick person who is helping another sick one. One day everyone was met at the door by Brady, who held his outstretched hand close to his belt line, and said feebly, "What's new?" Joe said this to at least eighty people that first morning, He repeated the saying, "What's new?" for twenty-nine mornings after.

Beginning the second month of Brady's evident sobriety--he did not receive a chip--another short phrase had been introduced by Joe. Brady now uttered "How's it goin'?" to approximately eighty people for thirty days, as he stood near the front door.

At the beginning of month number three, Brady began his line with, "Are ya hangin' in there?" At the end of month three, Brady stepped up to receive his 90-Day sobriety chip.

I began daily standing near to where Brady stood. Would you believe I caught him exchanging words--not many!--with some of those arriving to attend the AA meeting? Brady was holding a thought, and forging a snippet of conversation from that gymnastic of his mind. His "sponsor" Joe, we could all tell, looked so proud.

During successive following months the words became, "Go to meetings, and don't drink!"...."Take the Steps, but don't die on Third!".... "Go get 'em, Tiger!" It became clear that Brady was not drugging or drinking, that he was in our wonderful fellowship for the long haul--to stay sober.

And I got to witness the care, compassion, and love of one man, one human for another. I achieved some understanding of the phrase, "We will love you back to health."

Please do not let it pass you by that it was not I who befriended Brady. It was another man, fairly new, who also suffers from a disease other than alcoholism. And I saw God work in the lives of the giver (Joe) and him who received (Brady).

Next time it WILL be me who is on the front line of the encounter, the happening.
Of course, Brady is still a very sick man. I do hear him occasionally share at meetings, and he uses my poem, "Short and sweet, Is hard to beat."

And now...and NOW...


TRIVIA

Probably everyone but me knew this (actually, I knew it -grin!). The oft-quoted line, "He leadeth me beside the still waters" alludes to the fact that sheep will not drink from running streams.

(No more questions will be entertained at this time!)

Love, love, love, and Peace to you bloggers, from
Steve E

Monday, June 22, 2009

CAT-AND-DUCK UPDATES

WORKS PERFECTLY "RIGHT OUT-OF-THE-BOX"


THERE'S NO-OO PLACE LIKE HOME!

MEEEEOW!

Our "rescue cat" Burt (rescued about 12 years ago--by yours truly--from under a pile of wood next door, during a cold, drizzly rain) has grown from 4 inches (with tail) to over 14 inches (not counting tail). And was he ever happy to see us home in Naples.

His care-givers are excellent, and they should be, with daily boarding rates nearly equal to a "Super 8" Motel -grin! However, Burt is now sleeping peacefully at my feet--waiting for my signal that it is supper time.

QUACK, QUACK!

Update on future flock of ducks: Momma Duck has now laid 9 or 10 eggs, and is setting them. Ducks incubate for about 28 days. Momma Duck spread heavy film of 'down' over eggs--while we were gone--to keep them warm while she is at the bar having a drink--water--with the boys. From the looks of her and the sounds she makes when I come near--this momma means business.

When I explain to the folks that this could grow into something 'big', people assume I mean to slaughter the ducks when they become eating-sized.......and maybe dress, and sell them. Thay DO make great Christmas gifts, and are a pleasant switch from thanksgiving turkey.........well?

I love to eat meat, especially poultry, steak, pork, fish, lamb, and 'other'. Ya know, I believe that when I eat green stuff, I can hear the leaves talk, squeal and cry, as they are being mutilated--all those trillions of protons, neutrons and electrons...and especially the quarks. How do I know that each of these particles are not complete, self-sustaining universae?

I have an angel named Flexible (Flex). So how do I know its name is not Georgia, or Bruce? How do I know my name is not Verle or Bubba, instead of Steve? How do I think I'm gonna get OUT of this dammm blog without making a complete ass of myself?

I plead "TIRED", your Honor!

So, let's get on with the only piece of value on this blog:

TRIVIA

American lawmakers are estimated to have passed 35 million laws designed to enforce the Ten Commandments.

BONUS TRIVIA

Q. Why were the San Diego pro football plyers called the "Chargers"?

A. That's not "Charge" as in Light Brigade...but charge as in "Fly now, pay Later!" Their owntime owner, Barron Hilton, 0wned Carte Blanche charge cards.

Just do not have the time to read and cmment tonight...maybe tomorrow. Please forgive me, Peeps.

Peace and Love though, really, to Y'all, from
Steve E

Sunday, June 21, 2009

MEETINGS EVERYWHERE!




MEETINGS, MEETINGS, MEETINGS!


In my copy of our Big Book, page 162, I read, "Some day we hope every alcoholic who journeys will find a fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination."

I am not a 'world traveler', but my annual trips have taken me from Libby, MT to Boca Raton, FL. From Lake City and Montrose, CO to Charleston, WV, and from Cincinnati OH, to Gatlinburg TN, and from Staunton, IL to Maggie Valley, NC. True, I am forgetting places like Macon, GA, Akron. OH, St Augustine, and other towns and cities in Florida.

Why oh why did I leave out the "city of the birth of my recovery", Naples FL? Just passed it by, but it IS my "AA home", now and forever.


AA meetings I readily and easily found in each place--and ALWAYS they were beneficial occasions of giving, receiving, and sharing peace and serenity--and spirituality--for me and others. God has been so good to me, putting people in front of me daily, people who He wishes to use me to help. It does happen, IS happening, every day, more and more...

Here I must say that I have never noticed one single bit of substantive difference in the formats or topics of meetings, great diversity of membership 'Peeps' -grin!, or the serious enthusiasm of AA people everywhere. I have found that we are indeed...ONE! We DO have that 'singleness of purpose' found nowhere else in a "different-in-almost-every-way-imaginable" group of formerly (very) wayward people.

Even most 'religious' people are seldom if ever totally in agreement as to solutions, answers, and program of treatment for their 'issues'.


It is 10:45 PM and maybe tonight I'll get into bed before 11. That will be a 'first' for many weeks, for me.

We are planing to make the last leg of our trip, about 8-9 hour drive, home to Naples, in the morning (Monday). So, if ya get a moment, please say a prayer that God might want us to get there in one piece.


Oh, and thank God for GPS! I could write a Blong about that. What a saving device, saving in miles, and serenity.

TRIVIA

"Catholic priests do not smoke cigars during mass anymore. But they did. Long, long, long ago. Pope urban VIII put a stop to the the practice in first half of the Fifteenth Century."

"Daily Trivia" taken from L.M. Boyd's Curiosity Shop

(I wonder if it was the cigar smoke (instead of incense) on which prayers of the faithful rose heavenward? -grin!)

Peace, and my love is with you tonight, bloggers!
Steve E

COFFE, TEA, AND THEE


TWO MEET TWO


Upon leaving the mountain, we vowed to return to this place--it is close to heaven, and God is in that house. I could 'feel' His presence. However, it was time to move on, and I had promised Kristin and Gabrielli--bloggers who both live in Charleston, WV--that we would "stop by" for coffee, dinner, and a Saturday night AA meeting.

I am SO happy, and SO grateful to be able to say that our meeting with these two blogger-girls was an X-tremely delightful, very comfortable, personally uplifting and spiritually nurturing four hours. Our visit was so sweet and much too short--but it is awesome how well we 'knew' one another right away. When bloggers meet face-to-face, all preliminary BS, and "let me impress you" crapola is eliminated.

We were 'instant' friends. And when Kristin said she was "buying dinner" at Longhorne's Steak Restaurant, we became even 'more instant' in our sharing, caring and loving friendship. My gosh, we may even "drop by" here again one summer day...try 2011. (2010 is International Convention of AA in San Antonio, in early July.)

And what a GREAT AA meeting we attended. Real good solid sobriety here, a pleasure to witness, and be a part of. Got to meet a whole roomful of peeps (I can not remember them, but their attitudes and their enthusiasm I will always remember!)

Thank you SO much, Kristin, for dinner, and showing us one heck-of-a-good meeting. (Would you believe I used to be the shyest one in high school, college, even?) And Gabi, just as I KNEW you'd be, you are one wonderful, smiling, loving person. I am just so glad we drove here for this "sit-down". And we will do it again.

FARM PARTIES

Anyone hear of a Farm Party? We had them every summer in the big barn, before the hay was brought into the barn. I am understanding the tradition is still being kept alive, but the drug of choice is no longer called Alcohol. And the parties are no longer "Farm Parties"...

Now the term is "PHARM PARTIES" and the scenario is a 'party' at the house of one whose parents are gone for the night...or weekend. the 'guests' all empty the medicine cabinets at home, bring it all to the party, dump all of the pharmaceuticals into a big pot or vat. Then everyone helps themselves to a handful, downs them with whatever, and waits for results--which are not always desirable.

Guys...you with kids--any age, 2--42--LOCK your medicine cabinets. Always!

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Q. Do bats mate in flight?
A. Only if in a hurry

"Daily Trivia" taken from L.M. Boyd's Curiosity Shop


Peace be With you, Bloggers--and Love also, from
Steve E

Saturday, June 20, 2009

ONE MORE TIME

WHAT A BACK YARD!

IN THE MOUNTAINS

Fellow at an AA meeting received his 24-hour white chip Thursday at noon. Friday at noon he went up to get another. Naturally, the group members figured he drank again Thursday night--he told me he has a dozen white chips so far! Well, no, he had not had a thing to drink, he just wanted to get a chip every day for thirty days, so he could at least get "that far along" for once!

When I was asked my thoughts on that, my first temptation was to say, "Absolutely not. Those white chips serve a function in AA, and it is not to fill your pocket with them."

Then I finally did answer that, "You know, if it takes thirty little white poker chips to keep a guy sober for thirty little days--well, let it be so! What harm does it cause AA, or the group, as long as his peeps know what's up. He might just end up with a sponsor and thirty days of a head full of AA."

And so they decided to let him be, with a chip each day--my guess is that he will get tired of "faking it" before a week is out. We are not God. I learn something new every day. And I'm now even more "...willing to grow along spiritual lines." (One of my favorite sets of Big Book "six-word-phrases". Another set-of-six is "We absolutely insist on enjoying life.")

Went square dancing tonight, on top of another mountain, included with a really interesting and thoroughly enjoyable dining experience--country-style! Well, I danced with Anna's sponsee, because Anna has a sore, sore big toe. Complete honesty begs me to divulge that my legs lasted about ten minutes. Is that what age has done to me? Or is it blogging? Hmmm? Well, also I was wearing sandals, not your usual clogging gear.

It is after midnight, and we leave early in morning, so that's it for tonight, Peeps!

DAILY TRIVIA

There are as many molecules in a teaspoonful of water, as there are teaspoonfuls of water in the Atlantic ocean.

SERIOUS MUSIC

Does anyone remember these words to a ditty?
"If the ocean were whiskey and I was a duck,
I'd swim to the bottom and never come up."

Guess you can tell how tired I am. -grin!

Peace, and Love, from
Steve E

Thursday, June 18, 2009

THE OVER-EXPOSED VIEW II

From our friend's private top-of-the-mountain retreat: Whether Spring, Summer or Fall, this IS the view from our veranda Thursday morning June 18, 2009. And I am really sorry, I had no intention to deceive anyone. The only photo I had yesterday was a file photo, but I wanted so bad for you to see and share our view. Ego? Maybe. I don't think so.



ON THE AA ROAD IN NORTH CAROLINA


Thursday, a guy needed a ride to a noon meeting. While driving there I asked him how long he had been sober. He answered exactly: "Three months sober.......but I had a sip of wine last night, because my mother would have felt out of place if I didn't join her--and she drinks lots of wine, and I live with her!"


Needless to say, we had an interesting ride to the meeting place--AND a great meeting!

Details are not necessary here, but my gosh, it reminded me of the insanity which IS alcoholism. Partly, it is the mental condition of a person who is paying $1,200 fine for DUI, has lost his license for a year, has been to rehab, and claims (honestly?) to be a real alcoholic, and figures a "sip of wine" is not "drinking".


It was actually FUN talking with this guy, practicing our principles, carrying the message. Prayer Girl was a part of this scenario. The "fun" part was in realizing that another day--AGAIN--God had shown us that our trip IS a part of His plan.

Each day I ask Him (right out of bed, on my knees) to use me if He wishes, to help someone...anyone. And I tell you, He has been busy in our lives this past week. As you might guess--as if you'd even bother--I am no saint! -BIG GRIN! But God doesn't need only saints to do His work. Anyone qualifies, so join in, dive off the high board, at least get wet. Take the risk (whatever that might be) , and reach out to touch someone. It CAN actually be fun! I know this.


WHEN DID YOU HAVE YOUR LAST DRINK?


Thursday after our noon meeting (don't believe I could stay in a group which let meetings go on for a half hour over (my) usual one hour), we drove to Asheville NC, to have a coffee-and-pastry visit with blogger catvibe (or, "cat" as she is called) It was such a neat experience--again--to meet and greet a fellow blogger who I read every day, as one of my favorites. She is a pretty nice (that's "pretty" AND "nice") young lady, and we enjoyed a most favorable couple hours in her company.


At one point, I leaned over and "stage-whispered" to her, "How long you been sober?" She had me repeat the question, as if I had not gotten through to her auditory nerve. So, with patrons nearby, I whispered more loudly, "How long you been sober?" This time she understood me and answered (as if I might be crazy?), "Probably since last night. I drink!" (Holy Sewage!)

All this time I thought we were meeting with another alcoholic, and I had locked us into meeting, of all things--a NORMIE!!! We laughed and laughed about that. It is just so--I want to say--"unique", to meet with a stranger who is really no stranger at all. We joked and all three of us liked one another immediately.

I had walked outside the West Side Bakery for a minute, saw a strange girl alone, and said to her, "Hi, Cat!" She turned and said, "Steve???", and I got a huge hug before we were "properly" introduced-grin! NOTE: This old man likes 'hugs', that part of Step Six is on hold ("...some things we cannot give up...") until I'm on my deathbed. I imagine that even then, yep...even then...........(sigh!)

Needless to say, but I'll say it. We had a wonderful short and sweet visit, Anna, Cat, and I, and we each got to know another human well-worth knowing. Thank You God, again. In gratitude, I sit here now, preparing for whatever God might have in store for us tomorrow. I KNOW it will be something, He might allow us to 'see' it. Maybe?

Hey, bloggers, thank you for visiting my mind today. I certainly hope God blesses you all, with

Peace, and Love.
Steve E

THE VIEW


OUR VIEW OF MAGGIE VALLEY, NC


Another day is history. I wonder if history books are being revised with more frequency? Because the days/years are sure flying by more rapidly. OK, I must blog this. We are visiting with one of PG's sponsees. She and hubby built a house on top a mountain. More like a castle. It IS at the top. The road stops here.

Driving up here was scary. PG was behind the wheel. But here we are. Now, how are we gonna get back down--and back up, etc? I guess it's my turn tomorrow. Sheeesh!
Something about the house. It is two-stories plus basement, exquisitely built on the order of an exclusive, rustic country club. More than that simply defies description. I could live here snowed in for the winter--roads closed then. Enough. We are here until Saturday! Maybe time to blog tomorrow? And comment!

ONE FOR ME

On a bitterly cold day, a Rabbi and his disciples were huddled around a fire.

One of the disciples, echoing his master's teachings, said, "On a freezing day like this, I know exactly what to do!"

"What?" asked the others.

Keep warm! And if that is not possible then I still know what to do."

"What?"

"Freeze!"

Present reality cannot really be rejected or accepted. To run away from it is like running away from your feet. To accept it is like kissing your own lips.

All you need to do is see, understand, and be at rest.



DAILY TRIVIA

Those who band birds now say they've learned that many migratory birds each season go back not only to the same tree they left the previous year (you knew that!), but to the same branch.

Sleepily Posted.
Peace to you,
And Love, too.
Steve E

Daily Trivia taken from L.M. Boyd's "Curiosity Shop"
One For Me is from A. De Mello "Taking Flight

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SICKER THAN OTHERS???



MUCH ADO ABOUT.......


For tonight (Tuesday) we stopped off somewhere in (Cookeville) TN on way to NC to spend several days with one of Anna's sponsees. Aside from a meeting every day at noon, I believe there is little else planned--which is F.I.N.E. with me!

We intend to drive into Asheville to hook up with "catvibe" at one point this weekend.

Then Saturday with (let's see, WHO was it we're going to hook up with? I remember it's somewhere in W VA!)...OH, ALL RIGHT, we're meeting with Kristin and Gabi, the "Charleston Twins" (bloggers who live on the same street.)


It just seemed a shame to be so near to you Peeps, and not do a "drive-by". I've read about others who visit back and forth , e.g., Mary Christine and the Texans. Each time, I've become more envious, wanting to SEE with whom I'm exchanging thoughts each and every damm day. NOTE: In 'regular' blogging this would not be an issue for me because, well--just because. (.."Off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz --why?-- because, because, be--c a u s e.....") So THERE!


But the bloggers I have met online HERE, for one year now, are SO special, so helpful, so supportive, so kind (usually -grin!) and so loving. This IS a different world from f2f meetings, and from daily browsing to--wherever, and from simply Emailing friends or family. This IS Alcoholics Anonymous, extremely worthwhile, and nobody can convince me otherwise.

Old Scottish guy down in Naples tells me--frequently--"Ya Canna-not get-a ya AA from a FKing telly-vision!", as he gently pokes me in the chest (and he's a little guy!)


Admittedly, I've met some other very worthy bloggers here--Alanons, of course!--and still others deep into recoveries of different natures. God did not descend upon me and say, "Help Alkies ONLY, Butthead!"

In fact, each morning I ask only that God put someone, anyone, in front of me, who He might use me to help. (I find it so much easier to be smilingly friendly, and giving to strangers, than to family. This makes me feel some guilt and shame, but I'm working on it.)


And often throughout each day, EACH day, I find myself saying and doing things which are not my doing or saying. Some turn out to seem fairly spiritual in nature. Others turn into raw sewage right as they are happening! That's why I have a sponsor, who I certainly wish was here tonight. He goes to bed early, like so MANY Peeps I know. (Maybe that's what I should do??? Hmmmmm)...I know PG thinks so -grin!

Sure, I know this morning's blog is like a Seinfeld TV Show...all about nothing! But I just felt like writing some private thoughts, knowing that not a soul here probably gives a rat's ass, that certainly no one is trying to 'hurt' me. Well, if they are, I CAN hit "reject" I guess...there is one BIG difference between f2f meetings and blogging.

Other big difference is that here I am, 1 AM, pretending I know how to type, and pretending I know how to write. That's ENUFF! (Pretending I know how to SPELL!)

One more thing--I am REALLY excited about visiting with these bloggers! We first went up to see AKannie, and her AA group, in Illinois FUN, FUN!


Gonna change name of my "Daily Trivia" to "YA NEVER KNOW"...it has been for several years a bon mot of mine:

NEXT: YA NEVER KNOW!

Timing is everything??? The female lobster is fertile only six hours a year...that's ALL!
Please, no more questions...

Peace, and love, my Peeps!
Steve E

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"MOVING RIGHT ALONG..."





HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE

We are 'awn root' today, heading for the NC Smokies to visit Anna's sponsling and husband. They built a house on top a mountain near Maggie Valley, NC, wherever that is.

We are leaving from a shrine owned by an order of Oblates--missionaries--who work among the poorest-of-the-poor in over 70 countries. It has been a rich and rewarding awareness for me to be here. It is good!


And we are going to God's very own retreat place, His Creation of beautiful mountains. We shall attend meetings there. In fact , we have been to a meeting each day this trip. It is an unbelievably wonderful experience, meeting with AA peeps everywhere we go. I am SO grateful!
_____________________________________________________________________


Since I didn't have anything blog-worthy on my mind for Today, I hope you'll settle for a bit of humor--if ya haven't heard it before, that is:

A couple of hunters chartered a plane to fly them into deep forest territory.

Two weeks later the pilot came to take them back. He took a look at the animals they had shot and said, "This plane won't take more than one wild buffalo. You'll have to leave the other behind."

"But last year the pilot let us take two in a plane this size," the hunters protested.

This pilot was doubtful, but finally he said, "Well, if you did it last year I guess we can do it again."

So the plane took off with the three men and two buffaloes. But it couldn't gain height and crashed into a neighboring hill.

The men climbed out of the wreckage and dazedly looked around.

One hunter said to the other, "Where do you think we are?"

The other inspected the surroundings and said, "I think we're about two miles to the left of where we crashed last year."

(NOTE: If I keep doing the same thing, I'll keep getting the same result.)
____________________________________________________________________

DAILY TRIVIA: Ancient Greeks (c. 250 B.C.) believed that eating parsley would prevent them from getting drunk. They were wrong!

Peace.
Bloggers--and, if ya do not know this...I LOVE ya's--REALLY!
Steve E




Monday, June 15, 2009

On The road--STILL?



BLOGGED SUNDAY NIGHT:



Today
is Sunday, Mass at 10:30 in a place named St Michael. I need to pray to St Mickey about one of his namesakes. Attending another church in another town is to me as much FUN as hitting a new AA meeting on the road (again).

Tonight we will be in a hotel at the shrine 'Our Lady of the Snows', near St Louis. We've been there twice before, so you can bet that it is good for us to spend two days there.

Ah! Peace. Tranquility. I can stop every activity except blogging. Is that good or bad? Oh, and I'll be practicing my violin there. I use the "workout" room, with all that equipment--nobody ever interrupts me there -grin!
And the food is excellent, but no DQ with that awful (full of awe!!) "Turtle Sundae", mmm!

SUNDAY NIGHT:

At the Shrine is a replica of the grotto at Lourdes France, where the Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette, quite a few times. (My father was taken to Lourdes by his mother two times--a blog story?--and was cured, not of his blindness, but of related and horrible ailments.)

This shrine area of several hundred acres is SO beautiful and conducive to peace and serenity, healing, and seems to expell great doses of spirituality.
The grotto scene is awesome, about an eighth-size of the real thing, otherwise a duplicate.

We went there tonight. I saw those eyes, looking right through me, as if saying, "Time to change, Steve". I got to pray the way I like--not asking for something, or telling something. Praying in the manner of just loving, just "Being", just loving to be in the presence of...can anyone understand that? Several happenings occurred within me--it would not be fair to publicly blog them.


Mass is daily at 7:30 and 11:30 AM and lots of in-between services...always something going on, usually more than one event at a time. So in the morning for me is mass, then rosary at the grotto, a "Walk-It or Drive-Through" mile-long Way of the Cross--lots of the happenings are in nature.


A full service hotel, and, in a separate building, a fine restaurant, all in beautiful surroundings, are part of what keep people coming back year after year. Of course, it is the continuous services, lectures, cultural activities, and spiritual encounters which set this place apart from other retreat centers.


Our Monday will also be colored with a noon AA meeting, another at 8PM.
And,

if I need some "down time" I can just slip into the car, turn on the GPS, drive around the complex, and listen to the voice of Flexis (the sweetest sounds you'll ever hear) the GPS girl, who programmed 20 trillion sequences for our driving pleasure.


I have been given to understand there may be not much here on which to comment, so, if that be the case, please just say something like, "Hi Steve", so I know you were here??? That way I'll get to read your blog and comment(?) Thanks!

DAILY TRIVIA: What I have never read on the menu in a Chinese restaurant is the definition of the words: Chop Suey. It means "Odds and Ends". Now we know! (Sort of like my blogs -grin!)


Peace, and LOVE,
Steve E

Sunday, June 14, 2009

LET THERE BE LIGHT

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL


It gives me pleasure to introduce to bloggers who may not have met this college girl, three years sober, who has been blogging (with us) less than one month. Please help me welcome Garden Variety Drunk, who posts under the title ANOTHER
REAL ALCOHOLIC. How about leaving your cyber-mark on her blog by commenting? Thanks!
Steve E

SATURDAY

"I prayed and a nice, private opportunity came up during the afternoon. I was able to make amends, which were received well."

The above statement, taken from a young person's blog I read today, gives me much hope that our fellowship is in not as bad a shape as some claim. I'm witnessing what seems to be a resurgence in Step Work, in Following the Traditions, in Service, and in what matters, the Willingness, and the Spiritual Growth of members and membership of Alcoholics Anonymous.

How wonderful it is--to read someone so young (I'm guessing-grin!) who is REALLY taking this thing seriously. It took me years to realize some of these Step Ten benefits:

1. First, any work planned on these steps 6-10, almost always should be worked under adult supervision--meaning: Sponsor!

2. In Step Ten, with my cooperation, God can and does melt human hearts to forgiveness, and often brings to those hearts a new, warm and loving friendship.

3. Since the REAL object of Step Ten is for me to change, with God's help...I become a better person. There is no way this cannot happen.

4. Being a better person (even though I may not realize it) lets me become a better, more believable ambassador for God's messages of sobriety, serenity and happiness. This allows me to be of greater helpfulness to others, using my experience and God's Strength, and the Hope he has given me.

I wish to let you know how glad it makes me feel to be in contact with another--who is IN contact! OK?

In service, and LOVE,
Peace.
Steve E

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Which Way to GO?

"CORNY" ILLINOIS


I'm reading lots of your blogs, but finding little time to comment on the road--I'm just not a "one-word-type" commentor, or didn't ya know that -grin! I sure appreciate though, the support, and love shown me this week. Makes me feel still "at home"!
Steve E


DO THIS? OR THAT!

Umm'Kay, whatama gonna do guys, when my wife tells me to do something, at the same moment, the sweetest voice in the world tells me to do the opposite? Girls are encouraged to respond also--puhleeze!

Here's the way it went down (my impeccably true version-grin!). I was driving in Illinois. Prayer Girl (Pray for her please!) said to me (en haute voice), "TURN RIGHT!" The voice of Flexis (GPS-GIRL) said in her sweetest song-of-heaven tone--she spoke right to me, softly. "Keep driving straight on this Freeway." I swear, when Flexis made those recordings for GPS, she must have been deep into the arms of her lover, for her words simply reek of moments thus sublime.

The steveroni Fairness Doctrine: With respect to PG telling me to turn the wrong way (and I did it--just as Adam bit of the apple!)...in some strange way it was a correct decision. One thing, I had to empty my...blad... I had to GO real bad. And so we came upon this field of endless colorful blossoms, actually an Illinois corn field -grin! And from there, relieved and renewed, I returned to get on the right road and resume driving.

My Guardian angel is named "Flex"and the GPS girl, a Spirit-sister, is named "Flexis".She guided us deftly and musically to our destination, a spot on a map. These places on the IL map are rather "country" in nature. Some have outhouses, some just use their neighbor's. ALL are busy growing next winter's veggies, tomatoes, and nary a one is concerned about a few ducks hatching eggs at their front door...or in their living room!

I left my cell phone in FL, and do not have ANY friends' numbers, which are all stored in the little gadget. So I feel a bit 'out-of-the-world'. I should complain? What makes a vacation, anyway? Well, I'm still trying to retrieve a couple numbers, I need my Peeps.

Remember, Don't Drink, No matter What! Be cool, No Matter What! If God does have a plan for me to do His work, I'm going to just do it.

So even if and when another gives me wrong directions--it's just God Calling with something new (or old?) for me to learn.

And yes, this is written with Love,
In the spirit of service, by
Steve E

Thursday, June 11, 2009

FRIDAY FLASH 55

ON THE ROAD AGAIN


FLASH FICTION Friday 55

Friday Flash 55 is a story
written in exactly 55 words.
Let the G-Man know if you write one
and read the ones of your fellow writers.

NOTE: Since we're really "on the road again"
and I enjoy making music with my friends, well
...everyone must know the following is a modified
version of the song words. SORRY, it's just what
I felt like writing tonight...Steve E

JUNE TRIP 2009

On the road again
Can't wait to get on the road again
Life I love is makin' music with my friends
Can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things I may never see again,
I can't wait to get on the road again.


"We will know we are bloggers by our love, by our love."
In Love and service.
Sincerely
Steve E

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ME-ANDERINGS



YESTERDAY


Tuesday was grass-mowing day. it is a job I will give up one of these years. Of course, I've been saying that for ten years. Thing is the heat, but I still wish to be cremated, I'll never forget those cold winters.

While out there working under bushes and short trees, and trumpet blossoms (poisonous, by the way) I was bitten by an angry spider. I mean I SAW him dart up my arm and do the 'dinner' thing. Well, I got the final laugh, because he (or she) jumped right onto a wooden slatted fence, and died!

This happened all the time in my drinking days...people jumped onto wooden slatted fences--and died.

TODAY: WEDNESDAY

Ya know? I have never ever typed on my own computer while sitting in the rear seat of my car, traveling 77 miles per hour. Fortunately, PG is in the Driver's Seat. We just finished a lovely luncheon at a sparkling clean restaurant named McDonald's.

DAMMMIT! We're in a car without Internet access. Peeps. You do not know (maybe ya do, but don't give a RF?) how disturbing this is. The salesperson told me definitely we could go on-line in this machine. He did NOT say we'd have to be sitting in a Starbucks' parking lot--with or without coffee.

Reminder for next auto...required: Internet access AND coffee-maker. Don't care if it has an engine. OK? Its these little "extras" which count, ya know?

Macon GA.

My sponsor--who is ailing--is this moment, driving through heavy traffic in NY City. He is attending his brother's funeral. I just called him. Funny thing...35 years ago I hardly ever called my sponsor(s). Now, sober a Blong time, I call him even when he's driving in downtown New York City. Go figure.

We're going to eat--not at that 'sparkling clean' place (McDonald's) which smells of disinfect spray...but another nice place called Cracker Barrel. They do not have a "fine dining" place in Macon, GA. Besides, I did not bring shoes on this trip anyway. "NO BARE FEET sign hangs at the Ritz Carleton...oh well, that's my excuse.

AA meeting here SO smoky, reminds me of my very first meetings. That's when all they would tell a new person was, "Don't drink--and go to meetings". and that was all they said. At a time when I wanted the secret to staying dry, I just wanted the 'password' to get back into the room, preferably when nobody was there.

I have a prayer for tonight--Please God, bless my 'right' decisions AND my 'bad' ones, because together they make me who I am. They become my story. They are from where I grow "From This Moment"...with Your help, God...only so that I may show others who suffer, the way into sobriety, and maybe even into spirituality, and LOVE of all people and all creatures, and all things.

And I (and YOU, Peeps!) can press the RESET button at any time, any day--or night!

In service, and Love.
Peace,
Steve E


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

3 EGGS, 3 ALKIES, and A DOORKNOB

THREE DAYS AND THREE EGGS--
PLUS GUESS WHO IS "BIGFOOT"


THREE BECAME FIVE


DAY ONE, we found one egg. PG had called me to the front door, "Look at THIS!!" One Muscovy duck egg. A miracle, I suppose. Only God can make an egg. The next day were two, and then there were three. So I took a shot.

Tonight I counted FIVE eggs, plus (something new) a bunch of soft duck down, plucked off somebody's chest...well, breast, to be precise.

So I will probably be a grandfather again in a prescribed number of days. Since we'll be gone for two weeks, that will make the ducks happy, as they made their home right AT our front door, in the (egg)rock in a kind of trough. It is another happy family in the 'hood. No rent, no taxes, no jobs, no worry, no muss, no fuss

In AA, paradox is a common occurrence. The first I recall was: one plus one equal three. Thus we have Bill W and Dr Bob together bringing into their fold a third, Bill D., the celebrated "Man on the Bed". And the family which emanated from those few now numbers in the millions. "What hath God wrought?"

Really, is it easier for God to give the Gift of sobriety to millions? Or to make one human life in the womb of a mother? Or to allow the hatching of ducklings from six eggs happen?


IS A DOORKNOB YOUR HIGHER POWER?
HMMMMM?

Remember when one day some self-appointed AA guru announced at a meeting, "If ya havin' trouble with the 'God Thing', use the group as your Higher Power...or a doorknob. or anything, the A/C unit."

Next, a 'humble' Air Force (Retired) colonel would tell how he jumped from a plane and thought his parachute might not open, it was behaving erratically. He said, "Did I say, 'Come help me, doorknob'? Nooooooo...! I said, "Help me O God, Maker of all things. Be my higher Power, today and always!"

There was this unspoken war between doorknob people and the God-peeps. All I could dream up was, "We have ceased fighting anybody and anything..."

To tell the truth, I am just plumb tired of answering every dumb-ass, stupid idea, and having no support, no backup. It's "SHOW TIME", alcoholics! It's time to pick up the loose ball and run toward the goal.


It is not often I get riled up, but ya know, I've about had it with this "easier, softer way" crap. The only reference I ever found to "easier and softer" is "...but we could not." You can see, as I also see, this soapbox stuff will get me--and you--nowhere. So it is 'nuff said...for now!

Gosh, I hate to leave with feelings of disharmony. Actually, after spouting off to y'all, I feel really GREAT again! thank you, Peeps!

In service.
Peace and LOVE for you, from
Steve E

Mary, thank you for Year 7, that is not an easy task, to put your soul out here in view of all. But one day we will each one of us be on view to one another, for all time. So???

This is a service you perform...I KNOW there is one or more who will read your Blog, and receive hope, maybe say silently to themselves, "If she could escape, maybe I can also!"


You are loved by many out here, Mary Christine, "One Sober Alcoholic".

Monday, June 8, 2009

THE TRUTH







As a human, I have contrived on occasion to concurrently tell a lie and a truth. As an alcoholic, I became expert in that endeavor. A glance to throw you off, a few choice wordings, expressions, was my method, and I lied truthfully...regularly. This behavior led me to perform refined manipulations of whole groups of people. We now call that 'directing', and I was real good at that.
___________________________________________________________________________

Story illustrates the "lie/truth technique":


Ezekiel was arrested and taken to court on the charge that he was stuffing horsemeat into the chicken cutlets he served at his restaurant.

Before passing sentence the judge wanted to know in what proportion he was mixing the horsemeat with chicken flesh. Ezekiel said, on oath, "It was fifty-fifty, Your Honor."

After the trial, a friend asked exactly what "fifty-fifty" meant. Said Ezekiel, "One horse to one chicken."
______________________________________________________________________

After being sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for a number of years, I find myself telling the truth with more and more regularity. And I have found that it is true (truth?) what is written in our Big Book, " We lied, when even the truth would have sufficed." And how true!


Here is an example of truth

...and Self-Centeredness (thanks MC)


Mother: What does your girlfriend like in you?"


Son: "She thinks I'm handsome, talented, clever, and a good dancer."

Mother: "And what do you like about her?"

Son: "She thinks I'm handsome, talented, clever, and a good dancer."

And if writing this blog does nothing else, it may help me to be more aware of that thick line between being honest--or not. I am in a habit of honesty for many years now, but to slip back would--like a drink--only take one lie, which would lead to another, and before time goes by, it is a chaotic life again, and soon--oblivion! I just do not need that any more. It's hard for older guys to lie, because their memories have lost some retentive power. I just cannot get away with it any more.

I think I'm going back to writing Sponsoring, Step Working, Gratitude and Love blogs again. I can put my heart into those topics. Besides that is where I AM these years!

Peace and LOVE to you, my Blogger Peeps!
Sincerely,
Steve E

Two "stories" above taken from A. De Mello "TAKING FLIGHT"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A NON-BLOG DAY

A NON-BLOG MESSAGE


Dear blogger Peeps--true friends!

Gotta take a day away... loading up my new laptop with "stuff" --so I can blog during our trip which begins Wednesday morning.

Why do I feel guilty for not blogging this Sunday? There is an old saying which applies here: FIRST THINGS FIRST.

Meetings this morning, later, an AA group is having a breakfast in a big park with a lake and a man-made beach. Also a speaker at that breakfast meeting. A meeting later in evening, and somehow, I feel overwhelmed with obligations, all to which I have obligated myself. Hmmmmm. And all my AA life, my favorite motto has been EASY DOES IT. And I look at me this morning and say, "Do you think you are so important that they will miss your
brilliant crapola?

I truly love all you bloggers and will meet a few of you on Friday in Illinois. This is the first time ever that I'm glad to be leaving my home, my Naples FL,
I am excited about "living". Ya know what I mean???

Please pray for me sometime during this week. I don't know why, I just know I'm going to need that extra help.

The only blog I got to read this morning was Mary Christine's FIFTH YEAR in AA which happened about 20 years ago. What a memory! What good writing. Go there, it is inspiring stuff.

Again. Peace and Love, from
Steve E

(HEY! I guess I did write a sort of blog here. Hurray!) I LOVE life!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A YEAR FOR "ONE", A DAY FOR "ANOTHER"

A YEAR FOR "ONE", A DAY FOR "ANOTHER"

I cannot write that every day of mine is as follows, but so many are, that I thought they deserved a blog. Please understand, this is not about ME, any long-timer could be writing an identical blog. This is about living an AA Way of Life.

AN AA YEAR FOR MARY C
ONE SOBER ALCOHOLIC

Before starting, I wish to notify those who may not know, that my very favorite blogger Mary Christine has begun to blog each of her soon-to-be TWENTY-FIVE Sober-in-Alcoholics Anonymous-years, beginning with year ONE in 1983. Today (Saturday) is blogged her fourth sober year. If you peeps are not reading this, you are missing some good solid recovery stuff, some "Learning-the-HARD-WAY" stuff, some "Do Not Drink No Matter What" stuff. Take this blog to the bank, I've been there, also done those things and for whatever reason, God has decided that Mary C should still be here, and also lots and lots of us peeps--and me, too.
Steve E

AN AA FRIDAY FOR STEVE E
ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC

Remember please, I am not relating this in any way but humbly, because it is through the Goodness and Grace of God, and with His Power I am here to tell it.

My day began with a prayer, this morning a bit different. Today I asked for a favor for ME, that God would give to me what I needed, a bit of healing through another alkie. I attended my morning meetings as usual. (Aren't you jealous that I'm retired and can make as many meetings as I want?)

Three-fourths through the second meeting I had to use the men's room. Leaving, I spotted my sponsor, just standing in the kitchen of the 24-Hr Club. Don't forget, we've each been sober well over 30 years. And he and I went for a "walk-and-talk" out into the parking lot and beyond. We had a heart-to-heart, which bordered at one point on severing our relationship. Our walk-talk ended in love, we hugged...(NO! we didn't KISS, asshole!) and we parted friends, and helpers of one another in our lives of sobriety. He is still my sponsor. My meeting ended without me.

I came home, read blogs, commented on blogs, began to write a blog. Practiced violin, but not for long. Nap time. A friend was speaker at the 5:30 meeting, so I attended that--I'm so glad I went. Another "good" friend was speaking at an 8 PM meeting, I told his fiancee I'd be there.

Bingo, then I remembered. A week ago I had made a commitment to help carry a meeting every Friday at 7 PM into our detox unit. So, I'd normally have been really upset, having signed myself to be in two places at once. Not so, something told me God would handle it.

The detox meeting was just what I needed to remind me of where I could be any given year or month. The poor creatures have no idea the Gift being extended to them by God. After that meeting, I had to decide where to go. (It was now 8 PM, my speaker-friend has already begun, 10 miles away.) I wanted to come home, get on the computer with my peeps, ya know. But something a sponsor long ago had said to me, "When I WANT to do something, do the the opposite and I'll usually be right." So I drove the ten miles, my friend was still speaking--he had the whole hour!

Here's the punch line. After the meeting, I was in line to shake hands with the speaker. He turned toward me, away from a group he was in, and told me, "Thanks! I KNEW you'd come!"

Well guys, that's all I needed to hear, to realize God had again done for me what I couldn't do for myself...He made a decision...for me! I left the building and came home to a warmed over, left-over supper, shaking my head and marveling at God's Greatness. Thank You. Can you think I'm not grateful? Can you think I'm not happy?

Well, THIS is the way I lived an AA day, in an AA way. Remember, I'm retired, and do have that certain freedom to roam, to BE there where I believe God wants me to be. Wouldn't you know, ALL long-timers who are happy live like this, it is not unusual. I'm finding out that even in the work of gratefulness, I'm certainly not alone.

Peace, and Love, Bloggers!
A happy, grateful Steve E