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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

BEYOND POLITICS? OR NOT!







One of my favorites is the Beach Boys "Kokomo", and this is a parody on that song, sooo relaxing for me on a busy Halloween night.  Please click HERE

AMENDED @ 2230 Hrs 10/31/09:

Tonight I spent doing a fun thing for this Granddad.   With my son and two Grandsons we went out "trick-or-treating". 

It was pure fun to see many hundreds of people milling around our chosen vicinity,

not arguing, not fighting, but getting along (as in PEACE!).  

Of my drunk Halloweens I could recall, none were deadly, but could easily have been.  I shudder to think what happened during those I cannot remember...but I do know a lot of people did not talk to me a day or so later.


The warmth of souls and weather tonight provided access to many strange and unusual  sights of dress and undress. Some residents had set up tables of cookies, cider, soda, and other stuff to give away to all.

And everyone was so friendly...all it takes is a smile, and smiles were everywhere, and happiness reigned in the streets.  
Sobriety has allowed me to revel in these moments of caring and sharing tonight, in the warm darkness of a Naples Florida neighborhood.


Peeps, I love you all!
...and REALLY pray PEACE for the WORLD
and SOBER for US Peeps today, OK?

Friday, October 30, 2009

A HALLOWEEN GHOST STORY






 DO GHOSTS HAVE SEX

So much heavy stuff the past couple days in my life, I'm celebrating Saturday with a "Ghost Story"--It IS Halloween, right?  CLOCKS MOVE BACK SATURDAY NIGHT!

WARNING: JOKE AHEAD.....



GHOST SEX

A professor at the University of Kentucky was giving a lecture on the supernatural.

To get a feel for his audience, he asks, 'How many people here believe in ghosts?'

About 90 students raise their hands.

'Well, that's a good start. Out of those of you who believe in ghosts, do any of you think you have seen a ghost?'

About 40 students raise their hands.

'That's really good. I'm really glad you take this seriously. Has anyone here ever talked to a ghost?'

About 15 students raise their hand.

'Has anyone here ever touched a ghost?'

Three students raise their hands.

'That's fantastic. Now let me ask you one question further....Have any of you ever made love to a ghost?'

Way in the back, Bubba raises his hand.

The professor takes off his glasses, and says 'Son, all the years I've been giving this lecture, no one has ever claimed to have made love to a ghost. You've got to come up here and tell us about your experience.'

The big redneck student replied with a nod and a grin, and began to make his way up to the podium.

When he reached the front of the room, the professor asks, 'So, Bubba, tell us what it's like to have sex with a ghost?'

Bubba replied, "Sheee-it!! From way back there I thought you said GOATS!"



Peeps, let's be SOBER
Peeps, I send you LOVE.
Peeps, I wish you PEACE. 
 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A SAD "55" THIS FRIDAY




Drew was a good soldier
So proud
So sober
So spiritual
So sad
Ave Maria University Oratory
Mourning in morning
We who stay
To help others
Along their sober way

 
Asleep in his car
Note in his lap
To express a final goodbye
To his friends, his Peeps.
Sleep in peace now my friend...Drew
 
 
Flash Fiction Friday 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.

 ______________________________________________________________

About a year ago I was Drew's AA sponsor
for several months before he "resigned" from
Alcoholics Anonymous--again.

All too often during moments like these today I hear the truth, "Drew died so that many others will live."  We see in illumination what happens when we forget to be humble, forget to be patient, tolerant, forgiving, forget to WORK the steps, forget that God is God...not ME...and forget that we cannot have the first drink, or that insatiable craving will immediately kick in.

Thank you for your prayers for ALL of us Peeps, let us stay sober, and pray for each other. Please!

Peace, and Love, Peeps, to ALL of you! 

Steve--color me "pensive".

THOUGHTS TOO


 THOUGHTS TOO




MORE THOUGHTS--AND LOVE!


Tonight, Wednesday, was another choir rehearsal at St Ann catholic church. One day ( maybe tomorrow?) I'll blog about this choir, my part in it, and what the heck am I doing there?

Thursday morning after my usual morning meetings, I am meeting with a sponsee for breakfast before he leaves for Chicago.  We will have a long-overdue talk.


Tomorrow night is the "cookie" meeting.  Polly will feed about 150 peeps her special chocolate chip cookies.  That's 148 people plus me, equals 150 --grin! (A family member just might be there at the meeting--that would be a beautiful personal moment ..that means 151 peeps for cookies!)

It has not snowed here in Naples yet, and probably will not this week--or this year!

Spent $4,000 on a deep well and submersible pump, to water the grass and bushes around the house.  I would be less concerned if it was not ME mowing the grass.  Also I would rather have dead grass in winter and $4,000 in my pocket.

It is very late (what else is new?) and I have a "real bad" joke to post, but I saved you from reading that today! Bring on the AWARDS for Prudence. NO!  WAIT! DON'T! PLEASE! DELETE!

It has been my observation there are a number of romantic-type love poems being bandied about the blogs, so I wanted to contribute--as unmanly as this might seem.  
 

The following has not a direct link with the program of AA, but here goes anyway. One of my favorite writers of pure love, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, writes this to you, my Peeps:

"If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say,
"I love her for her smile - her look - her way
Of speaking gently - for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and brings
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day." -

For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee
- and love, so wrought
May be unwrought so.

Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry -
A creature might forget to weep who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may love on, through love's eternity.

Peeps I cannot write after that, nor talk, nor think!
But I can wish you LOVE
I also may wish you PEACE!
And when sober day merges into sober night,
We will have stayed sober one more DAY!

--Elizabeth Barrett browning

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SOME THOUGHTS ON GRATITUDE


 THOUGHTS

ON GRATITUDE

The following is in NO way approved by Alcoholics Anonymous.  I'm an ex-drunk, writing about "How it is" with me.  OK?

Many of us Peeps ("We the Peeps"!) from time to time write our gratitude lists in the posts.  It is GooooD for me to read these, and to be reminded how important it is--to know and recognize that God is the constant Giver, and I, the undeserving receiver.  I am SO grateful for SO many things which I take SO for granted.

All the Peeps here know what I'm about to reiterate, and I do not pretend to be preaching--must LESS preaching to the choir--grin! The gratitude of which I speak is SO much more than a "list" of what I consider "goodies".

Gratitude, when boiled down, is about getting outside of myself, and helping someone else.  Who, How, When, Where, and What are not as important as, say, WHY.  Motive is what must drive true love, and the work of true gratefulness.

Opportunities for helping another (others) abound--while living at home with family, when driving, walking, running, working, shopping, waiting--yes, WAITING!--playing, performing, blogging, traveling, e.g.  Almost every waking activity will introduce a Peep in need of something.  And usually, there is an antidote--maybe an anecdote?-- which I can supply.  Maybe as little as a smile, a kind word, kindness itself...how about LOVE?  The most powerful force in the universe--love--is seconded by KINDNESS.  (Third most powerful force is FEAR.  After that is anyone's choice...mine is HUMOR).

I am grateful to be in a choir, rehearsing, singing masses, and so the action for me is, that I will suit up and show up two or three times a week, even for the extra services,
e.g., we sing in the cathedral in ten days!

I am grateful for sobriety, and so I go to AA meetings, sponsor men, belong to two groups--I'm a librarian and a GSR.

My scooter:  OH! what gratitude I have for you.  And so I use the time riding for meditation...there is no more favorable time for me than when riding in the breeze, surrounded by the smells and sounds of nature, to pray meaningfully.

For my home and family I AM grateful, but it is for my list, rather than for actions, since I fall short in this area.  It is a failing, but it is real.

For you bloggers--ALL--I have SO much gratitude, and so I spend lots of time reading,  writing comments, and posting.  Since I am neither reader nor writer, it is definitely labor for me, but I do it because I love it, and just maybe can touch someone through this medium.  In fact, blogging is much like an AA group, in that we here are constantly in the act of helping one another, even without trying.  Even when we just write about our everyday life as it is.  It just works that way.  At least for me.

I am grateful for my violin, and for my mother who forced me to practice--even if I DID have to retreat to the horse barn to do so.  70 years after, I still play weddings and gigs.
For AA weddings I play for free.  (There went my humility--what little there was--but this post IS about how we use action to express our gratitude.) NOTE:  I have discovered that age in the seventies is NOT "old".  Take my word for that!

Please understand, there is nothing near perfect here.  I have trouble sometimes with "motive"--and try, really try to keep myself out of the way. Sometimes I succeed--grin!

Enough out of me, me, me tonight.  If we all stay sober today, I'll be back to visit with you again.  Please visit also with ME!

Peeps, you already have my LOVE.
You have my wishes for PEACE.
I am a happy, sober camper, maybe you could tell?

Monday, October 26, 2009

THOUGHTS


HELEN KELLER AND ANNE SULLIVAN

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.--Helen Keller


 THOUGHTS

On the blogs, I read that so MANY of us are living in sheer misery.  I'm not referencing  the very hungry, nor the homeless, nor those in an alzheimer's unit--I usually don't find them when I'm blogging. But people I know, people I deal with daily and have come to love--I see, and feel with them their powerlessness.  Of that misery, the madness of living in an intolerable (to some) situation year after year is an example.  I respect and admire the commitment of these Peeps to keep their family, and themselves together. Their persistence to achieve a desired result is unfathomable to some.

"We are planning our daily actions, behaviors", they say.  "NOT planning the outcome."  Oh, if it were just that easy--simple, OK...but easy?  NOT!  The pain, the constant hurt, the aching, breaking hearts in such families HAS to bring on the energy of God's Serenity.  His ears are tuned in, only needing to hear that voice crying for His help.  And God will come, and DOES--as one told me last night.  

God sometimes lets me wait until I am able to recognize His Hand reaching to meet with my own.  In the end, He IS in charge.  It is HE Who let me sink into a bottomless pit of hopelessness and despair, before taking my hand and leading me into my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. And there my own healing began.  By my own caution (lack of faith) it was a slow recovery, but HOPE was present from the first day.

Helen Keller had the courage only known by the desperately hopeless, when God met her at a water pump, and let her begin trudging her own path to brilliance.  She became for many the light of hope.  

My father became deaf around 20-25 years before his death. He had been completely sightless for many years before that.  And the learning afforded him at the time of becoming one of the deaf-blind was directly a result of the pioneering efforts of Helen and her trusted lifelong dedicated friend and teacher, the beautiful, wonderful Anne Sullivan.  

Frequently as I trudge my path to a happy sober life, I am overcome with Peace, and Happiness for Peeps, and for many others. And I remember that shortly after my father's death, two nuns wrote a booklet of his life of blindness and then deafness.  The title:  LIVING WITH JOY! (Whoa!)

Interesting isn't it, that in our AA book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" the chapter on Step 12 a large part of which is "Helping Others" begins with those words, "THE JOY OF LIVING is the theme of AA's Twelfth Step, and action is it's key word."

Again, I got carried away and wrote far too lengthy a post.  Please forgive me Peeps, for the more than 400th time.

Patience, Tolerance, and LOVE, Peeps, are the words I'm "pushing" today.
 

And PEACE!
And FORGIVENESS?
And SOBRIETY (Should have been the first word!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009




GUARDIAN ANGEL "FLEX" 
CHANGED HIS NAME TO SHADOW


 Sitting here with my bright yellow keyboard, (ooops! wrong color?) I am listening to the MAGNIFICAT,  Gregorian chanting by monastery monks.  Also trying to write a short blog which makes sense, for a change. The change would be reflected in both: making sense. And short!

What I think or think about will not play in Chicago.  It will not make headlines across the nation, across the oceans. I'm thinking at this moment:  How wonderful it would be for a Peep to walk in the AA door saying, "I cannot stop.  I just can't stop!  What should I do?"  Those words would be most welcome in ANY meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.  And I LOVE-IT...to hear the words of POWERLESSNESS spoken in earnest, in complete surrender. THEN is when God can work through another person in recovery to "do God's work!"...Pick me--pick me!


ALTOGETHER ANOTHER TOPIC.

Coming home from choir-singing this afternoon, I was traveling my usual-slow-styled ride, when a little red sports car (convertible) cut me off (about 50 mph).  He passed less than one meter in front of my scooter, scared the you-know-what out of me.

OK, here is a view of what can-does-DID pass through my mind in just a split fraction of one second of time. (Everyone's brain does this, BTW., so I'm just observing me in this post.)  My first thought (insane) was "Let him wipe me out! SO WHAT?" My next thought (sane) was to get those brakes on FAST...which I did, of course, or you would not be reading this --grin!

The many thoughts IN BETWEEN first, and last above, are what inspired me to write this post. Note how MUCH activity is available to our brains in a micro-second of time:

1.  I thought, "Yesss, I'm gonna meet my God, at last. What a wonderful day this IS!"

2.  It will be "magical" to meet all my friend and relatives who have passed on, and the saints, and God Himself edited"As I Understood Him".

3. Oh! But there is "hell to pay" first...what I believe in, a purging, called Purgatory. Am I really ready for THAT?

4.  What if I do NOT die?  What then?

5.  Probably be laid up for a "blong" time.

6.  Might get loaded up with drugs by some well-meaning doctor.  And knowing me, there is always a possibility of getting hooked on them, or back to my daily alcohol intake, and totally crappy BEHAVIORS!

7.  What if I lose my mind, as in a coma?  What about bed-ridden for years?  Nope. That does NOT sound like my favorite way to leave here...

OK.  Peeps, those were all thoughts in that VERY split second, all the while, my horn was beeping--lot of good a horn will do , when you are lying in the street.  But I'm wanting you--and I--to know, the fleeting though-wave which FORCED me to clamp down hard on my dual ABS-system brakes.  It was this thought:

What ever would be the outcome, this one fact was certain.  Prayer Girl would NEVER (as long as we were together) allow me to have another scooter or motorized two-or-three wheeled vehicle again. Ever...NEVER!  Wouldn't you KNOW, that was the single thought which brought me to (I'll call it) sanity?   I thank God that "time" will bend itself to allow me, on occasion, to have enough thought, to reach a conclusion.  That instant conclusion was:

1. I'd maybe NOT be able to blog today, and

2. No more riding my scooter.

2. Possibly (doubtful, though, because I would have lived!) No "good-byes" to my family, friends in AA, and YOU, my very most special of Peeps, you bloggers, especially you who I am coming to know SO well, as to have a place in my heart for you.

I know it sounds--IS--selfish, but often accidents, death, or illness ARE selfish issues.  But ya know, it shows me what is really important to me, in my life at this time. Meanwhile...shiny side UP, rubber side DOWN.  A scooter rider in Virginia taught me that. It's called "Basic Scooter Riding 1.01" 


Well, my angel with his new name WAS with me this afternoon.  Thank you Shadow!






Peeps, I LOVE you,
Wish you the "Joy of Living sober"
and of course, a huge amount of PEACE in your lives.



"SHADOW" photo credit to Scott G W

Please come back at 3 PM Eastern--THANKS!

Gonna be LATE today (Sunday)...just ain't never got caught up...will post about 3PM.  Out of time, out of breath, need some sleep!!!

Thanks for understanding.
Love you Peeps
PEACE to you PEEPS
Steve E

Saturday, October 24, 2009

MEETING MAKERS OR STEP TAKERS???





DO MEETING MAKERS 
MAKE IT???

One day I could not stop drinking...the next day happened--was taken to my first AA meeting and I never had another drink. Who can explain that this powerful mental obsession, compulsion, physical craving had simply vanished overnight?
  
Almost like a chant, I have heard some of the groups sound off. "It works if ya work it."  "Meeting makers make it."  Today at a meeting one confused fellow asked, "What DO I have to do to stay sober?" You can bet he got lots of answers. I had forgotten that many peeps have different ideas from mine on "how to stay sober"!

I'm always put in mind of sitting at table in a new restaurant.  I KNOW I'll be having something to eat, but I don't know WHAT until I'm given a menu, and maybe a few explanatory remarks.

Also at a symphony concert, I knew it would be a night of Beethoven, but did not know  whether I'd be hearing String Quartets, Trios, a Sonata, or a Septet.  A PROGRAM (menu) lets me see what is first, second, third, etc.  And if I follow it, my whole experience will be greatly enhanced.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, I was given a menu of Twelve Steps.  And then I was told to ask someone to be my sponsor, and that HE would explain that menu to me, word for inspired word.  And he did. Only HE picked ME.  That way I could not "fire" him, because I had not hired him --grin!

So, I'll cut to the chase here.  While meetings are a wonderful place to learn about the history, the program, the Twelve Steps ARE our Program.  Working the Steps is the answer. IT IS THE INDIVIDUAL WORKING OF OUR STEPS, with Adult Supervision, which keeps me sober.

Meeting Makers Make It?  Yes and No.  It is the STEP-TAKERS WHO MAKE IT!

Peeps, I think of you all a lot through a day.
And I wish God's BLESSINGS upon you all.
And God's PEACE with you all
God LOVES you all, and so do I.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

KEYBOARD FOR OVER-THE-HILL BLOGGERS





MY "55"




A new keyboard breathes life into computing for me.  Since I stare at this thing for many hours each day, I need to change it now and then.


As the alphabet is my voice among you, I needed pretty keys, to help keep my writing happy. Though my experience is limited, I excel at primitive.


Flash Fiction Friday 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.


Let's DO this together Peeps:
Stay gratefully sober today
Love one another
Forgive one another
Help one another
PEACE!

NOT FUNNY and FUNNY




NOT FUNNY and FUNNY


NOT FUNNY:

How well I remember--in trying to forget--the times I would say to the bartender, in my biggest of big-shot voice, "Give everybody in the house a shot of tequila." I'd laughingly brag how "I don't drink alone", etc.  What FUN! What wonderful friends. What an asshole--me.

After one such night, when I got home and tried to sneak into the house, I crawled into the living room to turn on the TV, to make it look like I'd been home a long time. Nothing happened. Our power had been shut off, and other bills were quite in arrears. There was no milk--of course, the bonus was that it would not sour, right.  I had to see SOME good from this night.

Oh well, things would look better in the morning. Oh Yeah? At my workplace--I was a bartender--new owners were just taking possession of the business, and I was greeted with a note that I had to appear for a lie detector testing before going to work that afternoon.  

If you were a bartender of MY caliber, you would NEVER settle for a testing like that...it was humiliating. Besides, it would be even more humiliating when they found out I was knocking down the house periodically for certain sums of money, and assuming my rightful guardianship of a quart of vodka every night before locking the door, and going home. And so I did the honorable thing--I QUIT!

And I still had 4 years of further spiraling downward before sobering up. During those 4 years I suffered more damage physically, mentally, morally, and emotionally than I ever knew a human could stand--and not shoot himself in the head.

Then one evening I was ushered into a room full of you peeps, and you put Humpty Dumpty together again.  I used to scoff when I heard peeps say "...I'm eternally grateful..." but ya know, now I AM "eternally" grateful.  Thank You God, and AA, and you blogger Peeps--ALL of you, get it?  Love, and PEACE to you Peeps, from Steve E

FUNNY

And this will be tonight's JOKE at the "cookie" meeting:  

How I learned to mind my own business:

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day and all the patients were shouting, '13....13....13.'

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on.....some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting '14....14....14'

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I SLEPT WITH A DOG! TWICE!


Today October 20, 2009, I have lived 13,000 days without a drink or drug--how 'bout that?  How did I DO it?  
I didn't drink...and I didn't die!


The statement above (2nd day posted) has nothing to do with my blog post today, Wednesday.

Please come on over to TSR (The Second Road) with one click HERE ...it is titled: 

I SLEPT WITH A DOG! TWICE!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Humble Humility?













Sooo, we got fleas.  So what?  
PG and I had to leave the house 
for three hours while exterminators 
murdered millions of fleas.  Burt (cat) or Cat-Burt? had to go away for overnight, he'd been losing hair, 
started looking like a rat.  
Here we are in STARBUCKS blogging, 
can't beat THAT! 
We have two free 
Internet hours daily.  
And a coffee pot which is never empty!


ANNOUNCEMENT!  

Today October 20, 2009, I have lived 13,000 days without a drink or drug--how 'bout that?  How did I DO it?  I didn't drink...and I didn't die!


HUMILITY?  NO WAY!!!

Meeting topic this morning was "humility" and I got to hear lots of people--in under an hour--tell how they have little, none, or wish they had more humility, etc.  Since months and years have slipped (pun) by, I wonder that it's all been said and heard by me now, and I might tune out and live--this hour--in my own VERY pleasant reveries of people and places near and far away.

Then I vaguely hear some guy say, "Humility means I give somebody help or money anonymously"...humbly!? but deep down I WISH the Peeps would find out! So they might congratulate me!!  Nope, I say to myself, that ain't humility--but it's what I sometimes DO.

One time I (humbly) gave a down-and-out fellow a C-Note, and felt SO good for it, like I really could not afford it at the time.  Many years later, I ran into him, now sober about 25 years--and I fully expected him to come up and say "Thank you, Steve.  You really saved my life those years ago."  He is doing quite well for himself now, never married (after the first two) owns a thriving business.  I even entertained that he might choose to pay me back, pat me on the back--or buy dinner, or something?  NOTHING!

SEE where Ego gets me--EVERY time? And so, in later years I decided--and this WORKS, folks--every time I wish to "help someone out" financially or otherwise, I do it with NO strings attached.  That way I avoid concern with Ego/humility, a future resentment, anger, frustration, Pride, even fear.  


And most certainly it is an Ego-deflating action, which we alkies certainly need.  
Although more than ever lately it has become a source of spiritual growth.  I don't mean it is my road to sainthood.  I made a wrong turn somewhere back there--grin!

My road is a simple one now, one foot in front of the other, don't look back too often, never look too far ahead (like, more than an hour or so) during a given day.  Look at tomorrow only as far as my commitments and appointments take me.  Be ready for ALL those to change any moment.  Sobriety allows me to live like this more and more. It is NOT a boring life, it is no longer a "difficult" one.  


Age has its rewards, and this life of minimal anxiety, peace, sharing, observing nature, stresslessness, and living, giving  and loving, praying and meditating, is becoming more a habit, than a willful daily action.  And to do these things with ENTHUSIASM is one of my keys to being HAPPY!
 
OK, Peeps?  Ya still with me? Sober and all? Let's grow together!  I have lots of it to do (growing!)...l love y'all!  PEACE!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON


I Just LOVE Flowers within Flowers



JUST ANOTHER DAY FOR
ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC

What a wonderful day!  An early-morning AA meeting, followed by singing in choir at mass.  Choir is getting bigger and better, as peeps from north (snow-birds) are arriving by the thousands.

Next I got to ride my scooter up to a GSR meeting, my first!  In the past, this would have been a trip I might have thought twice before doing.  But after riding to Virginia and back, this was like "around the block" and pure enjoyment.  

It gave me a chance to be alone (that's a benefit of riding!) and pray...and meditate, and simply just love everything which came into my mind today. Also I reflected on the day so far, and if I had committed any transgression or omitted any necessary items in my daily list of stuff.  Have my motives been pure?  Well, NO!  I can report that they have become more-so than ever in my past.

The GSR meeting was boring to me, lots of "much-ado-about-nothing", but I will go back--somebody's gotta do it.  And it IS a nice "ride"!!! And it DID last three (3) hours.  If it were not for the Starbucks coffee on tap, I would have been outta there soon after the "Serenity Prayer". (Not really...)

Then home, supper, a phone chat with a friend, then my regular Sunday night hour in chat room of The Second Road (TSR) 8-9 PM.  I mean, this Sunday began (after 4 hours sleep) at 5 AM and will end at Midnight.  Yesss Baby, I'm looking forward to that bed tonight, "You betchum, Red Ryder!"

Our chat tonight had as it's topic "Gratitude" and I am still in that mode, realizing all the gifts God has granted to me. Example:  Late afternoon, I pulled up next to a monster Motorcycle, a Ninja, or something like that. We were at a long light, so I chatted him up a bit.  Young fellow from Germany. He joined the US Army to gain entry to the United States. He married, built a house, and drives a money truck between banks.

We were sitting there chatting, and out of the blue, I startled myself by asking him, "Are you a friend of Bill W?" And guess what, Peeps!!! He said, "Yes, how did you know that?" Maybe it was a catch word or phrase, I do not know, but we pulled up soon after and talked some about recovery. Also we sped down a country road (Alico Rd) near here, doing easily *** mph, about 161 k/h.   

It is truly a great gift to be allowed to share, care, to be ME, to be at peace, to speak to strangers, to be of help, to love, to pray, meditate, and to be free of alcohol one day at a time.  Come along with me, bring your own special gifts, let us celebrate together, Peeps!

"Steve is Steve", and right now that means something special to me.

Dulce a "sweeter poetry" blogger, has bestowed on several of her male peep followers (of whom I am one--grin!) an award--see side bar right under "The Second Road".  And I truly appreciate thoughtfulness of this sort, it honors me and shows we are supported for what we do, and how we do it.  Thank you Dulce.  Thank you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

POOR ME






My favorite Sunday night place-to-be is The Second Road aka TSR and here is WHY:


Get together with us in the chat room on Sunday night, at 8pm, to discuss Gratitude. Bring your personal experiences, musings, and questions. Our hostess is Ms. Hen, aka the Frugal Hen, Betty.







 1958 was a drunk year, best forgotten by me, and anyone who knew me then.....

I can not write, for I am without words
I Cannot paint, for I am without imagination.
I cannot love, for I am without a companion,
But I can drink, for this bottle is my own.

Cannot eat, no appetite
Can't sleep, no peace
I can not work, for ambition has left me
But I can drink, for this bottle is my own

I cannot see, I am blind
I cannot hear, I am deaf
I cannot breathe, I am choking
I can not live any more

For this bottle, my own, is now empty.

--Steve  E  Sep 7,  1958

NOTE:  It would be 16 years more of heavy drinking and downhill life, before I could put down the bottle for the last time. March 18, 1974 I shook myself into my first AA meeting, and met you peeps, and met God..for the first time.

Peeps, it is not my anniversary.  On the other hand, EVERY day is Anniversary day, when you been where I came from.

Sober. Peace. Love.

STOPPING DRINKING, or NOT STARTING AGAIN?




I never had a problem stopping drinking.
My problem is "not starting" again!

A man who is separated from his wife, gets drunk one night and staggers home in the dead of winter. Snow everywhere is piled deep.  He tips himself towards their front door on which he begins pounding.

After about 15 minutes his wife opens an upstairs window and asks him what he wants.

He backs up a little to see her, and calls up to her, "Honey, I'm half frozen.  Can't I please stay here tonight?"

"Yes, of course you can", she says. "I thought you wanted to come inside."
______________________________________________________________
 

So...sweet-peeps--Peace and Love are yours for the asking,
 

And just think
If we don't drink

We'll be sober another day...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"I'll drink to That!"





What is bothering you, Steve?

It's my latest addiction. Ya see, I have become a Blogger. It is what I LOVE!  

I used to say "I'm an alcoholic".  But I realize now that other huge monkey-monstrosities always were, and remain evermore, on my back. Whatever they might be named "I want more of them".

Flash Fiction Friday 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.


Peeps--Stay with me now, my "taxing" daze are over.
Love.  Peace.  And the tenderest of thoughts!!

Pretty and NOT Pretty



BEAUTY
AND


THE BEAST

A Peep asked for some life-stories.  OK.

Alas!  The regret I had in never experiencing a blackout.  "Pass-outs", yes, hundreds of those beauties.  But there I was, in AA rooms, listening with childlike envy to the tales of those who got to enjoy life for a day, or days--or even just a few hours now and then--in a world somewhere other than this globe-like ball of dirt and water we call Earth.

This morning we read the story "The Vicious Cycle" in Big book, p 225, about this guy who went to a morning movie in NY, and when he left many hours later (he had spent the day, drinking in the darkness) he picked up a newspaper, and read that he had been picked up by ambulance, taken to the hospital and had his stomach pumped out during mid day--and DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT.  He wound up in the movie house again, thinking that he'd he'd been there all day.

Now, I call that a "blackout"!  Thank god I could finally recall some life-time lost By me. And now I can proudly announce my own "blackout daze".  But I don't! Except here with my friends....

After about ten years dry, my sponsor-of-the-day asked me to write some of my life. So I began with 1956, '57, and '58, and all was proceeding well.  A funny thing happened though...I could not remember anything during the years 1959 and 1960.  Simply could not recall if I had been working or where I lived.  I didn't know if I had been married or not, nor to whom, since I was never without a companion...well, you know.  Fourteen years after that, I did become drink-and-drug-free...sober!

Life is certainly different now.  I can freely live, freely give.  I have found a "way out" from despair, from hopelessness.  I can think of someone other than ME!  I can love.  

I know what is is to be an "outsider--it hurts deeply, I can tell you that.  I can feel sadness and pain.  I can experience happiness, gratitude, and know what "how it works" to spread good cheer wherever I go.  I try to do that today.  

But right now it is 5 AM--been up all night--and I've just GOT to finish these doggone tax forms.  They were due April 15, so a six-month extension brought me to October 15.  That is NOW!  At least I know that procrastination is NOT one of my character defects...it is simply my whole life approach!  Oh well, (sigh)!

But I love my Peeps, and wish you all peaceful soberness today.  And me, too--I'll stay sober today, OK?


Sunday, October 11, 2009

THINK THINK THINK






AS A MAN THINKETH?

Peeps:  I DO apologize for the fact that my next blog will be Thursday October 15 (or before?)...There is a matter to which I must attend.

Meanwhile, today is Sunday, and the following is for you Peeps.  It is meant to be happy words, so please read it in that mode:

this morning
I sped through wisps
of flimsy gauze-like curtain
which actually were mist-clouds
hiding in a nectar-like air
hanging from above
And I thought of you

In the  meeting
where I sat in silence
imagination soaring
to the place where
clouds begin
where space is also a creation
I thought of you

after, in a choir
singing a new song
of happiness and joy
and to God, PRAISE!
bells ringing
I, singing loud and long
still thinking of you

later this same day
a feast with family
a chat with blog-friends
silent moment between
in which I listed
possible owed amends.
in my mind and heart--you

one fine day in May
earth-life for me will stop
suddenly as begun
and as this event happens
an inevitable occurrence
songs shall all been sung
as I remember forever...YOU

--Steve E   10/10/2009


Peeps, you KNOW
I love you all
No Matter What

PEACE!

Friday, October 9, 2009

SATURDAY'S THOUGHTS


AVOID CHAOS--MEDITATE

YES, IT DOES WORK!

Whoever reads these blogs must know how much I love my scooter, and riding, rain or shine, anywhere and everywhere. (No ice or snow!)  So imagine this old guy--me--zooming along the Interstate, with a tire iron in my hand.  Now picture me bending forward, reaching outward and sticking that tire iron into my front wheel spokes at 75 mph.  Catastrophe, yes? Absurd, yes?  Maybe not!  It happens in my life, in the lives of people I know...and I've been informed we are all pretty much alike in humanness.

Each day I have capableness to put the tire iron into my life-spokes, at high speed--NOW!  In other words, if I would just wait, think, talk to my "adult supervisor" (read: sponsor) and look ahead, and "Just Be Real", it might not happen.

And if I make use of God's words, which come to me through other Peeps, I will probably ride right over that next hill, around the next curve (awww, peeps--in the highway, right?) safely, and happily reach wherever I am going.  Even if I myself, as often is the case, do not know where that is.


This wonderful program of Alcoholics Anonymous and its twelve Steps has given me many safety nets, to "save me from myself".  Prominent among them is Prayer.  Meditation is another.  Please, peeps, stay with me here--let us really DO these things!  Let's MAKE the lists of inventory, defects, people we have wronged.  I must be ready for God to take away all my crappy thinking, and behaviors.  AND--I must make amends, even the (shudder) "financial" payback of what I owe. I must pray.  I must meditate.  In other words, I must change!

Remember when earlier I mentioned chaos and catastrophe?  These are a result of life situations, which most assuredly will lead me back to my drinking life of oblivion in a matter of days, and certain death to follow--this is me.  And I really do not wish ever to be there again.

And so, this morning at a meeting we read page 89 in our Big Book, Chapter 7, titled "Working With Others".  It begins with a basic reality, and TRUTH:   "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.  It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion:  Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can...."

These formula have worked for millions of sober peeps.  They have worked for me.  And I am sure they work for you peeps also.  (It's just that I have to go to meetings so that I remember them--grin!)


Stay sober, Peeeperoni!
Be grateful!

Peace.
Love.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

RAMBLING TO MYSELF



(Got two new sponsees this week. 
God is GooD!)

MY RAMBLING WITH--ME


It seems like everyone I know, or ever knew--is recovering from something. (Or should be--grin!)  I'm sitting here happily marveling over our meeting situation--in the Naples area, where 200,000 people live. As everywhere, our groups meet in assorted places; churches, banks, rented halls, small club houses, the beach, and  "other" --more than 200 times each week!
 
NOTE:  I have seen (since early 1974) our AA grow in Naples from 4 meetings each week, to well over 200.
 

In a given year I am a part of nearly each of those groups (of Alcoholics Anonymous) at least once or twice.  My home groups see the most of me, know me, help me, teach me, put up with my Ego, and deal with my Pride (in ways I sometimes do not appreciate--grin!).  And we ALL laugh a lot--together, even at each other's former shenanigans.

In not many venues in SW Florida (Yes, I realize in big cities there are groups which "boast!" 400-600 members, I call them mini-conventions!) do I find a group of 70-90 Peeps coming together at 7 AM every single day, to laugh, meet, greet, commiserate, laugh, enjoy, spread happiness, get work, , laugh, give work, sponsor, help, exchange phone numbers to "talk later", and then laugh some more. 


Within a few seconds, we are ascended immediately onto a spiritual plane, which lends itself to peace and serenity, through helping one another. And we continue smiling and laughing!

The laughing is not a result of jokes being told, although that happens (at 7 AM!). It is more the laughter and true happiness--a relief?--of people who had condemned themselves to an alcoholic and lonely death, and are now changed.  


We have been changed by willfully  following  a God-given Program of Twelve Steps.  We have been given a daily reprieve dependent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

We laugh especially loud when relating some of the horrors of our past actions, behaviors, and near-death experiences, either in prisons of our own minds, or society's prisons.  We are those who had given up on ourselves, hopeless alcoholics. We had been given up as hopeless by friends, neighbors, families, loved ones (OH! So many loved ones who cared so much for us).  We are not proud of how we have lived, but glad we do not have to live like that again.

You see, we had no choice. Sure, early on we would say softly, so only few might hear, "I wonder if I have a drinking problem?...I only drink a few beers now and then."  A few?  What is a few?  Did I EVER count? Did it matter? At first not, then slowly, through years of habit, I lost my reasons (and my 'reason') for a "few beers". And a few became a "couple" daily bottles of  vodka. Yesss!  A habit, once formed, seeks to grow...especially if it is one of which I LOVE the effect.  


Eventually I crave more and more of that effect.  When I say to myself, "I can stop right now"...I stop. Fine. BUT I become restless, irritable, and discontent, UNTIL I have a few drinks again. Why me? Why not? Maybe so God can use me one day to help another?

The same of those of us who have found a way out through AA.  Why me? Why not? And so I carry this message I've been freely given, to others who not only need it--but WANT it.  Others, who may now need it, but one day, one day...will want it!

Remember, in this posting I was just "talking to myself", Peeps. Rambling!
 

I wish you all to be HAPPY!
I wish you all to be at PEACE!
I wish you all to LOVE!


MANY OF THE PHRASES IN THIS POST WERE TAKEN FROM BOOK ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

CAN I JUST HELP GOD A LITTLE?


I DID IT MY WAY...





My father had a lot of antisocial habits.  He was a dairy farmer, with lots of cows, a few hundred acres, six live-in hired hands, some less-than-sterile habits, and he was sightless.

I remember when he was measuring liquid into a container, whether five gallons of milk for a customer, or coffee in his own giant cup, he always stuck a finger or a thumb into the jar, cup, or can, so he could tell when it was filled.  In a restaurant, he'd stick his finger into his cup (or stein) to see if it had been refilled. If it was hot coffee, he'd say "OUCH" so loud that many would hear him.

These years were the early 1940's when he was beginning to experience serious  hearing loss. I was between age 8-12, and began to copy his behaviors, as if they were "normal".  So by the time I got to college, I discovered it was difficult to impress a date, when you stick your finger into her beer, and then lick it clean.  

Many years later I entered an AA meeting room.  I was like "born and raised" in a new way of life.  Before there was Inter-Group in Naples FL, before local treatment facilities, before the now-all-too-familiar 90 meetings in 90 days, before the shouting out of "What's the POINT?", "It Works if you WORK IT!", before a LOAD of nuevo practices, rules, and regulations became effective, I had been taught simply, that if I drink I die. That was basic. And I believed then and continue to believe that, with all my heart.

And so when we in Alcoholics Anonymous began arguing about whether a drug addict was allowed in our rooms, what we should do about a "Jesus" special messenger, and do we say--or not--the (non-AA) Lord's Prayer after a meeting, I was dumbfounded.  The first time I heard the meeting topic "My boyfriend moved out...what should I do?"  I was stunned. And the first time I heard a leader at a 9th Step meeting say, "But FIRST "my sponsor" told me to forgive myself (so I would 'feel good')", I thought WTF, this is NOT the way I was raised in AA. I felt at once so alone, rudderless.


AMENDMENT:  Shadow wrote the following good point-a question:

"...what is it about change that makes us so uncomfortable. what is it about another's way, that makes us want to pull back..."
Shadow...Isn't it FEAR (Pride?).  Fear of maybe you finding out my way is not the 'only' way. Fear of me finding out my "thinker" needs adjusting. Fear that in my experience, you will only "get it" if you do it the way I was raised.  Fear of me finding out "my way" is not the best (finger-in-the-beer)...I may add these couple lines of amendment to the blog. Thank you SO much.


I crusaded to "change things", all for naught. With "adult supervision" I decided to seek out meetings which adhered to the Principles and the Traditions, as they had been taught me.  Admit powerlessness, kneel and  surrender, trust a Higher Power, turn my life over to Him.  These acts culminated in my working the next eight steps, so in fact, that is how to really work step three.

The point here is that I am comfortable when things are going my way--the way I was early-on taught--and very uncomfortable when I see some of the changes happening right before our eyes, which--to me--are how we might one day be destroyed, from within.  

It is then when I realize that we are all--sober, drunk, or neither--in God's hands always, and forever. And with God leading the meetings, the membership will learn, and will stay sober, in spite of all efforts to bend the meanings of our meaningful steps, to suit every flavor of taste in every room of recovery.

Oooops, I just spilled some HERSHEY'S chocolate syrup on my thumb...(slurrp...slurrrp!)--all clean now!

May God's Loving and sober Peace be yours today, my cherished Peeps!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

PRACTICE DOES NOT ALWAYS 'PERFECT' MAKE


Einstein and I--buddies--we DID
have one thing in common!

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy" - Albert Einstein (he was past age 70 when he said that...)

My comment to Mr A Einstein:  Well Sir, I do not know about YOU...but for me, a chair--OK, a violin--OK, then, well, I--uh, um, hmmmmm--why is this not easy? Well, I'll be honest.  I'd want my woman!  And I am older than you were--with your bowl of fruit!  I hope you had a good time...--grin!

Of course, that is NOT the topic here.  I prefer to talk in this blog about what (Who) keeps me sober, mostly serene and at peace.   


NOTE: This is my first try at this type of verse. So be gentle please --grin!

And it IS the Power
of the Universe,
that Great Spirit
which moves
in constant waves
over and through
all things
all bodies
all minds

This Power, God,
As I delve
into His Programs
Stairways of Twelve
keep me sober,
and mostly happy

Always Pushing,
Leading, Pulling--
The Great Cajoler
Teasing me/us
with moments sublime
Moments of time
In perfect time.
In perfect tune.

Strings taut so those notes,
Like petite round sounds--
Beautifully soft,
Reach my very
center. Inner nerves
Also taut...on the verge

About to release the energies
Of sight, sound, touch
And face the reality of LOVE
To attain that serenity
For which I try much,
Too much, to achieve

No more deceive.
All is at peace.

All tiredness
all weariness
ending with
Gratitude,
With PRAISE,
with healing sleep.
Prayer and Healing Sleep..

Peeps, what can I say?  I love you all.
PEACE!