Sunday, February 28, 2010



Today I get to ride 50 miles on my scooter to our district AA meeting.  As a new GSR, I remember last month that the meeting lasted more than 5 hours.  And I fell asleep--sort of.  Today I will not snooze because the temperature is in the 60's and on a bike there is the wind factor.

The 7 AM AA meeting this morning was about God.  Since each of us has--and is certainly allowed--to have our own concept of our Higher Power, this is a tricky topic to address.  The first 164 pages in our Big Book "Alcoholics Anonymous" for me is like a rock-solid creed from which I sometimes veer, but to which I usually try to adhere.

A priest in AA named (believe this!) Father Bill Wilson tells us on his CD that Chapter Four "To The Agnostics" is the most important piece of literature in all of written history.  He had been seeking the "real" God from Rome Italy, to California. Studying in Rome, he acquired TWO doctoral degrees, no dummy, this guy. And he "found God" in Chapter 4 of our Big Book page 55.  In fact, Father Bill Wilson reads aloud this paragraph (about halfway down page 55) TWO TIMES in his talk--it is that important to him, for understanding "where is God"...

The excerpt:

"We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us."

Yes, it does say "deep down within us" and "In the last analysis" and "ONLY there that He may be found." WOW!  It almost says to me to look no further that the Peep next to me and I should be able to "see" God. This chapter/paragraph changed my lifelong-held perspective of God--as if God ever needed MY "perspective-change"--grin!!!

Sober, Love, and Peace for today
For ALL you Peeps and me, I pray!

Painting from DEVIANT ART:  "CROWD"  by  tigerlilyn.jpg

Friday, February 26, 2010



The Naples group (my home group--Naples, FL) celebrated Anniversary #56 Thursday night, with dinner, prizes, AA Speaker, and lots of meeting and greeting Peeps who are now members of other groups around town.  (There are 267 meetings in little ol' Naples each week.) It was also Birthday Night, sober time from 4 days to 57 years.  What a happening!  Joy was circulating like a tornado around the room of 250 people. I met peeps who have been "hiding" in other groups and meetings for years.

But this blog is not about the celebration of an Anniversary of a group.  It is about what we call a mini-miracle.  At a meeting in the early morning, I announced that I had "...ONE ticket ($20) left to sell...who wants my last ticket?"  Answer:  Nobody!

"Something" made me turn around, and sitting along the wall was a girl named  Darleen (not real name) who I have known for a long time, who had during one period helped me through a rough situation. I motioned to her that she should buy the ticket. She mouthed a silent "No money." What happened next I do not know, but I found myself buying her ticket and handing it to her.

OK to shorten this post--who?  ME?  SHORTEN a narrative?--grin!  I'll skip to the dinner that evening (last night).  She walked into the room, and came to our table and thanked Prayer Girl and me, then she knelt down and told us a story.  Two weeks before--after a meeting--a girl friend of hers was crying.  She did have a car, but no gasoline, and no money to buy any. Darleen, nearly broke herself, GAVE the girl $20, and in her gratitude moment, the girl reminded Darleen, "What goes around, comes around."

And there, in front of a table of seated Peeps, was Darleen with us, tears in her eyes, as she told us she did not expect the "come-around" thing would take place so soon.  And she went on to enjoy herself with her evening, with her Peeps!  And we all stayed sober...and happily so.

Peeps, I realize we each have memorable events occur throughout a given day, and this is one of mine for Yesterday!


Thursday, February 25, 2010




My father was sightless from the age of 4-5, and became a mute at age 50.  He was a farmer, who with my mother spent some of their winters visiting us in sunny, warm (Yeah...right--grin!) Naples, FL.

Deaf-Blind Pop just loved, REALLY loved to swim in the Gulf of Mexico.  He could tell by the sun and the breeze which way was the shore--when he swam out to a sandbar.  One time he swam out there, the sun hid itself, and the breeze decided a siesta was a good idea. So he determined which way to swim, and he wrongly chose to swim west, toward Corpus Christi, TX...800 miles across the Gulf.

Someone did swim out there finally...but nobody including himself knew he was "in trouble".  One of my sisters, visiting for a week, bought a 500-foot boat-towing line at a marina, and from that day, Pop was tethered to my mother who sat in a chair on the beach collecting coquina for soup-making.  And so whenever Pop wanted to swim back to shore, he just followed his lifeline.

I make the analogy here of a Peep swimming around in the life of an alcoholic.  There is no way to discover the direction for the shore of sobriety.  It just does never occur to the Alkie, that if he doesn't take that first drink, he will never, NEVER get drunk.  Somehow, an outside force (Higher Power?  God!?) intervenes in any number of human ways/forms. The lifeline of Alcoholics Anonymous is hooked onto his belt at first.  The Steps, which he learns about from a sponsor, become a way of life which he works at following...never perfectly.

Eventually--it happened to me--that lifeline of sobriety in AA became wrapped around his heart, and a love which cannot be expressed in words, grew (slowly in my case).  Only in actions, behaviors, mistakes, amends, a knowledge of self, a willingness to grow along spiritual lines, and helping others to live God's Will, can I show my regard, my respect for, my LOVE of this program which has given me an extra 35 years to live.

Peeps, let us stay sober and help one another today.  Let us please not be spiteful.  But let us in forgiveness, grow in the grace of humility...and SOBRIETY!  Allow me please to lovingly try to understand those who show disagreement with me, and just Let Go and Let God!

Photo in Deviant Art:   life_lines_by_werol.jpg

Wednesday, February 24, 2010



This post is to tell a little about a wedding on the beach at Naples-on-the-Gulf (of Mexico) this past Saturday. About 250 people I estimated were attending, many of us alcoholics (I like the word "ex-drunks").  Polly, maker of fabulous cookies for the Thursday night "cookie meeting" and her Fiancee John (also one of "us") became man and wife

Each family, Polly's and John's were 30-40 in number were mostly from other states, some traveled from Alaska.  So families counted for 70-80 witnesses.  I have played (violin) at hundreds of weddings, and never have I seen one so lavishly simple, so love-loaded, so mirthfully serious, so crazily sober...and I got to be a part of all this.  Whether AA, Alanon, or blood relatives joining at this celebration, it was indeed one huge, happy family affair.

When I asked Polly what kind of music she would like, her answer, "Steve, I'm putting you 'in charge' of the music, that is your job, OK?" was the answer every musician longs to hear--for weddings.

My sponsor and his sponsor were there, as well as Prayer Girl and her daughter--who is one of Polly's sponsees.  Except for the groom and bride's extended families, the rest of us in the crowd have been "friends" in the programs for years.

Imagine the gratitude and love spread around the park and the beach that morning and later at the home of the groom's sponsor; horseshoes, and lots of stuff, and food catered by a homeless shelter's popular and GoooooD! catering service.

This past Saturday morning and afternoon will be joyfully relived again and again in the fondest memories of all us happy participants.

Thank you again, Dear God, for these Your gifts.

Photo: DeviantArt.wedding_by_photolitherland.jpg

Monday, February 22, 2010


Counting the days,
For whom or what?
Marking the time. WHY?
Whether monthly, daily--by the hour.
Be not so dour.
For even so--it is LIVING
Which we are all still doing.

And where there is life...there is, yes........


A fellow I have known for years received his 14th anniversary chip this morning.  Jerry sponsors, and does it well, almost like the old days.  In his kitchen, singly, and in a once-a-week small step-group.  He does not "teach" people, he allows them to "follow" himself and others into strong-and-long sobriety.

Jerry.  From a know-it-all drunken slob, to this--busily walking the walk, and staying humbly sober today   What a thrill to have witnessed such growth in a Peep!

And where there is life...there is, yes.......


With each breath, I anticipate the next.  Without thought it is always there, as far back as I can remember, even before that. And at the final breath,  following will come the real breath of the real life.  I believe that, I know that.  I try to live that.  It is difficult.

With sobriety came the ability for me to become willing, to accept what is truth.  I am able to view evidence, make judgment, and follow that with a faith that cannot, must not, be shaken.  My own Faith is that there IS a Creator of all things, Who loves me...ME!  Imagine!  And God's greatest desire is for me (and you all!) to love HIM!  Of course, for me sobriety is a given, for without that, I have nothing.  NOTHING.

And where there is life...there is, yes.......("...the greatest of these...")


There was not a beginning (actually, there was not even a "was"!!!), there is not ever to be an end.  Between those parameters (of course, "eternity" is not a parameter) there is but one underlying, or maybe overriding characteristic.  It IS love, the reason for everything I know, touch, "feel", perceive, yet have little understanding.  Whatever I call my Higher Power (God), I know that the whole of His creation, from angels, to mankind, to firmament, animals, and nature itself, is a Divine Act of Love.

In many forms that love is expressed in humanity and nature, but the bottom line is His love for me, and my love for Him.  Without God's great gift to me of sobriety and our Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, I could not be here, would not have these thoughts, and could not write them.

Peeps, this post was about as serious as I can be at this time, and in that spirit of seriousness, I wish you all Love, Peace, Hope, Serenity, and the capability to cope with whatever might be troubling you--for today.  May we pray for one another today?

Take Care!

Photo, Deviant Art:  Love__Faith__Hope_by_tranhonglien.jpg

Friday, February 19, 2010


Just how do I sneak back in here to greet personally once again these Peeps who I have dearly missed for a month?  Jump right in, I suppose...

A lonely sound, shrillingly accurate, silenced the bedlam-like cacophony of the symphony orchestra.  An oboe player had stuck his face on the thin reed, and produced a perfect 440 "A".  The pitch is one to which orchestra players have for many years tuned their instruments, matching the oboe note.  The oboe is awarded this honor because it's tone can pierce even the most noisy of environs.

And it was in this setting in which I found myself all day Wednesday, and will be involved in over the course of the weekend.  I play a violin, and all my life I have listened thousands of times to the oboe player doling out his "a" to the string and wind orchestral musicians.

I have been retired from active orchestra playing for a couple years, but get called periodically to play (it's really work, do not know WHY they call it "play".)

Fraternizing with musicians--old friends and new--and the sheer enjoyment of being "back in the saddle" is one joy usually reserved for sports teams,  music makers of all types, some congregations, and recovery meetings.  I felt like saying to myself, "I am home again!"

I am!

It is the same I feel when I step into a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous--"I am home again...welcome home".  Most societies are built around a nucleus of helping others, sharing talents, goods, and services.  So when I say to myself in the morning AA meetings "Welcome Home", I refer to being at one with others, being of like mind.

It is a mostly comfortable feeling--true--and one which has changed my life totally.  It is the "trying to practice" a set of  principles, a way of life.  In music it is practicing my violin.  At work it is practicing diligence and faithfulness...and tolerance. It is not perfect.  It is practicing restraint of pen and tongue during every waking moment, at home and away. It is practicing the Golden rule. Again, it is never perfect--or even close!

And so this week we are performing Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet", and selected parts of Bernstein's "West Side Story".  And I LOVE it!

And I thank my God and AA for allowing me to stay alive...and to stay sober--for today. 

A Special note to those blogger-friends who have been so patient with me (on-and-off-and-on-and-off-again!).  I am so VERY grateful for your kindnesses and loving understanding and support, I am literally without words--another miracle?  I have missed this blogging "home-away-from-home" for far too long.

From now I intend to blog when inspiration or "my will" (Ha!) demands instead of committing to a daily excercise, which became a job for me.  And, being a recovering alcoholic, I have to be ME always, and no matter the topic, somehow it will relate to recovery of some sort, because that IS me.

Blogger-Peeps, I thank you all, and LOVE YOU ALL!