It's nothing fancy
located out in a field,
The smell of horses and cattle
drift on the air
The September sun begins to fade and
I hear the music, and see the lights
of the rides.
Just smell the aroma of forbidden foods!
You smile and squeeze my hand in anticipation
of the county fair!
And we are off to Vernon county in Wisconsin. To a sweet country fair that is held by the town my brother and his family live in. This particular area of Wisconsin is beautiful. All rolling hills, farms, and the majestic beauty that was carved out by the glaciers. We hope to get apple picking, and of course enjoy a night at the fair. I was given a very good reminder the other night. My bestie and I were having dinner with her sister who was visiting from California. We were laughing about our glamorous lives visiting the cheese store on a Saturday morning, when her sister said, "It's sounds like a pretty good life to me". I realized then that she was right. A simple Midwestern life, full of beauty, and laughter, and love....it's the only place where I want to be. Have an awesome weekend....
Thursday, September 16, 2010
This has been a busy week. Run here, run there, getting ready to visit with my brother and his family this weekend, so we are busy doing laundry and packing. Monday after I took the dog to the groomer, and then myself for a haircut (and I won a free haircut which is cool because I never win anything) I some how made it to a Monday night meeting. Three people were there for their first time. So we switched the format to fit a "first step" meeting. I love to hear first step meetings. The moment of clarity is something I never tire of. Some of the stories I had heard, some I never did, all fascinate me. When it came time for the newcomers, I almost held my breath. Remembering not too long ago being in that position. Wanting to almost hide as you tell your story of how you came to be there. Yet, we all tell similiar tales with the places and names changed to our individuality. The first one to talk was a single man. Been in many scrapes with the law, cheated death on more than one occasion, fresh out of treatment. Didn't know where to go, who to talk to, and then found this meeting just a few blocks from his house and decided to go. The second was a couple. They have a child together, had been engaged, and were trying to put the pieces back together. It was hard not to judge the man, especially when he openly admitted to splitting the woman's lip open the week before. I think I have finally mastered the craft of listening to these stories while keeping my face neutral. My friend Steveroni reminded me in his blog, I do not have the right to judge someone else, I have not lived their life.....needless to say I did find myself judging this person at times in my mind. Part of it is, I think being able to recognize the self-centeredness of the disease. How we think we're not in the wrong. I was there and still get there at times. What was tough to watch was the female. When she spoke, the mother guilt poured out of her. She cried openly, she seemed so lost. She I felt was there for him, as she commented, "he was coming, so I knew I had to do something too". Ahhhh, the nature of our disease. It's uniqueness is that one size doesn't fit all. It's ours and only ours. We are selfish in our disease and even more selfish in our recovery. Not only do we bulldoze over everyone when we are using we need to work our programs for ourselves, not others. I didn't get this at first. I wanted someone to work my program for me. I was scared, and overwhelmed by what laid ahead. Now after some months or working the steps, living the program, walking with my HP my outlook is so different than it used to be. My heart ached for these people. How do mere words get the meaning accross? Life will get better, one 24 hours at a time. But in the beginning, 24 hours might as well be 24 days. It seems endless. So I shared what I could, I made eye contact with the woman, I told them all to keep coming back. When we all leave is when the mission of our program begins. Will they come back? Will they be strong enough to realize that if they are willing to work for it, there is a life richer and fuller than their wildest dreams? We can only hope so.......
Monday, September 13, 2010
Despite the craziness of the weekend I was able to squeeze in a Saturday morning meeting. (My daughter is doing better, not in school yet, but better). At this meeting a fellow AA member celebrated nine years. I've spoken with this man a few times but really didn't know his story. I also know his sponsor who is just a great guy and when he presented him with his nine year chip he said, "here you go buddy, I know you have been waiting for this for a long time". The person receiving the chip began to share his story and explained why that comment was so true. This was the first chip he had received out of prison and in his words, "they don't hand out brass chips in prison". I was stunned. This person has the sweetest face you ever did see and I could tell I wasn't the only one who was surpised by this. Prison? No way, but as we all know alcoholism doesn't descriminate. When I first met this man it was at a Saturday morning meeting. He was bright, cheerful and really talkative. I thought because I was a newcomer maybe he was being extra nice. But I soon came to know that this was just his demeanor. Upbeat, helpful, willing to always go the extra mile and excited about the program of AA. His story was so inspiring. As he told of the years in prison, becoming sober in an environment where drugs and alcohol are twice as easy to get on the inside than on the outside. How his family supported him, how he has been able to sponsor someone else, and how he's back in school getting the education he always wanted. He even found other AA members on campus and started a noon meeting. I sat there listening with this huge grin on my face. He broke into tears of greatfulness and your heart just swells at these moments. Moments when you see God and another human being walking hand and hand down life's journey. I was so grateful to be there and share this moment with him and everyone else at the meeting. It just set the tone for the whole hour. Everyone was happy, and upbeat. Of course there was cake afterwards but what a joyful celebration. It's times like these that I wish I could capture and put on an old viewmaster,so you could show newcomers that it's worth the time, the pain, the misery just so you can stay with it to see the promises start to come true. I left feeling on cloud nine. Is life perfect? no, will it ever be? no, but it can be filled with peace, happiness, and a sense of well being. As they say at meetings, "keep coming back, it works if you work it, it sucks if you don't"..............
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday night after a great session with my sponsor my daughter who had been playing at the neighbor's came home running a very high fever (103) shaking with the chills and just plain miserable. She's been fighting a cold for the past two weeks and has had a stuffy head and yuky cough and then it dawned on me that I hadn't heard her cough lately. The next day bright and early we headed for the walk in clinic. The doctor listened for a few minutes and said that everything had settled into her chest and she was locked up tight. She's on three different antibiotics and finally the fever broke last night. She's finally starting to cough, and it's music to our ears even if it sounds like she might spit up a lung! So we are all looking forward to her being back to her silly daredevil self in a few days and also looking forward to a full night of sleep. Hope you all had a great weekend and will catch up on posts as soon as I can......