Courtesy: Rhonda O’Keefe Arsenault – Ferryland Cottage – Ferryland Iceberg, St. John’s.
I am home from my Easter Holiday’s with Mama and Lu. The weather was good, for the most part. But St. John’s, being on the Eastern Edge of the Island, weather is always hit or miss, depending on when the wind begins to blow.
I arrived on Thursday afternoon, and Lu was very surprised to see me. She actually was good for three days. On Easter Sunday, knowing she was on a build up to detonation, we were on pins and needles all through dinner. We had to extricate her from grand ma’s house and it was not pretty at all. We got her home, and both Mama and Lu passed out from exhaustion.
Little St. John’s Factoid … There are seagulls in the city proper, since we are just off the ocean. Garbage pickup was delayed a day for the holiday, what I learned about garbage in St. John’s is this … You don’t just put your trash out for pick up by itself. Because the seagulls will destroy your garbage and strew garbage all over the street.
So everyone has a NET that they cover their bins and garbage with, to avoid the seagull attacks on garbage day. If you don’t NET your garbage, you will be fined by the city.
Garbage strewn all over the neighborhood is unsightly.
On Friday, we took a tour of Signal Hill. There was a little ice on the coast, and you could see the Ice Pack just off the Eastern Shore of the Island. You can see a small ice berg almost center frame to the right just off the coast.
I took a boatload of photos. I won’t upload all of them because they are single photos and the blog does not have an album setting for multiple photos.
The First Image above is of the Ferry Land Iceberg that was siting just off the coast in Ferryland, where I was staying with Mama. It was about twenty minutes from the house. I did not take the photo. There were massive traffic jams on the island, with people coming from all over to see it.
Sadly, there were no boat tours during my stay, but they start up on May 1st. Since the icebergs are coming down the coast very early this year. The fisheries operations are all out of whack because of Ice. Many of the fishermen were called back to port due to the Ice Pack and Icebergs coming down the coast.
On my flight into St. John’s we flew over the Eastern shore of the Island and there were massive icebergs out at sea as we flew over them. An Iceberg close to shore will affect the weather in St. John’s.
This is out little tour group on Signal Hill, and a very big furry New Foundland dog that was with his owner when we got to the Hill. Signal Hill and the port in Downtown St. John’s. The Oil and Fishery ships are HUGE … Not as huge as a modern cruise ship, but HUGE for a sea going vessel.
I flew home this afternoon. The weather had turned sour, with fog, rain and it was cold. While I was sitting at the gate, I watched a military transport Hercules C-130 Military transport fly out of the airport. It hung up the entire airport traffic, as incoming helicopters from the oil patch and regular commercial aircraft use the airport all together.
Like the trip out, there was total cloud cover from coast to coast. On the way in, when we got to the Eastern Coast of New Foundland, the clouds parted and gave us the view of the Icebergs just off the Eastern Shore of the Island.
More to come later on. Have to get ready to go.
Always pay attention to the coffee maker, at whatever meeting you go to…
Six months ago, when it came time to change up my meetings, I realized that there was a meeting, just down the hill from home. Essentially, a 10 minute walk through the tunnel to a little church of a building, not far from home.
The Padua Center, is a building that houses the remains (read: Altar, Statues, Lectern) of an old church that was demolished, but the core of that church had been kept, and now mass is held in that building on Sunday mornings.
Many years ago, there was another meeting that was began by an old friend, who has since died. I used to go to this little meeting, when it was up and running.
Fast Forward to November 2016. I looked up Love and Tolerance in the meeting list and headed down one Monday night. Every meeting, has its resident coffee maker. One of the most unsung jobs in the fellowship. Nobody cares WHO made the coffee, but it better be damn well perked by the time those ungrateful alcoholics walk through the door.
Hell hath no fury like an Alcoholic, with coffee not ready to go…
Danger Will Robinson, DANGER !!!!
I’ve known some crazy coffee makers in my time.
That night I met our coffee maker extraordinaire. Back then, the meeting was sparsely attended, and only needed a small, 12 cup perk coffee maker. Over the last six months our intrepid coffee maker invested in a full bore 60 cup, standard issue, coffee urn.
The number of meeting attendees, has more than doubled in six months. And all of us are grateful for the coffee maker. He is there every week, busy or not, making coffee.
This past Monday, I asked him if he could give me “thirty minutes?” He understood that I was asking him to come to a meeting to hear ME speak.
Funny that …
This afternoon around 1 p.m. he texted me saying that he could not make our date for the meeting. I was on my way to the bank to prepare for my trip to N.L. next Thursday.
I came home and made two phone calls. One came back as a NO, and the other message was not received prior to the meeting. I took that as a sign, to trust God and head to the meeting as usual. While setting up, I told one of our women that I needed a speaker, and she volunteered to speak for me.
Not ten minutes later, my coffee maker texted me saying his late meeting at the office had been cancelled and that he was on his way. Little did he know that HE was the one who was speaking and not ME.
That realization came about 5 minutes before I introduced him to the room.
Color him surprised…
It all went as God had ordered it. He knocked it out of the park.
After the meeting I told him that newcomer quote I heard a couple of weeks ago that:
If you get asked to Speak at St. Matthias, You Have Arrived …
Our little Monday, Love and Tolerance meeting is a wealth of Sober Experience, that I have been tapping since I joined St. Matthias a few months ago. Lots of sober men and women who don’t usually hit the Thursday meeting, so, fresh minds are fresh stories to hear.
Last week, into last weekend, New Foundland was hit by a severe blizzard, which prompted some serious considerations of not making the trip next week, due to weather concerns. I called Air Canada, and spoke to them about weather. Then I called the bank, and tried to get some insurance on my $650.00 airline ticket. (That was a bust)
Tuesday would be the day that I would decide to either get on a plane or cancel my trip, because getting an airplane into St. John’s is dicey, frequently. Wind, Weather, Snow, are a given on any day. Tonight, it seems that the weather will be looking up, thanks to Environment Canada’s six day forecast.
I have cash in hand, and a good weather forecast, at the moment. In New Foundland, weather is never a given. All it takes is a little weather headed into that area, and Mother Nature can dump up to sixty centimeters of snow on any given day.
It has been pissing rain in Montreal for two days now. A Rain/Snow mix may fall tomorrow night, and more rain. We have heard, mentioned, double digit positive temps for this weekend … Let Us Pray …
Friday, last week, a good friend of mine witnessed me, two nights in a row, drinking my favorite Orange Soda. He was not impressed with that. On Friday night he said to me that I needed to stop the sugar intake and that I needed to look into the Keto Diet.
Saturday night, I did some serious investigating and came away with a diet plan that I was willing to work with. The Keto Diet, is strict. Lots of No, No’s. And very little leeway in the eradication of sugars and carbohydrates.
The Keto diet has a scientific basis. On the second link, you will find all the scientific data with Diabetes and Cancer patients.
I haven’t had a sip of soda in five days. I haven’t had any sugar whatsoever, in five days either. I wrote down the dietary restrictions on the fridge, and now we both eat very well, based on the Keto Diet restrictions in place.
Let me tell you that Detoxing from Sugar is BRUTAL … The first three days, I thought I was going to loose my mind. I was hormonal, and seriously demented. I had headaches, and I was terribly, emotionally, cracked.
One of my women, whom I work with, read my F.B. Page and she has serious time invested into the Keto Diet. So she called me the other night and we tweaked my plan, with a few changes and substitutions.
I spoke about having realized in February that I had, in fact, lost ten pounds, which spurred me into a radical lifestyle change, personally. I want to feel good, and look good, and look good doing it too.
People are noticing.
Thursday, after the meeting, is my “teaching night.”
My Elder friend in Utah, and I talk weekly via Google Hangout. We get to see each other and talk about how his life has changed since he ended his mission in Montreal. It was important that we kept our friendship going, because i want him in my life and we are friends, and each week, I get a little Faith Boost from him. General Conference was last weekend, this year, he got to see it live and in person. I get to watch it here at home.
His takeaway was this:
Community is important. Faith is Important. Charity is important.
Distilling a theological message to three points …
The number of walls you can knock down when ministering to your community, friends, and family, the better. We don’t need any more walls, we need community, we need love, we need charity and we need to love one another fully.
This message, in three parts, is familiar to me. I’ve heard it repeated many times on many fronts over the past month or so.
The Blessings of Easter is quickly approaching. The whole reason the Atonement is central to the church and her people. The sacrifice of the Cross makes this life possible and grants us life, love and faith.
Tomorrow is the Best Night of the Week.
Surely more to come.
“The more you realize, the more you realize that there is nothing to realize. The Idea that there’s somewhere we have got to get to, and something we have to attain, is our basic delusion.”
I am seriously hoping for Icebergs …
This is the year, we all make serious strides in life. The Promises have materialized for many people, all at the same time. I helped to keep my friends “on the beam” while we traveled through “Ambiguity.” Tonight, I can say that we’ve all crossed a new threshold in sobriety, across the board.
Today I did something I have never done before. I booked a ticket to St. John’s New Foundland for Easter weekend. Traveling to St. John’s is not cheap, but since we crossed another threshold at home, I was able to make good on my relationship with Mama and Lu.
I had schemed in my head, what I really wanted to do for this trip. I was not going to tell anyone I was making the trip, and wait until the week “OF” to tell mom that I was coming and not to tell Mama.
Hubby said to me that might not be a good idea, so I slept on it over night, and this morning I called mom to tell her what I was planning to do, and she told me that I should call Mama and tell her.
I waited all day to make one phone call …
I leave on the 13th of April, and spend 4 days in St. John’s and I return on the 17th. This is the farthest East I have traveled in Canada. In my first year sober, we took a road trip to Halifax, driving the 18 hours each way. This time I am doing it right.
Almost three years ago, I made a decision to invest in Mama and Lu, before Lu even entered the world. It all began with a single phone call. My relationship with Mama and Lu is the most important relationship I have with any of my friends, because Lu is part of my life.
Lu’s biological father wanted Mama to abort Lu when she was pregnant and to this day wants nothing to do with Lu at all. He’s just a big horses ass. Who takes no responsibility for the fact that he fathered a child, and is out of sight and out of mind ever since Lu was born. Aside from Grand pa, I am the only OTHER MAN in her life today.
I helped raise Lu for the first two years of her life while they lived here, but like all good things, they come to an end, and mama returned to family in New Foundland.
I may not be her biological father, but I am part of her daily life. I participate in the parenting process from far away, on a daily basis. And not long ago, I was on the phone with Lu and she tossed another new word at me … She calls me Daddy …
I remember the night she said my name for the first time. Now I have a new day to remember, the day she started calling me Daddy.
I sent Christmas to St. John’s in December. I am bringing Easter with me in April.
Sobriety gives us so many good things once we put down the drink (and the drugs).
Many people think, when they finally stop that life is going to end if they cannot drink and party like they used to and that sobriety is going to be absolutely BORING !!!
I can tell you, categorically, that that is NOT the case at all.
Our speaker tonight tells the story about socializing with old friends (today) in sobriety. She might be sober and does not drink, her friends though, can’t drink like they used to because they are much older, and CANNOT BOUNCE BACK LIKE THEY USED TO …
Life gets real, when we start to age …
I don’t think I would have made it to this point, had I kept drinking.
I am very happy for my guys and their gals.
One couple has crossed the Financial Insecurity Promise. The other couple, we are planning a wedding and costing a honeymoon for next Spring. And we are all working together, soberly.
And it is freaking AMAZING !
If your sobriety isn’t exciting, and life changing, what do you need to do to Step up your game ?
It is all about how you play your game.