I started this post last Friday afternoon. Unfortunately I simply don't have the time to do all the things and be all the people I want to in the limited amount of time available. Sigh.
I spent Thanksgiving day at an mini-alkathon1 in a river town a little over 30km from home in an adjoining Area. There was a nice turkey dinner for anyone who showed up, plus breakfast for those who were there early. It was something like the 10th year for this event, although I don't remember ever hearing about it before (another advantage of attending a new set of meetings—I get to hear about goings-on that I didn't know about before). There was a speaker every hour on the hour from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Most speakers spoke for 30 minutes and allowed discussion to follow. At least one used the whole hour. I was lucky enough to be invited to speak in place of a no-show for the final slot.
Having heard they needed help, I showed up around 9:00 AM. They let me help alright, but not with anything so important as cooking: instead they let me take out trash, make donation cans, run errands and, of course, help clean up afterwards.
I took some photographs2. It was held in a church that I'm told has been very eager to have A.A. folks put on this event. It's a great facility in which to do it.
They hung a sign on the street to let everyone know that this was the place.
It was held in a gymnasium behind the church known as "The Lord's Gym."
Probably a couple hundred people flowed through the facility during the day. A few people I knew showed up, including the man who was Delegate in our Area when I was a DCM. Mostly though I hadn't known the people I met that day. I heard a number of good things throughout the day. The one that has most stuck with me came from one of the cooks who spoke. He said, "If I could drink normally, I'd drink all day long." Is that alcoholic thinking, or what? I heard at least one person say that if it hadn't been for this alkathon, they'd have had no place to go that day. Another admitted that she had planned on getting drunk that day, but a friend had called her and convinced her to come to the alkathon instead.
All in all, I felt very good about the day. I'd never done anything like this for Thanksgiving; I'd always spent it with family and friends. The group that put this alkathon on also has them on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Last Wednesday I bought plane tickets to fly across the country and be with my grandchildren for Christmas, but maybe I'll go back and do it again for New Year's. It sure would beat getting drunk and wearing a lamp shade on my head.
1Anyone have an opinion or knowledge about how to spell this word? Google reports the following number of results for each of the spellings shown:
2I'll upload pictures later this evening, after I get home to my camera.