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Weathering the Storms…

Weathering the Storms…

Weathering the Storms…

I am on vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula while most of my loved ones and all my most memorable stomping grounds are in the eye of a storm. My son Jonathan has been chased by Irma from Tampa to Blue Ridge, Georgia. Kim is laid-up in Jacksonville while several of her roofs lifted off their moorings. And Lauren and John are hosting, without power, her father and a plethora of potted plants (outdoor items must come indoors lest they hurtle on high-force winds through plate-glass windows).


I am familiar with tropical storms. I have evacuated. I have thrown porch furniture into the pool and rolled up carpets. Moved artwork and valuables to higher ground in preparation for storm surge. So I am not insensitive to my loved ones’ lot. It almost seems sacrilegious to think of anything else.


Even while experiencing the UP in unseasonably warm weather…


The wellspring of my alcoholism…

The thing is, I have always weathered storms – from hurricanes to romantic breakups the same way. Pour a glass a wine, throw a lounge chair into the deep end and c’est la vie. There is not a single storm of consequence I have experienced, where I wasn’t three sheets to the wind. It’s hard to deny – hard to think about.


But I am on vacation.


And as it turns out, I am on vacation in my alma mater – the very place I had my first drink. So, you see how this all connects – full-circle – cosmically? And how restorative it is to be legitimately anxious about one’s family, without getting drunk to anesthetize the anxiety? To be nostalgic about the wellspring of my alcoholism without feeling the threat of a relapse…


Holy Cow!!! The Wooden Nickle – my first drink (perhaps underage) – Marquette, MI


And the hiking my sober friends…

What’s a girl to do? There is nothing I can impact a thousand miles from the storm. Nothing I can change. And so I took a hike – contemplating the beauty sculpted by God’s gentler hand.


The momentary calm of Lake Superior…


Dappled sun in Presque Isle


As far as the eye can see…


And seriously? Here deer, deer deer…


Today I’m not drinking, because I am thinking of my friends in harm’s way, but hiking in clear blue UP…



How come you’re not drinking?

E2E – Look up!

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar
    Sep 12, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    Today I am not drinking because I don't want to create a category 5 mistake, while trying to weather a category 1 or 2.
    I have been thinking about the same thing today. My family is also in Florida, and I too have considered my storm prep kit to be tequila and wine along with the other normal essentials. But I too have used the above kit to weather smaller storms, including mistakes. Today I am dealing with a work mistake, without that kit, and it doesn’t feel good. I could hear the whisper in my head, this would be easier with a glass of wine. And yet, here I am exercising instead. It is not quite as immediate a help, but the long term outlook seems better if I use exercise instead of booze.

    • Marilyn
      Sep 17, 2017

      Whenever I feel out of sorts I put on the walking shoes. As you say, it may not help the situation immediately, but the net result is a clearer head and a well laid plan. (That whisper is the little devil on your shoulder…)

  2. Avatar
    Linda Pevac
    Sep 13, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    I am not drinking because experiencing the horrible beauty of life's suffering is necessary. Turning to alcohol to escape pain only thwarts and extinguishes awesome possibilities.
    I am not drinking because experiencing the horrible beauty of suffering is necessary to live this life to the fullest. Turning to alcohol to escape pain only thwarts and extinguishes the awesome possibilities.

    Only one short week away from my 1 year sobriety date, I have had several (3) big life events happen. When things got rough before becoming sober, my “go to” was my wine. My comfort was the buzz. I didn’t know how much a liar my alcohol “lover” was, but now I know too much. Too much clarity has come into focus over this past year since I began my journey towards sobriety and I’m ever so thankful. So now, whatever the circumstance, whatever the pain, I’m mustering the wisdom, strength and resilience to walk on through.

    • Marilyn
      Sep 17, 2017

      It’s a tough lesson – that sober life does not mean life without pain. Right? But, even when things are really hard to deal with, I feel good in the knowledge I am DEALING with it. Not masking the pain with a gallon of plonk. Congratulations on coming into focus. You ARE wise strong and resilient!

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