Attending the Lakeshore Retreat was such a great time. Met some new folks and had a great time meeting new folks. But, of course, catching up with my friends from Seattle and Vancouver is always a delight.
The best part about traveling to destinations to spend time with other folks that I meet on this journey is that I have an opportunity to get see where people live, and know them on a more intimate level. Spending the evening in someone’s home and then drinking coffee and chatting is so much more relaxing, and even exciting to me – than seeing sights or landmarks.
Sure, I long to see things I’ve not seen before – like the Statue of Liberty and such. But, the truth is – Lady Liberty isn’t likely to be happy to see me return. Nor, is she particularly welcoming. Not like I experienced this weekend in Orange County, CA with the folks I met.
Spending the weekend in Laguna Beach with folks like Val and Tracy (who were so gracious and allowed me to stay in their home the first night) is part of the many little highlights – that ultimately – make up a life.
My life is comprised of many of these little highlights. meeting folks in Laguna Beach, Vancouver, Seattle, Miami, St. Louis, Kansas City, Phoenix, Omaha, SF, San Jose, Detroit, Houston, Sacramento – everywhere provides me an opportunity to meet many people.
Some of my friends, give me shit regarding my number of alleged friends on Facebook. But, being in recovery for 27+ years, and traveling the United States to meet people has afforded me the opportunity to say howdy and make friends everywhere. Nothing so much that I’ve done in life has made me feel as connected and filled my life with a purpose and provided me a sense of accomplishment.
I suppose if I spent less time traveling, and focusing on continuing to maintain and expand my recovery circle, I could have accomplished different things. Perhaps I’d have a degree. Maybe I’d have children. Perhaps I would have amassed more material wealth – or some other noteworthy success. But in my quest these last three years to have God reveal to me the meaning of the word “enough”, I’ve been blessed to know that even without these measures of success – I have enough.
It has helped me tremendously let go of envy that I sometimes experience when I measure myself against my peers and others, seeing what they have in their lives brings them happiness – and for that, I should merely share that happiness and allow it to be “enough”.
The truth is, I have a tremendous measurement of success. Albeit, it is measured in different ways. I am confident that the pursuits I have in my life of getting to know people, sharing with others, continuing to develop the relationships I have is what is right – for me. It is allowing me to exhale these days, look at my life, and recognize in every sense of the word, I am blessed, I’m rich, and I truly have “enough”.
This was a conference a couple of years ago in Sacramento, called the River City Round Up. A very special conference for me since I was there for the first year of it, and many of the succeeding years. I chaired a couple of times too which was a great experience of growth for me.
Gathering outside of Kansas City here’s the view of the fire where we gathered lakeside. The view was wonderful, the stars were bright and it was so peaceful. It certainly set the tone for the weekend and we knew we were in store for something special because we were surrounded by the nicest people and the surroundings were lovely. It was a great opportunity to exhale after the long drive from Texas to Missouri. Eric Caruthers, Rob and I – had the best time.
We had a great time with our friends Steve and Dave who visited from San Jose, CA. They brought friends from San Francisco and Seattle with them.
We went to the capitol building and looked around Austin. Unfortunately the eateries were not cooperating this weekend.
What usually is great fare, was a little poor this week for some reason with some of my favorite places having an off day. 😦
There was Magnolia’s with cold pancakes and even colder butter. So cold, the butter would rip right through the chilly cakes. Not a good representation of Magnolia Cafe. Usually the food there is hot and good. Then Hyde Park Cafe, known for their french fries could not seem to put together an entree that didn’t have onions. Our friends that day all deplored onions (not me. I love em). And try as they might, they couldn’t seem to do it. But the worst was Artz Ribhouse. Wow. That place just plain sucks. Do not even bother. They had no ribs, no chicken, no brisket, no turkey. Just burgers. Not really Texas BBQ do you think?
We ventured out and had a good time though. Here’s some pictures.
Here’s David and Steve in front of Ann Richards – smiling and then for some reason when I had them step over just a few feet they lost their smile under the picture of dubya (he has that affect on some people)
Georgio and Rob enjoying BBQ.
Some of the boys outside of Ironworks