Alive in the World


Today, I had the opportunity to drive on some local back roads that I don’t normally drive on. The scenery is beautiful, especially this time of year. It’s farm country so there’s lovely old farm houses, fields as far as you can see and that quintessential small town charm that has always appealed to me.

It’s also wine country. Need I say more?

As I drove, I couldn’t help but notice that every other sign was pointing in the direction of another winery. I found myself feeling melancholy – grieving all the wineries I would never have a chance to visit. Some I recognized, some I didn’t. At times, I would see one I recognized and think, “Oh, I always wanted to go there – but now I can’t.” After a while, I felt like the directional signs were taunting me, as if saying “Come over here. Look how beautiful I am. Look how nice my tasting room is.” And, I wanted to yell back, “No! Stop it! Don’t you know what I am? Don’t you know how hard I’ve worked to get here?!”

Finally, the kids and I arrived at our destination and I was safe. Oh, did I forget to mention the kids were with me? That’s because my crazy alcoholic mind was consumed with the damn winery signs! Sometimes I could slap myself. Seriously.

Once we were back in the car for our drive home, I found myself focused on the winery signs yet again – despite going a different route. But, then, instead of thinking about how much I was missing by not being able to partake in the winery experience, I remembered all the times before when I had. I remembered never understanding the point of spitting your wine out while tasting. Really?! Who DOES that? I remembered wanting to care about how the wine tasted, but not caring because all I wanted to do was drink – more! I remembered worrying about who was going to drive me around from winery to winery because I sure wasn’t going to drive – are you kidding me?! I remembered the horrible headaches the next morning, feeling like a truck had run over me.

And, right around that time I heard these lyrics from a Jackson Browne song come across my Pandora station:

To open my eyes

And wake up alive in the world

To open my eyes

And finally arrive in the world

I looked in my rear view mirror at my son and daughter and knew God was there, listening to my thoughts and feelings and giving me a little reminder. Sometimes, that’s all I need. A little reminder, today in the way of song, to help me remember what it’s all about. I wake up. I open my eyes. I’m alive in this beautiful, painful world. And, that’s all I can ask for because some aren’t so fortunate.

R.I.P. Cory Monteith



25 responses

  1. Loved this post! I live near many wineries & have often been sad about not being able to go anymore, always nice to hear you aren’t the only one & really appreciate you putting it into perspective. I’ve also been very sad about Cory Monteith, thanks for the reminder to just be glad I’m still alive.

  2. A lovely post. The bit about not wanting to spit wine out at a wine tasting made me smile – I never got why you’d do that! I tried to learn a bit about wine in an attempt to make it look like i cared what I drank, but to be honest as long as it was cold and there was lots of it I didn’t care….

  3. Once when still am active alcoholic I was on a business trip to San Francisco my colleague (a woman I had improper designs on) want to tour Nappa Valley. So I rent a car and off we go. I didn’t drink at all as I knew it would be a mess and I was driving. She got merry. Back at the hotel she firmly rejected my lame chat up attempt so I drank myself into a near coma in the bar. Another half forgotten reminder of my old drinking self thanks for bringing it to my mind.

  4. Yup – God gives us those nudgings and little shots to remind us about where we are and why we are there. I love stories like this and the writing is just fantastic. Gorgeous stuff. I had to always get reminded about why I don’t drink, so when I saw others drink with impunity, I wasn’t upset or jealous. I just knew (and still know) that it’s not for me. I don’t miss it, and God had better plans for me.

    Thanks for this 🙂


  5. Perfect timing! Just getting caught up with my reads (it’s a Monday task). Anyhow, last night we were up (from 1-3 am) with my daughter looking for one of the hamsters that got out of the cage. I was enjoying the fact that I was there, awake, calm, looking , encouraging, and comforting my girl. This would not be the case if I hadn’t committed to sobriety. It’s such a gift to be there for your kids. God gave me you—today—to remind me. Thanks.

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