Well, the Christmas holiday done come and gone, and I did not relapse. Of course I had no intention of doing so, but Christmas is considered a major relapse trigger, second only to New Years Eve, and coming right on top of another major stressful event, my Dad's death, makes my continuing sobriety an even greater success. Of course it isn't really me doing it - God is giving me the strength to do what I would otherwise be unable to do by myself.
Interestingly, I spent a couple of hours Christmas Eve in a bar! I stayed over Christmas Eve in Westfield with my sister Bev, who works at the popular Tavern Restaurant near the rotary. So popular in fact, that it was hard to get the partying patrons to go home, therefore when I arrived to pick my sister up after work the place was still rocking!
In spite of my past I have to live in this world, and so cannot hide from partying scenes. So I sat at the bar while the party dwindled down and just drank Coca-cola, laughing and talking with the employees and customers, most of whom I know through either my sister or this webpage. In fact, being possibly the Valley's most famous recovering drug addict, had I reached for a drink in a moment of weakness I'm quite certain a half-dozen people would have leapt forward to snatch the drink from my hands! I'm really humbled by the fantastic support I've gotten from everybody since I got out of rehab. It makes me ashamed of what a self-obsessed, drug addled fool I used to be.
As usual Tavern Restaurant owner John Bonavita and his staff did a wonderful job decorating the joint.
While the new place is great, I still miss the old one in Springfield's SouthEnd. In fact, I also miss the original Tavern at the site of what is now the Basketball Hall of Fame. Now that was a bar!
On Christmas morning I went for a walk around downtown Westfield. It was all but deserted.
Because of the holidays I was able to leave the sober place where I live for two nights, and the second one I spent with my sister Donna in Belchertown. She rescued one of the plants from my father's funeral and as you can see below it made a beautiful Christmas decoration.
This morning my sister dropped me off in Amherst. I saw that the Boy Scouts were dismantling their controversial Christmas tree sale site. Given the big fuss it caused, I doubt there will be another such sale next year.
I regret that besides the controversial tax issues surrounding the sales, one of the things causing a hassle is that some of the town liberals object to the Boy Scouts on the grounds that they are a "hate group" because they ban homosexuals. I'm queer as a three dollar bill, but I served as a member of Troop 53 in ol' Pine Point.
However, despite what I'm certain is the futility of their homosexual ban, I support the Boy Scouts' right to impose it. I think anyone should be free to form private organizations and to set their own membership requirements. It doesn't matter whether you are excluding women, or redheads or cocksuckers or whatever - it's your organization and you should be able to determine who belongs to it. It is a misinterpretation of the concept of civil rights to try to force private groups to accept anybody who wants to join. Whatever happened to freedom of association?
Elsewhere in Amherst I came upon this weird sight of a chair mysteriously wedged between two trees.
It's hard to imagine a reason why anyone would do such a thing. But why ask why? In Amherst you soon learn to shrug over some of the sights you see and just keep on walking.