|This is my 12-year chip.|
She picked up a brass chip with an XX on it, given her by a mutual friend of many years and it brought back a lot of memories. I can't, of course, tell you her name, but she's part of three generations of AA people who revived their failing lives and helped hundreds of people in the intervening years. Her mom and dad each had more than 50 years of sobriety when they died and one of her children has a nice chunk these days.
I was especially proud to be there because I gave her the white chip (the one that says "I'm committed to being sober") in 1997, three years after I picked up the white chip that I hope is my last. I did a little math on my chips and came up with this: I got my first white chip in 1971 and 23 years later, I asked for the one that I have now. That was 23 years ago. I don't know that those numbers have any significance, but I found them interesting.
I stopped retrieving chips several years ago when I showed up at a meeting to pick up, as I recall, a 15-year-medal. The group didn't have one in that denomination and I took that as a sign to mean that I didn't need any more. They're stacked in a drawer that I never look at anyway.
Today I woke up facing the prospect of having to take everything off several walls at home because the painters are coming Tuesday, and that would be quite a task. My walls hold my photos, and I shoot a lot of photos. That meant not only taking down the pictures, but also pulling the nails and finding somewhere the temporarily store about 65 photos (I'm only having three rooms painted, one of them the kitchen).
Margie was a big help with that and when we'd finished, she announced that she was going to clean out the 'fridge, something I despise doing. Margie is a whirlwind when she starts working around the house.
I grew up poor, often with little food in the house, so my 'fridge is always full and often about half of what is in it has its own eco system. So, it was a matter of removing the food, seeing what was alive, disassembling the shelves, throwing out the bad, washing the dishes, separating the recyclables, disinfecting the inside of the refrigerator.
It is quite a task. Margie did it like she was vacuuming the living room rug: Zoom! Zoom! Done! It is a real pleasure watching her work (I helped, yes, I did. A little bit. But, on the whole, it was like playing against Michael Jordan: You have to stop occasionally just to watch him in awe).
So, later, because she's such a great partner, I'm buying dinner for Margie at a Chinese buffet she just adores.