Saturday, 2 January 2010


steady snow, mild, temps minus 2

Just fed the birds...the feeders are thick with blue jays, wood peckers, doves and blackcapped chickadees. Lost Trudy's ball in the snow, but after much mutual digging, and against all odds, we found it. In spring, when the feet of snow melt, we find all sorts of things in the snow. Some more pleasant than others.

blizzard warning out for tonight and tomorrow. What fun.

Nancy came and got both Michael and me all hooked up to Skype on our laptops. Now when I do book clubs the option is there to do it via skype. What a great piece of technology.

Am going out tonight, as we do every Saturday night when we're home, to the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Sutton. Today I'm celebrating 16 years without a drink. Sober. Free. I realized this morning that I have now been sober longer than I drank. It feels significant.

But mostly it feels gentle. Feels right. Feels like me. Life, while full and often hectic, is really very simple now. No need to lie. Or hide. I have a private life, but not a secret one.

And my needs are simple...I need my beliefs and my sobriety. Everything else stems from there. If those are gone I have nothing. No love, no friends, no creations. Just loneliness.

How lucky I am. Lucky to have been a drunk, and even luckier to be in recovery.

I don't talk of this often. Once a year on the blog I mention it, out of gratitude. But my sobriety, and what I have learned in the 12 step programme, informs everything I say and do and think.

Be well, my friends. Thanks for the company.


Kay said...

Louise, thank you for trusting us enough to say all this. Much positive energy going your way from Texas. Hugs.

P.S. Your lovely self and attitude come through so clearly in your books. They are a testament to your current life. I'm grateful.

Adriana said...

Congratulations on such on momentous day!! Falling from grace is a wonderful gift when it teaches us to rise once again with a greater appreciation for life and everything within it. I am a librarian in Florida who has just started reading your books (on your second one now) as a fellow friend/librarian highly recommended them and I just love the characters. Please keep writing, we'll keep reading.

Marjorie said...

I am so glad for your sixteen years, Louise. It is a great accomplishment and I am grateful that you have found a way to embrace your sobriety, day be day. I wouldn't have known you otherwise and knowing you and your work is a great gift.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Nikki B said...

Hi Louise,
Congratulations on such a tremendous feat..and thanks for sharing it.
As for Skype -- it works great for our book club. Chris Grabenstein was our first try with it a few months ago, and we are Skyping with Graham Brown in Feb. -- his first book Black Rain is due out late Jan.
And just for an update, I would say about 6 Killer Coffee Club members have read or are reading the Three Pines series--so it turns out that we end each meeting talking about you and Gamache every month :-).
Happy Snow! Nikki

bgpringle said...

Thank you for sharing with us and congratulations - as with everything in life, it's one day at a time. So trite but so true. Life is wonderful and you have a marvelous husband, so many friends around the world, and such a wonderful creative gift - a truly blessed life.
Thank you for your company.

lil Gluckstern said...

Congratulations on your 16, and what a marvelous life you have constructed for yourself. And how lucky we are to be the recipients of your talents, and your courage. So many times I think of your statement that gratitude matters so. It is so easy to think of the difficulties, and so important to remember the good things, and that things work out. I've said it before, and I'll say it again-Thank you for giving of yourself, and of Michael.


Dana said...

Dear Louise,
Once again your blog has caused me to stop and reflect upon many things - the roadblocks of life and how we either jump over them or allow them to turn us in a different direction. Congratulations on your successful jump 16 years ago.
I wrote the summary of my yearly journal last night: a baby born, a baby lost, some almost miraculous surgery and chemo, the first apple on my new tree, the first hockey goal for 5 yr old grand-daughter, the first riding ribbon for another. Life seems to get fuller each year.
Drive carefully. Dana

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 16 free years. Keep on going one day at a time.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Anon,

Yes, being a Friend of Bill was the biggest blessing. As was the darkness that went before. One Day at a time.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Kay, Once again you touch me deeply. You were one of the very first to support the Gamache books. And me. I don't forget that.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Adriana,

How beautiful you are, and how beautifully you put it. A fall from Grace, and we either land in a pool of bitterness or compassion.

So gald you're enjoying the books! Please thank your colleague/friend for the recommendation. Word of mouth is so powerful!!

Louise Penny Author said...

Thank you, marjoie,

and what you say is so true. Without what happened we wouldn't be speaking today. I suspect for you to be so kind you have known unkindness in your life. And have made a choice.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Nikki,

Ha, wonderful - thrilled Gamache closes the meetings! And such fun to be using Skype. Thanks for the encouragement!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Bev,

Thank you for your words, re-enforcing what I believe too. Keep it simple.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Lil,

You never cease to amaze me! No matter the turmoil in your life - and I know there is some - you reach out and are supportive. How lovely you are, Lil! Thank you.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Dana,

What a lovely, devasating, gracious relection on the past year. And here we are today, the people the year made us...and every year and every attitude and every choice and decision. Brought us to here.

In each other's company.

Tammy said...

Congratulations on your 16 years. My husband also celebrated 16 years in December (but we've only been together 15 years). I didn't know him when he drank and probably wouldn't have wanted to from his stories. I continually remind him that his alcoholism made him the person he is today and someone I wouldn't want to live without and he shouldn't be ashamed of his past. I shared your blog entry today so he'll know he's not alone in his journey.

Thanks for sharing your life.

Tammy in St. Louis