Old Brewery Mission

It is Monday. The weather is frightful. With minus (17c) outside and winds are gusting upwards of 70 km. In other places, roads are impassible and cars are piled up on the highways in Ontario.

Thankfully, I had done all my shopping over the weekend, so as to not having to go outside, until I need to hit a meeting. I can usually shop for four or five days at a time.

The weather people tell us that Spring is on the way, in a few weeks time. And they call it “an abrupt turn into Spring from Winter.” Like it’s gonna happen overnight.

I’ve been spending my Sunday mornings at the Old Brewery Mission, making new friends and networking into another phase of my sobriety. I’m in talks with a few friends who work “in the system” of rehabs, to find a suitable place for me to set down some foundation, and do some work in other areas of the city, with new folks coming in.

It is quite a chore, because not all rehabs run on the same system of hiring and responsibilities. It is harder in some circles to get a job in that field because of the paperwork and commitment one must make to the cause. And I understand that needed commitment. On Friday night, I spoke with a friend who explained the system to me. Over the next little while, he is going to see if he can find me a spot, doing some rehab work, either for pay or no pay. It’s not like I am looking for steady employment, because I cannot, due to my disability payments, bring in steady amounts of money.

I make enough to survive. I am just looking for something else to do, in sobriety, to augment my own program and see if I can work in that field and maybe do something good for others.

The Sunday meeting facilitates meeting other people, you don’t necessarily see in other meetings, because of the progressive nature of the chair/speaker system. Every week the chair changes and also the speaker changes. One week you speak, the following week you find a speaker and that speaker, chairs the next week, ad finds a speaker, so forth and so on.

Other than that, all is well.

Sunday: Kindness

Today was a special day. My best friend and his fiancee were coming to Montreal for the day, for Meg’s moms birthday brunch. They were going to see the Carol King Bio Show at Place des Arts afterwards.

I started the morning off at the Old Brewery Mission for my Sunday meeting. Looks like I am going out to the famed Beaver Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday night this week, with the ladies from the Sunday meeting. And one of them is speaking for me at the end of the month.

Afterwards I headed to Place des Arts to meet the party. I got to Complex Dejardins early, and before everyone else arrived. It only took me almost half an hour to find the restaurant, in the maze of the entire complex. Luckily it was sitting in a dark corner where construction walls were up, which made it harder to find.

Eight of us were there. Raf and Meg, her brother Eli, and his girlfriend, Meg’s mom, and two others I did not know. After a leisurely brunch, gifts were exchange for the two birthday girls.

And they had a bag for me. With the above items in it.

  1. A Tea Towel that Raf’s grandmother painted. She paints many of them as a hobby. So I got one.
  2. Raf’s favorite soccer team jersey Palmeiras on the left, and
  3. An official Brazil Jersey with the Number 10 – Pele’s number.
  4. And A door hanging Holy Spirit, a Brazilian tradition to hang over the front door of the apartment.

These days two of my favorite soccer players Lionel Messi at Barcelona and Paulo Dybala for Juventus, both wear the number ten for their respective clubs.

I was not expecting gifts today because it was not my day, so to speak. But I got a fine brunch and gifts from my best friend today. it was just good to get to spend a couple hours with him and Meg.

Because of the terrible snow conditions both here and back in Ottawa, I won’t be going down until April when his school term ends, and Spring finally arrives.

A good day was had by all.

Holy Snow Storm Batman!!

This is Ste. Catherine’s Street, just outside the Forum, where I was at the gym this morning.

BUT FIRST !!

They warned us that the weather was going to go bad as Saturday night progressed. AND IT DID.

I went to bed early last night, because I had to be up for 8 a.m. this morning to chair the Old Brewery Mission meeting. I was up and ready to go and headed out. I was layered well, and had winter boots on.

There was snow all over the place. Snow had piled up so high that the outer door to the building was barricaded by a snow drift that was four feet high and about three feet deep. In front of the door, on the outside.

I pushed my way out the door, as piles of snow fell on the floor inside, when the door closed behind me. There was almost a foot of snow on the ground as I made my way to the tunnel and down to Georges Vanier Station on the Orange line.

The wind was blowing so hard and snow was piled up so deep, that it took me almost fifteen minutes to walk 1000 yards downhill. There was so much snow that the wind had blown snow all the way down into the tunnel on both the car side and on the pedestrian walkway.

I made it to the train and Juan was already on it, when we arrived at Place D’Armes. We trudged through feet of snow to the Mission. It was well attended. People braved the first major snow storm of the season to make a meeting. Juan spoke, and we gave out a two year chip.

After the meeting we trudged back to the Metro Station and got back on the train coming this way. We were both headed to our respective gyms to train for a bit.

I thought that the gym would be empty because of the storm. There were a handful of people. I got my lifting in and a couple of miles run on the tread mill. I was trying to keep up with one guy to my right and another woman to my left. we were all running “run” programs, but they were running a bit faster than I had been.

On the way home, I took a photo (above) of what it looks like outside at this hour. They have not plowed any of the sidewalks, and barely the roads either, because snow is still coming down.

I thought to walk home would be painless … I WAS WRONG!

Just four blocks through snow drifts more than a foot deep all the way home. I had to stop several times to get my footing because the wind was pelting me with snow, and my glasses were frozen on my face. They warned us of possible frostbite.

They say this will be the coldest storm in Montreal’s history.

All the Homeless Shelters are working over time to make sure nobody is left outside. They opened a new shelter in the old Royal Victoria Hospital, not far from here. They have 100 beds open. Which makes a small dent in shelter traffic. But no shelter is turning anyone away. Human nor animal.

People with pets are an issue here, and now shelters are taking the homeless with their pets, where before, you could not bring a dog into a shelter. Which is why many people stay on the street.

Holy Snow Storm Batman !!