Trip to the Midwest July 2009 Part 1

Why am I here again? I’ve been to WI 6 or 7 times in the last year, yet I am there again… Well, I was asked to speak at the Chippewa Valley Roundup this year. This is the 12th Annual Chippewa Valley Roundup, and a little more than 12 years ago I was actually part of the organizing committee for the roundup, that was before a resentment or two kicked in.

I landed in MSP on Wednesday afternoon and shortly after my arrival I entered the shuttle van that would deliver me to Eau Claire. All the way to Eau Claire there were a multitude of state troopers that were pulling over several RVs, buses and cars – I had never seen that many police on the road from MSP to Eau Claire before.

Immediately upon arrival in Eau Claire Pat and I headed to Taco Johns for a quick meal. We took that as an opportunity to catch up a bit and I got to hear about their hopes to become parents to a foreign exchange student from Thailand.

When we arrived in Chippewa Falls we were greeted by Brenda and Maui (the dog) and had a nice little time chatting. It wasn’t long before the night time caught up with us and we were all headed for bed.

Thursday morning the entire Isenberger family headed off for work and I was free to waste time as I saw fit. I headed over to Arby’s for a very late breakfast (roast beef sandwhich) and then that afternoon I drove Sami (I call her Sam just to annoy her) to Oakwood Mall. I had my earring cleaned and then she and I had lunch (I eat a lot in WI) in the food court. We then headed to Banbury Place (former home of the Uniroyal plant) and picked up Brenda.

I was the only one interested in going to the Pacific Group that night and I wasn’t sure if my sponsor would make it or not, but lo and behold he arrived with 15 minutes to spare before the meeting. My friend and former sponsee Jon S spoke at the meeting and it was nice to see all the old friends and to be a part of the meeting. I also had a chance to meet Jim H the Saturday night speaker at the roundup. After the meeting Steve and I joined the guys for food at Perkin’s a local tradition here.

Steve and I headed for Chippewa Falls where Pat was waiting up for us – at this point it was likely close to 11:00 central time and I imagine Steve was tired, but Pat, Steve and I stayed up talking for quite a while.

Friday morning we took Steve for a small tour of the area which included Taco John’s and the Oakwood Mall area. When we arrived back in Chippewa Steve and I loaded up his car with my bags and he dropped me off at the hotel. I was hoping for a nap.

However, not too long after I closed my eyes, Bruce E called and said he was on his way up to my room with goodies. True to his word, he and another AA showed up soon enough with a bunch of food items for me, the speaker. It was nice, but a real nap would have been nicer.

So, having been awoken I headed downstairs to grab my registration badge and other items that the committee had prepared for me. I was told almost immediately that I had just missed seeing my friend Renata who had come down from MSP to see me.

I went back up to my room, took a nice shower (though the shower did make a whistling sound the whole time – I’m not THAT cute) and shaved my head. I took the time to look at the Big Book and say a few prayers that I thought might be helpful to me that day before heading down to have dinner with my host, the other speakers and some committee members.

Dinner was… well, the bread pudding was good and the conversation was good, that’s about it.

There was quite a lot of fellowship before the meeting and I was lucky enough to be able to see most of my friends before I had to speak.

I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t scared I was fine. I stood up there and listened to them read How It Works, The Traditions, and then had Dr. Larry introduce me. Then I read a small part of the Big Book, the part about us being sensitive and then just started talking. I really have no idea what I said, I recall talking about my Pa, but that’s about it, that’s pretty standard for me when I talk.

After the talk most of the people lined up and shook my hand or gave me a hug. Many of them said I did a great job, and I hope I did… I guess I should listen to the CD sometime.

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