When I began this website a few years ago, I lived in the Tiny White Box (TWB), a six-foot by 12-foot converted motorcycle trailer. For about a year, I lived in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods, about five miles from the Canadian border. Winters in Pittsburg, NH, are chilly—the month of January averages below zero—so I spent a lot of time inside the TWB. Even without shower, toilet or enough room to stretch my arms out to the side, the TWB served my purposes very well, both up north and from June, 2018, when I was called back into life in Manchester, NH.
Since then, I’ve been executive director of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, a medium-size nonprofit offering peer support to folks who’ve decided to leave the tundra of addiction for the fields of recovery. In February, 2020, I bought a log cabin outside Canterbury, NH. This new, un-nicknamed home sits on a couple acres across from a small pond with acres of conservation land behind me. My dog, Lucy, and I are, indeed, home here.
For a couple years this website was devoted to my ramblings, primarily but far from exclusively on recovery-related issues. Those posts are listed under “Before.” If I were a more organized man, they’d likely be better grouped than simply chronologically. I’m not, so they’re not. Feel free to dip in and see what was on my mind.
As I write this, it’s April 2020, and the country is in the midst of a pandemic. Perhaps our President was right when he said “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” Perhaps. Perhaps life as we know it is gone forever, fading like a dream. Perhaps. Perhaps the time we’ve left was the Land of Before and we’re now sailing across the Sea of During to the Land of After. Perhaps.
As director of Hope, I’ve been sending out daily messages to our membership and anyone else who wants to be on our mailing list. These epistles all begin “Dear Hope Nation” and are signed off with “You matter. I matter. We matter.” In between they ramble on about recovery, Coronavirus, kindness, and whatever pops into my head and out my fingers. They’re currently making up the bulk of the new material on the site under the heading “During.” You could think of them as a ship’s log. Or not.
At times I make predictions, bold or obvious, about what lies ahead. Being infected with hope and optimism, I suspect they are more aspirational than prophetic. They are under the heading “After.”