Getting grounded again.

It always takes some time to get grounded when I move from Naples in the winter to MN in the summer. I have made this trip back and forth for nearly 30 years, which actually means about 60 trips. Egads! But Joe and I consider ourselves extremely lucky that we have great friends in both places and don’t feel ready to give up the richness of the experience both locations allow us.However, age is catching up with us and we’ll not be able to do this forever.

It’s all about community, of course. And for us, that community revolves around 12 step groups. Recovery is central to our lives, and any place “I land,” can feel like home pretty quickly. For that I will be forever grateful. I was at my Monday morning AA just a few hours ago and looked around the circle and felt that inner thrill of connection that we all understand without even having to say it.

I don’t know about you but I surely didn’t know what was in store for me in 1974 when I walked into my first Al-Anon meeting at the Unitarian Church in Minneapolis. Nor did I know the additional blessings that would come my way when I went to my first AA meeting on May 24, 1976. I picked up my 42 year chip a week ago and know that I’d not be alive to write this post had I not continued the journey I began on that day. Some who began it with me didn’t choose to stay on the journey and passed on.

Meetings are what keep me grounded wherever I am. I would have to say my commitment to writing grounds me too, and I have begun another book which gives me a pleasure every time I sit down to work. I simply love the act of writing. For me, it’s that time I feel truly connected to the Presence of an Inner Voice who soothes me as well as guides every thought I share with the eventual reader.

I have never doubted that writing was somehow what I was called to do from my first joyful experience with it when I was getting my Ph.D. I was definitely not surrounded by students who loved writing as much as I did. Most of them actually dreaded the papers that were required of us in every class. They fed my soul and never troubled me. When a friend asked asked over dinner what I wanted to do following graduation, I quickly said, “Write.” At that time I wasn’t sure just how it was to come about but God did the rest. My part was to trust and listen. I am still listening.

I believe we all have a special calling and I believe that if we are willing to listen God will show the way.



  1. Mary McKinnon says:

    Good morning Karen,
    I have been reading your 1st book “Each day a new beginning” since the 1980’s when I was gifted with it by a fellow AA member. Eventually that member and I married. And we have been together for 4 decades now. I belong to a women’s AA group called “A Place to Share Woman’s Group” in Aurora, Ontario, Canada.
    I was one of the founders of this group and I put a motion forward for a group conscience vote in the early 1990’s. And the vote was to read a day in the book as part of our material for discussion as well as either the Big Book or the 12 & 12. I still feel inspired by your writings each day. And the women who attend our group on Saturday mornings find it relevant to their lives and some of the happenings going on as they “trudge the road of happy destiny”. We do our best to reach out to women newcomers as a women only group. Some women are not comfortable sharing at a meeting where men are present. And so there is some deep sharing that goes on that “I” think would not otherwise be shared in a mixed gender meeting.
    I just wanted to reach out to you from your face book page since I have already sent an email to you regarding the 40 th anniversary of my last drink. I was inviting you to come as an invited speaker. However I am asking for you to consider coming to Aurora, Canada because I have heard you speak before at Renascent Recovery Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the 1990’s . You were speaking with Stephanie Covington and I believe another speaker. In any case this speaking engagement would not be until September 2020. So lots of time to consider this. I would pay for your flight to Toronto, Ontario.
    It would be worth it to me and many women who would attend. And I believe inspirational to our newcomer women who attend. We tend to make 40 year medallions a bigger celebration a little bigger than other medallion meetings. Thanks so much for reading this. I hope to hear from you sometime this year. I have faith that if I continue to stay close to my Higher Power then I will likely still be sober in 2020.
    I liked your posting today. The world has come a long way since the 1980’s in terms of electronic communications. I identify myself as being “technologically challenged”. But I am gradually working on keeping up with the changes. This message would have been an expensive (for me) long distance phone call or using the postal service. Amazing to me still.

    • Hi Mary,
      I’m just delighted to hear from you and to hear that Each Day has been a staple in your women’s group. I live in Naples, FL in the winter and there is a group here that uses it too. also one in Mpls where I am in the summer. My life has been amazing in so many ways. Your invitation for September intrigues me but I already have 3 commitments that might make a trip to Toronto impossible. Please let me know the date and write to
      Thanks so much for your kind words.

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