"Are you running from the law?"

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that since I moved to Fargo, North Dakota back in 2014. You see I am from San Diego, California. I have learned that it is impossible to compare one city to the next, sure there are going to be key factors, like the weather for instance. Also, many people prefer living in a large town, they seem to expect more businesses are available, like more restaurants and a lot more things to do. True, I guess, but I value the quality of life, and I found that a long way from home.

Let me take you back to 2009

I had reached my bottom, I drank myself literally out of my dream job. For the third time in about a year, I relapsed in an awful three-day run that almost took my life. I was strapped onto a hospital bed with my blood pressure about ready to explode and expecting to have a stroke at any second. My last option was a place about 60 miles east of San Diego out in a remote spot - way, way outside the city - called the Freedom Ranch - a recovery treatment facility for men. My sobriety date is 2/17/09....and there in the very first row of about 39 other desperate lost souls, I sat scared to death. Do you believe in fate, I do. In this large rec room, where we had our AA meetings, a fellow by the name of Edward Barrigan was in attendance - he was an alumnus of the Freedom Ranch - I sadly don't remember the first time I saw him, BUT I do remember LAST MONTH - when out of nowhere Ed saw me in our parking lot here at our radio station in Mandan - As he rumbled in, sitting in this enormous bulldozer loader monster vehicle, he jumped out and shouted my name. We both couldn't believe the roads we had traveled to get where we are. He and I took a couple of moments to both agree that our lives couldn't be any better, standing outside in the 10 plus degrees weather. I shook his hand one more time and watched him drive away, to help someone else stuck in the North Dakota snow, quite ironic really, for he was there almost 14 years ago in 85 degrees weather, helping someone STUCK...in life.


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