From the January 2014 magazine.

January 2014: Dear Grapevine

Sober in the woods
My friend in recovery always says AA will deliver everything alcohol promised—love and freedom! This weekend I experienced just that. It was our second annual womens’ retreat in central New York. Seventeen women attended from ages 26 to 75—professional, unemployed, black, white, gay and straight. What we had in common is our alcoholism and a common solution.

We were like a big family. We shared yummy potluck dinners and campfire meetings. We hiked and canoed and painted serenity rocks. We wrote the Twelve Steps on a beach ball, and...