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Five Years of

I signed up for a account on 4 January 2018, a day after reading this post by @brentsimmons.

The next day, life went seriously sideways. A simmering health issue my wife had been dealing with for the previous few months flared up suddenly. We spent the better part of the next two months in rooms that looked like this…

ER triage room with lots of cables and wires, and an extremely high blood-pressure reading on the vitals display

…and hallways that looked like this:

a long, empty hospital corridor with an empty hospital bed parked in the distance

I tried to keep an eye on and, impressed with the tenor of the conversations I was seeing, I set up a new WordPress blog at one of my parked domains sometime in February. I posted my first message, a brief and formulaic declaration of existence: “hello world!” The post went unremarked upon, and I didn’t really have the time or attention to follow it with anything else.

By late March, my wife was convalescing well after a lengthy and harrowing surgery. As I tended to her, I finally had the emotional bandwidth to consider participating in this curious, curiously warm, and warmly civil community.

I once again announced my presence, this time with a picture. And we were off! About a year later, in early 2019, I signed up for a hosted account. So January 4th is actually only the first of, I guess three? anniversaries for me. But I think this first one is the most important, because it marks the day I began exploring this new environment. was one of the very few positive things about 2018 for me and, although my engagement has waned and waxed over the subsequent years, I continue to be so grateful for the community that I have found here.