Archive for May, 2018

I haven’t done this in about a year or so, so please, bear with me…sentence structure, grammar, and tone and timbre all may suffer from some “artistic atrophy” as I start working these literary muscles after a LONG break. I’ve started a few times, but just never found the spirit or the heart the collection of words needed.  As I type out these first few lines, it occurs to me, just now, how important it is to do this Large Man thing. For me, it’s soul food.

I’m on a plane bound for Pittsburgh. Hosier is explaining to me through headphones about how he “…fall(s) in love just a little o’ little bit every day with someone new.” And then he asks “…would things be easier if there was a right way?” But then he goes on to explain, “but Honey, there is no right way.” I think he’s right, when it comes to love, there is no right way. That’s why he’s one of my current favorite philosophers, that Hosier dude.

While Hosier is teaching me about love and life, I’m in a middle seat on a 4-hour flight, with a small, polite, man sitting on my right by the aisle, and my 17-year-old son on my left by the window. My son and I are on our way back home. We had to pay extra for Exit Row seating because my son is 6ft 8in. tall, and the airlines love to squeeeeeeeze every dollar out of you they can.

But that’s all OK, I love the fact that I have a Large son, I love that we are able to take this trip, I love that these things are possible because of the work I do. So, for now, I’m settled. I have some crazy days ahead, but right now, this moment, I’m exactly where I want to be. I love being a dad. I wish I had my hat that says “Blessed” on it. (I have one…it was a Christmas present. One of my favorites!!)

My son’s Christmas present was a father & son trip to the Grand Canyon. For those of you not familiar, that’s the big one that’s mostly in Arizona. The Grand Canyon has been on his, “…bucket list for several years”, or so he says. I’m not sure a 17-year-old should have a bucket list yet, but I think he’s a millennial, right? Doesn’t that mean he can have anything he wants, as soon as he wants it? Whether he’s entitled to a “bucket list” or not, I indulged him…he’s a good boy.

We did it up, BIG, I mean LARGE…

We did the helicopter tour in the canyon – AMAZING! We did the Pink Jeep Adventure in Sedona – EXCITING! On a Monday we drove about 600 miles in our rental car, just looking at the landscape in northern Arizona, and southern Utah – SPECTACULAR!

We saw the “Four Corners” monument where Arizona, Colorado, Utah & New Mexico all meet (Say Cheese!!). We went to the place where Forrest Gump decided to stop running (yeah, it’s a real place in Utah). And we walked and we talked,  and we just looked…all around us. We listened to a mystery novel on CD, we talked some more, and we made a memory that will be treasured by both of us for the rest of our lives.

I have this friend, who’s pretty much a big dope, but I remember him telling me that your kids will rarely remember the things you “got” for them, but they’ll always remember the things you “did” with them. Pretty smart ponderance for a big dope, but it made sense to me, so I’ve tried to live by that philosophy.

I have struggled with balancing family and career for the last 19 years; it’s especially challenging when you travel like I do. But if crossing something off of my son’s “bucket list” is the reward, the struggle is worth it. Seeing him experience the magic you feel when your soul connects to something Larger than yourself, something spiritual, is worth every missed flight, every shitty hotel… every lukewarm Diet Coke that washed down a cold and stale sandwich in a dirty airport.

I loved every minute of this trip. Actually, it wasn’t trip…it was an adventure.

There is a song by the band, Lord Huron, called ‘Ends of the Earth’, listen to these words: (I guess, read these words)

Oh, there’s a river that winds on forever
I’m gonna see where it leads
Oh, there’s a mountain that no man has mounted
I’m gonna stand on the peak

Out there’s a land that time don’t command
Wanna be the first to arrive
No time for ponderin’ why I’m-a wanderin’
Not while we’re both still alive

To the Ends of the Earth would you follow me
There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see…

It goes on like that.

The way it’s written is that this guy is singing to a girl about how he wants to see this wonderful world, and also, he loves her because she’s beautiful and she has this amazing body. But as much as he loves her, this world is waiting to be experienced, and she’s welcome to come because of her amazing body and all, if she wants to; but he’s going… with or without her, and her amazing body.

Take the way this man objectifies his love interest out of the equation, and the song is quite inspiring for those of us who have a wanderlust. (And I may have been interpreting the “amazing body” stuff anyway). The way it’s written and performed, you feel his need to see, and touch, and become a part of, all that our rivers and mountains, canyons, caves, and skies have to offer. I love that he’s willing to forsake his true love rather than miss it all.

Now, that being said, I think he’s making a mistake. I love mountains, rivers and canyons and shit, but true love is probably still my first choice. That’s me. If the dude who wrote the song loved the girl I love, he’d be happy to stay at home and just watch all that stuff on Nat Geo.

So, what I hope for…

I am ecstatic about the fact that my 17-year-old son has experienced a spiritual connection to our earth, and nature. I hope he can find someone who will love these things as well. But if he doesn’t find someone with that same wanderlust, curiosity, and connection to Mother Earth, I hope he finds someone who will allow and nurture his desire to see and experience, ‘The Ends of the Earth’. Above all, I hope this adventure is the beginning…the seed that sprouts into a lifetime vine of adventures for him…and his kids.

There is so much to see. I never get tired of it, and I don’t think my Large son will either.

I started this Large Man thing because I wanted to share what I saw while on this “journey”. “It’s what you see along the way…” is the tag line for these ‘Chronicles’. It’s even printed on our business cards and tee shirts!

It’s a great journey. This life we live, and this world we live in have new adventures around every corner. Even after 20 straight years of traveling just about every week, I still want to go “to the ends of the Earth”. Nowadays I prefer that there’s room service and a decent craft beer selection, but still…

Thank you for reading…I think I’m back.


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