Archive for April, 2019


I love my home.

I love my hometown.

My Christian friends tell me all the time, “God never gives you more than you can handle…”.

If my Christian friends are right, God must think I’m some kind of badass.

Welcome back to The Large Man Chronicles…it’s been a year since my last confession.

Before we start, I would like to set the table by sharing a few of my Large Man truths. These are things that I sincerely believe, you don’t have to…but you would be wrong if you don’t. (Just kidding…except not really).

Large truth #1:
If we spend too much time trying to wrap our heads around all the “what ifs” and the “what could have beens” that we face in our daily lives, it’s easy to become paralyzed and trapped by all the scenarios we can imagine. It would keep us from swimming in the ocean, riding roller coasters, learning to drive, singing karaoke, or asking out girls who are out of our league. This would be a terrible existence.

Large truth #2:
Someone always has it worse. AND…someone will always tell you who it is or was, especially if it was them.

If you have your arm in a cast, someone will ask, “How did that happen?”. Then they will tell you about the time they broke their arm…and it will always be worse. If your arm was broken while falling down the stairs at an apartment building, their arm was broken while falling down an elevator shaft at the Empire State building. I once had surgery for a torn ACL. I spent 6 months in a knee brace of some sort or another, and I heard every knee surgery story there was. I was lucky, because they were all worse than mine.

But here is why it is a Large truth…it’s accurate. There is always someone who has it worse.

Take the most extreme suffering you have ever experienced, and someone will have been through, or heard about, something worse. I won’t give examples in this Chronicle, because I can be overzealous with the morbid and macabre…and this is a family show.

Large truth #3:
Although it’s true that someone always has it worse, you can only relate to what you can relate to.

If you are in a car accident, and you’re in the hospital for 2 weeks from the injuries, your level of suffering is not diminished because the person in the other car was hospitalized for 8 weeks.

You’re not lucky, because it could have been worse. You’re not lucky at all! You were in a horrible car accident. You’re gonna miss work. You’re gonna miss Christmas. You’re gonna walk with a limp for a long time. Girls won’t sleep with you because of your temporary lameness.

Oh sure, at first, everyone will be sympathetic and helpful (except for the girls you want to sleep with). But after the novelty of their goodwill and charitable hearts wears out, the help with your crutches and your briefcase will disappear. It’s just a matter of time before they start asking you to “hurry up”. Then they’ll start calling you, “gimp”, or “hop-a-long”. Then DJ will think it would be hilarious to put petroleum jelly on the tips of your crutches so they’ll have no traction on linoleum. Then you fall. People laugh. Friendships are destroyed… Yes, someone always has it worse, it just doesn’t feel that way when you are splayed out on the linoleum floor at the Smithsonian, in front of your “friends”, in a puddle of your own urine and a few dabs of Vaseline.


My house was hit by a tornado last Sunday. My home…my place that I love.

Here are the sterile numbers of the story:

At 8:20 PM EDT, on Sunday, April 14th 2019, an F2 tornado knocked a 106-foot-tall, 44-inch wide, basswood tree, (heretofore referred to as “Big Daddy”) into my 90 some-year-old, brick home. The event took less than 30 seconds. We lost power, phone service, and internet. The tree took out 5 other trees, and a large portion of my roof. Big Daddy fell across my driveway taking a 30-year-old, 30 ft tall, beautiful Holly tree (heretofore referred to as “Holly”) with him. Big Daddy and Holly, missed my son’s car by 8”. (Yes, I measured all this stuff) Finally, an 80-foot-tall white pine tree (heretofore referred to as “Piney”) was split by the storm winds. Half the tree stayed erect (hee hee…erect), the other half fell into my neighbor’s yard and on top of her covered porch. It continued to storm after the tornado left, and gallons of water leaked into our master bedroom, and our son’s bedroom. We could do nothing but put down buckets, lay down for the night in other rooms, and pray to God (who apparently has as much faith in me as I have in him) that everything would be taken care of in the morning.

It was a real mess, but I was lucky.

Houses get hit by tornados all the time. In fact, according to Statistical Twisters, a storm chaser website, the odds of a house getting hit by a tornado are 1 in 10 thousand. (Can’t be accurate, but it was on the internet, and it makes for a better story) However…and here’s the good part…the odds of a house being hit twice, is 1 in 100 million.

LUCKY US!!! This is our second hit! We’re 1 in 100 million. What could be worse than that?

The first time was also on a Sunday. Sunday, June 5th, 2016, at approximately 3:00 PM EDT, an F1 tornado knocked several branches off of a Bradford Pear tree (we won’t name these) and an extremely Large maple tree in our yard. Those branches slammed into my house, and between the wind, and the branches, we lost about a third of our roof.

Oh…and not for nuthin’… at 8:33 AM EDT on June 17th, 2017…the morning after my daughter’s high school graduation (GO Dragons!!), a 2017 Dodge Challenger, jet black with red racing stripes, slammed into a curb across the street from my house…the driver panicked, overcorrected, pressed the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal, drove through my front yard, became airborne at my flowerbed, and crashed into the northeast corner of my garage…breaking up the building, my concrete driveway, and smashing the can where we store our dog’s poop until trash day…which is Sunday…and this was Saturday. So, in addition to the damage to my house, we lost a full can of shit.

3 out of the last 4 calendar years, my house has had its ass kicked by forces beyond our control.

But…we’re lucky. That’s what I keep hearing.

The what ifs and the what could have beens are horrible to think about. These 3 strikes are events…things that happened that are now funny stories to write about on a blog page, and to tell from a barstool. Inches and seconds are what kept these “events” from becoming disasters…tragedies. But I’m not sure I would call it “luck”.

If the car that hit my house in 2017 had come in 2 minutes earlier, it would have crashed into my garage, AND my wife, as she was depositing our dog’s morning glory. It would be hard to imagine a person surviving that impact. At the very least, she would have been covered in a week’s worth of dog poop. Who would want to survive that?

When the 2016 tornado hit my house, I was driving west, and passed through the weather system that was creating all the havoc. I had to find sanctuary at a rest stop on the interstate, as the hail was so Large, I was worried that it would break my windshield or beat up my car. I called home to tell Mrs. Large Man that a storm was headed her way, make sure the kids are home, etc. She did. The system created the tornado that hit our home. The kids were inside, she was inside. All clear…all good. Lucky?

Sunday’s tornado, like the car crash, came with little or no warning. My son was just arriving home from a weekend field trip, my wife went to the high school to pick him up. As she turned south out of our driveway to get him, I took a left (north) out of the same driveway to pick up a pizza (Large truth # 4: high school kids LOVE pizza). Each task took roughly the same amount of time.

On my return, pizza and wings on the passenger seat of my truck, I drove through quarter sized hail that felt like shotgun blasts against my vehicle. I was worried sick about my wife and child driving through the same thing. The town emergency sirens were barely audible through the sound of the hail, but they were there. White knuckled, I pressed on. As I turned into my driveway, I was relieved to see the garage door on my wife’s side slowly dropping its last few feet. Thank Goodness, they were home. I pulled into my garage stall, and closed the door behind me.

Less than a minute later, I walked into our kitchen, wife and son still with jackets on, pizza in my hands, the sound of a freight train was right outside our window. We know that sound. At that second, we lost power, I set the pizza down, we called our dog, and we headed to the basement, and before I opened the basement door, it was gone. Pulling into my garage, walking into my kitchen, setting down my cargo, and scurrying 20 steps to our basement door…ALL…took less than 1 minute.

It was surreal, it was still raining hard, but it was eerily quiet after the “locomotive” left us. We were in the dark. Mrs. Large Man and our Large son grabbed some flashlights and we reacquired our bearing inside the house. The smell of hot wings and near death filled the air. Okay, we actually didn’t realize that this was a “near death” experience, because we hadn’t looked outside, I just like that line, “…wings…near death.” (The Large Man is BACK, Baby!!)

I grabbed a high-powered light emitter (flashlight), and stepped outside, and I was shocked at the level of debris in my driveway. Holly was spread all across the concrete, Piney was split in two, so there was that pine essence in the air. At first, the combination gave it something of a Christmas feel. Then I saw the beast tree, Big Daddy, laying across the entirety of the driveway. I worked my way around it, and out into the street, still not really processing it all until I heard my neighbor from across the way, Bob, exclaim, “DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK!”

It was kind of an exclamation, and a question, but very clearly the most appropriate way to address the moment. He kind of snuck up behind me, as I was trying to make some sense of it all. By the time I snapped to, Bob gave me a pat on the shoulder, asked if I was alright, and as I started to explain that, no…I was not alright, emergency vehicles were entering the area, and police and firemen were yelling at us to get inside our house.

NOW…the air smelled like near death, hot wings, and I guess a little like Christmas. A Christmas with really shitty gifts, spent with relatives you never really cared for.

Had we been maybe even seconds later arriving home, this would have been a very different story. I still would have written it because of my love for attention, but I would be a lot sadder about it all. Probably would have shopped the story to some of the celebrity & human-interest magazines. Mrs. Large Man would LOVE to be in People Magazine…even if it was from being squooshed by a giant basswood tree named Big Daddy.

Lucky? Hmmm… My house is now a bit of a freak show, all week long people have been walking by to gawk at The Large Man’s representation of Mother Nature’s power. Some people driving by stop their car in the middle of the street, get out, and snap a picture. It is amazing to think that wind could do the things it did to my yard, my home, and other places in town. We were lucky, because “…a lot of other places got it worse”.

“WOW! You’re lucky that tree fell the way it did.”

“Jeez! You have to feel lucky no one was hurt!”

“DAMN! You’re lucky you were able to get a contractor out here to tarp off that roof. You know, the lumber yard over in Starbrick was completely destroyed!”

Yes. I’m lucky…but more accurately, I’m blessed.

It’s not lucky that your house has had its ass kicked 3 out of the last 4 years (This being said, that house sure can take a punch!!) In fact, 2 tornados and a car crash would be defined by most anybody as bad luck. It’s one of the reasons I don’t really gamble. All my luck seems to be spent on survival.

I’m blessed. I’m blessed that through all this shit, my wife and kids are alive and healthy and vibrant with light and energy. I’m lucky that I get to see these life forces flourish in a world that’s both cruel and beautiful…and can display those contradictions only minutes …only seconds…apart from one another.

The lightning in the sky, and the thunder it produced were spectacular before that cyclone formed just afew seconds later. The devastation to my property doesn’t come close to the measure of kindness, support, and goodwill I received from my friends and neighbors. That’s not luck, that’s a blessing.

I don’t believe in religion, but I believe in God. I don’t really believe in Karma, but I believe in the Universe. Whether it’s stardust, or Divinity, I believe we are all connected. Actually, I believe it’s both.Because of my stardust and Divinity belief, I’m starting to believe that there might be more at play here.


But maybe that contradiction of bad luck & good luck is a reminder…a nudge, perhaps, from Something, or Someone bigger than me. Maybe They are trying to get me to understand that I’m here for a reason, and it’s time for me to figure it out.

Maybe I’m Batman.

If it turns out that I’m Batman, that will be so cool!!!!!

Thanks for reading…I’m back 😊

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