If you couldn’t find him at a social engagement, he was probably wherever the pets were hanging out. He often preferred the company of dogs, but there were exceptions.
Larry was a husband.
Marrying his best friend and partner of many years in Massachusetts the summer it became legal in 2004 and celebrating the expansion to all states in 2015. Larry and Tom were inseparable.
Larry was fired up.
When it came to social issues and politics, he championed causes that favored liberty and justice for all. He never let up and inspired others to be aware and act.
Larry was sober over 30 years.
One day he up and made the decision and stuck with it. He became a supporter with a calm and relentless understanding for any who wrestled with addiction seeking help.
Larry was an advocate of fitness.
He found his calling in life and changed the lives of many, introducing folks to exercise for the first time or helping those already in good shape to achieve higher goals. He framed working out in a context of listening to, nourishing, challenging and honoring one’s body.
Larry was a survivor.
He overcame two bouts of cancer, the second during the height of the pandemic in 2020. After he started to regain his health, it was time to sell their beautiful Victorian home in the Gaslight district of Cincinnati and move to sunny shores.
Larry was a man that lived a dream.
Once in Florida, Larry and Tom eased into a life of retirement, walks along beaches, caring for their family of cat and dogs and a network of friends and family that spanned the globe.
Larry was a friend — a friend I loved dearly.
He changed how I consider my self, my capabilities and potential — as he had with so many others.
I would not be the person I am today without his guidance.
And as it pains me to write about Larry in the past tense, it is his stubborn, delightful and supportive spirit I carry forward.
He left us too soon.
Please be considerate. Get vaccinated, love everyone a bit extra and take time to pet the dogs.
I always wanted to get mom out to the mountain. She loved nature and wildflowers… and sorting through rocks, selecting favorites to keep. She marveled at moss and the cycle of nature.
She would have dug it out here.
But being this remote and angled can be a bit treacherous, so it was a trip we only talked about in hypothetical and somewhat magical regard.
I decided to bring some of her ashes on this trip to spread along the creek. Brent took hold of the idea and made it better. His experience in Tibet and with Buddhism presented the concept of making tsa-tsas – sacred objects to memorialize a spirit.
Brent gathered clay and flowers and we kneaded ashes into the foundation, putting them in a metal form of Tara.
Once dried, we placed one of these tsa-tsas on a moss-covered boulder by the creek. Surrounded by beauty, it will slowly make its way back into the earth.
I thought that having time on the mountain would fuel some sort of creative flow. What really happened were days filled with friendship, and appreciation of nature. Sitting outside these nights was a calm, quiet wall of being. There was no noise from data, just an acknowledgement of this powerful, magnificent and delicate world.
Casey brought out Trails for our hosts and we thought it would be a good idea to break it out and see how other companies articulate game rules. The 15 page booklet was daunting. Luckily there was a Youtube video that cleared up all the confusion.
There’s some complexity to the game, but once you get the hang it’s fun enough. All the artwork is quite excellent as it draws from the Fifty-Nine Parks Project.
Erik’s has been super accommodating to make the long trek back and forth from mountain to airport over nd over. On this trip we headed to his boat to get there early for the arrival of Casey the next day.
It was on this evening that we had takeout food on a boat and published a TikTok video. The footage was from earlier in the week when Todd was visiting. His dance moves synchronized so well to the song… That handclap… That tap on the hip…
Oh and that takeout above? Super tasty, from Anh Kitchen in Richmond, CA.
There aren’t hard lines between seasons, but an amalgamation of changes constantly in motion. I’ve been here long enough on the mountain to see one such change – the turning of poison oak from green to red. It outlines paths and covers the hills, climbing on rocks and clinging to trees.
The bright red color is a welcome warning indicator to steer clear of the problematic leaves.
There are other signs that the days are growing shorter and the next season is around the corner… The buckeye leaves are starting to drop from the trees. The soap root plants no longer flower at night.
It’s been lovely to slow down and catch a glimpse of the gradual changes.
If I had to rank holidays from my mom’s perspective, the Fourth of July would be on top of the list (though she found joy in every celebration.)
Independence Day was intertwined with so many things she loved… a garden in bloom, bright decorations, and a parade that began right in front of her porch – filled with the colorful characters that make up our neighborhood of Northside.
There’s been only a single parade since she passed. The last two, cancelled for reasons.
Yet pieces of the holiday tradition manage to be present wherever we are and up here on the mountain.
I made deviled eggs and whipped up a good approximation of mom’s cole slaw thanks to a few key ingredients delivered by Todd, pictured above waving an American flag inspired handkerchief.
Throughout the day, family shared texts, snapshots and videos of their celebrations. So even though we’re all spread out, we find a moment to stand next to each other and wave as the parade rolls along.