I’ve had a tendency lately that when life gets  fussy or difficult I just throw out a  “Wyoming” and most folks know that I’m considering running away from home.  I get the fact that 36 years old may be a tad old for running away, but hey, its a viable option.  My kids know I’m joking and that being their Dad comes first.  I’ve fallen in love with the state that I’ve never been to through the “Longmire” novel series by author Craig Johnson.  It’s been turned into a passable television series on A&E but I’ll refer you to the novels.

     It took me about 10 years to scratch my way to a Liberal Arts bachelor’s degree from The Marshall University.  I graduated in 2011 and quickly had zero job options.  I didn’t want to go back to carpentry and my only serious offers were for a bag boy and a bookstore clerk.  Hooray for all that student loan debt.  I chose the bookstore and heard about the “Longmire series from a older gent who’d heard a story on NPR.  Turns out, Craig Johnson was a Marshall Alumni and was from the same area as me.  Pretty cool.  So I knew I wanted to try the series out which was up to about book six at the time.

     Life can some times sneak up on you and smack with a tidal wave when you least expect it.  My tidal wave was that my wife of 14 years was unhappy for her own reasons and leaving me.  So, with a part time job and now part time fatherhood, I had a chance to crank down on the first book in the series, “The Cold Dish.”  This book ended up meaning quite a bit too me over the summer of 2011.  The protagonist of the series is Sheriff Walt Longmire.  Life has been pretty rough at times for Walt, but he was a survivor.  The incredibly detailed characters in this series would form a band of brothers as such and we would survive murders, blizzards, and divorce court.

     I actually emailed Mr. Johnson when I finished the first novel and he even responded.  Very pleasant fellow and I met him at a book convention a year later.  Top shelf guy and I’m very happy for all the success he’s garnered.  With 9 books in the series and a holiday story do out next month, it’s the character of Wyoming the Johnson crafts so well that makes me want to escape there.  Big Mountains and a sense of a modern frontier that seems like a guy could get lost in.  I wouldn’t bail on my family anytime soon, but relocation could be an idea in the future after the kiddos move on their way.

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