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An Irish Wake (page 1 of 3)

The Family Gathers to Say Goodbye
Cherie's Mom passed on in November 2001. The family gathered to see her off and to draw comfort from each other.
The clan gathers

The family reunites at Shelley's house from points as far south as Florida and as far west as California
Hugs in the kitchen A moment's rest
Young and old alike are all smiles as aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters pile into the kitchen. Shelley finds a convenient hand rest on Jim's head, while Jim's happy to finally have something hairy up there.
Garage crew Kathy gives Jane a squeeze
Standing strong in the face of adversity. Kathy gives her sister a beer, ah, bear hug, while Jane finds a sure-fire way to avoid camera "red eye".

There's a lot of catching up to do when you haven't seen each other in months, or in some cases, in years.
Jim and Wayne ponder life's big questions While Cherie brings Wayne back down to earth
Two of the world's deepest thinkers (break out the boots) discuss their careers and love lives. We only wish ours were this exciting. Watch out Garrett, Uncle Jim is hitting your sippy cup pretty heavily. Now this is a classic pose of two skeptics out-"naw"ing each other.

Cherie and Barb share a moment
Matt and Brenda
Cherie and Barb seem relieved that their kids are grown up. Now they only have their husbands to contend with. Is this conversation about snoring? I won't even speculate what Matt, the trucker, has in mind this evening. Something about r-e-v-v-i-n-g his engine, perhaps?
Uh huh, uh huh The two Janes
Uh huh, yep, un huh (does she ever shut up?) The two Janes discuss the latest polka dance steps. Jane the younger is the polka queen of Owosso (rumor has it her vanity license plate reads "I POLKA").
Quality time
For those who can barely stand up, togetherness is a good thing.

Cherie Warms Up to Her Family
They don't call them kissin' cousins for nothin'. And we've got the evidence.
It didn't take her long to reconnect with the men in her life. At right and below, with brother-in-law Jon... Cherie and Jon converse
Cherie gets a peck Now THAT'S a kiss! ...and above, with cousin Tim. Lip action comes with its drawbacks, though. Eighty-five percent of the family came down with colds within three days. The other 15% were the hand-shakers of the clan.

Breaking Bread A Family Tradition
Yep, most families like to break bread when they get together. This family, though, has a unique way of doing it.
Cherie and Wayne break bread Is that tongue?
Cherie and Wayne flew in for the reunion, so had to check their knives at the airport. The solution for splitting a cracker?—start eating at opposite ends. Seemed simple to the rest of us too. Jane and Barry immediately jumped into the act. We're not sure if that last bite was a bisquit or a gum bubble.
Me too! Hey, watch the lips
Shelley thought it was French bread, so added a little tongue action with Jon. Kathy and Jamie win the award for the most toothsome solution. Watch that bite, there, Mike Tyson!

"Weird" is Just Another Way of Spelling "Wired"
The family gets pretty wired when it gets together. After all, that doesn't happen very often—the last time being Jim's retirement from the Girl Scouts—oh, Jim, I'm so sorry, the Air Force—in August of 1997.
Out of the closet Dani and Jim are a cupala cuties who can debate all night whether the Brownies or the "blondies" can sell the most cookies. Personally, I'm a sucker for anyone in uniform. My vote, though, is for the blonde look.
Kathy gives a rousing, gyrating rendition of Who Let The Dogs Out? to the appreciative barks of her admirers. All together now: 'Who, who, who, who, who — who let the dogs out?'
Not one to talk Jamie gets a clip job from the FBA—Future Beauticians of America. Fitting, considering the grandmother of this bevy of budding beauticians' was an out of this world cosmonaut, I mean, cosmotologist. Garrett, meanwhile, practises a "horns" gesture on himself. Poor guy, it's tough being 2-foot tall in a 6-foot world.
Who did let the dogs out? Tim is nervously wondering if Kathy is puckering up for a kiss (stand back, Jack) or just took a swig of bitter beer. We're praying it's the latter. Aw, c'mon, Tim, just a little kiss?
Too much info Aunt Jane ran away at an early age to join the circus sideshow. She was known in carney circles as the "Woman With Two Small Toes" (pronounced "whist" for short). After years of hiding this from the family, she finally fessed up and boldly revealed her past life. (Come to think of it, maybe pulling off that shoe explains Kathy's reaction, above)
Sibling rivalry pointedly reaches new heights when the sisters get together. Kathy dares you to guess which one of them got a boob job. (Hint: the surgery was performed at the "Johns"-Hopkins hospital.) The cheap woman's breast enlargement
Can't she do ANYTHING right? Jim wonders "Can't she do ANYTHING right" as his sister haplessly attempts to flash the family. Jessie smirks, thinking "Even I can do that!"

But wait, there's more (pictures, that is)

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