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Thursday, December 17, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

So much has been going on around here I barely know where to begin. How about, I cram ten pounds of shit into this five-pound blog?! First and foremost, if you are my “friend” on Facebook, you may have already seen some of these pictures but you don’t know the whole story.

My cousins, planned an amazing send off to an amazing man. Uncle Eddie was under hospice care and knew he was nearing the end. Those tough topics had to be discussed, you know the ones, last rights stuff.

Uncle Eddie told his girls, “If there’s going to be a party, I want to be there… really be there.” He was asking that they have a going away party rather than a typical after funeral luncheon or whatever. And they did.

I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty freaked out initially by the idea. How can we have a party if we are so sad knowing he is going to be leaving us…for real? Call me crazy but, all that worry slipped away as soon as I saw his smile.

Are you kidding me? Look at that mug! He was in 7th Heaven really being there.

Tell me that it isn’t more enjoyable than seeing someone you love dressed in a stuffy suit laying in a box, with all of the life, twinkle in their eyes, smile, laughter… just gone.

Auntie Shorty was no doubt talking dirty to Uncle Eddie.

My cousins, Tony, Joey, Stevie and Jimmy with Uncle Eddie and Auntie Shorty.

Guilty as all of them, I hadn’t seen some of my cousins for years. Hell, I didn’t even know my cousin Jimmy never learned how to play cards! Seriously, that guy has like 70 kids!!! Our dads learned how to play cards and suddenly stopped reproducing. (Dude, you could learn a lot from our dads, I’mjustsayin’.) Here’s the just a few of the second cousins, most of whom are Cousin Jimmy’s handy work.

That day, I also learned that my dad’s parents were both adopted, and the chance of us having any Irish blood from either of them was slim to none. As you can see in the photos, we take our Irish heritage very seriously. Only…some of us aren’t really Irish at all. Unlike my un-Irish family members, I have my mom’s family to fall back on. She’s so Irish, her dad used to shit Lucky Charms.

Last week Uncle Eddie joined his brothers in The Big Poker Game in the Sky, where no doubt, everyone gets to be Irish. Every family gathering, for as long as I can remember, the party revolved around these four men, and 52 playing cards, added with a ton of laughter. (left to right; Uncle Eddie, Uncle Jimbo, Uncle Giant and my dad)

The night that picture was taken, was Christmas Eve at Auntie Shorty and Uncle Giant’s house, circa 1983ish. Uncle Eddie’s suspenders got snapped with a vengeance every time he won a hand or even looked at one of his brothers cross-eyed. My grandmother was a lucky lady to have four boys who were not just loving and wonderful people, but hysterically funny.

Still, selfishly sad over the loss of such a great man, I can’t help but be happy knowing that the son-of-a-bitch cancer, that took all four of them, is now free from their bodies, and their souls are filled with Irishy goodness.

Another child in our town is gone, just months after a 9-year-old boy drowned. Only 17 years old, he took his own life. As a mom, I find it very difficult to explain the unexplainable to my kids and their friends. He is the only one who really knows why.

I was impressed by our tiny school, as they pulled together a group of staff, teachers and social workers on a Saturday afternoon. An automated service called all of the parents offering a place (and people) for the children to gather, talk, mourn together.

There are so many things that have gone on that I am simply unable to wrap my head around. This portion of the post is no different. If you’ve been reading Home Fires for a while, you know that we bought our first home (80-100 yr. old house) three years ago. If you read the bitching post a couple of weeks ago, you know that our taxes were doubled but the bank said our house had no value.

We’d asked the bank for a loan to make improvements on this ol’ gal. Specifically, we wanted to better insulate the roof, floor and windows, relocate some of the copper pipes that freeze every year and try to save money in the long run on utility costs.

The bank said, no dice, so we kept a slow drip in the kitchen to keep the pipes from freezing as we’d done before and wrapped the windows in plastic to keep the draft at bay.

Our efforts were fruitless. As Mr. Lane was on the road headed for South Dakota, and I was making oatmeal for breakfast… the hot water pipe froze and burst. The entire floor, sub floor and cabinets are a total loss.

You would have laughed your faces off had you been a fly on the way that morning. I can almost laugh at myself already. Picture if you will, me standing at the stove in a morning haze, a loud crack sends me off of my feet and into the air. Followed by the sound of rushing water while I’m still getting my Michael Jordan on. Trust me, that hot hunk of athletic sex in his Nikes didn’t have shit on these Lane Air Slippers.

“Oh fuck! Holy…what the??? Jesus!” (Still in the air, frozen in what-the-fuckedness) “You’ve got to be shitting me! Oh fuck!”

I only came down long enough to saturate my slippers, socks and feet to (god, I’m stupid) unplug the toaster, coffee pot, dishwasher, hop over the counter like a fucking ninja, shove the fridge away from the wall with brute force to unplug that too.

It didn’t dawn on me that I could get electrocuted until I was ankle deep in water. But something told me that it was imperative that I get everything unplugged. Of course I tried shutting the water off too but the angle stops were on the wrong end of the break.

I tried calling Mr. Lane, stalker style because he didn’t answer the first seven times. Then I called the city to get them to shut the water off at the main. Before they arrived, I found two shutoff valves that finally made the water stop turning my kitchen into a swimming pool.

Mr. Lane finally called me back…he was annoyed. (Whatever, dude!) “Why are you calling me so much?”



“I was just calling to say the fucking pipe in the kitchen exploded! Water is everywhere! City truck just pulled up, I gotta go.”



And I left that poor bastard hanging like that ugly shirt in the back of your closet that for some unknown reason you can’t throw away.

I yelled out the door to the city guy that I’d shut the water off from the inside. He yelled back, “Good because this damn thing is frozen and I can’t shut it off out here.”

I just shook my head and went back into… the pool area. Using every towel our linen closet has to offer, I sopped up all the visible water, yes it took every towel, wash cloth and sheet set. (resulting in five new loads of laundry, don’t get me started)

You ever want to just crumple yourself up like a big ball of paper? Weird feeling, but best description my brain can find for that feeling I had.

Now it’s your turn to be left hanging. As I am leaving so I can run off to the job I hate. I’ll finish this story and the one about the crow, the one about my tirade to the assessor lady, the one about the plumber who brought his most important tool to the job…his crack, the one about the team of Ghostbusters?


I love all of you ugly shirts! By the way, if you like sex and laughter, read the post below. It's kind of my favorite. Stay tuned, more insanity coming soon to a blog near you.