The family gathered on Friday night at the local American Legion post. This is one of the town's bars and also home to large meals for community events. So there was a dinner and drinking and much catching up with aunts and uncles and cousins.
It doesn't matter the reason for the gathering, hanging out with my dad's side of the family is always a generally raucous exchange of stories and jokes. There was a lot of laughing, a lot of companionable grousing; it was fun.
The actual service was Saturday morning at the Catholic church in town. Dad's side of the family is Catholic, evidenced by the 13 brothers and sisters he has, but our family was never religious. I assume I was baptized but never went through confirmation. When visiting up north, if we went to church it was to the church of my mom's family, Presbyterian. So the priests part of the service wasn't much to my tastes. He talked about how my grandmother served her community and the church and that we should follow her example and that of Christ. Probably reasonable enough for the practicing Catholics in the audience, but it didn't resonate with me.
After his bit, one of my aunts and one of my cousins got up and gave their eulogies. These were much more like it. There was laughter. There was a focus on family. My grandmother was all about family. The pictures that were put up in the church hall featured heavily pictures of her with members of the family. Those from the most recent years were nearly always her with one child or another in her arms as she smiled her familiar, easy smile.
Following the service was the traditional church lunch. Nothing inspiring, but heavy on the comfort food. Good bars, too.
After lunch I headed home. Roads were all plowed and everyone was driving the speed limit or better. I made great time and got home by 5 p.m. Ericka and I watched a couple of movies and then went to bed. Today I've been sleepy but will soon go out to replenish food for the animals before returning to snuggle with Ericka and the beasts for the rest of the evening.
Stoned--Blackie & The Rodeo Kings--Bark