The one good thing with cousin Sean staying for a bit, is there be no room at the inn for the Dragon lady. We were Dragon-free for Easter, what a nice change that was. And that's where the nice ended, because the rest of the day was an unmitigated disaster. Oh yes, it was.
On Good Friday, me Mam insisted we go to church. That would be her, Sean, and yours truly, since Tonya and the kiddos were off to school. Me Mam being a good Catholic she expects the rest of us to be that too, even Tonya who be a Baptist. It was quite interesting watching Tonya's reaction the first time in a Catholic church. Her eyes got big at all the statuary, gilt and marble.
"I feel like I'm in a museum," she whispered to me.
Then the up and down, on your knees, stand, on your knees again, bow your head, hold your hands in prayer with fingers pointed up, not folded like a Baptist. It was all too much for her, by the last time kneeling she was groaning loudly on getting up. So it be a good thing she had to work or she'd have to lie and tell Mam she wasn't feeling well.
Anyway, we did enough standing, kneeling, sitting and praying for the entire family. Sean sheepishly asked Mam if we were expected to do this all over again on Easter Sunday.
Well, the talking to he got, and she actually took him by the ear like a bad little boy and shoved him in the car with no ceremony lashing him with her tongue the entire ride home. He had nothing to say for the entire drive, I will tell ya that much. But me Mam couldn't stop her whipping up on him about being a good Catholic. Gees Louise!
I remember years ago when we were kids, the last time she got on his case. It was Ash Wednesday, he was staying at our house because his Mam was having his sister at hospital. Me Mam sent Sheila, Sean and yours truly to church for the ash ceremony, only Sean wasn't feeling particularly religious and ditched us to spend his pennies at a candy shop.
When we came in with the proper ash mark on our foreheads, we were Sean-less. Before Sheila and I could make up a story on where Sean was, he came loping up the backstairs with the proper ash mark on his forehead. We found out he was smoking with some boyos and used cigarette ash to mark himself so Mam would think he was a good Catholic boy gone to church. I tell ya!
It was a week later she found out the truth, I don't know how but think me sissy squealed on him. Me Mam let into him like hellfire and brimstone. His face would get guilty red every time he saw her. Still does to this day. Guilty, guilty, guilty!
So Sunday morning came and guess what? We were all too sick to go to church but Mam. Annoyed with all of us including the Baptist, she took off by her lonesome to pray for our speedy recovery. She also told the boyos that it was too bad they were sick, no Easter candy for them. There was a miraculous recovery made by O'Hare and the wee one, they got their shoes on and out the door they went with her. The middle child, not so fast. HE wasn't going anywhere, he standing his ground no matter what and was quite confident he'd have his candy because he already squirrelled it away.
"Yer Mam be driven' me round the bend dare, Gabriel." Sean said. "She be a misery and quite a bit off her latch don't cha tink?"
"Well," I said getting all Irish meself, "she be a little short of us she finds out we aren't sick, but dare be hope dare be in all dat prayin' she and da boyos are doin' has made us all feel really good."
"You are awful, but I like how you think." Tonya said.
We were having the usual Easter guests over, these be people who have no one to spend the day with. We have done this for a while and opening our home is no problem. Because I was going to be helping out in the kitchen I foolishly left it up to cousin Sean to set the tables.
Sean had heard it was going to be a good weather day with a temperature of 80 and he suggested we have Easter dinner on the deck.
"I don't know how we'd fit all those people on the deck," Tonya said liking the idea but not sure if we could do it.
"I need ta tink about dis, but if it cont be done den inside it be." Sean said determination in his eyes.
And tink I mean think he did. We were very busy in the kitchen so we weren't watching Sean express himself through seating arrangements. You have to know that our deck be large, so accommodating tables and chairs seemed an easy project even for a 4 year old. What trouble could Sean get into right? Well lots.
We did not see the seating arrangements because he came in after working out on the deck all morning, with a huge grin of satisfaction on his face. We assumed all was ready and we need not trouble our brains. Wrong!
To make this clear to your minds eye, what Sean had done was set up three big tables on the deck. On the second story deck he had used card tables in a line with a chair at each so the guests would be facing the backyard, not each other. In other words, elbow to elbow. He presumed the sliding doors would be perfect to come up behind the diners so they could be served over their shoulders. Uh yup.
We discovered this bizarre arrangement too late to fix it! He had done a lovely job of place settings with flowers on each card table. If only he had used the rest of the deck for the people on the upper deck he'd have gotten a gold star. But no, we had this crazy up your nose arrangement that was worthy of a disaster award.
No one thought it a wonderful idea. So not being able to do a thing about this but hang Sean by his thumbs as scenery, Tonya reluctantly made him agree should any of the "rail diners" complain we are to set them on the deck no matter how tight a squeeze.
The one that was the least happy was me returning from Easter service Mam. As soon as she saw the set up she started to complain what a dolt Sean was. Sean explain there was a great view of the mountains and the diners would appreciate it.
"Ye could put all da tables on da lawn instead, and everyone can eat together." She argued.
That would have been too easy.
"No time Mother O'Sullivan," Tonya said gesturing her head in the direction of the arriving guests in the driveway.
I tell ya me knees, ankles, and feet hurt from the getting the rail diners up the stairs, out on the deck, then running back downstairs to cater food up through me bedroom to the deck where six were seated all in a row. They didn't know what to think of this arrangement. One rather liked it, the rest . . . not so much. They were yelling down at the diners on the deck in conversation so it was rather a loud bit going on.
It was a tight squeeze up there, but I finally got everyone served when I sat down to me own dinner on the deck to be summoned back upstairs because the rail diners needed more cranberry sauce. OI!
I was like a jack rabbit, up and down, up and down. Just as I was about to take me first bite of turkey, Sean says to me "Uh Gabe, I tink I be feelin' raindrops dare." Yes, the heavens opened up. Yes they did, it freaking poured. The guests on the deck (because they had room to move) gathered up the plates and took it all inside almost unscathed. The rail diners, uh . . . not so much. Sean and I ran upstairs because Sean had wedged them all in quite tightly and we had to extract them from the tables and pull them inside where they were dripping wet, their turkey and fixings floating in rainwater . . . need I go on? I ran out of towels, luckily not turkey, but who wanted to eat after THAT? No one.
We called it. An early Easter was had by all, where they all ended up going home and we have lots of cake. Yes, dessert was partaken by a few hanger-ons from the lower deck who thought it was all very funny. The upper deck? Every single one went home . . . mad and wet.
I have a feeling a lot of the guests will not be back for next year's feasting. No, I think Sean put the kibosh on Easter dinner from now on. He is persona non grata right now. The boyos are the only ones talking to him about how cool this and that person looked drenched to the skin. How they now know potatoes don't float once mashed and how gravy glistens in water and looks like blobs of dog do. Oh yeah pleasant stuff those kiddos.
How can someone who looks good until he opens his mouth be such a bungling idiot? Well, me Mam will make sure he doesn't hear the last of it. Yup.
BUT we do have a lovely cake Tonya made. See below:
|Tonya putting finishing touches on Easter Egg Cake with Sean supervising|
|Finished Cake YUMMY - so at least there is that.|
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