The Tierney side of my family had its annual picnic today and this one was more fun than all the rest for some reason. Only one set of aunt and uncles is left so it is mostly cousins and their families. I have a lot of cousins on this side and we are all around the same age. It always was when we were growing up especially the Christmas parties at my grandmother’s house where we would all run around while the adults talked in the basement. With most of those adults gone now the reunions are fun again.
My cousin, Kathleen, organizes these affairs and a few years back I told her you can’t call it a reunion if you have it every year. I must have read that somewhere. Anyway, she now calls it a “family picnic.” Kathleen is a natural born leader. A few years older than me, she organized us all when we were little kids. Today she is a nun, a Sister of Mercy. I told her we were doing the Camino in Spain and she had never heard of it, the oldest religious pilgrimage in the Christian world. I never knew exactly where she stood with Catholicism and I was especially curious because of all the recent turmoil so I dove right in. We registered our disgust with the priestly sexual abuse and cover-up and within minutes she was discussing how we can can get to the ordination of women.
My sister, Amy, had the brilliant idea to bring some of the watercolors that our dad left behind when he passed. She arranged them on a table and the relatives helped theirselves, each leaving with some original Leo Dodd’s.
I was talking to my mom’s cousin, Joe O’Keefe, when he leaned in to tell me my mom was always his favorite of the Tierney girls. My mom’s sister, Ann, walked by just as he said that and I said, “Does Ann know that?” He laughed and called me a “no good, bog-trotting, trouble making, Mic,” a mouthful of a phrase I had not heard before.