Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My family tree is full of NUTS

Saturday morning Frances and I will set off for Syracuse for the Barnes family's Fourth of July get-together. I am wary, because while both sides of my family are crazy and descended from Murphys (no relation that I know of), the Barnes side tends to have the less-fun kind of crazy and definitely a lot more Murphy's Law.
While my mom's family tends to be a sort of happy-go-lucky let's-build-a-25 foot-waterslide-in-the-backyard kind of crazy, the Barneses can go either way. It can be a really good time getting together with them, or it can end in fights, tears and recrimination. There's no way to predict it, either.
Shortly after I moved back to New York, we had a Fourth of July party in Syracuse to celebrate my cousin Mike returning home after serving in Afghanistan. I got there a day after everyone else. I met them at the docks as they were bringing the boat back in, everyone muttering and swearing. Turns out that my uncle had been "pulled over" on the lake and given a breathalyzer test. He passed; they were just ramping up patrols in prep for the holiday weekend, but they did get cited for having too many people on the boat and not enough lifejackets. But the best part was that the local news station was there filming the whole thing, and later that night on the news, there's Uncle Bob blowing into the testing-thingy and my ragtag relatives hanging all over the boat in the background. Good times!

Two years ago was the last 4th of July party I went to, and everything was lovely. We laughed our butts off, the doggies romped, we played Corn-Hole (a word of advice: never title a photograph or the subject line of the email containing the photograph as "Corn-holing with the Cousins." You'll get some concerned remarks.) Everyone enjoyed everyone else and got along and it creeped me the f*&% out! The universe was misaligned! Then I found out that my friends the Ks had gotten into a high-octane blow-out marital spat at the party they went to with my husband and carried that fight back to my house where they were staying. I thanked them later for using up all the crazy so my family could enjoy a nice weekend together. 

Frances adores my Aunt Marilyn. It's mutual, as you can see. Aunt Marilyn had a beagle just like Frances when she was a little girl.

Every family has their clowns, and ours are Cousin Kelly and my sister, Katie. (Yeah, we have a Kerry, Kevin, Katie and Kelly Barnes.)

People who know me are surprised to hear that I'm the NORMAL one in my family. Hey, someone's got to be sober enough to prevent arrests/ post bail/ administer first aid/ negotiate for hostages and most importantly, take the photographs for evidence.


  1. I love how Frances has made herself so compact in order to be hugged. Her neck seems all tucked in.

    Your family sounds bananas. (B-A-N-A-N-A-S) Which makes for great stories. That's what I enjoy about crazy family members. They give me stories.

  2. Frances is surprisingly pliable. I'll do a post about her soon. I'm sure I'll be back from the weekend with stories and pictures.

  3. you are the normal relative???? I love this family!

  4. Wait till I post about my mom's family. I was not kidding- nor exaggerating- about the 25-foot waterslide.