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Anyone who knows, and I mean really knows, any of my immediate family (including Yours Truly here) and especially anyone who has ever seen us all together, knows that we’re a rather, ah… interesting group of people. Add to that equation a bit of alcohol and you might be in for a rollicking good time, or the most frightening time of your life, all depending upon your outlook.

As all of us gathered in the relatively quiet city of Duluth for Mom’s services, it occurred to me – that town will never be the same!

Funeral directors didn’t quite know how to handle a small and not so quiet bunch who, eyes red-rimmed from crying, spoke of a life of laughter and love – and they laughed together, celebrating a much as mourning. Nor did they know what to do about that same small bunch who, after all the others had left, started making funeral jokes. It’s just the way we deal with things. Hey, Mom taught us that laughter is as necessary as air!

The weather was wonderful – cold to us native Southern Californians, but still nice. The days were more clear than cloudy and there was no rain or snow. The people were nice – unerringly polite. But once again, within 24 hours, I had enough of that Northern accent to last me a lifetime. Ohhh, okay. Ya, sure, you betcha.

And so with that, a small collection of photos – our little family’s farewell to Mom!urn.jpg

That would be her… in that pic she’s still a teenager… And the roses? When she and Tom married, she had peach roses in her bouquet.

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Yeah, those are my sisters… And if you really must know about the loverly shot on the anchor – ask, but I warn you, it’s a long story.

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Mom’s hubby and my brother (yes, that young thing on the left is Mom’s hubby – yes, she “robbed the cradle.”)

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We gave Mom a proper send off – getting not-so-quietly toasted after the services, and traipsing out into the Minnesota night to wave some sparklers around (she liked the silly things, OK?)

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A little sight seeing in Two Harbors…

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A great view of the St Louis River – from some rest area off the 35 (and ask me if I can recall the name of the darn rest area?)

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Close to sunset – looking back from the lighthouse in Duluth. That’s the lift bridge. The terrific color comes not from PhotoShop, but from taking the picture through my sunglass lenses.