Well thank you for all the blog post advice in the comments from yesterday. It has been incredibly helpful. And since someone asked for a story, here’s one I don’t think I’ve told here before… and it probably counts as one of my “something you probably don’t know about me” items… I have defaced a religious statue. Well… defooted if we must be precise.
You see, the story begins because we Catholics have a patron saint of pretty much everything. And my most often called upon saint of all time happens to be St. Joseph. Joseph, you see, as safekeeper of the Holy Family, is the patron saint of families, money, workers, carpenters, housing, and probably a bunch of other things. As it turns out, in the line of “housing duty,” that a certain ritual exists whereby Joseph can help you sell your home, should you require it. While some differences exist in whether he gets planted in the front yard or back yard, essentially it goes that if you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down in your yard, facing the for sale sign, and ask for his assistance in prayer, he will bring a buyer to your home. Once you sell your house, you are supposed to dig him up and take him to your new home and give him a place of honour. The entire ritual is meant, I believe, as an act of faith.
So it turns out that when I actually owned a house I needed to sell it, preferably in relatively short order. So I got myself a shovel and planted St. Joseph in the yard, toes to heaven, facing the sign, and set about waiting for my buyer to show up. After a few days I happen to mention this to the girls. Dolittle looked out the window and said, “It’s kind of cold out there, Mom. What if it snows and you can’t find him any more? How will you take him with you when we move?” Good question…
So after a few seconds of consideration, I decided that it probably would have made more sense to improvise the ritual a little bit and plant St. Joe in a flower pot or something that could be more easily transported. Yes… that would have been much better. Clearly I needed to go out, dig up my statue, and find myself a flower pot. And apparently, I needed to do that right that very second though looking back I have no idea why it was urgent.
But urgent it was. I dawned the closest footwear I could find, which happened to be Husband’s big honking snow boots, grabbed a shovel, and trugged out into the yard with my furry housecoat flapping in the breeze behind me (helloooo neighbours!). I stabbed the shovel into the ground with all the force I could muster but, alas, the ground was indeed frozen. I thumped my gigantic footwear repeatedly onto the shovel, but the most that could be unearthed was dear Joe’s tiny feet, just barely peeking out of the hard earth that surrounded him.
Obviously, I needed to warm him up, I thought. I ran back into the house to get a kettle of boiling water, and trugged back out to pour the scalding water on Joseph’s toes. Still he remained encased in the frozen ground. I bent down and tried to wiggle him free as surely, given the pool of water at my feet, he must be loose by now, but I wiggled and twisted and wiggled and twisted, and finally only succeeded in snapping Joseph’s feet right off him.
I went back to the house defeated (un-feeted?). Would Joseph ever help someone sell a house who not only couldn’t dig him up but had only his little sandals to give a place of honour to? And how does heaven view it when you rip the feet of a religious statue while commiting an act of faith? It seems I had nothing to worry about really… A couple of days later Dolittle was playing in the yard and came running in with a muddy little Joseph in her hand. “Look Mom!”, she said, “I saw a little bit sticking up so I just tugged on it. It made a big sucking sound and out he popped!” And together we planted my favourite patron saint on the deck.
Joseph did bring us a buyer. And we did take Joseph to where we currently live. He stands on the kitchen window ledge with a loonie (a $1 Canadian coin) taped to the bottom for balance, because our Joseph became an amputee in the line of duty. I’d take a picture to show you… but I have no idea who the patron saint of stolen cameras is. …Though it really wouldn’t surprise me if there is one.