Alan took advantage of some fine weather and a 40-percent-off sale at the nursery, and replaced some browning shrubs in front of the house Sunday. Years ago, while preparing the bed for what became our vegetable patch in Fort Wayne, he turned up a Model T wrench, part of a horseshoe and an Indian-head penny. On Sunday, he found the statue pictured above. My saint knowledge is pretty spotty, but even I know that’s St. Joseph; the carpentry tool at his feet gives him away. However, only in the last couple of years did I learn why he’s the saint most likely to be buried in the front yard of a recently sold house.
We turn again to Snopes. Ahem: Those trying to sell a home often feel in need of a miracle when a quick sale fails to materialize. Folklore purports to have the remedy: Bury a plastic statue of St. Joseph in the yard, and a successful closing won’t be long in the offing. Realtors across the nation swear by this.
I don’t know who buried it, or how many changes of ownership back it dates from, but I’d be willing to bet it’s from the most recent sale, the one to us. No, I don’t know if it came from a kit, available for $9.95, including the statue, the prayer, “instructional materials” and a free real-estate listing.
Nothing is more boring than another person’s religious views and I’ll spare you mine, but I think I turned another corner in my journey away from the church of my upbringing when Kate asked what the deal was with this ritual. I thought for a moment and said it was a superstition. God is a vast mystery, but if there’s one thing I think I know about whatever God is, it’s this: God doesn’t give a fat rat’s ass about the real-estate market.
Nor baseball games, although for all the signs of the cross and eyes raised to heaven on Saturday, it was still nice to win. I watched most of the game and found the waiting was getting on my nerves — c’mon, win already — so I took the dog for a walk in the ninth inning. As we came home up our block, I heard shrieking from half a dozen houses within earshot. By the time I got home, I was able to watch the game-winning homer from several different angles. According to the superstitions of many baseball fans, I actually brought on that homer by taking the dog for a walk.
Spriggy and I will be doing our best for the Tigers in the series. Anything to keep our real-estate values stable.