So, I am trying to sell a house in VA? Anybody buying? No. Anybody even looking? Nope. Kind of freaking out here. The house has been on the market for a month or so and no-one has even come in to look. It is a great house. 4 bedrooms, three full baths, big great room, nice kitchen... hot tub, fenced yard, work shed with electricity.... yeah, I'm selling. Can't you tell?
Anyway, when you are selling a house everyone has advice - even people who have never owned a house. Especially people who have never owned a house. They want to help you price it. They want to help you get it ready for viewing. They just want to help... a lot. It is kind of annoying. What do they know, anyway? Nothing. But you can't scream "Go Away!" if you want to remain their friend so you just nod, and smile, and say "Thanks. I'll think about it" when they suggest things like having an open house (expensive and not necessarily helpful) or having the yard landscaped (are you kidding me?). Whatever.
I was in Church with my Mama a few weeks ago and we ran in to an old family friend. As we talked it came out that I am selling my house.
"Did you get your Saint?" she asked. Mind you, we are Episcopalian so while we get the whole Saint thing, we don't pray for intercession like Catholics do and our focus is definitely more on Jesus and the whole Father, Son, Holy Ghost kind of worship.
"Um, what Saint?" I replied.
"Oh my goodness, I can't remember what Saint... darn it, and we just did it too. When we were selling our house?"
"I'm sorry. I have no idea what you are talking about." I replied. Actually, I thought she might be having a little fit or something and tried to spot her husband or one of her kids (yep - they are all near my age so the odds of finding them was pretty slim).
"Oh, you know. When you are selling your house you go buy this Saint and bury him upside down in the back yard facing the house and say a little prayer and your house sells. Ours did."
"Wow," I said. "I have never heard of that. Nope, not ever." Okay, now I knew there was something seriously wrong with her but was at a total loss of what to do.
"Well, you just go get you a Saint and bury him sweetie, your house will sell fast." And with that, she was off.
Mama and I just chuckled and sat down for the service.
Later that day I went visiting my Uncles - my Mama's best friend and my Dad's younger brother - to talk to each of them about a house I want to buy in CA. At my Unky Joe's house (yes, I call him Unky Joe and will until the last day) I brought up the Saint.
"Oh yeah" he said. "Go on down to the Nun's store on Beaufain St. and get you a kit. They sell 'em."
"Joe, we need to get one too, before we put the house on the market." said his wife. And the conversation ensued regarding the Saint, the proper way to bury him, and what the prayer might be.
Okay, this was starting to take some shape, weird shape, but shape nonetheless.
I hit the Nun's store on Saturday. Walked right on in and looked at the Nun behind the counter - these Nun's still wear the "uniform" and I like that. Anyway, I said "Sister, I am selling my house."
She smiled and said "St. Joseph statues are in the basket at the end of the shelf down there and prayer cards are on the wall right above it."
I asked for instructions... where to bury him and how, what all I need to do. At this point I had heard the story from so many people and gotten conflicting directions - upside down in the front yard, upside down in the back yard facing the house.... I just wanted to make sure all my Catholic t's were crossed and i's dotted, you know? She said, bless her heart, "Coming in and buying the statue was an of faith... you can just put him in the window and say the prayer daily and that will work."
$4.25 later and I have a statue of St. Joseph and the card and am on my way.
Now I am sitting in my house. I have St. Joseph currently on my desk. I have said the prayer. I have talked to various people about it and, during dinner with my Jewish friend, came up with a plan.
I said the prayer today, on the phone with a friend - B1. I intend to say the prayer every day - also with a friend - because as B1 said... "where two or more are gathered together...."
Tomorrow I will be burying St. Joseph, upside down, in the back yard, facing the house.
Catholic voodoo.... I will let you know how it all works out.