The Stars Have Aligned

Okay, maybe not stars, but three things happened today that are related enough to fashion a blog post from them.

  1. I was only ten pages away from finishing The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd when I closed it to go have lunch with two of my adult children.
  2. On the way back from the restaurant, I passed a group of young people holding up Black Lives Matter signs in my little downtown. I honked my horn in solidarity as I made a left turn away from them.
  3. I discovered that my two yard signs – Black Lives Matter and Hate Has No Home Here were stolen from my yard.

Back to the historical novel. Chapters alternate between Sarah Grimke and her slave, Hetty. Sarah grew up to be one of the first female abolitionists, along with her younger sister, Angelina.  The Hetty chapters (she is nicknamed Handful) were telling, describing how slaves were treated 40 years before the Civil War. The punishments devised to keep slaves in line could curl your toes. This is the part of the book that will stay with me the longest.

Sue Monk Kidd based the book on research of that period of time in Charleston — the Work House where slaves were sent to be punished (and tortured), the whippings for small or big infractions, the way slaves committed little crimes to get back at their owners to stay sane and to remember who they were inside.

The chapters  about the proper plantation daughter weren’t as gripping but proved a sharp contrast to the life of her personal slave attendant. The detail of her maid sleeping on the floor outside of her bedroom in case she, the plantation daughter, needed anything in the middle of the night is another detail etched into my brain.

The Black Lives Matter sign also said, Science Is real, Love is Love, Water is Life, Women’s Rights are Human Rights. It was colorful.  The Hate Has No Place Here was blue and had Arabic writing on it as well. That’s why I liked it. One of my children studied and speaks Arabic.

Whoever took them probably tore them up, but I’d like to think they took them home and put them in their teenaged bedrooms instead.

I live in an affluent town. The court up the hill from mine has Trump 2020 signs in multiple yards. I don’t think those old guys waddled down to my court to steal my Black Lives Matter sign.

The young white girls holding Black Lives Matter signs in my downtown are certainly pissing off their Republican parents. I’m not saying the whole town is Republican. The teachers who can afford to live here probably aren’t. My friends aren’t, for the most part.

I wonder if a Biden/Harris sign in my yard would’ve been stolen faster. I had the Black Lives Matter sign for at least three months and the Hate Has No Home Here for a little over a month.

The police asked if I wanted to file a report for insurance reasons. $30.00? No, my deductible is $1000. But I did want the dispatcher to take down my address. It’s still illegal to come onto someone’s property and steal stuff.

Yes, they were in my front yard. Yes, I live next to a tiny park.

Come to think of it, the dogs were barking a lot last night. I did hear the swings squeaking after dark. It was a bunch of kids or teenagers.

I might’ve gone out there if I didn’t have 6 stitches in my lower leg.

So that’s my stars in alignment story– great historical fiction book about slavery in the 1800’s, Black Lives Matter demonstration, Black Lives Matter sign missing from my yard.

Couldda Wouldda They Tookka

They took my yard signs.

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