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Today found us going to Sacred Ground, otherwise known as Monroeville, Alabama, home of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird.


Two years ago, I was driving down the interstate when I spotted a sign that said “Monroeville”, so of course I took a detour. I had to. You know I did.


On that visit, I happened to walk into the courthouse at the same time a woman named Blondell was taking her cake inside for the meeting. As we pulled into town today, I said “Wonder if I’ll see Blondell today,” something my husband and nephew found especially funny.


But I want you to know that right when we got through touring and photographing, out walked two women, Ann and Martha. (Let me tell you: they are as much fun as they are precious.) Martha’s daddy is about to celebrate his 90th birthday, and they’re having the party at the courthouse.


We talked a while (long enough that I’m expecting an invitation to the party), then I mentioned how two years ago when I visited, I met Blondell, and wouldn’t you know that Blondell is a friend of theirs. Ha.


There’s lots to see there, and in the Capote room, there are quilts from his aunts and stories about how he asked for the ones they didn’t offer him outright. Said he loved wrapping himself in Alabama.


If you’ve never been by there, you should go. Take your time poking around the rooms, reading the stories on the wall, sitting in the courtroom, shopping in the gift shop. And hey, tell Blondell and Ann and Martha that Nancy and I said Hey, would ya?


If you’ve never read the book, you have to. I mean it. Scoot. And when you get to the end, to the part where Scout talks to her daddy (Atticus Finch) about the story he just told her about Boo Radley, when she says “An’ they chased him ‘n’ never could catch him ’cause they didn’t know what he looked like, an’ Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things . . . Atticus, he was real nice . . .” and Atticus says “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them,” when you get to that part, promise me you’ll read it right out loud. Twice.


She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning and read your way current.
And pssst: there’s a pinterest board, too.