June 22, 2011
To the residents of [Our Old House],
I’m sorry I don’t know your name or how long you’ve lived in this house. My name is Victoria, and I lived there for the first seven years of my life. It’s the house my father built in 1964. The land was cheap because of the interstate in back and the green space next door was good for a big family. When I was little, I liked to pretend picnics next to the huge, old tree by the mail box and I had a white plastic swing in the back yard hooked to the clothes line.
We would wave to the semi trucks passing over head. There were a lot of kids in the neighborhood then.
I am a writer working on a memoir from those early years–how it was growing up as the youngest of nine, the breakup of my parents, the last two of us moving with Ma to a smaller place, leaving home. I’ve discovered that this house is as much a character in the story as I am, as my family.
In writing this letter, I am hoping you will grant me permission to return to the house of my story for a brief visit, a one time reunion. I know so much has changed, trees have been taken down, an addition was put on, it’s no longer red and white with a sail boat on the garage door.
I believe that returning to the house is a fundamental part of my story, one that can’t be written until I do. Of course, I would never include your information in the story, only your kindness and hospitality.
If you would like more information on me or my project, I am available in several places online. I will also include my phone number if you feel more comfortable speaking to me so that I may set up an appointment at any time that would be convenient for you.
I offer my sincerest appreciation for your consideration.
All my very best,
E. Victoria Flynn