Passing on the highway going home

Photo by Arvind Balaraman

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

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About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
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12 Responses to Passing on the highway going home

  1. Lisa says:

    Best of luck, Victoria. May you return to the land of pretend picnics and plastic swings.

  2. Lovely! It’s strange, I feel the exact same way about the house I spent the first five years of my life in, in England. I discovered not too long ago that together with the attached house next door it was once a finishing school for young women; imagine! Return and face what you must, you will emerge strengthened.

  3. Christine says:

    Good luck, Victoria! I hope the current owners say “Yes!”

  4. Beth Hoffman says:

    Beautifully written, Victoria. I’m putting up lots of good thoughts that they graciously grant your request!

  5. eglentyne says:

    Lovely. I hope they grant your request, Victoria! –Dani

  6. I love this letter. And, when you go back to that home (because I’m sure you will), call me. I’ll take the girls for a play date. Then, that moment in the house will be all yours.

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