Val’s House 01: A Strange Grace
Sorry it has been so long since my last letter.Â It would be all too easy to blame the floods (or a busy canning season!) but the plain simple fact is I can’t see as well as I onceÂ did and nothing seems to point this out as emphatically as writingÂ a letter longhand.Â The young man who mows and edges my lawn says I should get a computer and send my letters to you that way.Â Even if I could afford a computer I wouldn’t do it!Â Not because I am some old-biddy traditionalist but because I am sure I would waste a tremendous amount of time looking at internet things!Â I have no more time to waste.
First things first.Â I have enclosed and returned your generous check, uncashed. It’s not that I don’t need or appreciate the money -Â because I do and I do.Â But you must understand something: you are not responsible for Jimmy’s behavior.Â You are not responsible for whatever mess he’s made of his life.Â He was raised well but somewhere along the way he made some bad choices.Â Now it seems as if each choice is just a little bit worse than the one that preceded it.Â Â So you’ve got nothing to feel guilty about.Â Jimmy is at his turning point and none of us can live his life for him.Â Consequences belong to him.
As for me, my flesh will heal and my possessions never meant that much to me, except maybe my coffeemaker.
I have no plans to call the police.Â If you hear from Jim, tell him I said that.
P.S.Â The TV made the floods look much worse than they actually were.Â By some strange grace, we barely got a drop.
These pictures were taken inside the house next door shortly before it was flattened to make room for condos.Â The letter is MADE-UP.
Text and Images Â© Andrew Auten – All Rights Reserved