All that’s left of the Valley House Inn of Orleans, VT (built in 1833) is this piece of charred clapboard siding I collected after it burned down in 1998.
The Valley House Inn is where I met My Beloved Sandra on JULY 3rd, 1991. I remember everything about that night, including her first words to me, which I will not disclose here because she claims I’m making them up. The fact is, she doesn’t recall her first words to me and is therefore in no position to effectively dispute my version.
Tomorrow we’ll celebrate our “1st-Date-iversary“. It’s a big deal. Most towns around here honor the event with massive fireworks displays.
Nobody these days is as lost as we, left here without you among us, gone into who-knows-where, if there is such a place. Gone from here, at any rate. Those of us who believe that no one disappears forever will wait to see where you pop up next, who you’ll be the next time we meet you. Those of us who believe that all things must finally end will note your passing and mourn, will note and bear the loss, will move forward toward our own inevitable end, enriched for having known you. Most of us don’t have much to believe in, and will only sit here silently, remembering you and admiring the flowers while the last sad song is sung. Some of us will step up to say kind words, try to ease each other’s suffering as you fly away.
Go ahead then; lie down in those green pastures. One way or another, we’ll see you later, if only in our mind’s eye. Meanwhile, sail away; like the song says: It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.