Letter from Mary Carpenter, November 21, 1886

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Letters of Mary Carpenter
Minnesota Historical Society Manuscripts Collection P1487

Marshall, Lyons. Co Minn.
Nov. 21. 1886.

My own dear Aunt Martha,

Many thanks for your very welcome letter received yesterday. Please tell Cousin Laura I would be glad of a letter from her if it has a date every fresh paragraphs. I am always very glad to hear from you, & have been threatening mentally to write to you soon. Now, I have a letter to answer. Perhaps you have not heard that I have arrived at the dignity of "Grandma." Mamie has a son, born Oct. 14. His name is Charles Herbert Hurd. All this I have heard but it seems very unreal to me, as indeed does her marriage. It seems almost as though she had dropped out of my life.

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I hear from her occasionally & that is all. I had been hoping to go for a visit to Mother & Mamie this winter, but as usual am disappointed on account of poverty. I had a nice letter from my Mother, written on her birthday. I will enclose it with the request that you return it in your next letter, as she is seldom able to write a letter to me. I would be glad if you would send the copy of "The Household," I think it is a publication I have long desired to have, and will get as soon as possible, but dollars seem to be more scarce with us every year. Geo. & the boys have worked 400 acres of land the past season but the season was unfarmable & the prices are poor so the crops will bring only about 700 dollars & we have l3.00 that is due this fall.

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We burned flax straw altogether & I am about discouraged. If my health does not fail however I shall get along some way I suppose. Geo. himself does not seem so hopeful as usual. Last week we had a very heavy snowstorm, drifts three or four feet deep. Geo. said if it started on winter now we could never through, but it is milder and we hope winter has not come to stay. We had only a few of our potatoes dug, because everyone was hurrying for their pay & Geo. would not stop to dig them. We have plenty of nice winter squashes, too, but no place where they can be secure from frost, to keep them. We have them right here in our living room, part of them, & the rest in a potato hole. We have no cellar. We raised many of those nice muskmelons this year & have plenty of seed. I will send you some.

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You speak of Laura's return. Was she away for a visit? How I do wish I could see you all again. Georgie was 21 in Oct. He has gone to Owatonna to school again. I suppose he will not be at home any more except for a visit occasionally. So they go one by one. Henry is anxious to go for the winter term but I am afraid he cannot. He needs a new suit, overcoat &c., & where will they come from? Eddie is still here but he is by no means a good boy. I try to do the best I can by him, but with all my eleven children I never had such a trial. We are all in usual health. Did I ever tell you about myself. I have had a humor for four years which I call salt humor. It is in the groins & that region & is exceedingly troublesome. It is very obstinate. I have spent a good deal for blood medicines & salves and yet it seems as though it will be a life long trouble.

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Well, I must close. With much love to Lowell, Laura & you from yours aff Niece,

Mary E. L. Carpenter