A Letter by MaryHazelUpton

Author: MaryHazelUpton
Created: March 03, 2017 at 04:32 pm
Upload Type: Letter, G (All)  
Category: Diary Entry | Family | Personal
Upload Stats: 187 views


                                             MARCH FRAGMENTS OF NOTES FROM CARROLLTON LOCATION


                                                                                MARY HAZEL UPTON

                                                                                                                 March 21, 1983 Mon.

     Dear Mama & Daddy,
     The first day of spring! Ha! We have at least 6 inches of snow outside! It started snowing yesterday & snowed all day. Still flurrying this morning, but Gain managed to get to work. He took the truck. Think the roads are pretty clear, so once he got out of driveway, he could go. He was out sweeping the snow off the truck this morning. The price of having a Mustang! (It has taken the truck's place in the garage.)
     Hope this will be the last of winter. The lettuce certainly is angry. We roto-tilled & planted radishes, onions, & lettuce last Wed. after we got home. Don't think anything is hurt, though, as it hadn't come up yet. If you don't plant when you can, though, it is too wet & then by the time you get planted, it is almost too late for the salad crops. 
     My bush tomatoes are making three leaves now & starting to look like typical tomatoes. Planted my cherry tomatoes, but they are not up yet. Am going to plant some cherry & large tomatoes for you, Mama. Don't think mine will be ready to separate by the time you come up & that will be the only chance I have to give them to you. June will be too late. Figured since you'd been sick, you wouldn't have had time to plant yours. If you have, I will just keep them. I will plant cherry tomatoes & the seeds from my Woman's Day magazine for you in an egg carton--don't have anymore bush tomato seeds.
     Am planning to freeze cherries & coleslaw this summer & probably a few other things. Have to be careful to leave room for meat in my freezer. I will put up extra for you--whatever I think you can use--& you can get it when we see each other. (Will have room as our meat shouldn't need replacing before fall.)
     I am back to work "in force" again after being off last week & part of the week before. Am getting manuscripts ready to mail, along with your letter, & a refund for free garbage bags. Be time for Richard Simmons soon. Then I will work on the Animal-People's book--their book is taking FOREVER to finish! Still have between 50 & 100 pages to do. Hope to finish it by Easter anyway. Have two other "secondary" books started--a teen-age gothic romance & another teen-age occult novel about vampires. These are both for two different "series" of these type novels I am going to try writing for. I work on them when I can, but try to work on my main novel every working day. Before I start another main novel, though, I think I'll move the vampire novel up as main novel & finish it first, as my next main novel is going to be about vampires too & I really don't want to work on 2 vampire novels at once. (It will be set in the future, though, & written as science fiction, not occult, when vampires are beginning to take over the world. This will be a bit before the time of the short story I have sold to be published when the vampires have indeed taken over the world & enslaved the human race.)
     Also planning a column of articles similar to the ones I write for Tower Press. If I could sell this to a newspaper syndicate it would be published in a lot of newspapers & I would get regular money from each one. This is still in the planning stage, though. Tentatively, the column will be titled "Home Sweet Home" & will be on all subjects to make your home better--gardening, cooking, decorating, etc.
     Also plan to outline your article before June, Mama, so that I will know what information to get from you when I come down.
     Guess I'd better say good-by now and "mush" out to mail my letters before Richard Simmons.
     Hope you are getting along O.K., Mama.

Author's Note: This letter is postmarked March 24, 1983 and cost 20 cents to mail.

                                                                                                  -THE END-

Last Modified: March 03, 2017 at 05:53 pm
© MaryHazelUpton - all rights reserved

Author Notes

  This is a long ago letter that I sent to Mama and Daddy. After Mama died, she left hers and Daddy's house, which he built and that was mine and my brother's childhood home, to me. She also left me everything in the house, which included a lifetime collection of treasures, including, I think, every letter my brother and I ever wrote to her, as well as long dead friends' and relatives' letters and memorabilia, photos, and scrapbooks, patterns, fabric, her huge doll collection, books, and many other things. (She left my brother money, which supposedly was equal to the value of the house, and since he has his own home, he is satisfied, but I think I came out better on the inheritance, even though as I get time I am copying the old photos and letters to share with him).

  This letter was one of the ones she had carefully saved. Most of the treasures, and all of the letters and photos are in boxes and albums in Mama's Sewing Room. I now call it "The Time Machine Room". I haven't begun to have time to look at the lifetime of stuff she collected, but when I get spare time I sit in her old rocker in the Sewing Room and look through the old photos, letters, scrapbooks, and patterns. Sometimes I sit and sew by hand--I don't like to use a sewing machine, although I left her sewing machine in the Sewing Room, and use it as a table now. I usually use her fabric--I have some, but would never actually have to buy anymore for the rest of my life because of how much she left me. The article mentioned in this letter that I was planning to write about her was to be called "How To Have A Fabric Shop In Your Own Home" and was going to be a how-to article for one of the magazines I wrote for at that time about stockpiling fabric, as Mama did, and then being able to "shop for free" in your own "fabric shop". I don't remember now why the article was never written, because Mama agreed to let me do it, but eventually I will write and publish it myself as a tribute to her, including my memories of the many rag dolls she sewed for me.

  The people mentioned in this letter are my Mama, Hazel Fern Henson. Gain is my husband, who has also since passed away. Not mentioned are my Daddy, Claude, and my brother, Charles.

  You may also remember Richard Simmons. He had a half hour exercise program on TV for the ladies every week day morning.  It was on at nine o'clock where I lived at the time. Gain couldn't stand Richard Simmons, but Gain was already long since departed for his first shift factory job when the show came on. I thought Richard Simmons was SO cute, and he was always so nice to the fat ladies on the TV show, encouraging them to "get up and exercise", but never trying to make them feel bad about their weight. The members of the at home audience were also included in the orders to "get up off the couch" and I think, at the time, I half believed he could see if I was actually exercising, so I always "got up off the couch". There were several other exercise shows on with other hosts back then, and they usually made their audiences exercise for the full half hour, not just ten minutes with the rest guests and talk, like Richard Simmons did. And besides, none of them were as cute or as nice as Richard Simmons in my opinion!

    After Gain left for work and I got my housework done for the day, I usually went to my "office", a corner of a room in our mobile home, to write. At one time, we had an old house on the property and were going to fix it up to live in, but later found out it would take more time and more money than we had to do so. So Gain had it torn down eventually. For awhile, though, that house, which I fondly remember, was my "summer office", one whole room of it (we used the rest for storage). I only worked there until the shadows started coming out of the corners, though, because there was no electricity and it was a spooky old place. As soon as it started getting dark I put my writing away for that day, and even on long summer days darkness came early in the old house. Mama and Daddy camped there also in the summer when they visited Gain and me. Mama too loved the old house. I am now writing a ghost story with the old house, fictionalized, and Gain, Mama, and Daddy, and myself all as characters in the story. The story is called NIGHTMARE HOUSE, and in the story the old house, which looks exactly like the real old house, is haunted. I have photos of the actual old house, one of which is going to be used for the cover of the book. Although I looked hopefully many times, though, I never did actually see any ghosts in the real old house.

  The science fiction story about the "animal-people" mentioned in this letter is finished now and titled THE THROWAWAY PEOPLE, but I never sold it. Lane and Baba are patiently waiting for me to retype it on the computer now so it can be published. The "teen-age occult novel about vampires" is now an actual hard copy book, a paranormal romance for teen girls called THE SLEEPWALKER, that I published with a print on demand book publisher and that I will eventually serialize here. The futuristic vampire story called VAMPIRE WORLD was never published. The small magazine went out of business before the publisher could print the story. I'll publish the original novella and the expanded version that I haven't finished yet eventually too. I don't remember ever writing the "teen-age gothic romance". I do remember diligently reading Writer's Digest magazine, especially the classified ads, seeing ads for publishers wanting manuscripts, or reading book series that I thought would be neat to write for, and sending for guidelines. Most of the time the series and sometimes the publishers were gone before I could get anything written for them. Other times the stories were rejected, and a few times my stories were accepted and then the publisher went out of business before they could be published. I did get a few stories published, though, but never any books.

  Although I sold a lot of cooking and gardening articles to Tower Press they too are long out of business. Mama saved all the copies I sent her, though, so I'll be able to get them back in print too. The newspapers weren't interested in the "Home Sweet Home" column, but I wrote a number of the articles with high hopes before giving up. I remember, at the time, Gain proudly telling everybody he knew, that I was going to be able to sell the articles to a lot of different newspapers and get $5.00 each for them every week from each newspaper! The only readers I had, though, were Mama and Daddy and my brother, Charles, and his wife, Anna Marie, who all had free "subscriptions" of the hand typed manuscripts mailed every week. Mama saved all of the copies I sent her, though, so I'll be able to publish them myself now when I get time to retype them. 

  This letter and the other letters written from the time Gain and lived in Wheeling, Indiana are part of a series I am calling FRAGMENTS OF NOTES FROM CARROLLTON LOCATION. They are called that because in one of my trips to the library back then I found an old book listing the original names of Indiana towns. Carrollton Location is the original name of Wheeling, Indiana. In Mariette's book, NIGHTMARE HOUSE, Wheeling is called Carrollton Location and Carroll County is called Carrollton County.

                                                                                                -THE END-

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