Excerpt (G) Mail-Order Mix Up (novelette) by Kaye Spencer from Lariats, Letters, and Lace anthology #anthology #westernromance #prairierosepubs
The excerpt below is from my novelette, Mail-Order Mix up, in Prairie Rose Publications’ western romance Valentine’s Day-themed anthology, Lariats, Letters, and Lace.
Long before the instant gratification of telephone calls, texts, and emails, letter writing and sending telegrams were the means by which people communicated when distance and separation prevented face-to-face interactions. So much history is preserved in letters. As an author, I often use the often lengthy time between the sending of a letter to the receiving of that letter to create misunderstandings and relationship complications.
This the letter that three young and well-meaning, but meddling granddaughters write to a stranger. They’ve decided their widower Grandpa Dale needs a wife, because they want a grandma. This is the truncated version of the letter.
Dear Mrs. Irene Maxon,
My name is Meredith Forbes, and I live in a town along the South Platte River in Colorado called Platte River City. I live in a big, two-story house with my mama Ginny, my pa Joe, my younger sisters Violet and Beryl, and my Grandpa Dale. I am writing to you because we three sisters have chosen you from the mail-order bride catalog called the ‘Matrimony Courier’ to marry our grandpa and to be our new grandma. Our first grandma died before Beryl was born, and Violet and I were too little to remember her, so you see, we’ve all been without a grandma for a long time. Our other grandma lives too far away in California to visit us much, and we’ve only traveled to see her once that I can remember, and that was two years ago.
The photograph is us girls with Grandpa from last winter. I’m the tall one standing beside Grandpa, Violet is on the other side, and Beryl is sitting on his knee. You can see how handsome Grandpa is. He hardly has any wrinkles, and his hair is only a little gray. He is 52 years old, but he is strong and healthy, so I hope you don’t think he’s too old. He’s so strong that he can lift Violet and Beryl at the same time and carry them around when he plays horse…
Since it takes Grandpa a long time to make big decisions and taking a new wife is a big decision, doing all the work to find him a wife is our secret surprise present for him. There’s another mail-order bride living here. She’s the grandma to our friends Lydia and Clara Jean. Maybe you and her will become friends. I hope so, because she’s a nice lady.
Last summer on parade day, Grandpa said he’d like to get married again and that he’d even buy a new suit, polish his boots, and get a haircut and shave at the barbershop for the wedding. So, you see, he’s been thinking about getting married again, but we have to help him make up his mind, or he mightn’t make up his mind at all.
We hope you haven’t already found a husband. It took a lot longer than I thought it would to get a catalog, save up enough money, and then be able to send you this letter all without anyone knowing…
So, you see, this is the only letter we’d better send, and you can’t send a letter back, because then the whole town will know, and all this will be ruined, and we’ll never have another chance to have a grandma. Grandpa will say no to getting married for sure, and that will make us very sad for him and for us and for you.
I’m sorry if this letter is too long, but getting the right wife for Grandpa Dale is really important to us. So, please, please, please come to Platte River City soon to meet Grandpa and all the family. We’re hoping you’ll come here by Christmas, and if you don’t make it by Valentine’s Day, we’ll know you already found a husband. If that happens, we’ll try again to order another grandma when we save up some more money. We think you are a nice lady, and you’re pretty, so we hope you find a happy life even if you don’t come here and marry our grandpa…
P. S. We hope you like to dance. Grandpa sure is happy when he dances.
It certainly is a Mail-Order Mix Up when Irene shows up on Dale’s doorstep.
Lariats, Letters, and Lace anthology is available on Amazon.com
Print | eBook | KindleUnlimited
Until next time,
Writing through history one romance upon a time
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