Miss Allene S. Kelley,
This last storm, Dearest, has put things "on the h[illegible]mer" again and the letter I wrote Thursday night or Friday (yesterday) morning is still here in the P.O. My letters are usually mailed on the train but when no trains come along~~well I've just got to get rid of them. I don't know what the outcome will be; whether you'll get them singly or in bunches, but I'll see that I have one ready for either "No. 19" or "No. 9," the west bound mail trains, each day.
Yesterday dear, of course, I didn't get even the scratch of a pen from you~ and today, altho' the east bound trains have gone thru', just the one tardy missive. Yours and Mrs. Maze's came. I don't seem to be missing any,~the dates check up,~but there's no regularity.
It's surely awful out here and no mistake. The mail carrier, who was going to take us to Midas, left here in the stage two weeks ago day after tomorrow. He hasn't been able to get back,~~nor did he get in. They had to go out and meet him. The other day he started out with the intentions, as I understand, of coming back here. Snow was so deep he was unable to get thru. Got caught in a big drift, had to stay there all night. The next morning he left the team and started to walk. During the day a relief party was sent out for him.(by telephoning they found that he'd not reached his destination) and they found him floundering in the snow entirely exhausted. Had they arrived a little later they'd have found a corpse. When the wagon roads are so bad you can't get thru with [a] big team it's pretty bad.
I'll bet you are happy, dear. There's such a big feeling when [you] cross the line,~ from exercises to real music. It's very much the same feeling as when a boy gets his first pair of long pants. I took piano lessons some years ago. I drilled away on the old monotonous finger exercises as faithfully as could be,~~while they were watching me,~and oh, how proud I was when I got that first piece. I seemed to have gained the summit.~~Anyhow I "camped" right there. I quit while I was filled with pride.But you mustn't follow my example dear.
And have I been scolding too terribly much? I 'pologize dear, but if you should quit writing I'll "take it back" and scold worse'n ever. So there!
I've been shaving, dear, almost regularly, but by no means for the cause you mention. I do it selfishly~Do you know how that can be? Well before you have time to answer I'll tell you. I do it for my own personal comfort and no one else is taken into consideration~that is no one out here.
Thru' your experience with the "borrowed" baby you've concluded you and Hazel would make wonderful mothers, huh? Blood's thicker than water," [sic] and you can't judge from another's how you'd be with your own.
I'm glad you feel that way about it, Allene dear, ~"if you went to bed without writing your day would not be complete." My days seem to be your days dear.
January 29th, 1916.