Anna gazed out the window and listened to the whir of the wheels while the bus speed down the highway. She tucked the mauve afghan around her legs when she stretched across the empty seat beside her. Her brown eyes became misty when she thought about her mother’s last few days. Her mother had smiled at her daughter and held her hand while they talked about happier times. Anna kept her feelings bottled up inside during the day when she concentrated on her kindergarten class. Anna smiled when she thought about the cheerful card the children made for her near the end of the school term. Another teacher helped the children keep it a secret. Anna sighed and brushed her auburn curly hair off her face. An extended holiday was what she needed. Anna smiled thinking about her great Uncle Henry Hunter’s letter. There was the rustling of paper as she took it out one more time. She’d read it so many times that she almost memorized the contents. There were regular letters before and during her mother’s illness and something about the last letter disturbed her.
Dear Miss Anna Sage,
I have treasured the photo’s you and your Mama sent over the years. I was grieved by the news of your mama’s passing and know how you must miss her.
I am well considering my age but do have bouts of rheumatism but always walk up the mountain every day. I am relying on my cane more and more with each passing day. You possibly remember that I hired Patrick, a young lad from the village, to look after the sheep and goats. He has proven to be a valuable helper who I rely on more and more with each passing year.
I would like to see you one more time before my maker calls me home. Can you take time out of your busy life to see a cranky old man?
Great Uncle Henry
It has been a long time since you have been here so the enclosed information might be useful. No excuses because there is a bus ticket for you. I will send young Master Patrick to the bus station to meet you. He will guide you up the mountain to my humble home. It gets dark early at night and most buses come in the evening. Please let me know when you are coming. I will also let Mrs. Sullivan know when you will arrive so she can arrange with My. Smyth to bring your luggage up the mountain in his pony cart. He still clings to the old ways as do I. I am looking forward to seeing you once more and hope you can stay for awhile.
To be continued: