Anna looked at the double bed tucked against the back wall and realized she was tired. It had been a long week and the two day bus trip had been tiring because her sleep had been interrupted with all the stops and starts at little towns and villages. The fluffy feather tick looked inviting and after Anna got her last suitcase and said goodnight she undressed and climbed into bed.
It was late when Anna woke with the sun streaming in the side window that looked like a porthole. She had fallen asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow and slept soundly. The sounds of a barking dog, baaing sheep and clip clop of many hoofs on the cobbled courtyard blended into her dream. Why were the animals in the yard? Then Anna remembered that this was when Patrick would be taking the sheep and goats up to the high pasture and would only leave a few goats and babies behind to graze the grass on the nearby hillside. Great Uncle Patrick always kept a few females nearby. He put the milk in the freezer so he could make soap. Anna lay there listening to the commotion until the bantam rooster crowed lustily. She slipped out of bed when she heard voices. Anna realized that Great Uncle must have company. Anna dressed and looked out the window before closing the shutters she had thrown open last night. Then Anna saw Great Uncle Patrick surrounded by a group of children. He leaned on a girl’s shoulder and was heading towards the mountain. Of course, he was going for his walk. The village school was out now. and the children always flocked around Great Uncle Henry to hear his stories. If she hurried, Anna could catch up because he wouldn’t walk that fast.
Anna opened one of her suitcases and took out her camera before heading into the kitchen. Anna decided to explore and put her things away later. There were still biscuits, rolls, and fruit in the basket. When Anna opened the small green fridge, she took out the pitcher of cold goats’s milk and poured a glass. She hadn’t any for a long time and missed it. As soon as Anna ate an apple and a biscuit with jam, she set out to join the others on the mountain. Anna knew the trails like the back of her hand.
It wasn’t long before Anna caught up to her uncle and his companions. “Oh look who’s up,” Great Uncle Henry said with a grin that made his white walrus mustache bob up and down. “Did you find something to eat?”
“Yes.” Anna took a picture of the distant hills that looked like a sea of blue with the wildflowers growing in the meadow.
“Do you remember Gloria Peterson?” Great Uncle Henry asked as he paused and leaned on his cane.
“Little Gloria?” Anna looked at the little girl with golden pigtails hanging down her back.
“Not so little now,” Gloria answered. ” I come up to help your uncle every day now that the babies are bigger and can help Mother.”
“How is your mother?” Anna asked as they continued up the rocky hill.