When Calls the Heart,
by Janette Oke, is a historical romance set in frontier Canada. A city girl from the East goes to teach school
in Calgary, where her half brother lives. Immediately assigned to a country school, she
learns to adapt to the wilds and love her sweet school children.
The whole book is a little too sweet to be real. Everyone is so nice and noble and giving
except the one school superintendant man who only has a short appearance in the
book. The hero's nearly perfect. All her students are too well behaved—and
eager to learn—to be quite believable. Still,
it's a nice, gentle, CLEAN romance, not just between a man and a woman, but
between a frontier school teacher and her new home and her humble students.
When I was little, I spent all December playing with the
wrapped gifts under the tree. I
rearranged them by giver, by receiver, by wrapping paper, by size. I stacked and restacked and shook and poked,
all the while wondering what lay inside.
I could hardly sleep on Christmas Eve.
I burned with anticipation. In
the morning, we were barred from the living room until Mom put on a scratchy old
Christmas record and turned the tree lights on.
Then we'd emerge into a wonderland of toys and gifts. Though not extravagant by many people's
standards, it was fantastic to me. I
loved Christmas morning, but I also loved the anticipation of all those many
days before. And maybe, just maybe, I
loved the anticipation more.
Now it's not Christmas that gets me rearranging things for
hours, dreaming of what will come. It's
travel. I spend hours rearranging my
search criteria on travel websites, entering different dates for a flight
abroad, different ports for a good deal on a cruise, researching cheap hostel
options and public transportation routes in new cities. I browse guidebooks and websites and talk to
other travelers. I can spend hours and
hours on my vacation before I ever set foot out the door. That anticipation feeds me.
I booked my first cruise five weeks before departure. Those five weeks were a blur of
happiness. Happiness and packing. My Dad joked that I was getting at least $100
of fun out of it before I ever got on the ship.
And that made it a very cheap
I once traveled budget style around Central America for six
months. You should have seen me hunting
down Permethrin to do a long-term insect repellent treatment on my bed-sized
mosquito net, waterproofing my shoes, shopping for clothes that were light-weight,
wrinkle-free, and quick-drying, for all the sweat and hand washing and hauling
everything around on my back. The trip
lasted for six months, but the joy of it started a year before and hasn't ended
Memories let you live an experience twice. But anticipation lets you live it three