Melody Dreamer was living a happy little hum drum life doing all her hum drum things when fate dealt her a strange hand. She was an only child born late in life to her now deceased parents. Her father Frank Dreamer died when plowing on the small family farm. He really was getting too old to handle that ancient tractor. A sudden lurch when the tractor tire dropped into an unseen hole set it off balance toppling Frank to the ground with the tractor crashing down on top of him. It was several hours later when her mother Elsie became worried because he was missing supper. She called up a neighbor to go check on him but by then it was too late. Frank had died at the hand of the land he had loved for so long. Elsie succumbed several months later mostly from grief over her beloved husband. They had grown up on neighboring farms and it only seemed natural they married to work their farm together. The two farms had been worked as a joint effort and had become quite prosperous covering many acres. Over the years the land dwindled away as it had to be sold away bit by bit. Droughts, bad crops, poor harvests and other manners of bad luck became more frequent. Her parents wanted only the best for Melody so she was sent away to school. Little did she know it was precious bits of the farm that were sold to give her a good education. She was away at school when her father died and came home to help her mother with the arrangements and to try to settle the family debt. Just before her mother passed she called her to her bedside. She had something to give Melody. It was an old worn book with tattered and dog-eared pages. She had seen the book only a few times before but had never really known what was in it.
Her mother explained it was a family ledger passed down at the marriage of the next heir. Melody had not yet given thought of marriage but as her mother neared death she had taken on this gift as the only child and heir to the Dreamer family. After the funeral she sat at the old wooden table in the farmhouse kitchen. She thought of the book again and went to get it. There were many entries in the book going back decades. Most of the writing was faded and some was illegible. Some pages had etchings of people she had never seen. She assumed these were family members from long ago. There were also etchings of buildings. Some were crude sketches but others were very beautiful. As she thumbed thru the pages some loose pages fell out. Actually it was a letter written in an elegant hand on faded ivory colored parchment. She recognized the penmanship of her mother. The date at the top was a few months after her birth. “Dearest Melody Ann” … it began “Your father and I have waited so long for the day of your birth. You are worth every minute it took for your arrival. You are the most precious and beautiful gift anyone could ever receive. I promise to always provide you with the best things in life and …” the letter went on for several pages but Melody could no longer see the words thru her tears. She got up to wash her face and dry her eyes. As she scanned thru the letter she noticed the last page was different from the rest. She went back to read the page before it. The last part of the letter was directions and a map. The last page was a deed to some land in another town. When she was born her parents had arranged for a small parcel of land to be hers. The last of the family farm and furnishing had to be sold at auction to cover the funeral and pay off the last of the debt. There was roughly $16,000.00 left to cover transportation to her new future home. Melody drew a heavy sigh and went off to bed to sleep in her family home for the last time.