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Changes for Josefina is the sixth book in the Josefina series.

The Spanish title is Cambios para Josefina: Un cuento de invierno (Literally: "Changes for Josefina: A Winter Story").


Chapter by Chapter Summary[]

Chapter One: Gifts and Blessings[]

Josefina hears whispers telling her to wake up She opens her eyes to see her nephews Juan and Antonio crouching next to her. Even though it was dark, she could see the excitement on their faces. Juan and Antonio show their shoes to Josefina, whispering that the Three Kings were here and put treats in their shoes. Antonio says they gave Josefina something too, his mouth filled with candy. Josefina sat up in her bed as Antonio handed her one of her shoes. Josefina looked inside and saw a wooden goat among her treats. It's the morning of January 6th, the Festival of the Three Kings. Josefina says the kings were very generous as she nibbled on one of her treats. Antonio sighs and Josefina notices his shoe was already nearly empty. He says his shoes were too small and Juan reminds him to be quiet. Josefina's sisters were still asleep, and everyone knew Francisca got grouchy if woken up too early.

Juan tells Antonio he got plenty of sweets, he just ate them too fast. Antonio hung his head and Josefina felt sorry for him. She remembered very well how it felt to be the youngest and put out her shoes for the first time. She was so excited that despite having the smallest shoes, she gobbled up all her sweets right away, instead of saving them like her older sisters. All of that had changed though, and now Josefina was the oldest child in the family to still put out her shoes. She tells Antonio that he could have some of her treats as she needed both her shoes to get to the stream. Antonio thanks her as he pops one of her treats in his mouth. He hopped around the room on one foot as Josefina made her bed. She tells the boys quietly to get dressed as they had a lot to prepare for the fiesta tonight. Clara was awake by now and she opened the door. A blast of cold air blew into the room and Francisca covers her head with her blanket. Clara comments it snowed last night and if it started again, there may not be a fiesta. The two boys stop in their places and ask if there wasn't going to be a fiesta after all. Josefina knew by now not to let Clara's unhappy predictions discourage her, so she assured the boys that the sky would be blue when the sun came out. She shoos the boys back to the room they shared with their parents, then got dressed and headed for the stream.

Josefina enjoyed going to the stream to get water for the house, even on winterly days, because each day was different. For example, today she was walking on a fresh layer of snow and the rocks in the stream were capped with snow. Josefina collected the water and as she walked back, she thought about the fiesta. She thought about the treats they would have, and her feet moved faster at the thought of them. Papá meets her halfway up the path and jokes that he thought Josefina was a sparrow because she was moving so fast. Josefina explains she was excited for the fiesta. Papá mentions that Tía Dolores told him Josefina was going to play the piano during the party, and adds that she said Josefina had a gift for music. Josefina blushed as she said Tía Dolores was very kind and Papá agrees with her. They walk a few steps together when Papá recalls how Josefina used to be too shy to perform at a fiesta. Josefina admits she was worried about it and she probably couldn't do it at all if Tía Dolores wasn't teaching her the waltz. She hoped that the guests would be too busy dancing to notice her mistakes, and she hoped Tía Dolores would be dancing so she could pretend she was playing only for her. Papá tells Josefina he would ask Tía Dolores to dance with him so Josefina wouldn't worry, and she thanks him.

When the two arrive at the house, they notice that everyone was up and beginning the day's work. Josefina notices Juan and Antonio sweeping the snow into the air and watching it fall down instead of sweeping it away. Papá grins and says they probably should stop them, but Josefina still wanted to see the swirling snow. Tía Dolores asks them not to as she walked out from the kitchen with an armful of twigs for the outdoor oven. She explains that Ana sent them out so they would stop asking for cookies in the kitchen. Papá laughed and Josefina's heart lifted at the sound. She recalled how when Mamá died, he hardly laughed or smiled. Everyone at the rancho was sad until Tía Dolores arrived at the ranch. As Tía Dolores laughed along with Papá, Josefina thought of all the changes Tía Dolores brought to the ranch and how she helped their family be happy again. Tía Dolores then briskly tells Josefina to bring the water into the kitchen and Josefina complies.

Changes for Josefina 1

Josefina and her sisters work in the kitchen.

Everyone was working in the kitchen and after Josefina gave Ana the water, she helped Francisca with the bread dough. Clara was kneeling nearby, brushing the corn into the flour, and Josefina tells her there wasn't a single snow cloud in the sky. Clara shrugs and says there weren't any clouds yet. She then surprises Josefina by smiling and explains that she didn't want to be discouraging. She just thought it was foolish to get her hopes up like the way Josefina did, as she was bound to get disappointed that way. Josefina states that her hopes kept on going up weather she wanted them to or not, and Francisca jokes it was like the bread dough. Tía Dolores states that hope is a blessing and Ana agrees, saying it was good to keep trying and never give up. Juan and Antonio then stuck their heads through the door and asked for the twenty-first time if they could have a cookie. Josefina asks Ana what she just said about never giving up and everyone in the kitchen laughs.

Changes for Josefina 2

Josefina successfully puts the bread loaves into the horno.

After morning prayers and breakfast, Josefina and Tía Dolores carried out the bread dough to the outdoor oven. When Tía Dolores put the sheep's wool on a wooden paddle to check if the horno was hot enough, Josefina asks if she could do it. She takes control of the paddle and after the wool turned light brown, indicating the temperature was right, she put in the loaves. Tía Dolores compliments her work and Josefina boasts she could take them out at the right time. Tía Dolores comments that Josefina didn't need her help with the bread anymore, but she could help her practice the music for tonight. As the two head to the piano in the gran sala, Josefina says that while she practiced the waltz, Tía Dolores could practice the dance to it. Tía Dolores laughs as she says she would sit next to Josefina while she played. Josefina stopped and looked at her aunt. She tells her very seriously how Papá wanted to dance the waltz with her and says that she wouldn't want to disappoint him. Tía Dolores puts her arm around Josefina's shoulder and replies as seriously that she would never want to disappoint Josefina's Papá.

The night sky was peaceful by the time the fiesta begun, and the party went on as planned. Josefina and Clara were still young to join the dancing, but they were allowed to sit on the floor and watch. The two watched their family and their friends dance across the room until Clara nudged Josefina and told her it was time for her waltz. Josefina stands up and starts to smooth out her outfit, but Clara assures her she looked fine. Clara walks along with Josefina through the crowd and to the piano, where Francisca and Ana were waiting. They all smiled encouraging as Josefina took a seat. Josefina had never played music in front of a large group of people before, and she was nervous. but out of the corner of her eye, she saw Papá asking Tía Dolores to dance. They begun to dance as Josefina begun to play. Josefina always liked the rhythm of the waltz and the music sounded even more graceful as she played. She never took her eyes off of Papá and Tía Dolores. As they danced together, Josefina thinks that they belong together and feels sure that they love each other. Her sisters were watching Papá and Tía Dolores as well, and Josefina knew they were thinking the same thing she was. She also knew that just like she was, they were wishing the dance would never end.

Chapter Two: Sleet[]

The bad weather Clara predicted came the next day. Tía Dolores and the sisters were sweeping up the gran sala so the room could be closed until the next fiesta. Even though the day was dreary, Josefina only had to close her eyes to imagine last night's fiesta. Papá came into the room with the servants to carry out to e furniture and the piano. Josefina sighs that it was a lovely fiesta as she eyed the piano. Clara comments that she used to think fiestas were hardly worthwhile due to all the work it required, but last night's fiesta was worth it. Francisca adds that fiestas were even more fun when they were old enough to dance. Ana says she sued to be overwhelmed by the fiesta's preparation, but Tía Dolores helped it become more of a joy. Tía Dolores tells all the girls that they did a wonderful job, and she was proud of them. Josefina notes her face looked pale, as if she didn't sleep well last night. Papá adds that due to all their hard work, the fiesta would be remembered fondly. The girls thanked the two, pleased with the praise from both Papá and Tía Dolores.

They all went back to work, except for Tía Dolores. She asks if they remembered that when she first came to the rancho, she aid that she would stay as long as they needed her. The sisters stopped and looked at her as she went on to say that all the girls had learnt their household tasks very well. That's why she wrote to her parents and asked them to take her back to Santa Fe. The room was stunned still and Josefina felt a chill on her spine. She bursts that this was her home and asks if the was happy with them. Tía Dolores says she was happy here. She then squared her shoulders and says firmly, as if she made up her mind after a personal struggle, that it was time for her to leave. Josefina turned to Papá and saw that he was as shocked as she felt. Josefina was sure he would say something to Tía Dolores, but he only bowed his head for a moment. His face was composed and grave and when looked up, and he left the room without a word. Tía Dolores watched him leave, then picked up her broom and went back to work. But the sisters stared after him, as if he had the answer to the question that was desperately important to them all.

Josefina felt angry with herself. She had bragged about how she could make bread and showed off her piano skills, making Tía Dolores feel not needed. Josefina walked over to the goat pen to see Sombrita, the weather still very cold. As Sombrita chewed the fringe of her serape, she tells the goat she knew how to make things better, and she would start tomorrow. Josefina's sisters seemed to have gotten the same idea as the next day, all four of them kept on making mistakes and Francisca and Clara bickered with each other. That evening, the sisters and Tía Dolores sat in front of the fire in the family asla. Josefina noticed Papá's violin lying neglected on top of the piano. Josefina recalled how she and her sisters got that violin, and she sighs as she thinks that Papá would have no pleasure playing it if Tía Dolores left.

No one said anything until Clara dropped her ball of yearn. She and Ana leaned in to pick it up, and ended up knocking heads. Ana pulled up so quickly that she bumped into Francisca's elbow, causing her to prick herself and shriek, startling Josefina and messing up her writing. Tía Dolores shakes her head as she told the girls she knew what they were trying to do and it wasn't going to work, so they better stop before they start setting their skirt on fire. She laughs and the sisters join in. Clara tells Tía Dolores that they did need her, and Josefina felt glad that Clara was so straightforward sometimes. Francisca agrees, elaborating they didn't need her as a teacher, but as part of the family. Ana says she made everything better since Mamá died and Josefina says they needed her because they love her. Tía Dolores tells the girls that she did love them, but they and Papá have come a long way toward healing from the sorrow of their Mamá's death. She felt it was time for Papá to marry again and if she stayed, she would only get in the way. Josefina starts to tell her that Papá loved her, but Ana squeezed her arm before she could say anything. Children did not say such things to adults. Returning to her usual briskness, Tía Dolores says that if she was going to start a new life for herself in Santa Fe, the sooner the better. The sisters couldn't look at each other or their Aunt. There was nothing more they could say to her.

Josefina, Francisca, and Clara had a lot to say to each other when they were in their sleeping sala. Josefina suggests that the cold sleety weather would stop Tía Dolores's letter from arriving in Santa Fe and thus their grandparents wouldn't come. Clara says that was a silly thought as Tía Dolores wanted to go and sooner or later, she would leave. Josefina says that she didn't think it was that simple and that Tía Dolores didn't want to go. She loved them, and Josefina suggested that she loved Papá, too. Papá loved her back, but she didn't know it. Francisca agrees as she sighs dramatically, commenting it must be terrible to love someone without knowing they loved her in return. Clara tells them that Tía Dolores wasn't that foolish, but Josefina felt certain Tía Dolores would stay if Papá asked her to marry him. Josefina admits she hoped Papá would do that for a long time now, and Clara points out that they would be a sensible and practical match. She adds that if they wanted to marry, they shouldn't waste anymore time about it as they weren't getting younger and planting season was coming up. Francisca asks how Clara could be so matter-of-fact and reminds her o the courtships steps they'd have to go through, mainly asking their grandparents for her hand. Francisca starts to gush about the engagement fiesta when Clara reminds them there was nothing they could do about Papá and Tía Dolores. Josefina said there had to be something they could do, but Clara reminds her that children weren't involved in such manner and it would be improper for them to talk to the two. Clara was right, but Josefina refused to give up. After some thought, Josefina suggests they could talk to Tía Magdalena and ask her to talk to Papá. Clara asks when they could see her and Josefina felt certain that she would come up to see their grandparents when they arrived. Josefina states that now she was happy their grandparents were coming as it would make it all happen faster. Francisca and Clara start to laugh. When asked what was funny, they explain that Josefina found the light in the dark every time. Josefina didn't mind her sister's teasing; she could tell that they were now eager for their grandparents to arrive.

A few days later, Abuelito and Abuelita arrived from Santa Fe. Just as Josefina expected, Tía Magdalena came up from the village to see them on the very first afternoon they arrived. before, during, and after dinner, Josefina waited for a chance to talk to her, but she was constantly surrounded. Josefina knew it wasn't polite of her to pull an adult aside for a private conversation and she'd have to wait, but it was hard as she was bubbling with excitement. Juan and Antonio were also excited to see their great-grandparents, and they ended up dancing around the family sala until Abuelita had them sit next to her. She tells Ana they were the finest boy sin all of New Mexico and the should they should be educated by the priests in Santa Fe. Abuelito agrees, adding that the boys need to be educated if they wanted to keep up with the changes around them. Abuelita says that not all the changes were good, as so many Americano traders were coming to New Mexico. She feared they would lose their precious beliefs if they didn't teach their children all they could. Abuelito reminds her that not all Americanos were so bad and Papá agrees, mentioning that Patrick O'Toole was an honest man. He mentions he would continue to trade to Americanos with his help, and he looked forward to seeing him when he passes by on his way home to Missouri. Abuelito leans forward as he announces that he was incited to join O'Toole's wagon train to Missouri, and he decided to go. everyone gasped, and Abuelito kept on explaining the route, happily adding he wasn't such an old man after all. Josefina tried to imagine Abuelito's trip when he said something that stopped her heart. Abuelito thanked Tía Dolores for if she didn't know she wanted to go back home, he wouldn't have accepted the invitation. He didn't want his to leave his wife alone for months. Josefina thought that this was terrible, but it only got worse. Abuelita thanks Tía Dolores as well, saying how they waited for a long time for her to return, and how much of a comfort it was to know she would take care of them in their old age. Tía Dolores softly says she was glad to be needed. Josefina, Clara, and Francisca exchanged agonized looks. How could Papá ask Tía Dolores to marry him now?

Changes for Josefina 3

Josefina discusses her problem with Tía Magdalena.

Unable to hear anymore, Josefina quietly slipped out of the family sala and ran to the sleeping sala. She sat on the floor alone for a few minutes until Tía Magdalena walked into the room. Josefina stood up and Tía Magdalena motioned to Josefina to sit with her on the bench. She states she had the feeling Josefina wanted to ask her something that afternoon. Josefina says that she did, but he didn't need to anymore. Tía Magdalena still stayed with Josefina, mentioning she invited Tía Dolores to stay with her a few days before she left. She was fond of her and it would be a while before they say each other again. She adds they would all miss Dolores when she leaves, and Josefina bursts out that it would be terrible if she left. Things would be the way it was before, everyone would be heartsick with sorrow. Josefina tells Tía Magdalena about her original plan involving her but with Abuelito's announcement, Tía Dolores would have to go, and there was nothing anyone could do. Tía Magdalena admits that Curanderas don't have medicine for such troubles. Josefina sighs and looks out the one narrow window in the sleeping sala. She sees a single start and Josefina says that with all her heart, she wanted Tía Dolores to stay. Tía Magdalena puts something into Josefina's plam. Josefina looked at it and saw that it was a milagro. Tía Magdalena says she wanted Josefina to keep the milagro as it would remind her to pray for her family's happiness an for her sorrow to heal. She adds that it may help her not to lose hope in her heart's desire. Josefina thanks her and whenn she gives the milagro a closer look, she sees it was in the shape of a heart.

Chapter Three: Josefina's Plan[]

The next day Tía Dolores left the rancho to stay with Tía Magdalena in the village. It was a bleak day, and everything felt like it was iced over. The chores ran smoothly and Josefina played the right notes on the piano, but there didn't seem to be much point in anything at all. Josefina thinks sadly that this is what life would be like forever if Tía Dolores left. Josefina had hung her milagro around her neck, and she was grateful for it's comfort. It kept on reminding her that maybe there was still hope, and that she could think of a way to keep Tía Dolores here.

Changes for Josefina 4

Josefina and Abuelita play with Juan and Antonio.

But the next day, Josefina didn't have any ideas, and felt as dull as the weather. Everyone at the ranch seemed unhappy except for Abuelito and Abuelita. Abuelito talked to Ana's husband Tomás about the new irrigation system he and Papá used on their fields. Abuelito comments to Abuelita that Tomás was a wise man who wasn't afraid to change. He mentions he did a good job managing the rancho last summer when the family went to Santa Fe, and he wished he had a manager who'd do as well for him while he was away. Josefina and Abuelita were in the family sala playing with Juan and Antonio. Abuelita tells her husband that cleverness ran in the family. She mentions how well Ana ran the household, and she never knew two brighter boys than Juan and Antonio. She hugs the boys and sighs sadly. She says she would miss them, wishing she could see them grow and change. Josefina was suddenly hit with an idea. She thought about it all day before sharing her idea with her sisters at bedtime. They doubted her plan, but she insisted that they try. The next morning, the three of them presented their plan to Ana, who then discussed the idea with her husband. Then all of the four sisters went to see Papá in the family sala.

He was staring into the fire, the ledger book Tía Dolores gave him lying in front of him, when the sisters entered the room. Once she was given permission, Ana asks if it would be possible for her, her husband, and her sons to go to Santa Fe with their grandparents. Papá looked at the fire again as Ana explained how her husband could manage Abuelito's ranch while he was away, she could help Abuelita and keep her company, and her sons could get an education. When Papá asks if this was Ana's plan, Clara says that it was Josefina's idea. Papá crossed his arms and looked at Josefina before asking Ana if this is what she and Tomás wanted. Ana says yes, as although it would be sad to leave, it would be a step forward for Tomás and their little family. It would also be a good thing for their grandparents, and even for Papá and her sisters. Josefina finishes Ana's sentence by explaining that Tía Dolores would stay here if Ana went in her place. Papá's face softened and he spoke gently, saying that the idea would be a wonderful thing for almost everyone. but the problem was that Tía Dolores said she wanted to go to Santa Fe and if Ana went instead of her, she would be needed at the rancho to help run the house. To him it seemed all her life Dolores had to go where she was needed instead of going to where she wanted to go. Josefina blurts out that they believed she didn't really want to go to Santa Fe, she only thinks she should. She adds that Papá could convince her to stay, secretly meaning he should ask her to marry him. Papá smiles as he comments that Josefina had a lot of faith in his ability to change Dolores's mind. Ana asks Papá to consider the idea and suggests getting their Grandparent's opinion on it. Papá promises the girls he would consider it. The girls thank him and quickly leave the room.

Clara thought that it didn't go well and Ana notes he said he'd at least think about the idea. Francisca pints out he would have to do more than that; Tía Dolores wouldn't stay behind unless Papá asked her hand in marriage. Clara says he would have to do it soon as their Aunt would come back from Tía Magdalena's house anytime now and as soon as she returned, she would leave for Santa Fe. Francisca hopes that Papá would ask Tía Dolores to marry him, and Josefina says she knew he would Josefina's sisters couldn't help but smile, and Ana gently warns Josefina not to set her heart on it. Josefina cheerfully says it was too late as she patted her milagro. Her heart was set on it for a long, long time already.

That evening, as the girls worked around the fire, the sisters noticed Papá giving a piece of paper to Abuelito, asking him to read it. As soon as the two left the room, Josefina joyfully says that Papá just asked for Tía Dolores's hand in marriage. Clara says it wasn't, he was just proposing their idea. there was no way to know who was right, but Josefina felt sure that she was, especially when they saw their grandparents head off to the village next morning. Josefina hugs Clara in excitement, saying they were going to Tía Dolores to see if she accepted the marriage proposal. Clara says they were only g going to talk about how she felt about Ana going to Santa Fe. If she still wanted to go to Santa Fe, then Ana and her family wouldn't go. The day was blustery and the sky was filled with ghostly clouds full with snow waiting to fall. The sisters were waiting all day as well, waiting for their grandparents to return. Josefina came up with many excuses to go out and check to road to see if they were coming. As the girls prepared to midday meal, Josefina fusses why it was taking so long when all Tía Dolores had to do was say yes or no. Clara says that would only be the case if they were talking about the marriage proposal, which they weren't. Ana tried to sooth things over, explaining that their grandparents could be meeting up with friends in the town. Josefina states that she was going to run to the village herself and find out what was going on if she had to wait another minute. Clara reminds Josefina that this was none of their business as children are not involved in such things, but Francisca and Josefina only grinned. They knew that Clara was just as curious as they were, she just liked to hide it.

Their grandparents didn't return until the afternoon, just in time for evening prayers. After the prayers, as they all walked out in the courtyard, Abuelito tells Papá that Dolores surprised them. The sisters held their breath, listening intently to his words. He goes on to say that they discussed the idea of Ana going to Santa Fe instead of her, and Clara shot Josefina a look. Josefina's hear sank as she felt bitterly disappointed with Papá. Her disappointment turned to horror and disbelief when Abuelito says that Dolores felt that the girls were capable of running the household without her help or Ana's. She said it was her time to leave and she was going to Santa Fe, regardless of what Ana and her husband do. Abuelito says they would begin packing tomorrow and leave the day after. Papá only says "Very well," in a low, even voice. Josefina felt like shouting no; her plan was going horribly wrong. Not only would Tía Dolores still leave, but Ana would be going as well. How did her plan turn out so badly? Josefina yanked off her milagro, flung it on the ground, and walked away.

Chapter Four: Heart and Hope[]

When Mamá died, Josefina thought the world would stop. It seemed wrong to carry on with daily chores, as if nothing had changed. But other time, she learnt that work was a great comfort in hard times as she could do tasks that had to do with her hands, not her heart. Josefina felt that way the next morning as she went to fetch the water. She was glad it was freezing on the way to the stream, she was glad that the water jar was heavy, and she was glad that her heart was pounding from the hard work instead of withering from sadness. When Mamá died, Josefina thought that she could never feel that sad again, but now she knew she was wrong.

Changes for Josefina 5

Josefina tells her Papá that Tía Dolores loves him.

Papá met Josefina halfway up the hill but this time, the two walked home silently. As they almost reached the ranch, Papá stoppepd and pulled out something from his pocket. He asks Josefina if it was hers, saying he found it in the courtyard last night. Josefina put down the water jar and saw that Papá was holding her heart milagro. Josefina says it was hers, but she didn't want it anymore. Papá wiped the mud off the milagro as she said there was nothing harder than giving someone a heart she didn't want, and he asks her why she didn't want it. Josefina explains how Tía Magdalena gave it to her to help her not to lose hope in her heart's desire. The very first ray of sunshine peaked over the mountain tops and Papá tilted his hand so the milagro shone in the sun for a moment. Papá tries to comfort Josefina by telling her he knew what she was thinking with her plan. She wanted him to ask Tía Dolores to stay as his wife so it would make her happy. Papá adds that it would have made him happy too. Josefina looked at her Papá with questioning, but he kept on looking at the mountains. He says that the simple truth is that they couldn't always have what they hoped for in life and if Tía Dolores wanted to leave, they shouldn't stop her. He explains that when they love someone, they must put her heart's desire before their own, thus they must let her go if she wants to go. Papá turns to Josefina as he asked if she understood, adding that they wanted Dolores to be happy. Josefina tells Papá how Tía Dolores didn't want to leave, but felt she should for his own happiness. Josefina gathered up all her courage and hope and told the truth straight out, that Tía Dolores loved him. That's why she couldn't stay, because she thinks he doesn't love her in return. Papá shook his head and looked away, and Josefina thinks that it was no use. She puts the water jar back on her head and heads back home. Papá calls after her, asking if she wanted her milagro. Josefina turned and said no, saying it belonged to him now.

Josefina didn't see Papá again until the midday meal, where he told her that Abuelito and Abuelita were going to the village that afternoon to pick up Tía Dolores. He asks her to go along and help them and Josefina agrees, despite dreading it more than anything. She didn't want to help Tía Dolores begin to leave them. As the three set off for the village, the winter sun did little to warn the air. As a cold wind blew into their faces, Josefina pulled her hat down to cover her face and Abuelito shivers. He asks Josefina to put the paper he was holding into her pouch and carry it for him. As Josefina put the letter away, Abuelito rubbed his hands together for warmth and commented he couldn't wait to get to Tía Magdalena's fire.

Changes for Josefina 6

Tía Dolores accepts Papá's proposal.

Everyone was happy to arrive at Tía Magdalena's house, and they accepted her invitation for a cup of tea. As they settled down, Abuelito asks Josefina to give him the paper, which he hands to Tía Dolores. As she unfolded the letter, something fell into her lap. She help up the item and asked what it was. Josefina gasps when she saw it was the heart milagro, and she suddenly realized that the letter was a proposal from Papá. She exclaims that it was Papá's heart, and he was giving it to Tía Dolores. She asks her to read the rest of the letter and she does, her eyes growing wide. Everyone sat perfectly still as she read the letter. When she finished, she looked at her parents with a face lit with pure happiness. She explains in a slightly trembling voice that Josefina's Papá asked for her hand in marriage, and she wanted them to tell him she said yes. Abuelito promises that they would. Josefina jumped up and threw her arms around Tía Dolores's neck. She could feel her happy tars on her own cheek.

On the day of Papá's and Tía Dolores's wedding, the sun shone brightly on the snow, and Josefina could smell a hint of spring on her way to the stream. When she walked back home, both Papá and Tía Dolores were waiting for Josefina halfway along the path. Papá tells Josefina he and Tía Dolores wanted her to do something. Tía Dolores puts the heart milagro in Josefina's hand, saying it was rightfully hers as she never gave up her heart's desire. Papá asks if she would keep it safe for them, and Josefina promises to. She remembered her promise later on, and she held the milagro in her hand as she stood outside the church. It was after the wedding ceremony, and she was surrounded by the family and friends, the people she loved most dearly. Everyone in her family was here, and she was sure Mamá was here too, in everyone's thoughts. Everyone cheered happily for the new couple, the musicians started to play, and the church bell rang out. Josefina saw the birds flying in the sky and knew just how the birds felt, her heart rising up with them in the endless blue sky.

Looking Back: Changes in 1824[]

Discusses changes for New Mexico. Topics include:

  • The allowance of Americans in the area through the Santa Fe Trail.
  • The many goods Americans brought to the area.
  • The change in clothing styles for women from the loose Mexican dress to the more restrictive American fashions.
  • American disparagement of New Mexican lifestyles, but continued interest in the area
  • American entitlement in moving west, the Mexican-American war, and New Mexico allowing American rule.
  • The eventual American acquisition of much of Mexican lands including what is now New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and other states.
  • The changes American rule brought to the region, conflict in cultures, and what happened to Native people in the area
  • New Mexico's petition for statehood, the prejudice against the Spanish and Mexican people of the area, and the eventual statehood of New Mexico and Arizona.
  • The continued celebration of the multicultural heritage of the region.

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