“It was sunny, and I remembered another time when a wagon had taken Mama away. It had been a day just like this day. And Mama had never come back.”
Anna, Caleb, and their father all miss their mother who died a few years earlier. Anna's father decides to place an ad in the paper, asking for a wife. Sarah Wheaton, from Maine, responds to the letter and decides to come. When she comes, she brings things from the sea, for the children. Sarah always talks about Maine and the sea.
Sarah fits in with the family right away. She learns how to do things on the farm and helps just like a mother would. Anna and Caleb are very happy and hope that she will stay forever. Sarah meets Maggie, a nearby neighbor, and they talk about how they miss their old lives. Maggie tells Sarah that there will always be something to miss, wherever you are.
Sarah drives the wagon into town. Caleb and Anna are worried, because they think she wants to go to town to leave them. They are relieved when she comes back. Sarah tells them she does miss her old home, but would miss them more. Sarah had gone into town to surprise the family, by getting pencils the colors of the sea.