Family Reminders by Julie Danneberg
Mary McHugh, an only child, lives with her mother and father in a frontier town called Cripple Creek, Colorado. Many men in this community work as miners. She has a loving family and enjoys the simple life of being with her parents, friends and going to school.
While at school one day the sirens go off from the mines. Immediately Mary starts to worry about her father. Her teacher tries to keep the children busy until the school day is over. Still worried about her father, Mary runs home to find out if he is ok. Her mother tells her that her father was hurt and is in the hospital. He will be there for some time, but he will return home.
Mary's simple life is turned upside down. Her father does return home but has had to have one of his legs removed. He no longer sings or whistles in the house. He no longer wants to play the piano. He feels that he really can't do much of anything anymore.
Mary tries everything to bring a smile to her parents faces. Nothing works until she shows her father that the little wood carvings that he made for the family(Family Reminders) could be sold and bring income to the family. Her father finally feels useful and realizes that he could sing and play the piano again.