The last time fans saw Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thornton on “When Calls the Heart,” there was still a chill in the air of Hope Valley, and everyone was still wearing overcoats. Only the newly-arrived telephone operator, Fiona Miller (Kayla Wallace) could feel a breeze through her skirts, due to her head-turning, above the ankle style from the big city.

Erin Krakow surely brought a breath of spring to millions of faithful “Hearties” on April 10, giving them the best news they could receive to start the season. As per Yahoo! and other sources, including the Hallmark Channel, the return for Season 6 is set, and it is only weeks away.

The beautiful brunette star could not have looked lovelier as the bearer of the beautiful news, and the network has another surprise in store, too.

Beautiful and super bright

Waving and brandishing her beautiful smile, Erin Krakow smiled and introduced herself, both as herself and as her character on “When Calls the Heart.” Wearing a vibrant yellow halter dress that seemed to capture its color directly from the sun, the actress was brighter than a bouquet of daisies.

She wasted no time in letting fans know that Season 6 of “When Calls the Heart” will be back on the air on Sunday, May 5. She and everyone involved with the series wanted to “bring you something special” in return for the support and faithfulness of fans who keep Sunday nights as “appointment TV,” even in this era of viewing on demand.

A bonus second episode will air Monday, May 6, before starting the usual Sunday episodes on May 12 at 8 PM ET.

An added treat came in the form of an extended preview of the episode. The entire cast and crew on “When Calls the Heart” have surely had to be working at a breakneck pace during the “creative hiatus” Many fans had no choice but to let absence make their hearts grow fonder when already-completed episodes were polled on March 17.

It's rewarding to see the fruit of all the labor back on the small screen, especially with the early welcome of stellar ratings that greeted Season 6 and the new cast members.

Chris McNally made a wonderful impression on fans as the dashing new saloon owner, Lucas Bouchard, who stows away secrets like the cash in his trunk, but who likely doesn't have nearly as dark of a past as Sheriff Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) presumes.

When Calls the Heart” has given many newcomers a new start, so never disparage the possibility of new beginnings.

Kevin McGarry hits the ground running as new mountie, Nathan Grant. Even though fans have had to endure a delayed introduction to the new star, it's certain that he will find his own following of admirers.

The pause was necessitated by Lori Loughlin’s severed ties with the Hallmark Channel and most of her other professional ventures since the swell of her involvement with the college admissions scandal. Her worries now include added charges of money laundering in addition to wire fraud and mail fraud charges involved with the misrepresentations by Rick Singer. Singer was paid $500,000 in exchange for his "guaranteed assistance" in getting Loughlin's daughter's into USC.

Moving forward with hope

Executive producer Brian Bird expressed humble gratitude to fans for “sticking with us through this challenging time,” as reported by UPI on April 10. He continued to describe that “curveballs” come to everyone in life, and that “the only way to survive is to walk right through them with courage, grace, a forgiving spirit, and most of all, hope.”

Another tantalizing tidbit awaits fans this weekend. The Hallmark Channel posted the announcement of the Season 6 return, along with a reminder to tune into this coming Saturday’s (April 13) broadcast of “Bottled With Love” at 8 PM ET for another “BIG WCTH ANNOUNCEMENT.[sic]”

There have been speculations regarding recasting the role of Abigail Stanton, so the news could pertain to another new face on “When Calls the Heart.”

No matter what the news bulletin brings, “Hearties” will rejoice just to welcome Erin Krakow and all the hard-working cast back to Hope Valley for more uplifting stories of faith, love, and strength. There is even the possibility of more weddings and children. Anything is possible when a community stands together.