An Excerpt from my upcoming book, Strains of Glory – A Maine Country Scrapbook
By Flora Jackson Sawyer
Stella entered our lives abruptly that day. My father grabbed her suitcase, but she clung
tenaciously to her art valise.
“Do you need help?” He had said.
“Do I look like an invalid?
There was no love lost between these two.
Estelle B. Reynolds was my mother’s youngest sister. Married five times, and a graduate of the Portland Museum of Art, she was now pursuing a vision of living in the country and raising Angora Rabbits as a hobby/vocation. The Angora Rabbit hair, she said, would bring good prices. So now, here she was. Divested of her fancy clothes and makeup, and looking more like a farmer in her red bandanna, Jeans and flannel shirt, than Farmer Brown himself. Oh it came on gradually. Back in Yarmouth she had taken up the hammer and saw and built herself a neat little art studio. But with that the money was going out, not coming in. So now she needed a means of income, as well as a place to live.
We kids – all seven of us – loved “Aunt Stella”. After all she concocted some pretty interesting dishes which our black iron wood stove had never seen. She was a rather welcome diversion to our mundane life. But life became a challenge for my mother. A challenge she didn’t need. Already contending with a difficult home situation, Mama now became a regular referee between my father and Stella. Yet all this proved to be a testing ground, and the end result brought us all into a closer walk with God.