Eleanor Fuller

Eleanor Fuller

A bright spot in our lives during one of the times my father had gone away, was a person by the name of Eleanor Fuller. Miss Fuller taught school at Appleton High. Somehow, through their associations, Eleanor and my mother became very good friends. Eleanor would come to visit us occasionally, and sometimes take my mother places. She was jovial and fun to be around. She was short and a bit stocky, with dark curly hair, and had an infectious laugh. She loved to ask us riddles and play jokes on us. My sister, Annie, was not her fan because she made her “toe the mark” in preparation for basketball games, as she was also the coach of the girl’s team. But Annie was happy when they went on to become an undefeated team that year. Personally, I fairly worshipped her as she rescued me from failing my eighth grade finals in math that year. I had lost a lot of time from school because of bellyaches and she kindly and cheerfully helped me to get through the last half of my arithmetic book.

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The Choir Robes

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from my upcoming book, Strains of Glory – A Maine Country Scrapbook, written by my sister, Jean.

The Choir Robes

By Jean Jackson Adolphsen

Seems Mama was at it again. She had been snipping and measuring, finishing and rebuilding most of our clothes for Easter Sunday for weeks. Now there was a pile of white broadcloth on the Dining Room table and Mom was measuring again. She had basted one article together and she enlisted me as I dashed by to try it on. She slipped it quickly over my head and arms, then over my back. The choir robe came almost down to my feet! But, she said it would fit well on some of the older girls. For an instant, my 10-year-old independent, tomboy self felt like an angel. And for once, I didn’t complain, but I couldn’t help but wonder how our new Easter clothes were going to show.

The snowy white long-sleeved robes added charm and modesty to our church choir for years after.

Stella

An Excerpt from my upcoming book, Strains of Glory – A Maine Country Scrapbook

“Stella”
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.

Alive Again!

By Flora Jackson Sawyer

Friday of Easter weekend, 1966, I was rushed to the hospital!
Sunday I awoke to a new world.
As I lay on my hospital bed for the next two weeks my heart was filled with a hallowed mixture of fear and joy. I was traumatically aware that God could at any moment take my life, yet filled with wonder that He had just given it back to me. I count every moment precious since that day so long ago …
Both of my children – three-year-old Debbie, with her dark wavy hair and attention-getting big blue eyes – and little light-blond Danny – barely six months, not yet weaned – were sick with fevers and sore throats. The doctor, seeing that I also had a red throat and knowing that I was at risk of recurring Rheumatic Fever, prescribed Penicillin for all of us. That evening, after giving the children their medicine, I took a pill myself. Immediately, my throat began to burn. I ran toward the phone to call the doctor but lost consciousness and fell to the floor. Unable to contact the doctor, my husband, Carl, called the druggist, then ran next door to his sister, Ercell’s, home. Her husband, Donald, was a fireman and accustomed to such emergencies. Little Debbie ran to our sofa, and knelt, praying for Jesus to help her Mama. Soon I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital swelled beyond recognition and turning black and blue.
By God’s direction, the doctor, a friend of the family, who had prescribed the medicine, met us at the emergency room entrance. He had called together every available doctor in that small local hospital. This was the first occurrence of Anaphylactic shock due to Penicillin at that facility. By now my heart had stopped and I had been without oxygen beyond the point where brain damage begins. Just outside the ER, a well-meaning doctor had told Carl I probably would not survive the night and if I did, I would “… be nothing but a vegetable.” Beside himself with worry, he fell to his knees right there on the steps begging God to spare my life. By then my family and church family were also praying.
Trying everything they could think of, every doctor except Dr.______, who had prescribed the Penicilllin, gave up on me. He made one last try. He quickly filled a large needle with a solution of Adrenalin-Solucortef, Benadryl and Regitin. Thrusting it directly through my chest into my heart, in seconds, that seemed like an eternity, his stethoscope recorded a faint heartbeat. Gradually, I was breathing normally. I was out of the dark!! but was I?
For the next 38 hours, I lay on my bed in a semi-coma. I simply stared at the ceiling, unresponsive to efforts by my husband and doctors and nurses to arouse me with lively talk, and photos of my children. At last, as a doctor spoke my name and asked me what I perceived to be a silly question, I suddenly awoke and answered him with a joke. Doctors and nurses were surrounding my bed. They, too, were smiling. I knew without being told that life had left me and I was ALIVE AGAIN!
I’ll never forget that beautiful Easter morning. I saw everything as though I were seeing it for the first time. The verdant growth and the nodding yellow Jonquils I could see from my hospital window put me in mind of the God who had given life back to me just as He had to them after the dead of winter. I had a new appreciation of Easter. A better understanding of the Eternal Life of which my recent physical experience was only a metaphor. This Eternal Life has been made possible through Jesus Christ’s Death and Resurrection. He shed His Blood and died on the Cross to pay for our sin, then rose from the grave in victory to give us newness of life. Exciting as it is to have one’s physical life restored, it is far more wonderful to be saved from sin and to know that I have Eternal Life, and will live with Him forever. I had received that Eternal Life many years before when I confessed my sin to God and acknowledged my need of a Savior.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said:
“I am the Resurrection and the life: He that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall He live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” John 11:26 KJV

My 11- year-old Granddaughter’s latest Mystery …

Mystery of the Blinking Light

By Carleigh Sawyer

Charlotte Overly is a ten year old detective, who wants to help her grandfather, whose house has been robbed.
Charlotte Overly’s green eyes sparkled with excitement as she pulled back her short blond hair into a ponytail. She and Timothy were going to see if they could find any clues to the robbery of her grandfather’s house.
Her grandfather’s house had been robbed a week ago. Charlotte had been with her father in New Jersey. By the time they came back they heard the news that Mr. Overly’s house had been robbed. They went to the site and that’s were Charlotte met Timothy. He had black hair, brown eyes, and was about four and a half feet tall. He was the top spy’s son and they were friends once they heard they both liked mysteries.
Charlotte hopped onto her blue bike and rode to her grampa’s house, a beautiful white mansion.
“Hi,Charlotte” Timothy said as she rode around the bend.
“Hi Tim” she said when she got to where Timothy was standing. “Find any clues yet?” “Nope,” said Timothy as he did a backflip.
“Then keep looking.” Demanded Charlotte.
As they were searching for clues they suddenly fell through an old mine shaft!
“Ahhhh!” They yelled as they fell to the bottom of the mine shaft. “Ouch!” They shouted as they landed.
As they looked around they saw a tunnel, so they went inside in hope of finding a way out of the dark pit.
“Ah!” Timothy shouted. A spider!”
“Oh don’t be such a baby.” Charlotte laughed. “A snake!” Charlotte screamed.
“ Now Who’s the baby?” Timothy chuckled.
“Well snakes are bigger.” Charlotte spat back.
“You’re right, let’s get out of here!” Timothy said.
As they went farther down the tunnel Charlotte thought she saw a light.
“Did you see that Timmy?” Charlotte asked.
“ Yeah it looks like a signal.” he answered.
As they walked nearer they saw people talking, but they couldn’t make out what they were saying.
“What are they saying?” asked Timothy.
“Shh,” Charlotte whispered. “We don’t want them to hear us!”
“Hey who’s that?” One of the thieves shouted. “Get them.”
“Run!” Shouted Timothy.
As they ran Charlotte cut her light brown skin on a safe.
“Ouch!” “I cut my arm on a safe!” Charlotte said puzzled.
“Ooh” said Timothy. “That looks bad.” “Well it looks like they stopped following us.” “I guess we can stop running and take a look around.”
When they looked inside the safe they found a thousand dollars, one big ruby, two emeralds, and a diamond.
“This is is the stuff that was stolen from Grampa’s house!” Charlotte said in excitement, she didn’t dare shout it because she was afraid the thieves would hear her.
“We’ve got to catch those thieves that just chased us.” They said in unison.
They went to set up a trap for the thieves. As they were setting up an old net they found near the safe, Timothy heard faint voices in the distance.
“Shh,” he whispered to Charlotte. “They’re coming.” “On the count of three.” “One, two, three.” “Yes!” “We got ’em!”
“Grrr,” one the men growled. “I can’t believe we got caught by some kids.
“ Charlotte, stay here and keep an eye on the thieves. Timothy said in excitement. “I thought I saw a staircase, I’ll get help.”
“O.K.” she replied.
Timothy then ran up the dark staircase, when he got to a trapdoor, he opened it and found he was in the kitchen.
“Dad! Mr. Overly!” Timothy shouted.
“What is it son?” Timothy’s father asked.
“Charlotte is with the thieves!” He said out of breath.
“Where is she we must save her! His father shouted.
“ No no.” Timothy sighed. “We captured them, she’s fine she’s keeping her eye on them.”
“Well were is she?” Mr. Overly asked in a surprised voice.
“Follow me” said Timothy.
“ Charlotte what were you thinking, I’ve been looking all over for you.” Her grandfather said.
“Timmy and I fell through an old mine shaft.” She said.”
“And we found a safe full of the money and jewels that were stolen from you.” Timothy added.
“ I’m proud of you son and you too Charlotte just solved a very important case.” Timothy’s father said.
“When they got out of the dark tunnel
Mr. Overly said. “Oh my goodness!” “ It’s my butler Mr. Brown and his son Robert!” We could’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those darn kids.” They mumbled. “Charlotte, Timothy because of this good deed you have done I now pronounce you real detectives.” Timothy’s father said.
“I have a question.” Said Timothy. “What was that blinking light?”
“That was me.” said Robert.”It’s dark down there.”

An excerpt from “Just for Kids” a pseudo diary based on actual events taken from my upcoming book, Strains of Glory A Maine Country Scrapbook)

Mrs. Ward is going to be so upset with me this morning, Diary, for getting further behind in arithmetic. But oh how I hate arithmetic. I keep putting off trying to catch up. I’m so glad Miss Fuller is a friend of my mother’s and is willing to help with it because I’ve really missed a lot but by staying out of school with stomachaches and I’m so far behind and it’s almost time for achievement tests. If I don’t pass, I won’t be able to go into high school next fall.
I like Miss Fuller. She’s so nice. She always has a little treat or a trick to play on us. I love to hear her laugh. She laughs a lot. It’s a nice little chuckle in her throat. It makes me happy. Annie doesn’t like her because she gets after her about missing school when she isn’t sick. But I wish she were my teacher. Why do things have to be that way? It’s always what you don’t want that’s what you get and the other person gets what you want.
Mrs. Ward is a good teacher, though. She’s pretty strict, but she lets me help the little kids with their reading, and if anyone needs help with spelling, tells them to ask me. The last spelling bee was pretty close between me and Marilyn. I was ashamed that she won because she’s two years younger than me. It’s hard when your standing alone on one side of the school room and everyone is watching and waiting for you to spell the word correctly. I try to stay on the good side of Mrs. Ward because she can make you feel pretty ashamed sometimes if you’ve done something wrong. I heard her first name the other day. It’s Glendora. I’ve never heard that name and I thought it was so weird. I went around the schoolyard saying it over and over. Finally she heard me and told me I shouldn’t do that – I felt awful. But at least she wasn’t angry with me.

The Grackle

The Grackle

I saw a Grackle sitting
On the roof peak of the barn.
His tail was proudly flitting;
All challengers to warn.

The wind was roughly blowing
The day was cold and chill
But, bright was the sun, and glowing
On every distant hill.

The snow had lately fallen,
And trees with ice hung down
But the Grackle with his calling
Would not resign his crown.

For t’was April and the weather
Could not make him give up.
His mind was on the Heather
And the golden Buttercup.

It seemed he would not leave there;
Nor could I draw my eyes
From that cocky little Grackle
Who seemed so proud and wise.
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