We all look for role models. Sometimes we find them in a parent. Other times it's an uncle or an aunt. Jane DeForest Shelton, author of The Saltbox House, found her's in Marietta Smith, "Aunt Mary" for short.
Aunt Mary's mother, the beautiful and vivacious Glory-Anah Shelton, had been the talk of the town in her day. She'd made a good, if belated, match in merchant James Smith. Smith's connections brought Glory-Anah a stone house across the water in Derby and an imported China tea-set that was a nine-day wonder. A sick mother brought both the Smiths back to the old Saltbox house in the White Hills of Huntington and Glory-Anah never really wanted to move back. Her husband died and there she sat and aged with only her daughter, Marietta, to care for her. Marietta, or "Aunt Mary", had one chance to get out that came in the form or a certain Southern gentleman. The prospects for a happy marriage were strong, but when the young man returned home to make his fortune he fell ill and died. So Mary swore off marriage and stayed by her mother's side until Glory-Anah passed away leaving her daughter a sizable fortune. For the remainder of her life, Aunt Mary traveled staying at all the right places and meeting all the right people during the right seasons returning each year to the old house in Huntington. There it seems she often took the younger scions of the family under her wing. This was how Jane DeForest came to know her, the wise, feisty, and independent old lady who was always willing to lend an ear to someone who needed it. When Aunt Mary died, they buried her next to her mother in the grand cemetery in Derby. The family home, built by Daniel Shelton in the late 1600s fell into ruin. Nothing of it now remains.
In the Resurrection, they will be like the angels in Heaven: neither marrying nor being given in marriage