~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~
The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.
I am in search of my family.
I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.
I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.
~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~
Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.
Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.
"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."
~You live as long as you are remembered.~
"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown
"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."
Saturday, August 22, 2009
A Love Story II
My grandfather was a widower at the young age of 25. He had a small son with no mother. Almost two years after the death of his first wife, Edith, Lewis William Arrowood remarried. He met and fell in love with another beautiful young woman.
On May 14, 1927, in York, South Carolina, just over the line from North Carolina, he married my grandmother, Maude Rose Hull. York was where everyone went to get married. It was simple, fast and not expensive. Maude was about nineteen years old. She was the daughter of Eli Burton Hull and Vergie Dellinger Hull. Eli Burton and Vergie Hull are buried at Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Lincoln County, N.C. Eli Burton was the son of Elias Morgan Hull, born June 17, 1833, in Lincoln County, North Carolina and Margaret (Maggie) Pendleton, born on June 09, 1844. Elias Morgan and Margaret Pendleton Hull are also buried at Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Lincoln County, N.C. Maude’s grandfather Elias Morgan, died six days after her marriage to Lewis.
Virgie Dellinger was the daughter of David Alphonso Dellinger and Rachel Rosena Patterson Dellinger. They were both from Catawba County, North Carolina . I have the Hull lineage traced back another three generations back from Elias Morgan. The Dellinger side tracks back about seven more generations from David Alphonso, to Dillingen, Bayern, Germany. They were a prolific lot of people, evidently. Interesting, hardy folk.
The spot where I found the highest concentration of Hull family graves in NC is not very far from where I live, in Hull’s Grove. There, while going to the town well to get water (an everyday event), Vergie Dellinger saw Eli Burton sitting tall upon a horse. She “set her cap” for him and told a friend, “that was the man she was going to marry" , and marry him, she did.
Maude had long dark hair that hung in ringlets. Her hair was dark with very little gray when she died at the age of 74. She smelled of lilacs and roses because of the perfumed sachets she wore, that she kept on her dresser. The smell of her is as familar as my favorite pajama's and I treasure that memory. She was an extraordinary person and the grandma that every little girl dreams of. She was quite a character at times and moved the furniture in the living room, so we could turn cartwheels.
She loved to cook and feed people. You simply could not come into the house without eating something. She was not your typical cook, you never knew what it was going to be. It may have looked like a wonderful chocolate cake, but what ever flavoring she had, she used. So you simply braced yourself.
She had a large glass punch bowl set that my father gave her. Punch was served at ALL Christmas gatherings and there were maraschino cherries in the punch and lots of them. You could scoop all the cherries you wanted and grandma never said a word.
She loved parakeets and had several through the years. She occasionally would let the bird sit in the sun and sometimes the cage would get left open and the little bird would fly away. Not to worry. She would walk out into the yard and call that little bird and sure enough, it would come back to the lady that loved it. The bird would try to nest in her dark curls that she wound on the top of her head and she would laugh at his antics.
The smell of magnolias warming in the sun reminds me of my grandmother. She would float the blossoms in the kitchen sink and the aroma would fill the house. There was a huge magnolia tree in the yard, by the house.
The smell of chicken simmering and warm bread toasting takes me back to that magical kitchen. Once, I had someone tell me that my kitchen smelled just like grandma’s. What a wonderful compliment that was.
Cloves and cinnamon simmering on the stove, chicken dumplings bubbling, those sort of smells take me to my childhood days. Carefree days were spent at my grandparent’s house with lots of laughter and fun.
Grandma was always there to lend an ear. Always ready to give you her full attention and love. She made wonderful handmade gowns, “Maudie” gowns. Each had a signature ribbon of material tied in a bow on the front yoke. The smell of the new material stacked up, with the sunlight streaming in and warming it, is a smell I learned to love. The pedal sewing machine sat out on the porch, where it was cooler in the mornings, I suppose. I could sit under the machine and work the pedal for her, she would always let me even though it had to be a nuisance.
I find myself at that backdoor screened porch in my dreams from time to time. The smell of the material still heavy in my nose as I awake. I instantly wish to go back to sleep and make my way to that sunlit porch.
We would set up a table with chairs out under the walnut tree. She would bring out the linen table cloth and the finest finger food she had. Vienna sausages and saltine crackers. We would sample our fine fare and sip sweet tea from tiny jelly jars. ‘Stand-up’ weenies never tasted so good as under that tree. Somehow that tea turned into the finest wine, the jelly jars into lead crystal goblets, and those sausages turned into caviar.
Grandma’s magic, I suppose.
If I close my eyes and let the fragrance from a magnolia blossom wash over me, and I simply drink it in, I am transported back to that kitchen. I can hear her call out her familiar “whoop-ee” call and hear the small slam of the screen door as it closes behind her. Soon the rhythmic sound of the pedal motion on the machine will start up, then the whirring of the needle in the cloth, and another gown will be made.
I am sad to think that the generations to come will not have a 'Maudie' gown to sleep in. I cherish mine.
I love to decorate for Christmas and so did my grandma. My Dad once told me that the excessive draping of greenery was just the "Maudie" coming out in me. If that is the case, so be it. Glad to have it. We could all use a tad more "Maudie" in us.
**NOTE: I have a portrait of both my grandmothers with that same curl on their forehead..all the rage at the time. My maternal grandmother told me that the girls of that day used a bit of bar soap or sugared water to hold the curl in place.
What a girl won't do to be beautiful. :-)