~ 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."
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Etched in Stone ~ A Labor of Love
As the years have passed, and the search for my roots has unfolded, I have come to think in ways I never thought of before.
I find myself filled with speculation, as to why things happen they way they do.
Why do some souls live to a ripe old age, while other’s life cycles begin and end in one, fleeting, day’s time?
The grand scheme of things is held safely in the hand of a higher power, of this I am certain, and such is not for us, just mere mortal man, to know.
But the questions still abound.
Would we still be human if we did not wonder about it all?
There will always be the “ Why’s?” and the “How Comes“.
I know we are all here for a purpose, we are here to learn from one another and love one another, of that I feel certain.
I see the beauty and the wonderment that this wonderful world has to offer and it makes me want to drink it all in, slowly.
Like a perfect cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s night.
Like a tangy cup of cold lemonade on a blistering day in August.
Something worth savoring.
I want to cherish and live, each and every moment that I am blessed with.
My mind wanders off to the mountain near Relief, N.C., often.
There is a mountain that rises steeply behind a little country church, there in the tiny Mitchell County community. The church sits nestled at the bottom of the rise and the pine trees tower overhead.
The pine trees know the story.
They have stood by silently as the years have marched past. Silently watching as the seasons come and go. Oh, they know for certain. Branches stirring with the breeze , as if they are waving a polite greeting to all who venture near.
If those trees could only tell you all that they have seen. At the base of one of those tall, ancient pines, high up on that ridge, lies a single soul.
A soul long gone.
There is a yellowish stone.
Not a monumental marker, but a lasting marker, just the same. A rectangular stone with a simple cross etched into it. No name, no date.
If you were to pass by, most likely you would not even see it.
The pine needles fall thickly up there and they quickly cover the stone.
A single soul laid to rest on the highest part of the ridge. They were carried up and placed lovingly by those that were left behind.
This solitary soul, laid to rest, apart from others.
Or are there more here?
Are there others nearby, whose markers have long since vanished?
Is this soul surrounded by those that they loved, or are they all alone?
Was this place requested by the person, prior to their death?
Or was this place chosen for them, out of the love for the beauty of the area, and a love for the person?
Was the stone carved right on the spot or carved and carried up there?
Was the person a child or someone’s parent? Young perhaps, or old and wise from the years?
What time of year was it when they buried the poor soul?
Was it cold and bitter winter, when the ground was hard and unforgiving?
Or was it mild and sweet spring, when the grasses were tender and the sun was beginning to warm the earth?
Is this our relative, of our own blood, with no one left that remembers them?
Who ever lies underneath those pines in eternal slumber, was one that was remembered, one that was loved.
That is all any of us can ever hope for. To be loved and remembered.
Love lives forever.
UNKNOWN CEMETERY, RELIEF LOCATION:
On the mountain above Brummitts Creek Brethren Church, around the mountain from Relief. Climb a path that runs diagonally up the bank of the incline. At the ‘saddle’ of the ‘hill’ you will see the abandoned Mary Whitson Cemetery on your right. Turn to your left and climb the ridge up through the pines. When you reach the top of the first rise, you will see that the ridge rises again. The cemetery is almost to the top of the second rise.
There is nothing there but the stone, amid a bed of pine needles. It is very easy to miss it, but it is at the highest point of the ridge, measuring crosswise. There is also a dilapidated barbed wire fence running along the top of the ridge in places.
ACCESSIBILITY: Very difficult! The climb to the grave is only for fit persons. CONDITION: Abandoned.
1. Yellowish rectangular stone, with a simple cross etched on the face. No name or dates.