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~ 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.

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"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."

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Arrowood Family

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Candolier

Isn’t it strange how a certain smell or sight can invoke memories?

Fresh popped popcorn.




The smell of popcorn transports me back in time to the sticky floor and the velvet seats of the movie theatre. The Webb Theatre was downtown still, even in my early adulthood, having seen it’s heyday when my parents were young.










Magic carpet style, I am transported with one whiff of the buttery, unmistakable smell.

The things and objects from our childhood evoke that same sort of magic.

Grandma’s house had the smell of roses. It had a wonderful undercurrent smell, that was there, no matter what. She used a rose sachet and a rose smelling spray, that she loved.

Unmistakably, Grandma.

She had a ‘candelabra’ of sorts, called a ‘candolier’ that was made of molded plastic. It had seven or eight candles that held flickering bulbs that emanated a soft light of welcome in the front picture window at the Holidays. It’s bulbs were painted red and orange, sort of like a candle’s real flame.




That candle in the window was the sign of welcome that every kid looked for.
I can remember spying that glow from the driveway and running the walk of the front yard to get to the door first.










Christmas time transformed her house into a wonderful place. Holly strung from every door frame and lights were everywhere. It was special for a kid. Grandma’s love made it so.

I went to an indoor “yard sale” of sorts, recently. A church ran facility.
The tables were endless and the piles of junk were tremendous. The very sort of place my Dad would have loved to search for 'treasures'.

I started down each aisle, looking, and enjoying seeing things that reminded me of the past.

Old style wooden school desks, just like the ones that I sat in during my grade school years.



I was taken back to the wavy tiled floor of the old Central Elementary where I began my schooling.



The smell of chalk board erasers. The old doors to each classroom were huge and towering to a small kid. The transoms imposing over each one, open to allow the air flow into the class. The old building had a charm all it’s own. My grandmother had begun her schooling there as well, so it was a treasure of a schoolhouse.

Next stop down my own “memory lane”, I spied an old sewing chest filled to the brim with treasures.
I found a tiny pair of scissors that would do just perfect for me, when I needed to snip the threads of some of my needlework. I fingered through the threads and bobbins and my heart went back again, to grandma and her sewing notions that were always close by her.


The smell of the cotton thread was a memory in and of itself.

I ventured on and down an aisle of shelves that held old Christmas decorations. I had to smile.
There were hand made ornaments, no doubt made by tiny, thick fingers, but made with love.
There were painted reindeer and Santa's, there were ceramic ones and plastic ones.
Most were jumbled or tarnished, some were broken and not so pretty anymore, but once they were magical through a kid’s eyes.




Russ appeared at the head of another aisle, holding something aloft triumphantly, and smiling.

I headed toward him.

In his hand he held 'Christmas Magic'.
A wonderful treasure.

It was a candolier.
Not just any old candolier, but one very much like what my Grandmother had in her front window.


No bulbs. Old style plastic, maybe even Bak-e-lite.

There were the familiar ‘drips’ of ‘wax’ down each candle made of hardened plastic. The cord was old, the plug in was not shaped the same as those of today. It was complete with an old cardboard piece that fit snuggly up into the base, covering the wiring.

I slipped away in thought, quietly, and I could hear Grandma saying, 'now be extra careful when you plug that in, whatever you do', 'Do NOT “Elexocute” yourself'.

Grandma had a way of taking words and making them her own; her own whimsical version. I can still see her smile as she said it.

The only thing missing was the strand of plastic holly that she had woven in and out, between each candle.

No problem with that, easy enough.

Christmas is here. :-)


Christmas in Gastonia, NC. Main Street 1954~

1 comment:

  1. Reading this story of past Christmas with our grandparents brought back the memory of 1958 and our Christmas with the Arrowood family. I was almost 12, but I remember that Christmas. We were there because my daddy, son of Pat and Maude, had back surgery the Sept. before Christmas and was not able to work, still under doctors care. So he said we were going to NC for our first Christmas there in all of my 12 years. I remember myself being so excited, just being with my cousins at Christmas time. I lots of memories of that Christmas with all the family in NC, so thanks for bringing back the memories of a special Christmas past.

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