~ 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."


Arrowood Family

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Arrowood In Me

I have dimples . Deep set, into what a girl always thinks of as, “too fat cheeks”.
Never really liked the dimples. They were the instant target of the little blue haired ladies at church that would home in on them and pinch the fire out of my cheek, while remarking how much they “loved dimples”.
My Dad told me once that I should be glad I had the dimples. I wasn’t really sure because he was also “blessed” with them and therefore I felt he could not offer an unbiased opinion.

The dimples come from him. A small part of the man that was my father, tucked forever and inexplicably into my puckered cheek.
Every time I look in the mirror, most times not really liking what I see, I see that tiny part of my father coming out in me. I am liking the dimples more and more. A tiny reminder. A wistful thought crossing my mind with each fleeting glimpse. My Dad. Still here in a small way, forever affixed to me.

That thought helps me sometimes, when I am feeling especially low.
Absence of someone you love is so hard to endure. Separation from those you would want to be with is hard. Death is so final and so in your face. There is no way to “fix” the hurt. It is there until you heal, whenever that is. Until then, you simply endure and try to keep living.

I know where the shell of what was once was my father is. I go there often and sit and visit with his spirit. I place flowers in remembrance at his graveside. My father is not really there..just the worn out shell that housed his ‘happy- most -of -the- time’ spirit. He has gone on to a better place..a wonderful place.

If you stand there, and let the wind and your thoughts carry you back…you can almost hear him whistling softly.
He would tell me..“Now, don’t you go to crying over me..we will be together again soon enough.”
"Now you, just get on with living."

And I am getting on with it, I just miss him.

May Pops

When I think of my Dad, I smell May Pops.

May Pops and summer and sweetly fresh, mown hay,
Grape soda and popsicles outside, on a warm day.

When I think of my Dad, I smell May Pops.

I see him reaching down and taking my fast melting popsicle
To save the front of my shirt, and to save me from the wrath of my mother.
I see him taking my small hand in a crowd, reaching down, to save me from being lost.

When I think of my Dad, I smell May Pops.

I see him handing my grandfather a hot cup of coffee, a smile on his face.
I see him reaching out to place a comforting hand on the forehead of my grandmother.
I see tears coursing down his face, as he tells me that she is gone now.

When I think of my Dad, I smell May Pops.

I see the smile on his face as he triumphantly climbs to the top of the mayan pyramid.
I see the look of awe on his face when he first sees the unbelievable blue of the Caribbean waters.
I see the look of pain on his face, and his haunted eyes, over the death of his brother.

When I think of my Dad, I smell May Pops and I smile through my tears.

My Dad was always there for me through out my growing years.
My own personal angel to watch over me and always guide my way.
My Dad, my Angel, with a fist full of May Pops on a warm summer’s day.

My Dad loved Maypop's (or passion flowers as they are called, but here in the South..they are just plain Maypop's). The plant makes a seed pod that is fleshy and just "may pop" when you step on it. He told me the story of the flower as a child. It symbolizes the "passion" or crucifixion of Christ.

The ten large petals represent Christ's ten most faithful apostles. The fringe above the petals represent the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head. The five anthers are for the five wounds in Christ's body and the three stigmas are for the nails that were placed in his hands and feet when nailed to the cross. The five anthers are also symbolic for the five loaves of bread that Christ used to feed the masses.

When we look at this flower, we not only see a very beautiful and interesting flower, but we also are reminded of the suffering that Christ endured to save us all.

A Buckeye , Just For Luck

My father, Steve Lewis Arrowood, told me about Grandpa Arrowood, William Lewis "Pat" Arrowood, going home to the mountains of NC, near Bakersville, in Pigeon Roost, to see his relatives. He would take my Dad, as a child, into the woods, among the trees, to look for buckeyes. They are the seeds of the buckeye tree, a sort of nut they produce. They are shiny, blackish brown, and they look like giant beans..

Grandpa always had one in his pocket for luck. There was one in his pants pocket the day that he died. My Dad carried that buckeye from that day forward.

Dad took me to the winding path..the road is still not paved, just as it was when Dad was a child, just up the road from where Uncle John Arrowood's Cement factory stood, on Altapass Road.
I could almost see Granddad, standing among the trees and looking back, smiling at my Dad scampering among the leaves.

A buckeye in your pocket couldn't hurt any, could it?

~ The Buckeye - Description, Uses and Legend

Botanical Name: The botanical name for the Buckeye is Aesculus which was taken by the Swedish botanist, Carl von Linne from “Aesculapius,” the name of the mythological Greek god of medicine. The Ohio variety was named Aesculus glabra, by the German botanist Willdenow in 1809.

Common Name: The common name “Buckeye” was derived from the Native Americans who noticed that the glossy, chestnut-brown seeds with the lighter circular “eye” looked very similar to the eye of a buck (male) deer.

Description of the Ohio Buckeye Seed Nut: The seed nut is glossy and chestnut-brown in color. It is velvety smooth to the touch with a lighter circular “eye.” It is contained in a spiny, two-inch hull and is set in five palmately compound, five inch long, deciduous leaflets. The leaf formation has been described as “praying hands” by poet Albrecht Duerer. The seeds and bark are slightly poisonous and bitter tasting. The properties can be eliminated by heating and leaching.

Uses by Native Americans and Early Settlers: The Native Americans roasted, peeled and mashed the buckeye nut, which they called “Hetuck,” into a nutritional meal. The early settlers found the buckeye wood to be lightweight (28 pounds per cubic foot as compared to 75 pounds per cubic foot for oak), to be readily split, and to be easily carved or whittled. Due to these qualities, the buckeye wood was used by settlers to make utensils. Thin planed strips of the wood were woven into a variety of hats and baskets. The buckeye wood has been found ideal in artificial limbs production due to its lightness and non-splitting characteristics.

Medicinal Properties: Early travellers and explorers carried the rare and curious buckeye to the east with them and reported the Aesculus glabra’s highly prized medicinal properties and talismanic attribute of wisdom. The extracts from the inner bark of the nut has been used in cerebro-spinal treatments. Some believe that the buckeye relieves rheumatism pain and provides good fortune when carried in the pockets of their garments or worn as an amulet around the neck. Instantly dubbed “buckeye” in frontier speech, the mysterious nut was used as a general cure-all for generations.