~ 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, December 5, 2009
Winter is finally settling into the bones of the earth.
Earth has started to pull her woolen sweater closer around herself, and bow to face the harsh cold winds.
The ground has browned over and the leaves are scattered and dry, floating into the wind, plastering themselves haplessly, against fence posts.
The air takes on a new smell this time of year.
Gone is the sweet hay dried smell from the fields and the sweet apple-like smell from the air. It is replaced with a sharp smell that is hard to describe. The smell of artic air. Cold and metallic.
The cold winds blow over the fields that were green until the very last moment. Autumn is slow to leave in the Carolinas. It hangs on and acts as if it is never leaving. Then with a swoosh and a flurry, it is gone. Winter arrives without much announcement.
The trees, left bare boned, seem almost sad.
Limbs drooping at the prospect of bracing for another brutal assault of ice.
We tend to have more ice storms here, than actual snow. Whatever starts out as snow, high above, will melt and refreeze as it falls, leaving us with the ice. Downed tree limbs and power outages.
Winter takes me back in time to cold days spent with my grandparents. Days before school and holiday days off. The heater was slightly smelly and heated the front room to such a degree that clothes were optional on my young self. My grandparents still bundled up around it, the old bones still very much feeling the cold.
I would come in and head for the heater. I would place my mitten’d hands on it’s warm side. The glow from the heater dancing a red- orange tint on the still dimly lit front room. I can still see Grandma sitting in her rocker by the heater. No socks. Socks were a rare thing for Grandma, much less shoes. She was a free soul. She preferred the feel of the earth beneath her. She wore no shoes for most of the year. Unless she was headed out to town or church, then, on those occasions she would don high heels. She wore snazzy shoes. Always snazzy high fashion shoes, she loved them!
Never the sensible brogans of an older lady, that was simply not her.
The smell of coffee brewing with a chill in the air, takes me to that winter time at grandma and grandpa’s house. The outer rooms of the house were shut off from the main area, and not heated.
The warmer area around that heater and the front room was where everyone gathered. The central gathering place during the holidays.
Christmas at Grandma’s was magic. Magic in it’s purest form.
From the maraschino cherries floating in the red punch to the golden metallic leaves adorning the chocolate cake.
There were glowing Christmas lights in the front picture window, beckoning all to enter in.
There was pure Christmas magic in that house.
It wasn’t about the gifts. We all got something wrapped under the tree, but it was about more, much more, than presents.
It was the magic of love. Pure love flowed through that house. We were all together. We were a family. It was Christmas time. Time to celebrate and gather. Time to be together. All of us.
It just doesn’t get more magical that that.
With all the children, the grandchildren, the friend’s and others that came, we had over 40 each year in that house. With the passing of my grandmother, that magic just never was there again. Grandpa followed soon after losing grandma. An era was over. But the magic will never be forgotten by those that lived it.
Merry Christmas everyone.
GRANDMA’S APRON ~
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because
she only had a few, and it was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and they used
less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans
from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for
cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and
sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture
that old apron could dust, in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the
men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-
time apron' that served so many purposes.
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.
Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Samuel, Jr. was the son of Samuel and Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood.
Samuel Arrowood, Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Whaley Arrowood.
Samuel Jr. was a younger brother of our Welzia, born three years after Welzia.
Samuel, Jr. and Lizzie Whaley Arrowood named their baby boy Linnie.
(Annie Griffith Arrowood, Samuel Jr’s. first wife had passed away on January 09, 1919. Samuel Jr and Annie had thirteen children together, during this first marriage.)
Linnie grew up and married a pretty girl, named Maedell Bradley.
This is Linnie and Maedell Bradley Arrowood.
They had a darling daughter, Linda Mae, on Christmas Day, 1943. Linnie was 23 and Maedell was 19 years old.
Linnie enlisted into the US Army Air Corps on October 6, 1942, just shy of his 22nd birthday and served as Staff Sargeant. He and his mate, Louis "Bobby" Machovec were flying a mission over the English Channel, when the battle damaged airplane they were in, plummeted into the water. Lost forever. The remains were never recovered. He died a hero.
Baby girl, Linda, was just a little over a year old, when her father died. I can only imagine the anguish, over this loss, that young Maedell must have endured. Alone, a single mother, and a widow, at such a young age.
Linnie has a memorial marker at the Veterans Hospital, Mountain Home National Cemetery, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Maedell is buried alongside it. His marker is in section - MA Site 19 .
Rest in peace, cousin. You served your country and gave your all.