~ 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."
Friday, January 15, 2010
Magnolia Grove~ Revisited, In Search of Heinrich
We went back to Magnolia Grove today in search of dear old Heinrich.
I could not find his grave when we were first there. We searched the grave stones, one by one and I eventually conceded that he must be among the field stone markers that were there. The unmarked regular field stones were scattered about in the brambles and tree roots. Some order was applied to their placement, but to the casual eye, you would not even recognize them as grave stones.
I later realized that he was located about 150 ft further back into the woods, past the main part of the cemetery.. Not really visible from the tree line.
So we went back, ventured further into the woods, and Russ found him! I literally loped over the sticks and rocks and roots. That rush of adrenaline kicked in and my smile was spreading as I ran.
It is at the edge of a pretty good ravine..hard to imagine how the landscape would have looked back then, surely it was picturesque ...or at least better than when we found it. I touched his stone and told him that there were others that were related and excited to find him...
There is a large granite slab at the base of the marker. The headstone is standing up, very hard to read with the lichen and age showing on the face of the stone. I brought along some chalk and rubbed it gently to reveal the writing.
There he was, gently laid to rest on his beloved land.
I wanted to have a lengthy conversation with this man. I wanted to learn more about him and his life. So, just how much coffee did this second wife, Sallie, consume, anyway?? LOL! Why did you go all the way back to Pennsylvania to find a wife, were the North Carolina women too homely, or were there just not enough teeth remaining to suit your liking?
Why? How? When? Where is your Dad buried?? So many questions..
But, time distanced us, and it is not possible. The only connection I could hope for was to lay a hand upon his marker and let him know I was there.
When I do that, I feel I am 'home'.
I saw my Dad do the same thing when we visited George Henry up at Pisgah Church in Newland.
Dad misted over and rubbed his hand over the stone. He connected much the same way that I did.
I had to look away, I felt as if intruding on a very special, private moment.
Nearly two hundred years spanned between this man and myself, but I came to find him. It was a wonderful moment, one that I will remember, as I do all the other wonderful meaningful moments.
I really do not know why this yanks my chain like it does..smiling..but it does. Boy Howdy is does.
There is a nondescript small triangular stone marker right beside him, not sure if this is his first wife or his second. I have no records of where his second wife is laid to rest, but his first, Anna Joanna Rudisill, is surely there somewhere in that cemetery.
Those stones lie there, a silent testament to the soul laid to rest under them. The stone gathered out of love and placed there in love. Sometimes I feel those markers are the most majestic markers, the stones that bear no names.
Just the common stone remains, to remind us of the life laid to rest beneath it.
Rest in peace, Uncle Henry (Heinrich).
You are remembered.
Your 5th Great-niece, Martha.
This is a Lutheran church just up the road from Heinrich's final resting place. I snapped this picture as we watched the last light of the day, slowly ebb away. No Dellinger's here, but lots of distant kin, I am sure.