~ 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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year ! 2012

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

 ~ Mark Twain ~

Picture taken off the balcony at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina ~

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fretting Friday ~ Samuel VS John Henry Arrowood


youngest son of Samuel and Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood.

This photo has been uploaded from my site and added incorrectly to many trees. It is sad how mis-information gets rolling and just keeps on going. Let's all try to keep our search as actual and factual as possible!

PLEASE remove this from being identified as Samuel Augustus Arrowood if you have it linked to him.

As much as I would LOVE to have a photo of Samuel, this is not one.
Now if you know where he is buried, PLEASE contact me.

Until we meet up somewhere along our search for family long lost, Happy Trails!


Rev. John Henry Arrowood (Arwood) Circuit Minister, 1872-1963
Pigeon Roost, Mitchell County, North Carolina

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wistful Wednesday ~ Grandma's Sugar Bowl

Just the other day I was out,  and I came upon a beautiful old sugar bowl.

You know the kind, with pink roses and a lid that fits just perfect. The kind that reminds you of your Grandma.

It just about yells out loud, “Grandma!” to me! One of those.

One that Grandma would have just loved.

My Dad loved these old sugar bowls for some reason and most likely it was because they reminded him of Grandma, too.

He brought one to Aunt Hilda from time to time, just a gift, an offering of love. Most likely to all his sisters. They were old, not always completely without nicks and mostly they would not match anything else, of course. But they had one thing in common, inside, tucked just out of sight was a handful of love.

 A sprinkle of  'brother sugar'. Dad’s own kind of ‘Sugar‘. Hilda mentioned to me how much she missed the sugar bowls just the other day and it got me to thinking.

I cannot see a sugar bowl and not smile. It is just physically impossible for me. That smile comes, taking me back to another time and place and I find myself on my knees up in the chair at the table with Grandma. Grandma right by my side, the lace tablecloth softly skimming over the tops of my knees like a gentle breeze and the kitchen smelling like Grandma’s house. That smell of material and lace, mixed with simmering chicken dumplings, with a cinnamon bun baking in a warm oven,  takes me there in my heart in an instant. That sugar bowl, always full, sitting on the table. The smell of faint roses and lavender softly coming from Grandma’ hair. Close your eyes and smell it, too.

Grandma liked a little coffee with her sugar and cream. So do I. Big smile.

I remember being up on my knees in that chair and rolling out “whomper” biscuits to make apple turnover pies. They are called that because you 'whomp' them on the edge of the counter to open them up. I can remember stretching my way too short arm across the table, trying to reach the sugar bowl to sprinkle some of Grandma's sugar on top of my pie. Delicious apple pies and sticky sugared fingers.
Life was grand in Grandma's kitchen.

Delicious memories, precious to me.

One thing I will be eternally grateful for, is that Grandma taught me how to love deeply and how keep your sugar bowl full.

She taught us all that love should be unconditional, without judgment. She loved us even sometimes when we didn’t appear to deserve it. Grandma knew how to feel your heart, to meet you where you are and give you the love that you needed. The word compassion comes up time and time again when thinking about my Grandma.  Her heart was pure compassion.

Grandma could feel our wounds no matter how big or how small and she was just about bound and determined to heal them any way she could, even when it didn’t always appear to be practical or logical. Sometimes Noxema did the trick just fine, and sometimes not. Noxema was a salve for you soul as well as your boo-boo's,  sometimes. And if she found a wound she couldn’t heal completely, she made sure to stick by you and love you through it.

Love, kindness and compassion, were all something that came naturally to Maudie Hull Arrowood.

My Dad knew that sugar bowl well, and so did Hilda. All the kids and grandkids knew Grandma’s sweet sugar bowl well. She kept her heart, her ‘sugar bowl’ full all the time.

Not just for family, but for everyone. God Bless her.

Dad’s love for those odd sugar bowls imprinted in my mind and my heart, so now I scan the shelves of old jot-em-down stores and fleas for sugar bowls, too.  You just never know what treasure awaits you just around the corner in this life. My Dad had that same giving heart that my dear Grandma had.

The apples never fall far too from the tree, do they? Or is it the nuts? Oh well, whatever we are, we are who we are. Grin.

I sure miss my ‘sugar bowl of love’ that I got from my Dad, but I know that somewhere, up in heaven, all of our loved ones that have gone on, are sitting around that sugar bowl and having coffee and some sweet Grandma apple pies. Laughing and telling stories and loving each and every one of us, still. Can’t you just imagine how wonderful that must be? Aunt Ollie and Aunt Buna are sitting there as well, smiling those beautiful smiles they had.

All of Grandma’s kids keep their sugar bowls full, and recently I have received a good dose of love from both Ann and Hilda. They know what I am talking about here, God Bless them both.

As we go about living today, with holes in all of our hearts because we miss all the loved ones that are no longer with us, let us all try to fill those holes with the kind of love that they showed us while here. Let that be our tribute to the love we have all received. Let us be the full sugar bowls and give our sugar to hearts that need it. Let’s pay it forward.

I can’t wait to get up to heaven and sit down at that table, and say, “Pass me that sugar bowl!“

Until then, hold tight to all your sugar bowls. Let them know how much you appreciate them.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Winters ~ Taylor's Chapel Cemetery, Buck Mountain, Avery County, NC

If you find that your heart needs a good dose of 'Christmas Spirit', just drive on up to the mountains and stand on a high knoll and breathe in very deeply, these days. They are cutting our North Carolina fir trees down and they are heading to the Christmas tree lots scattered about everywhere. The smell will fill your heart with 'mistletoe and holly' and you will be good to go. I sure was. Grin.

We made our way up to Avery County,  and every mile was building up more excitement in my heart.
Captivated by what I may find, I could hardly wait!

We located a tiny white chapel, located on what is called Buck Mountain.  It is sitting in a beautiful spot, banked by a stand of trees, alongside the ridge. There is an area surrounding Buck Mountain that is filled with fields of Christmas trees, as far as you can see.

The only sounds were the chirping of an occasional bird, and the sound of a far off chain saw as the tree cutters began their chore. The smell wafting up into that tiny church yard was unmistakable Christmas!

I wish I could place a scratch and sniff patch, right here for you to smell. Grin.

What were we doing up in Avery County, NC at a tiny church called Taylor's  Chapel?

Why we had come to visit our relatives, of course.
Almost all of those buried here, tie into our family tree somehow.

Buried here is Mary Jane Winters. She is the sister of our Sarah Ellen "Ellender" Winters, (older sister, by about two years). She married Andrew Jackson Franklin. Andrew was born in Watauga County, NC.

 I located Mary Jane's death record and she is buried here, but apparently, she has no marker standing. There are rows of field stones and square plain rock markers here in this tiny cemetery, centrally located,  and I feel sure one of those stones is hers. She is here, but her stone is lost in time.

Mary Jane and Andrew Franklin had eleven children, that I have found so far.

One son, Andrew Jackson Franklin, Jr., born fifth child of the eleven, on October 11, 1869, married a Mary Jane Potter in 1888 in Carter County, TN. That is where Roan Mountain is located, just over the line from Avery County, NC.

Andrew and Mary Jane went out west and settled in Utah.  Andrew began working in the coal mines and this is where his story sadly ends.

 Andrew Jackson Franklin was killed in an explosion of Winter Quarter #4, a coal mine, at Scofield, Utah on May 5, 1900.

This was a terrible blow, a calamity beyond all compare out on the frontier.

The survivors had no support , no insurance, no governmental assistance to help them,  at that time.

Widows were left  to raise large families and to somehow fend for themselves. Each deceased miner received a new suit of clothes (if he was intact) and a coffin.

Also each poor miner received a roughed out "R. I. P." style, wooden headstone with his name written in pencil.

Apparently over half the names on these makeshift markers were misspelled.

Each widow received $500.00 from the mine. Imagine the grief that was endured during that bleak moment in time.

Only four weeks later, the mine reopened,  with a fresh crew of miners.
Almost like nothing had happened at all.

Left behind was Andrew's widow, age 31, with six children all under the age of ten, with another son on the way. She must have been about five months pregnant with the last child.

Imagine how difficult a time she must have had.

One baby child died at birth, baby Alphonso. He is buried alongside his parents in Utah.
Here at Taylor's Chapel are Andrew's brothers and sisters:
Children of Mary Jane Winters and Andrew Franklin:
Elizabeth Franklin Turbyfill

Columburn F. "Lum" Franklin

Ella C. Franklin Turbyfill

Their other children, burial locations not yet located:

Louisa Franklin , Sarah Franklin

James T. Franklin, Carolina Franklin

John Edward Franklin and Malinda Franklin.
Also buried here are at least 27 Winters descendants. They are mostly the descendants of LuSynthia Winters, sister to our William "Billy Winters. She was the Aunt of Sarah Ellen Winters. Her eldest took the last name of Winters for some reason, so his descendants all have that last name. She remarried after being widowed and the rest of her children were Hicks.

It is truly a beautiful final resting place for our relatives,  here on Buck Mountain in Avery County, North Carolina.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Winters Family ~ Elk Park, Avery County, North Carolina

I have been searching again for family, digging ever deeper for info on our Winters family.
I never stop, really. It would be like casting aside a good book that you just must know the ending of.

 Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood Miller's brothers and sisters lived in the area around Elk Park and the small community of Cranberry, in Avery County. Avery County is just several miles or so from Roan Mountain Tennessee.

We made our way up the highway, heading back to the mountains and heading 'toward home' for me. I was excited beyond words, once again. I guess you already had guessed that, my faithful reader. This stuff gets me going.  The excitement and the possibility of finding what I seek are overwhelming.

 I had info that there was a Winters family cemetery in the area of Elk Park and I was determined to find it.
And find it , we did!

In the town area of Elk Park , now, it's really small folks, we found an old fashioned type hardware store. We ventured in,  and asked people we met about the location of a cemetery called 'Banner Cemetery'.

We have relatives buried in Banner, as well.

One man stopped and chatted when I asked him about the cemetery. He told me that it was just up the road on the right, surrounded by a white fence. I looked up, and sure enough there it was. In plain sight. He asked who I was looking for and I said the Winters family. He smiled and said, you know what? I bet we are cousins. And we are. His mother was a Winters and he said..Yep, The "Seven Devils" Winter family! Shaking his head with agreement, we both had heard all the stories about the Seven Devils.

It was one of those moments when you have to try and talk around a good sized lump in your throat and your eyes tear up to overfilled, even if you try hard not to. Dad would have been overjoyed with shaking this man's hand, but I was the one there to do it instead. He smiled and said, "Hello there, cousin"! He knew that his line traced back to William 'Billy' Winters, our ancestor , as well, buried right up the road alongside of Shell creek on Roan Mountain. I knew then, that we were for sure, cousins.

He told me a tale about a William Zebedee "Zeb" Winters, who was the constable (Sheriff) there in Elk Park. He said he was ambushed and killed in the line of duty and after a quick search, sure enough I found him!  Zeb was the son of John Winters and Lana (Mary) Cook Winters.

William  "Zeb" Winters. Died in 1922 from what I can tell. He left behind three children and a young wife, Charlotte Abigail Hollis Winters (his third wife).  He is buried in the small cemetery up on the knoll overlooking the town of Elk Park.

Zeb, as the story goes,  was on his way to investigate a murder and was killed while going to the scene. 

***UPDATE*** 4/26/2012***
The guilty parties were  prosecuted, at least someone paid for the crime. Apparently two Oaks brothers were involved in the plot. Charlie and George Oaks. George was apparently the trigger man, but his single brother Charlie took the blame.  Charlie apparently spent fourteen years behind bars for the killing. 

Zeb Winters has a memorial page on a 'Fallen Police Officer' site, but there is no mention of the guilty ever serving prison time.  I spoke with someone that knew the circumstances and he assures that Charlie went to prison for the crime.  He even saw him when he returned home.

May poor Zebedee rest in peace ~  This story only gets more interesting, and it reads like a movie plot for sure. More info soon!
This Buchanan cousin, that we happened upon in town and spoke with, initially, came down the line from John H. Winters, (one of the Devils) and brother to our Sarah Ellen.

There along a knoll overlooking Christmas tree farms on the mountainside nearby, rests our Winters clan.
As I often do when I find myself in these old burying grounds, my mind wandered back in time to a scene that had to have happened, when someone was buried up this steep slope. A horse and carriage no doubt brought the person up, and what kept the poor mourners from tumbling down the mountain I will never know.

I had to watch my step carefully, as I took pictures, the hillside was such a steep grade. Amazing.

The descendant that we met, told us that his mother, Virginia, still lives in the old home place in Elk Park. We found the road and took a picture of the sign, of course.

Virginia is 99 years young. I know with her passing , sadly we will lose more family info. It is just the way of things. I would love to have her stories, to document and preserve.

Our family's history is steeped into this area along the NC / TN line. Just up the road is Carter County, TN and about 8 miles from Elk Park is Roan Mountain, where the mother and father of the Seven Devils are both buried. William "Billy" Winters and Eliza Shell Winters. What a brood they had!

This family of ours had it tough. The many graves of their children attest to that. I see them intermingled in the cemeteries, young lives cut short because of the hard way of life. I feel proud when I think of how they must have struggled to survive in those harsh winters, but they did survive. They were sturdy people, strong willed, too, no doubt . That makes me very proud to be a descendant. I know some of that determination and drive was passed down to me. Just ask my sweetie about my stubborn streak...Grin.

Finding the final resting place of our kin has become so important to me and I have wondered about it, myself  at times.

What makes this quest so consuming? Why is it so important to me?

What is this about, really,  and where does it come from exactly?

Is it the search and the just knowing, along with placing them among the rest of the family in their rightful place? Yes, partly.

It is documenting the information for those that are yet to come, too.

Many markers are endangered and won't be there forever.

There is a ton of reasons, I guess, but the main one is just because I love this so, and feel like it is what I am supposed to be doing.

I am over the moon when I find more info and another search in the making. I am carrying out my Dad's wish. I am going back to the beginnings of me, the beginnings of all of us in our family. I feel so connected to those that have gone before me and I feel closer to the mountains than I ever have.

Documenting it here for others to find is another way of preserving our heritage.

What I can't accurately describe here is the way I really felt while I standing on the knoll, overlooking the mountains and knowing that my family lies here, in hallowed ground.

No wonder we, as a family,  all love being in the mountains.

It is in our blood.
It is who we are.
It has been a part of our family, for generations.
It is our home , plain and simple.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours~ Count your Blessings

May your stuffing be moist and your turkey be plump,

And may your taters and gravy have nary a lump.


Remember those that are hungry as we eat our grand meals.
Remember those that are homeless as we gather around our tables this Thanksgiving.

Count your blessings and remember how blessed we really are.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday ~

An Arrowood relative's final resting place in beautiful Lincoln County, North Carolina .


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little More Relief~

Old Peterson's Store
Relief Community, NC

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gardens of Stone ~ North Carolina

Stone gardens, basking in the October sunshine, in the beautiful countryside of North Carolina

Each stone, each row, precious memories.

They really are outdoor museums.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thinking Thursday ~ Billy Winters ~ the Fist Fightin' Man

Well, folks,  you do know what a 'storyteller' is, don't you?

It's a person that has a good memory, who hopes other people don't.*


I found some interesting stories about our ancestor. Whether or not they are true, now I can't rightly say. But you have to hear them, don't you? I think all stories passed down through the generations have to have at least one grain of truth, or else they are just plain entertaining and that is why they are retold.

There has to be a good reason for the retelling of all stories, after all.

You can deduce and come to your own conclusions. I want to believe that all of our ancestors were good, kind, and noble people . Never did a thing wrong in all their lives.

But,  what are you to think when juicy stories abound? Grin.

Dad had heard about the 'Seven Devils' and he was the first to mention it to me. That started me looking and the looking led to the finding. I found a tidbit here and a smidge there. Putting them down in one place seems fitting for the generations yet to come.  Afterall, that is my main reason for being here, folks.


William "Billy"  N. Winters was born on Canoe Creek, Burke County, North Carolina, about the year 1819. He was the oldest of nine children born to John and Nancy Daniels Winters. William was married to Eliza Shell, daughter of Daniel Shell. about 1836-1837 Eliza's mother was a Miller. They lived in the Shell Creek area of Carter County Tennessee where they raised a total of fourteen siblings; seven girls and seven boys. (Father of our Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood)

William, and Eliza, have the distinction of being the parents of the famous, 'Seven Devils', the Winters brothers. I'm not sure that their notoriety as being labled Seven Devil's is a true reflection of their character. I would prefer to think of them as hard working men who couldn't be pushed around. I have heard all kinds of stories about their meanness, whether true or not, I can't say. I do know that at least one of them was killed by a man, Alfred Briggs, who hit him over the head with a shovel. One of them who's name was Nathaniel, and was known as blind Nat Winters, died as the result of being runover by a train, severing his head from his body. Carrick Nelson went blind but died a natural death.

One lady, a relative, I met while living in Canton, Ohio, told me a couple stories about William N. Winters that was somewhat amusing. It seems that William loved to engage in a good fist fight. She told of William while standing talking to a group of men in the town of Elk Park, N.C., and on one occasion, he suddenly looked at his watch, and looking somewhat exasperated, said," I'm due for a fist fight in Fields of Toe in seven minutes" and he broke into a dead run heading for the place of engagement. The place where the fight was supposed to take place was about six miles distance away.

She then related this story to me. She said, Eliza asked William to go out back and bring her in some wood for her cook stove. William very dutifully arose, and went out the back door. The problem was, William was gone four years before he returned, with the wood. He came back through the same door he had left through with a arm load of wood and said to Eliza, "Here honey, is your wood".

No one ever knew where he had been all that time he was gone.

Many stories are around about how tough the Seven Devils were, some about how mean.

I like to think they weren't so much mean as determined not to be pushed around. One son was killed by Alfred Briggs, who hit him over the head with a shovel.

One son, Nathaniel, was blind, known as 'Blind Nat Winters'.
He was ran over by a train, reportedly the accident severed his head.

Sadly, Carrick Winters went blind as well ,  but he died of natural causes.


Wouldn't you just love the opportunity, to sit and  talk to Sarah Ellender
and hear what she has to say about her Dad and her brothers??

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sentimental Saturday ~ Fall in North Carolina~

An angel watches over a cemetery, while the colors of fall emerge.

Angels descending, bring from above,

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

~Fanny J. Crosby

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Sentiments~ The Day America Changed, Forever 9/11

10th Anniversary


"Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower, followed by United Airlines Flight 175 which hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. The death toll of the attacks was about 3,000, including the 19 hijackers. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 70 countries. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. There were no survivors from any of the flights."

May Angels Surround the Victims of This Terrible Attack.

Photo Credit: 911digitalarchive.org  repository

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday ~ Sweet Summer Peaches

We were out searching for yet another cemetery and we came across a roadside stand.
Sweet, ripe  North Carolina peaches.  How can you resist that?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday~ Cleveland County, North Carolina ~ Casar

Sometimes a scene presents itself and I just cannot resist snapping the picture.

How serene and wonderful, is this setting, for a 'final resting'?

Looking for more Hull family out in the countryside of Cleveland County, North Carolina .

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sunset over Dallas ~ North Carolina

"Peace..... is seeing a sunset, and knowing who to thank."

Author: unknown

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1965 Arrowood Reunion ~ The Ladies

This photo was enhanced as best I could get it to go. The original is a less than two inch square photo!
Hilda was in possession of this old photo. I was just a baby girl when this was taken.

I hope I have the names attached to the right lady, if not, please let me know!

Hilda really favored her Mom at this age.  So neat to get to see this one.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Walk Back in Time~ Antioch Baptist Church

We travelled to Blacksburg, Cherokee County in South Carolina to visit a church where I was sure family was buried.  I did not know that the connections were deeper than I first thought.

David M. Hull (1815-1902) is buried here. David is the son of William Hull and Catherine Cline Hull, who  are both believed to be buried at Mount Vernon Church in Vale, Lincoln County, North Carolina.

William of course, was a brother to my ancestor, Abner Hull. Both of whom are sons of Benjamin Hull and Sarah Hutchison Hull, buried at Hulls Grove.

Catherine "Catie" Ellis Hull Owensby  ( b. 1843 - d. 1935)

David M. Hull and Nancy Hoyle Hull's daughter was Catherine Ellis Hull.  Catherine married Thomas Newton Owensby and they are both buried in Antioch, near David Hull.  They do not have markers bearing their names, sadly, but descendants verify they are indeed buried here.  Nancy is buried at Pisgah.

Finding David was exciting and placing him in his rightful space on my tree,  was just wonderful.  This link linked me to a friend of mine, who is also my neighbor.  Just a few doors away from me and we are linked several ways in our trees, forever friends and also family.  Her family and mine intermarried through the years, and wove a colorful tapestry from the country land of South Carolina to Gaston County and Cleveland County in North Carolina.  The story just keeps on going.

I recently went to a family reunion up in the  mountains of North Carolina very near the Tennessee border. Never thinking that I was related to these fine folks, just sharing in friendship by accepting their gracious invitation.   I got to talking to a nice couple,  and sure enough..found a relative..This relative and I have several ties to the same families and the list just continues..Amazing stuff, this family tree searching.

Thomas Newton Owensby
Catherine "Catie" Ellis Hull Owensby

 My path of searching had taken me to the graves of the ancestors of this sweet lady, in years past,  and my path and her path were definitely supposed to link up, eventually. It was just ordained in the stars, no doubt.

 Now, we can share all of our wonderful finds together. Join forces, so to speak. Now, how wonderful is that?

Her grandmother married a relative of mine, her grandmother's two sisters married into my tree, and her grandmother's brother married the daughter of my 3rd great grandfather.. Mind boggling that we never knew the connection before...

Can't wait to see where this will take me next!  Stay Tuned.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beautiful Epitaphs~ Of Souls Long Gone ~

In a meadow of daisies, in a sunny patch of country land, lies an old cemetery.  The ones buried here were from a different era than us. 

The markers are ancient, leaning over and some stones are not even legible.  I wandered out among those in this field of silent souls,  and found a gem to take back home with me. A gem carried not in my hand, but in my heart.

"She lingered brightly, by our side,
It seemed but one brief hour.
And then the chilling frost of death
fell on this fair, sweet flower.
The petals of this tinted bud
opened not for our delight.
But bloom upon her Saviour's breast,
Bathed in immortal Light."

Beautiful words. etched on a stone,  for a cherished lady named Lida.

Some markers are finely made and elegant and alongside are crude, hand carved stones, made with love.
Each one tells its own unique story.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

John Henry Arrowood ~ Son of Samuel JR

My mind drifted back, once again, up to those beautiful hills of Mitchell County, North Carolina.

I thought about the 'other' John Henry Arrowood, buried there in the Arrowood Cemetery in Poplar.

This John Henry was the son of Samuel Arrowood, Jr.

John Henry married a gal named Mattie Cooper and they had at least eight children that I have found so far.

I searched for anything really, thinking I could locate the final resting place for Mattie. I did not find her there in that tiny Arrowood Cemetery on the mountain of Green.

I typed in their names and up came an obituary for their daughter, Pearl Lee Arrowood. Pearl married a Robert Flowers. Sadly, Pearl passed away on the second anniversary of my Dad's  death, July 20, 2010.

She is buried at the Monte Vista Cemetery in Johnson City, TN. We passed by that huge cemetery on the way to find Uncle John Henry and I so wished for a week or so of time, just to go through it.

 I just knew that we had family buried there and of course, we do.

In Pearl's obituary was a wealth of clues. First, her descendant's names and those that survived her were listed there.

I saw that her sister Helen was still living and on a whim, I did a search on 'People' search and found a matching listing. Excited, I called the lady. I told her that we were related and what I was doing and she exclaimed.."Oh, you sound like my son, David". He is researching, too.

BOY HOWDY! was that ever exciting.

Turns out that David does search for the tree and is living in Knoxville, TN. I called him up and he has a bad case of pneumonia and could not talk much for coughing. Bless his heart.

He and I are Third Cousins! We exchanged just enough info to get us both excited. I hoped to see an email from him soon.

Well, the email came the very next morning and attached was a great photo of John Henry, wife Mattie Cooper Arrowood and two of their daughters, Pearl (back row) and Helen, the mother of David that I have spoken with.

You can sure see the Arrowood resemblence in John Henry.

Finding his grave atop that little mountain was thrilling and so was finally being able to put a face to his name.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Honeycutt Connection ~ Big Crabtree~ Estatoe

I have been searching recently for Mariah Elizabeth Arrowood Honeycutt.
She was the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood .

My generation's Great Grand Aunt. She was closest the sibling, in age, to our Welzia;  a slightly older sister. The census records through the years, show her name as 'Mary Elizabeth', 'Mariah', 'Maria', and simply as 'Eliza'. Even as "Miriar". So the search is not made easy, with all those differences in names.

I found her marriage record to Joseph P. Honeycutt. They were married on October 21, 1877, in Mitchell County, North Carolina. Joseph was the son of Moses "Mosie" Honeycutt and Susannah "Sukie" Tipton.

Yes, the same Tipton family that our Correll family married into, the ones that first settled up in Cades Cove, Tennessee. Not too far from Happy Valley in Blount County.

Joseph and Mariah had at least seven kids that I have found records for.

Aaron Honeycutt , their son, was born July 31, 1880 and was a preacher man. He is buried at Big Crabtree Church Cemetery that I visited up in Estatoe. At the time, I did not know he was kin! I am just amazed at the path this search takes me on..I stood at his grave and took the picture of his headstone and remarked that 'those Honeycutt's married in, you know', grin.   I will go back and pay proper respects one day soon. Not even realizing, when I was there,  that he was my first cousin, twice removed!

Mariah and Joseph are found on the 1900 Census record, living in Harrell's Township, Mitchell County with six children , ranging from age 12 to age 1 year.

They had children: Susan, Aaron, Nathaniel, Russell, Lydia, Naomey, and Joseph.

Aaron's death record indicates:

Name: Aaron Honeycutt

Gender: Male

Age: 79

Birth Date: 31 Jul 1880

Birth Place: North Carolina, United States

Death Date: 3 Jan 1960

Death Location: Spruce Pine, NC Rt #2, Mitchell

Spouse's Name: Nancy Tolley

Father's name: Joe Honeycutt

Mother's name:   Miriar Arrowood

Aaron's death certificate states he was not seen by a doctor, but was believed to have been suffering from cancer.

It also states that he was a 'non-believer' in medical science, right on the death certificate, something I have never seen before .  May you rest in peace, cousin Aaron.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sentimental Sunday ~ Prayer Meeting In the Sky

High above the ground, electrical and telephone poles and their connecting wires must seem to be made just for birds, like artificial trees with limbs that stretch on forever and ever. Sometimes a hundred birds or more will be stretched out along a wire, in a kind of high-tension convention.

As a child, I would look up at these birds, sitting there, all lined up on the wires, chatting.

I guess my sweet grandmother Maude, saw me gazing up at those birds and she told me what it was all about. Grandma's just know these things. The birds were attending prayer meeting and it is as simple as that.

I have never thought otherwise, after being told this fact by Grandma, bless her. Grandma just knew these sort of things.

When I told Russ that is really what they are doing up there, all lined up on the wires, he did look at me a little strange..But never mind. Prayer Meeting is definitely what it is all about.

My grandmother shared her sweet pearls of wisdom with me, all through my growing years, and for that I am eternally grateful.  She never failed to have an answer for every question, even thought I was called the "Thousand What?" Kid.

I cannot help but smile when I see a flock of birds lined up , perched high in the sky and making lots of noise. Sometimes one is seemingly separated from the rest, he may be one or two wires higher than most..well that is the preacher bird, no doubt. Big Smile.

How come a bird on a wire doesn't get shocked?

But if a bird (or maybe line worker) accidentally touches an electrical "ground" while in contact with the high-voltage wire, that will complete an electrical circuit. A ground is a 'region' of just about zero voltage. The earth, and anything touching it that can conduct current, is, in essence, the ground.

Like water flowing over a dam into a river, current surges through the bird (or person's) body on its way into the ground. Severe injury or death by electrocution is the result.

That's why a little squirrel can run across an electrical line, but sadly die when its foot makes contact with the (grounded) transformer on the pole at wire's end.

All that 'electrocution stuff ' never really entered my child's mind, back then. I was just interested in what the preacher bird was saying that kept them at such rapt attention.

I would lie on my back chewing on a blade of sweet grass, and contemplate it all.

Can't you just about smell that field of sweet grass growing?
Can't you see the lazy clouds on a summer afternoon, just floating on by?

Come with me and we will go to one of those outdoor 'prayer meetings'.

I still wonder what that preacher bird is saying...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grandpa's Lifetime ~ The Tenth Little Pig

Sitting at my grandparent's side has always been on of my most treasured childhood memories.
Your parents are just so busy with "getting on with living" and they just don't have the time to reminisce like your grandparent's do. So children naturally migrate to the grandparents with more time for the little ones.

The stories they told were of another time and place, one much different from the one that I was growing up in and in my mind's eye, I was transported right there. With each story and scene described, I was there, right beside them both.

My grandparents were a wealth of stories.

My Aunt relayed one such story that I had not heard before. 
In the 1930's , when the Great Depression had it's grip on the heart of America, times were hard.

My grandfather raised chickens, cows and an occasional pig, in order to feed his family and make ends meet.

Gastonia was not all that 'country' at that time,  but country enough that it was allowed within the city limits to raise up chickens.

He lived not three miles from downtown Gastonia.

Now, sitting at my dear Aunt's side, is as close as I can get to those wonderful old stories once told by Grandpa.

She told of a pig , a sow, that Grandpa raised that had 10 piglets. The children oohed and aahed over the piglets, as kids will do, (this one included)  and soon each and every one had a name.  Small hands just could not keep away from those little pigs.

Grandpa warned them to not get too attached  to the biggest and fattest of the piglets.

That tenth little pig was going to the preacher. It was how things were done then.
You are supposed to tithe to the church 'one tenth', you know. It's the Christian thing to do.

So those little piglets were hugged and loved and carried about, but the fattest one was held aside, special.

Imagine that world for just a moment and allow yourself a smile.
Now, imagine that grunting little pink pig in the offering plate next Sunday morning. Grin.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Journey Thru Time ~ Mount Olivet Church

The sunny afternoon was a delight; nice , but not too warm. The tiny white framed church's doors and windows were flung wide open, beckoning us to come on inside.

 A service at the tiny Mount Olivet church is a sweet, wonderful, inspiring experience. The wooden planks in the floor are rippled and wavy, the small slatted wooden walls are showing their age, but the stories that old wood could tell us, would be amazing.

The windows were once again propped open with planks, and the cool springtime breeze wafted past me in the pew. An occasional bumble bee floated in on the breeze, but I figured all were welcome here.

The bees politely stayed up in the high ceiling area and left us worshippers alone.

The oil lamps are positioned around the perimeter of the room. I was told they used to have a larger lantern to light the night services. I would have loved to have attended one of those!

This tiny country church first opened it's doors way back in 1879. It is on the Historical Registry as the 'only remaining one room wooden Methodist church' in Gaston County.

The winds came some time back,  and they blew this tiny church nearly off her foundation but she still stands firm. The rocks were replaced with bricks and mortar and she remains where she belongs. Keeping her place in history and firmly standing where she will, hopefully, well into the future.

There are plans underway to keep this tiny church restored and the cemetery kept up with, as well.

Contributions to this cause are always accepted. If you wish to donate to the preservation of this tiny church attached to our family and to my heartstrings, just contact Judy Shannon at 704-867-4713.

This year, Joe Carpenter presided over the memorial service and Reverend Richard Cloninger gave the sermon. It was a beautiful service.

Old timey hymns were raised to the glory of the Lord, with the help of Wilma Craig, playing the old style pump organ. We all sang heartily with Wilma kindly requesting that we limit the number of verses sung on each hymn, because her leg was 'plain giving out' pumping that old organ. Grin.

It just doesn't get any more 'old-timey' than that, folks.

I took in the sights and smells of the wonderful old church ,as we sat there on those scarred wooden benches.

I let my mind travel back in time to a simpler place, when life was slower paced. I think I would have enjoyed living in that time, but I would have definitely missed  the air-conditioning.

I met a man after the service that beamed when I spoke to him. He glowed with love for the place and you could tell how special it was to him. He recalled coming to services as a child with his grandmother and he showed me the wooden cross that sat on the altar in front of the pulpit. He had made it himself in shop class , years ago and donated it to the church. It was lovely.

An old framed portrait of Jesus hangs on the wall,  behind the pulpit.

 The spirit of our Lord was surely in that place.

The average age of those attending this service was about 75, I would say. This is a sad fact to relay. The ones that truly love this place are getting older, and we are losing them one by one. I heard of a number of those connected to the church that have passed in just the last year. I was among the youngest ones there. We are the ones that will carry the torch forward for this tiny church. I do not want this torch to be laid by the wayside. I consider this place my heritage, too.

I spoke with Wilma Craig, who has vast knowledge of the history of this tiny church, about our Welzia and his possible role in this church. He is not officially listed among those that pastored here, but I feel sure that he must have preached here a time or two. His heart was surely here, or he would not have wanted to be laid to rest here.

I went out after service and paid my respects to him and Isabell..as well as Great grandma Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood. Surely they were all smiling down from heaven, watching the service from above.

The crowd gathered after the service outside, inside the white picket fence that surrounds the cemetery.

They served cookies and lemonade to all in attendance.

I thought it was lovely to gather among those long gone, in fellowship.

I made my way among the stones, looking for a Maypop vine. Dad loved to come here to pick those Maypops, but it is a tad early for those, I guess.

A wonderful old timey Sunday afternoon....sigh...