~ 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."
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Gift of Memories ~ Grandparents~
Many times during my life I have encountered people that send me strange looks or raised eyebrows when I relay to them about my love of family searching.
They seem puzzled at best, and simply shrug off the notion. Like, okay, whatever floats your boat.
They are out there everywhere, these people that did not know their grandparents and those that did not have "good rock" under their feet, so to say, as I did as a child. My grandparents were the "rock" that I was blessed with.
We all need a good foundation underneath us, to help us to stand, as we grow. For those that grew up without that, I sure feel for them. What a treasure they missed out on!
My memories are all golden when it comes to my grandparents. I was blessed with both sets until I was 18 years old. I wish to the stars that I still had them, now.
They may have been a little tad too stern as first time parents, but they were wonderful grandparents. Age softens and molds the hard edges on some people's souls, I think. Time wears away the occasional meanness and callousness, that we all have, and somehow replaces it with a silken, soft touch in old hands, just as time wears old rocks smooth, gradually.
Sometimes when I am quiet and have a few idle moments I let my mind go back in time.
Memories. They are magical.
I saw an old ice cream churn on an antiques-for-sale site. The old wooden barrel with metal lashing, took me back in an instant.
Scene: The back porch of my grandparent's house.
Time of Year: Mid-summer.
The smell of my grandmother's enchanting "sweet bub' shrub wafting along on the warm breeze. It was just around to the front of the house and made for heavenly smelling front pockets when you plucked one bulb off the bush and tucked it in your shirt.
The smell of grandpa's cigar, mixed with the luscious light breeze of summer.
They would be gathered on the back porch, discussing the process of making the ice cream.
Inside my grandmother would mix the creamy stuff that goes into the bucket.
All was mixed and the ice was placed with the rock salt, and then I was called up.
Summoned from the swing set and soft moss where I had sunk my toes.
I saw the heavy towels placed on top of the crank and knew it was my "posterior" that was needed.
I was needed to sit on top of the crank while Grandpa and my Dad took turns at the crank. It made for much easier turning.
It also made for cold 'hiney', but the conversations I was privy to, during one of these obligatory sittings was well worth my time. Fascinating stuff, these churning conversations.
I was able to sit quietly and hear the "man-talk" between these two important men in my life. They told tales of funny exploits that "Ol' So and So" did, they told of old cars they had owned and how they had been sad to let them go. The old stories of a time gone by and a way of life that I had never seen in my few short years. The Good Ol' Days. Back in the 'Day'.
But those tales instilled a longing to hear more about those long ago times. A simpler time and place.
I see the town that I live in and try to imagine it back in grandpa's day. I see him sitting in his old jalopy, with no doubt a cigar stump clamped in his teeth, heading over to court my grandma. His sassy riding cap on his head that he loved to wear. Some call those hats "Go To Hell Hats" down here in the south. Grin. My grandparents married and for three months stayed quiet about it..each returning to their parent's house every night. Why? Never got a clear answer from either of them.
I would give just about anything for another spell of having that ice cold hiney.
Another spell of those wonderful stories...
Just one more bowl of that wonderful cream with some Hershey's syrup drizzled over, straight from the can...
Just one more tale of someone riding on the sideboard (or what Dad called 'kick board') of an old car for miles in a cloud of dust, or the real bucket seats in the old '36 Ford. Not today's bucket seats, but honest-to- goodness five gallon buckets. Grin.
Now those tales were worth a cold hiney, any day~