~ 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, January 29, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
I can remember from an early age, seeing my Dad take a cloth and lovingly clean off an old antique piece of glass. Polishing it with gusto and determination. An artifact from another time, a distant day, but a wonderful treasure, just the same, to my Dad.
He saw an old, dirty vase and looked right through the veil of dirt that clung to the surface, to see the glistening glass below, sparkling with beauty. An antique with a story to tell.
He would smile and say, "What would that have to tell you, if it only could?" He would often wonder at the item's past, who treasured it, or what happened to the owners of an item.
He did the same with people. He saw the true treasure beneath the surface, where few people even care to take the time to look.
He surely saw great potential in me, for reasons I have yet to understand, but even so, that potential, he saw.
He was my biggest cheer leader and a quiet inspiration to me. He tried his best to see others for the good in them first and foremost, and not the obvious flaws.
He loved a good flea market. Oh my goodness, did he ever !
He would whistle along, occasionally pick up an item and give it a rub with the palm of his hand. Brushing off the dust and grime. Seeing past that surface dirt, time after time.
We went to a giant flea down in Pickens County, South Carolina. He did love that flea. Something that he wanted on each and every table. It was a challenge to keep him moving, as the flea is over by the noon hour.
He would smile and chat about what ever he saw with just about every vendor there. He spied an old collection of antique pictures in a box on a table that was ran by a lady that stood close by. He looked at the pictures, old faded pictures of a wedding party , obvious from the Victorian era.
Beautiful old pictures that I would have given anything to have of my own ancestors..They caught my eye, too, and I looked alongside my Dad. He turned to me and said, "All these wonderful old pictures..wonder where the family is that these belong to?"
The lady running the table of goodies, stepped right up and told him, “They no want them, no more”.
She was of obvious Oriental descent and spoke stilted English at best, but her explanation was pretty concise.
So, my Dad looked up and said to me..”Imagine that, “they no want them no more”.
One totally incredible thought to both me, and my Dad. Simply incomprehensible to people that want to learn all they can about their ancestors, that you could simply discard your heritage like that.
We would glance, knowingly, at one another every time we encountered old displaced family pictures after that.
Always shaking our heads in disbelief that people are out there that would consider discarding family heirlooms. Heirlooms that wind up in a box, moldering on a flea market table somewhere.
Do not let this happen to you, I beg you!
Write the names and dates on the back of ALL your family pictures. Treasure them for the true treasures they are.
If future generations inherit a box of old musty pictures of unknown people, they may not want them anymore, either. Faces without names will not be remembered.
Keep your box of family treasures and instill the love of the past in your sons and daughters.
Designate yourself as the "keeper of the past" and preserve your treasured family history for the generations yet to come.