~ 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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Search of Richlands, Buffalo Cove~

Up where the air smells sweetly of pine trees, and the red-tailed hawks soar overhead, 
 there lies the bones of an old man.

Not just any old man,  but the bones of my fourth great grandfather.
The grandfather of the Seven Devils. John James Winters.

He has been there over 130 years waiting patiently for me, or so I'd  like to imagine. He lies on a bluff, over looking a ‘holler’ deep in the forest of Richlands.

The brambles are thick and the briars are plentiful,  but the trek was a wonderful one. I was overjoyed.

We set out to find him and after many turns and down many paths and "hollers" ,  we were led straight to his final resting place. That was a moment that was right up there,  with the best of moments,  for me.
Another golden one, folks.  Big Grin.

His original head stone and foot stone remain, deteriorating with time, but standing, still. The newer marker was placed by descendants that came seeking him before me. I am thankful for them. Those kindred souls that search for the bones of our ancestors, paving the way for the rest of us. Bone seekers. I guess that is what we are called. And rightly so.

I placed my hand on the stone, warmed by dappled sunlight that filtered down through the trees with no leaves. I touched the stone and said, hello, I have come to finally find you. I touched the old stone that was once touched by the person who placed it there, with love, hewn into shape from a rock, and that brought tears to my eyes.

The winter dried leaves crunched under my feet and made a dense carpet all around the bluff.
There were patches of soft earth exposed between the leaves and footprints of deer were everywhere. There were areas of scratched up earth  in the leaves,  that I was told were left by foraging wild turkeys, which are plentiful still, in this area. The red tail hawk followed us into the dense forest  and circled overhead in greeting. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was bright, making the moment magical.

Here he lies in a most beautiful area. I feel sure that he is in good hands. The present owner of the property is aware and respectful of our John James. He intends his rest to be undisturbed, there at his old home place of Richlands.

There is a babbling brook that tumbles and meanders along its path, just beneath the bluff where John James Winters slumbers. It dances around until it reaches the Yadkin River. The vistas of this area are simply beautiful. Mountains hold a certain magic for me, always have. It’s in my blood. My Winters blood, no doubt.

I peered off the bluff, down to the stream flowing below and tried to imagine his home with smoke curling up and out of sight, from the chimney. I knew why he chose to live his life here on this land. It was wonderful there. The wildlife plentiful, fresh water close by, and a view that stretched on and on. What more could someone ask for?

John James Winters was a Prisoner of War during the War of 1812.
He was the father of William "Billy" Winters of Carter County, Tennessee.

I felt like I had come home, once again.

He was the Grandfather of Sarah Ellen. I wondered if she returned here to attend his burial. Was there a ceremony of sorts or was it just family, placing their dead in the ground with due respect?

Who was this man and what was he really like? I stood there and wished for enough time to have talked with him, asked him questions. That was not to be. Time, a century plus, separated us. But blood and family brought us together, once again.   I am proud to be his descendant.



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