~ 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, February 25, 2012

Sentimental Saturday ~ The Woodpecker of Chestnut Street


Precious little “pockets” of time that are imprinted on our minds, that we carry with us through this life.

This morning I rose and walked out on the sunroom to take a look at the morning. It was still and quiet. I love to walk out and say my morning prayers in the solitude of that moment. Beautiful, fleeting hushed silence before the dawn.

This morning my moment of quiet was disrupted. Out of the stillness and ‘not quite daylight” mist was a “Rat a Tat Tat “ . A woodpecker.. Noisily searching for his breakfast before the dawn.

Rat a Tat a Tat Tat Tat! I had to smile. A giggle came up from my midsection.

That woodpecker brought back a moment that made me laugh out loud.

I was back on Chestnut street, in the house where I grew up. It was early morning, misty and not quite light yet. The house was awakened by that same ‘Rat A Tat A Tat ‘ noise.

A woodpecker caused that great noise, apparently a misguided, possibly mentally challenged woodpecker. He had discovered our gutters out on the front of the house. Our metal gutters. He did not seem to mind the brain jarring racket that he was making banging his beak on that metal gutter..
But my Dad sure did not like it.

The whole house emerged, sleepy eyed and confused. Dad went toward the porch, valiantly striding toward the door, to be the champion of the household (ever the Champion, bless you, Daddy). Then he remembered that he did not have on his pants . Jockeys on a Sunday morning porch is not good.

He circled back and when properly attired, he went out to investigate. The sight of my Dad waving a clenched fist up in the air at that mentally challenged wood pecker, is not one that I can forget easily.
Like, never.

He was still half asleep and the scene was straight out of a comedy. We were all rattled out of bed, the noise reverberated through out the house with an astounding cacophony. It would not be the last time. That woodpecker, while mentally challenged, was also a very determined woodpecker.

Ah, those sweet moments where glimpses of your childhood become, once again, front and center.

We also had a situation with the peep hole installed in the front door. When winds reached a certain velocity, outside,  it would stream through that peep hole with a sound you cannot imagine. A resounding fog horn sound. That was memorable for sure. Giggle.
But that is another story for another time....

Thank goodness for memories. I miss you , Dad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tweetsie Steaming Thru Avery County, NC ~

The East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad ran its first train into Cranberry, Avery County, NC from Johnson City, TN, in the year , 1882.

 It ran a distance of 34 miles.

Narrow gauge track was ran instead of standard gauge because of the mountainous terrain. It was called “the Narrow Gauge” for several decades to come. Sometime around 1930, the name “Tweetsie” was coined and the name stuck.

Picture circa 1940, courtesy of Suzanne Tucker ~ Thanks, Suzanne!

It was originally intended to primarily carry iron ore and iron from the Cranberry mines. It greatly improved the economy of Avery by increasing the iron ore production and enabling the area to produce and deliver logs, lumber and crossties. As a result many were put to work to cut the timber and sawmills were put in operation to service the loggers. Mica was mined from the area and transported by the train. Shrubs and greenery were produced and grown in the area, and transported on the train.

The railroad also brought many tourists and summertime residents to the area. It was a huge boon for the economy of an isolated tiny mountain town.

Sherman Pippin of Roan Mountain, TN was an engineer for the “Tweetsie” line for 45 years.

The Linville River Railroad was begun in 1894 by three Camp brothers of Chicago. They were involved in a lumber industry at Pineola. The Linville River Railroad’s rails extended 12 miles to Cranberry.

The Camp Brothers built a small hotel in the pines near their sawmill and employed a lady by the name of Lewellen Penland. One of the Camp brothers, took the name of Lewellen Penland’s daughter 'Ola',  and combined 'Pine' and made the new village name of “Pineola”. The name stuck.

Even though she was loved dearly by  the area mountain folk, eventually time took it's toll on the railroad and its demise was inevitable due to the changing economy. Floods in the 1940's washed away some of the tracks, bringing an even earlier end to her run.  Then Tweetsie Locomotive #12 was purchased and moved to Virginia. She was there until 1954, when Blowing Rock native, Grover Robbins, Jr. purchased the train from Cowboy film star, Gene Autry, and Tweetsie came back to North Carolina in 1956.

Tweetsie park opened in 1957 and eventually evolved into the  theme park of today.

I went to ride the train many times as a child,  and got to see the Cowboys and Indians have a wild- west "shoot out"  right in front of the spectators. It was quite a sight for a little girl that had never seen anything like that!

For more info visit : http://www.tweetsie.com/

Fred Kirby was also a favorite of the local kids. He is truly missed.  We love you, Fred.



Monday, February 20, 2012

Hoyle House, Gaston County, NC ~ Circa 1930's

Don't you just love the rockers on the porch?

Makes me want to sit there and rock, with an iced tea in my hand..
Ah, the simple life of the south.

I believe the whitewash of the trees and the chimney provided a dual purpose, to protect from insects and it marked property boundaries. Some say it protected from sun scald as well.
Whatever the reason, my grandparents did it.