Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots


The simple basis for all living things. The foundation upon which we all live, grow, and thrive. And yet, very few of us have roots that are perfectly planted. Beneath the surface, our roots may be soffocating, intertwined with roots of another kind that are making it hard to breathe. In an effort to escape, our roots stretch towards the surface, peeking through to see the light of day, only to realize it’s the nutrients from those around us that we need to survive, so we head back in. Life isn’t easy. No one said it would be. But I believe with all my heart that Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots.

My Great Grandma's House

To look at that house, you may think eeeeek! What a mess?! Well, if you’ve got a few minutes, I’d love to tell you about that little mess. You see back in 1934, this little house was built. It stood proud for decades down a winding country road in Guilford County, NC.  And still stands today, although maybe not quite as proud. We passed this old house twice every Sunday for more than 15 years, as we headed to and from church. I watched as it deteriorated over the years. But it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I learned this ‘old house’ I had come to admire was the house that my mom lived in as a baby. My great grandmother lived there for years. Truly rusted roots that I never knew existed. So mom and I went back to visit in the winter of 2012. Yes, it snowed. It was a special day.

Memories at the Old House

Mom carried her flashlight, just like my great grandmother always did. We called her Maw Maw. She lived in the old house, her brother in the house to the right and her sister in the house on the left. It was a homestead of sorts. Her sister’s name was Molean, we called her Mo. Mo & Maw Maw were both like grandmother’s to me! You’ll be hearing a lot about these two if you follow along! Here they are back in the late 30’s, early 40’s.

Meet Maw Maw and Mo!

And this is how I remember them best… always side by side…

Cherished Memories

I introduce you to these two very special ladies because they undoubtedly shaped the person I am today! Not to mention, even in their passing, have given me what I hope to be the tools to create a happy and fulfilled life, just as they did. Here’s how…

In the summer of 1998, Maw Maw passed away. And just four years ago, Mo went to spend some time with her and Jesus too. It was a very sad time. The homestead had been abandoned for quite some time. And no one seemed to want to preserve all of the memories that lived within the homes there. Their brother’s home had already been torn down. Developers had taken over the land where my family once grew corn, tomatoes, and green beans. I still see Mo sitting on the front porch with a big ‘ol bowl, snapping those green beans. There were apple trees and grapevines. I remember searching beneath the tree for good apples. I wasn’t tall enough to reach to pick them off. I remember the crunching of the gravel driveway as cars would pull in for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. And the beautiful blossoms of the blue and white hydrangea bushes. Today all those memories are being replaced with this…

Preserving History

It tears my heart to pieces. I know this is happening all over the country. And it seriously breaks my heart. I had to do something!

After mom and I visited the homestead back in 2012, it had been on my mind ever since. I HAD to figure out a way to save what I could before it was destroyed. Lucky for me, the homestead was still in the family and three homes still stood… the old house my mom lived in as a baby, Mo’s house where we had all of our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and an little red and white trailer where MawMaw lived in her latter years. All three homes had been abandoned for over ten years. Vandals had broken in. Windows were busted. Doors torn down. It was a sad sight. But when I voiced my interest in preserving whatever was left, my family was on board and let me salvage what I could from these three houses before the property is sold.

Salvaging Old Wood from Grandma's House

My heart started pounding when I got the news. I couldn’t wait to get over there and see what I could find. We worked from sun up to sun down. Literally. On what must have been one of the hottest days of May! We left exhuasted but exhilerated! I did it! I saved what I could of my family history! And while I will be sad to see the area demolished, I can only hope that 80 years from now, someone will look back on 2014 as the year that their great grandmothers house was built and will cherish the memories of their Rusted Roots the way I do mine!

Today, I challenge you! No matter where you are, what you are dealing with, or how rusty your roots may be, be thankful for the roots God has given you. Take a step back. Find the hope that lies within. And know that there is beauty to be found in every situation. We simply need faith, trust, and some roots with a little rust!

Until next time, let us remember..

Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots

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  1. Jo Ann Miller says:

    Oh my friend! What an amazing story. How sad that the things with such deep meaning have to go! I love that you have parts of it to carry on your projects. Good luck with this venture. Hugs to you & Bill.

    • Candace says:

      Oh, thank you sweet Jo Ann!! Mom and I made some shelves this past weekend with some of the kitchen cabinet doors!! I can’t wait to show them off!! It is truly about salvaging what we can and the memories of those we love!! It’s so special on so many levels!! Hugs to you too!! XOXO

  2. Candace — what a touching story and REAL, on so many levels. Thank you for sharing. Oh, and I love your tagline!

    • Candace says:

      Thank you, Sharon!! I mean, we all have Rusted Roots right?? No one has a perfect life! But we can all create beauty with what we have… we just have to have inspiration and faith!! I am so excited to launch this new site and can’t wait to share the stories of my family in hopes that it will encourage others to salvage the history that we can!!

  3. I loved reading your story, Candace. What a beautiful and loving spirit you have been blessed with. ♥~Liz

    • Oh, thank you Liz!! I owe it all to my Mom and Dad who raised me well! They taught me what was important in life! I have them to thank for the person I am today!

      • I know your Maw-Maw and Mo both have huge smiles on their faces right now watching all of your excitement! They are giving you wings to FLY HIGH! I can’t wait to see your shop and all of your fun ideas for it! NEVER stop dreaming those BIG dreams. ♥U…

  4. So glad I found your blog! I live in Burlington…actually Graham and am friends with Carren Bolick! Look forward to reading more!

    • Oh, Angela!! I’m so glad you found me too!!! My parents live in Graham so I am all too familiar with the area!! We LOVE that little donut shop by Anna Maria’s!! I may or may not grab a donut every time I visit my mom! Ha ha!!! And Carren is such a doll!! Any friend of hers, is a friend of mine!! So glad you found me!! Keep in touch!! You’ll have to come on our next junk adventure!! 🙂

  5. I WANT to come on the next adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I follow you on FB now and on IG so I hope I don’t miss the announcement of when it is!!! And the Daily Doughnuts…ummm, let’s just say I keep the maple ones popular!!!!!!!!!!!! Our business is on Hwy 54 right off the 148 exit!!!!!!! Stop in anytime and say hello!! Conklin Oil and Propane.


  1. […] story of salvaging her grandmothers old house before it was slated for demolition is heartwarming and sets the tone for all her future posts. […]

  2. […] With the support of her husband and mother, and the inspiration of her great-grandmother, Maw Maw, she started to share her love of all things rusty. […]

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