"Without stories, in some very real sense, we do not know who we are, or who we might become."
- William Kittredge, Hole in the Sky
Charles Alvin Blase. My grandfather. Born 1914 from the union of John Willis Blase and Mildred Ella Limebarger. He was one of nine children: Bob, Pearl, Homer, Nell, Johnnie, Eva, Margaret, and Curt. I have been told that John Willis was "very talkative" and Mildred was "very quiet" and that they traveled from Hamilton, Texas to Joplin, Missouri in a covered wagon. The story goes that Indians tried to steal their horses at night. And at some point along the way, Pearl (a baby at the time) fell out of the wagon while sleeping in Mildred's arms. John's brother, Jim, lived in Joplin and needed help with something; this was the reason behind their journey.
My grandfather's grandfather died on the immigrant's trip over from Germany. He was married (I guess) to a woman named Annie Pearl. From beneath sailing masts to navigating something resembling a prairie schooner, my father's people, as far back as I have notes, have been rovers. Some, to be fair, would find rooted places, but most others wandered, wondered.
wanderlust - n. very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.
Thesaurus words include -
afoot and lighthearted, bumming, discursion, divagation, drifting, errantry, flitting, gadding, hoboism,
itineracy, itinerancy, nomadism, peregrination, pererration, ramble, rambling, roam, roaming, rove, roving, straying, traipsing, vagabondage, vagabondia, vagabondism, vagrancy, wandering, wayfaring.
It would only make sense, then, that my father would be drawn to Rod McKuen's lyrics, as am I:
I have been a rover
I have walked alone
Hiked a hundred highways
Never found a home
Still in all I'm happy
The reason is, you see
Once in a while along the way
Love's been good to me