I feel the pull of this article on Staying Put. Stability is something I’ve actually worked pretty hard for. But I think his parameters may be off.
Fr. Stephen talks about a time in the 1950s, when
the most common pattern in our country was for a local boy to meet and marry a local girl and to settle down and raise their children in the community in which they themselves were born, with relatives and friends forming a network of relationships that surrounded and nurtured (or harrassed) them.
I can’t speak to what most people did in the 50s, but my family at least a hundred years back, has been pretty thoroughly rootless. My grandfather’s little family autobiography starts with the moves he made to Kansas, Nebraska, and finally Kansas again. The story goes that, Nebraska was so bad, and great-grandma was so tired of moving, that she refused to leave Kansas ever again – right through the dust bowl. My grandparents on both sides moved all over before settling down, and my mom’s dad didn’t stop until I was in grade school. My parents moved an average of once every 2 years, I think, until I left for college. And me. I warned Valerie before we married what was going to happen. So far: Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia.
I determined that all this vagrancy was no good. So I joined the Army.