I’ve written about friends in a previous post, but now I’d like to talk a little bit about my family and how they influenced my need to wander as much as I can.
In trying to figure out why this thing in me exists, this burning urge to not be where I currently am, I’ve thought a lot about the people I grew up around and how much moving so much in my early years of life formed it.
We grew up with an uncle who played the bagpipes, singing “Parting Glass” and laughing at my uncles and their boisterous approach to personal interaction. This is my father’s side, and I think they influenced greatly how I am with my friends. They bring to mind a deep desire to help those who need it, and a loyalty that I try to emulate and seek out in the people I choose to be friends with. They love to sit around a table, laughing at stupid things we’ve done, and somehow finding peace in the chaos that they produce. My favorite memories of them will always be the ones where other families would be quiet or reserved. Funerals, in particular seem to bring out a deep understanding of the joy life offers that I have never quite managed to master. When my great-grandmother passed away, we had the post-funeral gathering at a biker bar, and for every sip of beer someone had, another person was spitting one out in order to open up their mouths to laugh. Being around them and learning from them meant that even when we moved around so much, I never had a problem making friends. People love a fool, and thanks to the Russell’s I know how to be one if it’ll get a smile out of someone who needs it.
My Mothers side gave me my fire. They are tough, and they do not allow for others folly very well, but they’re the ones who passed on the rambler gene. They lived simply and with a work ethic that puts me to shame every time I thought about complaining about my office job. They spent as much time as they could outdoors, and because of that, I grew up taking long drives to places I’d never have found on my own so early in life. When we left the east coast, it hurt me deeply. I was removed from the base I’d gotten used to, and my Ma’s parents saw this and eventually flew me back to go on a road trip with them over the course of two months. That trip will always be the thing I identify as the beginning of my habit of disappearing for a weekend or two on occasion. We drove up the east coast to Maine, then west through the lakes and into Wisconsin before returning to the St. Louis. The time in Maine in particular has stuck with me almost every day, seeing the heather and moss early in the morning in Acadia park felt like being in another world, and everything I’ve done since has been chasing that feeling. Seeing thunder hole created a curiosity in me about the natural world, and seeign a moose early one mornign through the fog instilled a deep respect for nature. (I remember spilling coffee when I saw the thing and thinking “That is the biggest animal I’ve ever seen this close and I’m going back inside”) So DeArmitts? Thanks for “addiction” part of Primitive addictions, you crazy bunch of baltimorons.
So as I finish the final preparations for my time in Maine, I’m reminded of these little bits of influence that bred the desire to rove as far as I could. I’ll never stop now that I’ve started, and thanks to these two vastly different groups of people I have the burn to keep going and know enough songs and jokes to meet interesting people as I go.