Thursday, March 20, 2008

Roots of Wander

Steward Crew Finding Our Wandering Roots

I know this may sound somewhat bumptious but that is not my intent. Our Steward stock simply wasn't blended to be reliant on anyone or anything might use the words stubborn, bull-headed or cantankerous to define most of us. But the gist is maybe as simple as just wanting to be independent, to be able to do things on our own. To explore, discover, wander and live unconventionally.
Out in eastern Oregon in a prairie in the middle of nowhere is a small stainless steel burial marker with these words "Charlotte, Daughter of James and Ann Steward...Children of Early Settlers". It is the grave of a never known great-ish aunt that died at birth back in the 19th century.
Grave Marker
The story is that our family settled in the Oregon Territory before it became a State of the Union, floods, death and the need to wander drove us south to Wolfcreek, and over the next 100 years the Steward diaspora took us on quite a journey. Coquille, Grant Pass, San Diego (where I entered the family tree) and back again to Grants Pass. Today we are scattered across the western US and the world.
I am the only Steward, along with my dad and son to visit this grave marker where the roots of our family first set their teeth into making life work in, what was then, a far off place. It was an amazing moment for us to experience.
I had discovered the placard issued by the local Historical Society after several months of research and exploration, searching through diaries and the prairies and museums of eastern Oregon a few years ago.
It was the moment of a lifetime to take my dad, 3 generations removed from this plaque to visit the place where our family, settled, homesteaded and took root a century and a half it is simply a wilderness of wild prairies miles off the nearest road.
The locals remember the family name and tell us that the Steward cabin had burned to the ground years after the family moved away and that no one else has ever lived in that plot of land. Today you can stand there and look for miles in every direction and not see another home or structure...just miles of windswept prairies and broken down fences. Now in the legal ownership of others—it is a hunting reservation that for the last several years has graciously allowed us to visit the site without hindrance.
Why with living today in Asia 10k or so miles away from our home in the States am I telling this story of a remote, barren and windswept Oregon prairie where even now men dare to live? Maybe its because it makes me feel like I am not too far off my rocker by dragging our crew to the ends of the earth. It is a fact that the root of wandering runs in our blood.
Steward Homestead

All of this to say that I am back on my own two feet and yes, while I limp and favor my right foot..these Steward genes run deep. And even if I am a gimp and limping along....Life is still good as we Live, Travel and Wander on the Far Side of the World.

1 comment:

N and crew said...

Hey Stan! How's the foot? It's great your cast is off. How soon till you head out for your next trip? We are thinking of you guys often, and hope spring finds you soon.

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World